Brenntag Essentials opens operations site in Maurice, Louisiana

Brenntag Essentials opens operations site in Maurice, Louisiana

MRC -- Brenntag, the global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution, announced the opening of its new facility in Maurice, Louisiana, USA, said the company.

Strategically positioned along the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Maurice site is located south of Lafayette, Louisiana and will be the primary operations hub for Coastal Chemical, a Brenntag Group company, in addition to serving other areas in the region.

Equipped with expanded warehousing, storage and automated product production, the showpiece of the 63-acre complex will be a 5,000 square foot Innovation & Application Center designed to meet the demand and challenges of the dynamic deepwater production for Brenntag customers in the energy industry.

Scott Leibowitz, President of Brenntag Essentials North America, commented: “It is important for Brenntag to provide our customers with local services and last mile distribution excellence. Investing in this new facility enables us to foster Brenntag’s resilience in this market against the background of shifts on the global energy sector and supports the Brenntag energy service platform in North America.”

“This investment represents Brenntag’s commitment to providing technology-based solutions to the energy industry along the Gulf Coast and beyond,” added Blake Willis, President of Coastal Chemical. “It strengthens Coastal Chemical and Brenntag’s presence in the attractive South Louisiana area and allows for continued operational excellence and industry leading services, while helping our customers produce energy in an efficient and safe manner.”

We remind, Brenntag, a chemical and ingredient distributor, announces a new supplier agreement with Elementis to distribute a variety of applications in Mexico and Ecuador for the coatings and construction markets, effective immediately. Brenntag Specialties has expanded the distribution relationship with Elementis as a distributor for coatings and construction products in Ecuador and Mexico. The product lines are used in applications for industrial and architectural coatings, sealants, adhesives, inks and construction products.

BASF workers demonstrate, call to cap power price

BASF workers demonstrate, call to cap power price

MRC -- On 7 Nov 2023, over 8000 employees at BASF's chemical production hub in Ludwigshafen, Germany, held a demonstration calling for a subsidized power price for Germany's chemical producers, said CNB.

High energy prices are putting energy-intensive industrial manufacturing at risk.

We remind, BASF SE plans to cut 2,600 jobs and reduce production in Germany as Europe’s biggest chemical producer braces itself for a future without cheap Russian gas. The company is closing a number of energy-intensive factories, including two ammonia plants and related fertilizer facilities, resulting in 700 job cuts at its main Ludwigshafen site in Germany.

Kuwait's KIPIC has sufficient stocks despite al-Zour shutdown

Kuwait's KIPIC has sufficient stocks despite al-Zour shutdown

MRC -- Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company has sufficient stocks of diesel, naphtha, kerosene and fuel oil to meet obligations to local and foreign customers despite an almost complete shutdown of the al-Zour refinery last week, CEO Walid al-Badr told Reuters .

Gas supplies to the refinery were halted in a "force majeure situation" owing to a malfunctioning gas valve and the operations team was working to resume operations gradually, Badr said, adding that "these issues happen in this industry".

The company is working to restore operations within 10 days, he said. KIPIC had announced earlier on Thursday that a "limited fire" in a sulfur unit at the refinery had been brought under control without affecting operations.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing, a source close to the matter told Reuters, adding that initial indications are that the refinery shutdown and fire are unrelated.

We remind, Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company is in early talks with companies to partner on an integrated petrochemicals complex worth up to $9.70 B, its CEO said. The company also aims to raise capacity at its Al-Zour refinery by 20-30% above the maximum 615,000 barrels per day it expects to reach this month, Walid Al-Badr told Reuters. Initial discussions have begun with three potential partners, two from Asia and one from Europe, to build an integrated petrochemical complex alongside the Al-Zour plant.

Uzbekistan to launch $2.9 bln gas chemical complex in May 2024

Uzbekistan to launch $2.9 bln gas chemical complex in May 2024

MRC -- Uzbekistan plans to commission a gas chemical complex with capacity of 5 billion cubic meters of gas in the Surhandarya region in May 2024, the Uzbek president's press service said.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited the site on Thursday. "The cost of this project, being carried out by the foreign enterprise Surhan Gas Chemical Operating Company, is $2.9 billion. The complex will have capacity to produce and process 5 billion cubic meters of gas per year," the statement says.

Investment in the development of the 25 Years of Independence field, on the basis of which the complex is being built, amounts to $1.45 billion so far. Drilling has been completed at 20 wells, and 11 wells have been successfully tested. Foundation work and construction of metal structures are almost complete.

"More than 7,000 people are currently working on the construction. The first stage will be launched in May next year and will reach full capacity in 2025," the press service said. The project will use technology licensed by Shell. It meets the very latest environmental requirements and is designed to neutralize 99% of harmful production waste.

"The main goal should not be to sell raw but processed gas and value-added products. For rapid return on investment and the plant to be competitive it is necessary to ensure that the end product is of high quality and profitable," Mirziyoyev was quoted as saying.

The Uzbek government in April 2017 signed a 35-year production sharing agreement with a consortium of investors - Gas Project Development Central Asia, Altmax Holding and Uzneftegazdobycha - at the Uzbekistan Mustakilligi or Uzbekistan Independence investment block with further exploration and development of Mustakillikning 25 Yilligi or 25 Years of Independence field with construction of a gas chemical complex.

Total investments were estimated at $5.27 billion when the PSA was signed.

We remind, KazMunayGas (KMG) and China Gezhouba Group Company Limited (CGGC) could build gas processing plant at the Urikhtau field in Kazakhstan's Aktobe region. KMG Deputy CEO Serikkali Brekeshev held a meeting with CGGC Vice President Yinqi Deng at which they discussed prospects for cooperation in KMG's projects, KMG said in a press release.

CPDC Restarts Acrylonitrile Production in Taiwan

CPDC Restarts Acrylonitrile Production in Taiwan

MRC -- On November 15, China Petrochemical Development Corp (CPDC) in Taiwan took a significant step by resuming production at two acrylonitrile production lines located in Kaohsiung, said Chemanalyst.

This move followed a scheduled maintenance period during which two lines, each boasting a production capacity of 240 thousand tons of DCA per year, were temporarily closed, starting from October 20. Notably, CPDC manages two production lines at the Kaohsiung plant, each with a yearly production capacity of 120,000 tonnes of DCA.

Earlier in the year, on July 20, 2022, CPDC had temporarily halted production at one of its acrylonitrile (AHN) production lines in Kaohsiung, citing commercial reasons. This strategic decision reflected CPDC's commitment to efficient operations and market dynamics.

Acrylonitrile plays a pivotal role as one of the primary raw materials in the production of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), a widely used polymer with applications across various industries.

ABS imports experienced a noteworthy increase of 12% in the first eight months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. The total ABS imports amounted to 22.2 thousand tons, compared to 19.7 thousand tons in the preceding year. During this period, South Korean supplies accounted for 56% (12.5 thousand tons), up from 54% (10.6 thousand tons) in the corresponding period in 2022. Chinese imports held the second position, representing 30% (6.6 thousand tons) from January to August 2023. Taiwanese imports constituted 13% (3 thousand tons) during the same timeframe.

The recent resumption of acrylonitrile production by CPDC in Taiwan is expected to have a significant impact on the supply chain for ABS, contributing to meeting the rising demand observed in the import figures. The decision to resume production aligns with market dynamics and the company's strategic approach to managing production capacities.

Established in 1969, CPDC initially functioned as a state-owned enterprise under the supervision of Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs. The company underwent a transformation by being listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange in 1991 and later privatized in 2005. CPDC holds a unique position as the sole caprolactam manufacturer in Taiwan, showcasing its diversified portfolio in the petrochemical industry.