Russian producers increased PP output in March

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian producers keep on increasing polypropylene (PP) output. At the end of QI overall volume of production grew by 3% and made 168 KT, according to MRC ScanPlast.
In March PP production was increased at all enterprises, except Ufaorgsyntez. The most considerable growth was marked at Stavrolen (Group of companies Lukoil) - over 3.3 KT. Then go Nizhnekamskneftehim, Tomskneftehim and Neftehim.

Also a type structure of PP production was changed. Under terms of low demand and efficient import offer from Russian producers raffia output reduced in March while homopolymer propylene output increased for BOPP-films production. Nizhnekamskneftehim declared production of new types of propylene. Tomskneftehim increased production of pipe stat copolymer propylene.


Dow Chemical inked a joint development deal with OPX Biotechnologies

(Plastemart) -- The Dow Chemical has inked a joint development deal with OPX Biotechnologies to devise a commercial scale procedure for manufacturing of bio-based acrylic acid utilizing a fermentable sugar such as cane and corn sugar. As per the deal, OPX Biotechnologies and Dow plan to produce bio-based acrylic acid with performance properties similar to that of acrylic acid manufactured from petroleum feedstock.

If the study proves to be successful, both companies will work on the commercialization aspects of bio-based acrylic acid to bring it into the market within a period of three to five years. International manufacturer of acrylic esters and acids, Dow will offer its technical knowledge in product development, process optimization and industrial chemistry, while OPX Biotechnologies will utilize its Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering technology in bio-processing and strain development.


Ferrostaal AG plans to invest USD 900 mln in a new petrochemical plant

(Plastemart) -- German engineering firm Ferrostaal AG plans to build a petrochemical plant in West Papua at a cost of USD 900 mln. ⌠The investment is about USD 900 million but it can change depending on the project and everything needed, including the gas supply, Ferrostaal petrochemical division senior executive manager Soenke Gloede said.

The company plans to procure gas for the plant from the Tangguh LNG plant to support the operation of the plant, which would produce methanol and dimethyl ether (DME). After planning and preparation, construction is expected to commence in 2013, with operations estimated to commence in 2016. Capacities include around 1 mln tpa of methanol and up to 200 KTa of DME.


Formosa Petrochemical Corp has reduced runs at its naphtha cracking complex

(Reuters) - Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp has reduced runs at its 2.93 mln tonnes per year (tpy) naphtha cracking complex to around 90-95 percent from full-tilt due to weak petrochemical margins, and is currently seeking lower spot volumes, traders said on Monday. Formosa, Asia's top naphtha buyer, is currently in the market seeking around 100 KT of spot naphtha for second-half May arrival. It is unclear how long Formosa, which needs an average of 600 KT of spot and term naphtha a month, will maintain the run cuts.

Prices of polyethylene or plastics, made mainly from ethylene, were not rising as fast as sellers had hoped to reflect the escalating naphtha costs.


Celanese declared force majeure on US vinyl acetate monomer

(ICIS) -- Celanese declared force majeure (FM) on US vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) because of a disruption at a Texas plant of a critical supplier, the company told customers in a letter on Monday. Combined with another move by the company in Europe last month, Celanese FM declarations on VAM have covered much of the globe in the past three weeks.

Celanese told European customers in a letter dated 25 March, that a temporary disruption at its Nanjing, China, acetic acid plant had forced the extension of a previously announced China allocation and FM into the European market and Asia outside of China regions.

The latest FM, explained in a letter dated 18 April, said there had been an ⌠unexpected disruption in supply from a critical supplier at Celanese's VAM plant in Bay City.

The letter said the company was imposing an immediate 65% sales allocation for customers, with allocation levels based on the average of the last six months of purchases between October 2010 and March 2011.

US VAM's major feedstocks are acetic acid and ethylene. Celanese is one of the world's largest producers of acetic acid.