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Linde receives engineering contract for ethylene plant from SIBUR in Russia

Technology company The Linde Group has received an engineering contract for the licensing and front end engineering design (FEED) of one of the world’s largest ethylene plants in Tobolsk, Western Siberia. The contract was awarded by Russia’s largest petrochemical company, SIBUR LLC. The two companies signed an agreement today in St. Petersburg. “We are delighted to be working on this project and continuing our successful collaboration with Russia’s most important petrochemical company,” said Professor Dr Aldo Belloni, Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. “We also hope that this agreement will lead to further key contracts for our engineering business in this Eastern European growth market.”
The ethylene plant is to be built at the petrochemical complex “ZapSibNeftekhim” in Tobolsk, which is being planned by the company ZapsibNeftekhim, a subsidiary of SIBUR. Once finished, the new plant will produce around 1.5 mln tpa of ethylene, 500,000 tpa of propene and 100,000 tpa of butadiene from the feedstocks ethane, propane and n-butane. The products produced by the plant are important building blocks for the plastics manufacturing industry.
The FEED services provided by Linde are the first step in the project to realise the new plant. The Group?s work will provide a foundation for the detailed engineering and construction phase. Linde?s services also include a cost estimate, which will be used by SIBUR to inform the final investment decision. Linde is currently constructing a polypropylene plant for SIBUR at its Tobolsk site. The unit has an annual capacity of 500,000 tons and is set to go on stream next year. This project is currently one of the key investments in Russia?s petrochemical industry.

Aither Chemical, Bayer signs memorandum to measure interest in catalytic ethane cracker

Aither Chemicals LLC announced signing of a memorandum of understanding with Bayer MaterialScience to launch an “Open Season” for ethylene from a potential catalytic ethane cracker in the Kanawha Valley. The agreement includes a non-binding “Open Season” to determine the market interest for the chemicals and plastics that would be produced by such a cracker. This could include ethylene, acetic acid, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide for sale at competitive market pricing or use in making downstream derivatives and other products such as ethylene oxide. As part of the agreement Bayer would assist in the effort to evaluate third party interest in the chemicals stated above. Several ethane suppliers have expressed interest in supplying ethane to the project. The Open Season will run from June 22 through July 20. After the Open Season, Aither Chemicals said it will evaluate the market’s response and decide on next steps by Aug. 31. The Open Season process is commonly used in the midstream energy business to determine market interest in new business opportunities. If Aither Chemicals decides to proceed with the proposed catalytic ethane cracker, production could begin as early 2015. “The Memorandum of Understanding is a first step towards building a catalytic ethane cracker in the Kanawha Valley region and we are optimistic that the market will respond,” said Leonard Dolhert, CEO of Aither Chemicals.

Power outage at Formosa?s Mailiao complex estimated to result in losses of NT$9 bln

Partial production suspension at some units of Formosa?s Yunlin petrochemical complex due to a power failure could impact the combined sales of its four core companies. The loss is estimated at NT$9 bln (US$301 mln), as per Taipie Times. The shutdown is also estimated to result in a loss of NT$100 mln to Nan Ya Plastics, the nation?s largest plastics maker, and to Formosa Chemicals, which produces aromatics and styrenics, but will not affect Formosa Petrochemical.

Azelis sells thermoplastic polymers business

In line with its strategy to focus on specialty chemicals and ingredients, Azelis has announced the sale of the Thermoplastic Polymers Business Area within the Azelis Group to Gazechim Plastics who has acquired this business. This transfer means Gazechim Plastics is now managing in its entirety the Thermoplastic Polymers business and its employees, effective May 15th.
Gazechim Group was deemed to be the ideal partner to sell the business to, as they were looking to complement their already strong presence in thermoplastic and thermoset products, refrigerant and liquefied gases, with a leading polymers offering. With an established polymers business in France, they have a stated strong vision and strategy to develop a fully pan-European platform in polymers and are ready to invest in this area for the future growth and development of products and people. As part of the agreement, in some countries Azelis will grant services to the business to help provide a smooth transition.
Michel Dubois, Group Director Strategy and Marketing, states: ?I would like to take this opportunity to thank our principals in Thermoplastic Polymers for their help and support over the last years and for their cooperation in the sale of the business. We are confident that Gazechim will remain a suitable distribution partner, committed to successfully growing a sustainable polymers business?. Jean Guittard, CEO of Gazechim Group: ?This transaction allows us to extend our polymers offering beyond France, where we are one of the market leaders, to the rest of Europe. We are pleased to welcome our new colleagues to the Gazechim team and are committed to investment in the polymers business. Going forward we look to accelerate our product offering and service to our customers and partners.?

Latin American naphtha cracker projects suspended amid increased shale gas production in USA

New naphtha crackers planned to be constructed in Latin American countries have been either put on hold or being reviewed due to increased shale gas production in the US, which has attracted investments in new ethylene projects and increased the competitiveness of the US. ExxonMobil Chemical, Dow Chemical, Shell, Chevron Phillips Chemical and Formosa Plastics are among the companies that are setting up new naphtha cracking projects in the US.
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela have active projects involving crackers (including those on hold or under review) or have made announcements of plans or agreements to evaluate one.
?Enhanced shale gas production in the US has definitely increased competitiveness of the country?s ethane derivates,? Mr. Raul Arias, Senior Consultant and Manager for Latin America at Nexant, told fibre2fashion. ?Many of the naphtha cracking projects in Latin America, which were planned prior to the global economic meltdown and the new shale gas scenario in the US, are under review or on hold. Before the global economic crisis rocked the world, the scenario was: no investments in the US naphtha cracking sector, the US was expected to become a net importer of ethane derivates, Latin America was making big plans based on cost-advantaged feedstocks and was looking North for exports. Now, the scenario is: the US is aiming to become one of the most competitive producers of ethylene, and is building crackers and plants to produce ethane derivatives. It is also expected to soon look South, among other directions, for exports,? he adds.
Expansions or plant modifications in order to add ethane consumption capacity and increase ethylene production have been made by INEOS, LyondellBasell, Williams, Westlake and Novaapan Mitsubishi Chem wins extended naphtha cracker ops.

Total Petrochemicals France put under manslaughter investigation over a blast

Total Petrochemicals France has been put under a manslaughter investigation over a blast at the Carling petrochemical plant that killed two people, as per Reuters. This month, an investigating judge in the city of Metz has put the French major under formal investigation for alleged manslaughter and unintentional injury in relation to the July 2009 explosion. The blast occurred when workers were attempting to restart a steam cracker, a furnace that processes oil derivative naphtha for making plastics.

Plastic Industry Hub – Plexpoindia announces forthcoming accomplishment of Plexpoindia 2013

Plexpoindia has introduced its upcoming reaching of Plexpoindia 2013 to be held from January 8-13, organized by GSPMA. Plexpoindia 2013 will be the next mega event is organized with aim to Promote Indian plastic Industry worldwide, concurrent with Vibrant Gujarat. Plexpoindia 2013 will be held at a fully equipped convention center. This new ambience will ensure better facilities to the exhibitors as well as the visitors. Plexpoindia 2013 is expecting participation of more than 700 exhibitors across the globe. It is the mega platform to be participated by for manufacturers, dealers, traders suppliers of raw materials, machinery & equipment, ancillary equipments, testing equipments, chemicals & additives.
The goal behind this event is to offer an outstanding stand for promoting Indian Plastic Industry on global platform. Plastics one of the fastest growing industries in India, has a vital role to play in Indian economy. The next two decades will witness an unprecedented, fiery growth in all sectors of the Plastics Industry. This demands will create, long term investment plans for future.
The plastic industry market in Indian represents a ensuring platform and is developing new job possibilities for Indians. The per capita intake of plastic items in Indian is growing and is moving towards 2.5 times GDP growth. This potential of the market will absolutely actuate the business owners to explore this market. The Govt. of India is trying to set up the economic changes to increase and raise the plastic industry market by combined going, international investment strategies. Moreover, business owners are trying to provide top quality plastic items, so that it becomes a flourishing market.
The Plastics Industry in Gujarat has made considerable attainments ever since it made a foremost hub of plastic industry. The Plastic Industry in India consists of about 30,000 systems of which Gujarat includes over 6,100 tiny, medium as well as small units. This totals to about one-fifth of the amount of units in the country, indicating the growth of the plastic industry in Gujarat. They are involved in generating variety of items through shot moulding, strike moulding, extrusion and calendaring. Moreover, vast potential can be found for the development of Plastic Processing Market, as at present the per capita consumption of plastic is only 0.7 kg. compared to the world average of 11 kg. The capabilities built in most sections of this industry in addition to natural abilities have made us capable of offerings as well as maintaining offshore markets. The economic changes released in Gujarat since 1991, have included further fillip to the Gujarat Plastic Processing market. Combined projects, international investment strategies, easier access to technology from western world etc have started out up new views to further assist in the growth of this market. The Analysis & Progression on Bio-degradable Plastic should take up strength and the industry may join hands with R&D Organizations to enhance the analysis activity in this essential area of technology to save the planet from the problem to keep it cleaner and eco-friendly.

Recycling efforts increase post-consumer plastic packaging by 15% across Canada

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) released a new report informing Canadians that their recycling efforts have increased the amount of post-consumer plastic packaging being recycled across Canada. An additional 15% of plastic packaging was recycled in 2010 compared to 2009 as reported by Moore Recycling Associates Inc. This increase is the result of more material collected for recycling as well as more companies providing recycling information. In total, over 217 mln kgs of post-consumer plastic packaging were collected for recycling in Canada. The results are derived from a survey of over 500 companies who are handling recycled plastics in North America. These companies are made up of reclaimers, exporters, brokers, MRFs (Material Recovery Facilities) and other handlers of used plastics.
“We are elated that around 70% of the plastic packaging collected, was recycled in Canada. This amounts to more than 149 mln kgs. We are building a recycling industry in Canada, re-using valuable plastic materials and creating jobs to grow the economy” says Carol Hochu, President and CEO of the CPIA. Plastic packaging collected for recycling includes plastic bottles, non-bottle rigid plastics such as deli and dairy containers, bakery, vegetable, fruit containers, and plastic film, bags and outer wrap. These valuable resources are reused to make, for example, fleece jackets, new plastic bottles, pipe, pallets, crates and buckets, decking and other lawn and garden products.
The plastic recycled quantities reported for 2010 by Moore and Associates Inc. compared to 2009 represent an increase of 13% for bottles (for a total of 150 mln kgs), an increase of 6% for non-bottle rigids (for a total of almost 30 mln kgs) and an increase of 36% for plastic bags and outer wrap (for a total of almost 37 mln kgs). Of particular note, there was over a 50% increase in plastic film and bags collected for recycling from commercial businesses. In addition, of the total film and bags recovered, a third came from consumer curbside recycling programs across Canada. CPIA continues to work with partners and stakeholders across Canada to increase recycling opportunities and it appears to be paying off. And even better, Canadian recyclers of plastics want more supply; they have underutilized capacity creating ample opportunity for consumers and businesses to supply our recyclers with more plastics. For instance, it is estimated that the film and bag recycling capacity in Canada to be at 38% utilization of the capacity and non- bottle rigid recycling capacity is at a 47% utilization of the capacity. There is plenty of room to increase plastics recycling. “Given the large access to plastic recycling collection programs across Canada, we are calling upon consumers and businesses to participate in them. Used plastics are valuable resources to be re-manufactured into new products,” says Cathy Cirko, VP of CPIA.

Materials innovations for Solar Power applications

An extensive and growing portfolio of specialty thermoplastics designed to support major trends in solar applications has been displayed by SABIC IP. Highlighting the applications on display is the solar industry?s first polycarbonate (PC) building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels for roofing, cladding and glazing, which illustrates the company?s continuing commitment to advancing customer?s sustainable energy generation through more efficient solar power.
?SABIC?s tremendous expertise about the industries in which our customers compete stems from our tradition of listening before recommending,? said Ilknur Gur, general manager of the Specialty business in Europe, Innovative Plastics. ?Our development of the Lexan* BIPV panels embodies this principle. It helped innovate a new industry-first that can transform conventional roofing and glazing systems and provide new choices for customers when integrating solar systems into building designs across the globe. SABIC continues to explore how its advanced materials technologies can open new opportunities for solar power customers by continuously improving new application development, customer support and new thermoplastics solutions.?
Demonstrating SABIC?s tradition of challenging existing industry standards to improve systems efficiencies, performance and product sustainability, the new Lexan BIPV panels combine tough, transparent Lexan Thermoclear* PC sheet with photovoltaic cells into panels that come in a broad range of sizes, configurations and colors. Lexan BIPV panels are an excellent alternative to traditional BIPV materials, particularly glass, because they deliver exceptional design freedom ? including the ability to create dramatic curved shapes ? and provide light weight, excellent thermal insulation, extreme durability and improved safety.
In addition to Lexan BIPV panels, SABIC?s booth features an array of solar industry applications that demonstrate the company?s proactive approach to anticipating its customers? demands. For example, junction boxes and inverter housings on exhibit illustrate the advantages of Noryl* resin for solar designers and manufacturers. This versatile material can enable the design of smaller components, provides the thermal performance needed to address the challenges of miniaturization and delivers excellent flame retardant properties. Plus, storage battery housings molded from Noryl N190X resin demonstrate excellent chemical and high heat resistance.
SABIC is also displaying a PV panel backsheet film extruded from Noryl resin, which can provide long-term durability to extend the useful life of the panel and is an alternative to other solutions currently available. Additionally on display at SABIC?s booth, a micro PV tracking system using SABIC?s LNP* Thermocomp* PF00DS compound for the brackets and LNP Lubricomp* DL002 compound for the moving arm parts. Glass-filled LNP Thermocomp PF00DS compound allows for part integration and can provide the high stiffness needed for structural parts like brackets. LNP Lubricomp DL002 compound, a lubricated material for moving parts, may reduce maintenance costs by eliminating the need for external lubricants.
SABIC offers a wide array of materials for solar and electrical systems, including Noryl, Lexan and Cycoloy* resins and LNP Thermocomp and LNP Lubricomp specialty compounds, transparent Lexan CFR copolymer for solar collectors and other applications requiring flame retardance at very thin gauges. Lexan CFR copolymer meets the UL 945 VA standard at 0.3 mm. Cycoloy resins are excellent candidate materials when flame retardance, chemical resistance and good heat performance are needed for storage battery housings. LNP Thermocomp compounds, based on 25 different resins, contribute extremely high mechanical and ultraviolet performance in structural applications calling for high stiffness, part integration and weight-out. LNP Lubricomp compounds are lubricated materials specially developed to help reduce part wear and friction in applications such as bearings, sliders and nuts. This technology the need for external lubricants and can minimize maintenance costs.

First polycarbonate BIPVpanels offer design flexibility, thermal insulation, energy production

With approximately 70 gigawatts (GW) of cumulative global installations, PV systems represent the third most important renewable energy source ? after hydroelectric and wind power ? in terms of capacity. As demand for solar power rises, SABIC is helping to drive the feasibility and integration of this increasingly preferred energy source by launching today the first polycarbonate (PC) building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels for roofing, cladding and glazing applications. This new innovative solution from SABIC?s Innovative Plastics business, called Lexan* BIPV panel, provides architects and builders with enhanced design freedom, thermal insulation, easy installation and energy production in a single, integrated solution. Created through a close collaboration between SABIC and Solbian Energie Alternative, an innovative flexible photovoltaic (PV) production company, the panels combine tough, lightweight, transparent Lexan Thermoclear* PC sheet with flexible PV laminated crystalline cells from Solbian and are available in a broad range of structures, configurations and colors. Lexan BIVP panels demonstrate SABIC?s deep commitment to its customers by supporting the evolving trends and environmental needs for more sustainable designs while driving improved material technologies in the building and construction industry.
?The new Lexan BIPV panels show SABIC?s commitment to challenging the status quo to find better solutions and create practical innovations for customers in the building and construction industry,? said Jack Govers, SABIC general manager, Specialty Film & Sheet. ?Our collaboration with Solbian has created a technology that can transform conventional roofing and glazing systems and provide new choices for the integration of solar systems into building designs across the globe. We take pride delivering the performance architects and builders expect when achieving their sustainability goals and powering their competitive advantage.?
?Our successful collaboration with SABIC has resulted in a very new, high-performance solution that will no doubt drive broader adoption of photovoltaics across many types of commercial and residential structures and geographies,? said Enrique Garcia, president, Solbian Energie Alternative. ?SABIC?s drive to constantly enhance its materials opens up new opportunities for its customers and we are happy that Solbian can contribute to this success.? These flexible photovoltaic panels are made with monocrystalline cells with efficiency up to 23%, which are embedded in polymers with high-resilience technology to make them flexible. They are also highly resistant to harsh weather conditions.
One of the top benefits of Lexan BIPV panels is design freedom. Compared to traditional BIPV materials, the panels can be easily cold bended on site to form graceful, curved roofing systems integrating daylighting and photovoltaic. By using semi-transparent Lexan BIVP panel modules designers can create unique day-lighting features in façade, roofing or skylight systems.
In addition, the new panels provide high performance, beginning with excellent thermal insulation and light management that are hallmarks of Lexan Thermoclear sheet. The new panels can reduce energy consumption by up to 17% vs. traditional high-return, double-pane glass glazing. They help to reduce cooling load and glare associated with large expanses of architectural glazing. This virtually unbreakable, ultraviolet (UV)-protected PC material promotes safety and is exceptionally durable for long useful life. Another important benefit of Lexan BIPV panels is light weight that can make them less expensive to transport and facilitates easy and fast assembly. Compared to heavy glass panels or standard PV panels, Lexan BIPV panels can deliver potential savings on installation time and costs. Also, the panels can be used with a lighter supporting steel framework than glass requires, which may reduce material and shipping costs.