Turkey's Petkim to invest in Izmir and grow further

March 17 (hurriyetdailynews) -- Petkim aims high with its plans to invest $5 billion in the next three years. Currently, the company's top priority is to establish a refinery in its Aliaga complex located in the Aegean city of Izmir. Petkim earned a positive environmental assessment from the authorities, and now it is expecting to have the refinery license in the first half of this year.

Petkim Petrokimya Holding, Turkey's biggest chemicals maker, aims to invest $5 billion within the next three years.

A big portion of the $5 billion will be spent on establishing a refinery in Petkim's Aliaga complex located in the Aegean city of Izmir, Hayati Ozturk, managing director of Petkim, told members of the press at a meeting held Tuesday to announce the company's 2009 financial results and 2010 targets.

"The refinery we are planning to establish is the most important investment of Socar&Turcas. It is expected to cost $4 billion," said Ozturk speaking to journalists in the Istanbul meeting. Petkim will use its own equity to meet 35 percent to 40 percent of the cost of the refinery. The rest will be met through a project funding.

Petkim is currently waiting for a license to build the refinery. The construction of the refinery will start once Petkim receives its license from the Energy Market Regulatory Authority, or EPDK. Petkim's refinery carries an additional importance due to the fact that, when it begins operating, it will end the reliance on Turkey's sole naphtha refiner Tupras, Ozturk said.

"Our main goal is to use the latest technology in this refinery," said Ozturk. ⌠The refinery, which will be built on 135 hectares, is expected to be completed by 2014," he said.

Petkim's capacity use at its facilities will rise to 96 percent this year from 91 percent in 2009, Ozturk said. The company will make 3.1 million tons of chemicals this year from 3 million tons in 2009, he added.

⌠We got a positive environmental assessment report from authorities, and now we expect to have the refinery license in the first half of this year, said Batu Aksoy, a Petkim board member. ⌠We want to complete it by 2014 with the world's fastest technology.

The plant, with a refining capacity of 10 million tons of crude annually, will mainly produce naphtha, Kenan Yavuz, chief executive officer of Socar-Turcas, the parent company, said at the same news conference. It will supply 2 million tons of raw materials a year by 2014 for Petkim and 8 million tons of ⌠non-gasoline fuels for the local market and for export, he said. ⌠This project will provide the integration of refinery, the petrochemical industry, energy and logistics," said Yavuz, who is also a board member for Petkim. With the new investment, he said, "by 2018 we aim to make our local market share reach 40 percent."

The new refinery, which will be built on the Petkim peninsula, will provide employment to 10,000 people.

Socar&Turcas Enerji, a partnership of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, fuel retailer Turcas Petrolculuk and the Aksoy family, bought 51 percent of Petkim from the Turkish government for $2.04 billion in 2008.

Petkim plans to turn its Izmir site on Turkey's west coast into an industrial zone similar to Singapore's Jurong Island, Yavuz said in an interview before the news conference, according to Bloomberg.

⌠We are receiving great interest from chemicals producers all over the world to come and produce chemicals using raw materials to be supplied by Petkim, he said. ⌠They will make end-products at our site. Petkim is holding talks with the Singapore government to get the ⌠know-how for the project, he said.

A $2 billion joint venture in Iran to access cheaper raw materials is still at the feasibility stage, he said. The venture would produce 300,000 tons a year of suspension polyvinyl chloride, or S-PVC, a plastic used in food containers and water pipes, and 195,000 tons of caustic soda, used in production of pulp and paper as well as soap. A similar venture may be considered in Egypt, Yavuz said.


Polypropylene prices rising in Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) - In mid-March prices for Russian PP-homo varied within the range of RUB51.000-54.000/mt - according to MRC Price Report.

The tight Russian polypropylene market resulted in further growth of prices. In March, raffia prices moved at RUB51.000-52.500/mt, including VAT. Sufficient volumes of Turkmen polypropylene have been delivered to the market this week.

Demand for injection moulding PP became much stronger. Prices climbed at RUB53.000-54.000/mt, including VAT. Market players are afraid that the suspension of production at Kapotnya and Ufa at the end of April - beginning of May might seriously affect the market balance.


For more detailed information, see Russia Weekly Price Report.

Leistritz testing dryer-less PET sheet extrusion

March 17 (plasticstoday) -- Extrusion machinery supplier Leistritz has set up two of its MAXX twin-screw extrusion systems, and related auxiliary equipment, in its Somerville, NJ lab to process undried PET and directly extrude it in sheet form. Leistritz says only that the result is a quality product with "dramatically less energy consumption."

In most production environments, PET resin typically is dried separately before being processed on a single-screw extruder. The ZSE-27 and ZSE-50 extruders that are being fed undried PET pellets or regrind have multi-stage vacuum venting to minimize or avoid hydrolysis. The extruders have a gear pump, screen changer, and flexible-lip sheet die attached, which feeds the 3-roll stack that cools and forms the PET sheet.

Leistritz says the ZSE-MAXX series, with increased torque capabilities and a 1:66 OD/ID ratio, is especially well suited to PET processes that are torque-, heat-, and shear-sensitive. The series also has an improved barrel cooling design that benefits PET processing.


Vistamaxx PP-based elastomers add value to flexible films

March 17 (adsalecprj.com) -- The new grades of Vistamaxx propylene-based elastomers offered by petrochemical company ExxonMobil Chemical has created new opportunities for customers to add value to their flexible film applications across the value chain. Film manufacturers and end users are discovering that the combination of benefits offered by Vistamaxx provides a new level of performance potential.

Enhanced sealability, improved adhesion, inherent elasticity, notable toughness and broad polyolefin compatibility delivered by Vistamaxx are inspiring innovation and product development in a wide range of flexible film applications. These include cast polypropylene (cPP), stretch hood, PP raffia tape, extrusion coated and laminated woven and nonwoven polyolefinic substrates, surface protection, cast stretch, and elastic hygiene film. High transparency film applications also benefit from the good optical properties and chemical resistance of Vistamaxx.

The complete combination of benefits allows film manufacturers and end user customers to design films with new levels of performance, lower formulation and processing costs, and achieve sustainability objectives with lower energy usage, reduced material consumption and, as Vistamaxx is a polyolefin, recyclability.

Now four new grades, Vistamaxx 6202FL, Vistamaxx 6102FL, Vistamaxx 3980FL and Vistamaxx 3020FL, have recently been introduced for high performance film applications. The FL series of Vistamaxx grades exhibits a low gel count, provides processing and performance improvements, and protects your investment in film aesthetics, offering film formulators, converters and end-users inspiring new options for next generation film designs. These options include: excellent sealing operation and package integrity; improved film tear resistance at high stretch ratios; and, improvements in scratch and indent-free surface protection.

This series of Vistamaxx FL low gel grades can result in outstanding printing and optical quality and, as with all Vistamaxx grades offered to the film market, complies with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Union (EU)-Directive for use in contact with food.


Egyptian PVC producer maintains offer levels

March 17 (plastemart) -- A source from the local PVC producer EPC reported that the producer elected to maintain their offer levels for PVC k67-68 for the rest of the month at EGP5600/ton (US$1022) on ex-Alexandria, cash not including VAT basis, as per Chemorbis. This decision has been compelled by the demand situation as buying interest has not been performing well for the past few weeks. ⌠We preferred to leave our offer levels equal to the cost of material that was imported earlier and is now entering the market, he further clarifies. However, market participants were mainly expecting increases, pointing out that the producer had concluded good sales both in the local and export markets. Plus, the overall import market level was standing at an adjusted range of US$1015-1070/ton on CIF Alexandria, cash equivalent basis last week, showing that the local producer could also find ground from the import market to raise their prices.