Central European and Russian chemical news-Jan-Oct 2021

PKN Orlen-carbon neutral targets

As part of the group target to achieve emission neutrality by 2050 PKN Orlen has set intermediatory indicators for 2030 for reducing CO2 emissions from its current refining and petrochemical assets by 20% and emissions from power generation by 33%.  The emission neutrality strategy announced by PKN Orlen is focused on four pillars comprising energy efficiency in production, zero- and low-emission power generation, and alternative fuels and green financing.

Orlen Unipetrol-carbon neutral targets

Following the guidelines set by PKN Orlen, Orlen Unipetrol has established its own wants to be carbon neutral by 2050.  The goal is to achieve the production of advanced biofuels from renewable sources, chemical recycling, hydrogen economy and Industry 4.0.  Orlen Unipetrol is looking for partners who will help towards a responsible transition to a carbon-neutral future.  The cooperation will give start-ups, small and medium-sized companies the opportunity to verify their ideas and technologies, gain new contacts, establish cooperation and also possible financial support worth up to millions of euros.

By 2030, PKN Orlen intends to invest more than zl 25 billion in projects that will promote environmental impacts and open the group up to new business models.  One target is to increase the production of biofuels by around 500,000 tpa by 2030, with major investments at the Trzebinia and Jedlice refineries.    

The focus of the company’s efforts designed to build new business areas will be on the development of low and zero-emission energy generation sources, including both offshore and onshore wind power as well as solar photovoltaics. The Orlen Group also intends to develop hydrogen technologies and expand its distribution network for alternative fuels. The funding for the projects to be implemented under the carbon neutrality strategy will be partly obtained through the issuance of Green and Sustainable Bonds by Orlen Group on the European capital market.

Due to investments made so far in the energy efficiency at refineries at Plock, Litvinov and Mazeikiai over 80% of PKN Orlen’s CO2 emissions in this segment are now covered by free allowances. The group is also in the preparatory phase for the construction of a 600 kg/h hydrogen hub at Wloclawek, which is aimed to give the company the leading position on the Polish market of hydrogen fuels used in transport.

Polish hydrogen production targets

Polish Hydrogen Market 2020

Company

Share of Polish Market

Production raw material

Grupa Azoty

42%

Natural gas

PKN Orlen

14%

Natural gas

Grupa Lotos

14%

Natural gas

JSW S. A

23%

Coke oven gas

Grupa Azoty is the largest producer of hydrogen in Poland, producing around 420,000 tons from fossil fuels.  In order that Poland achieves carbon neutrality by 2050 producers of hydrogen will need to convert to green routes to production which involves usage of renewables.  PKN Orlen produced around 14% of Polish hydrogen in 2020 or 145,000 tons, and aims to increase production through its Wloclawek and other hubs as part of its Hydrogen Eagle programme

Orlen’s first hydrogen investment took place at the end of 2021 at the Trzebinia refinery, where it is offering high-purity hydrogen to power fuel cells.  The annual production of hydrogen at Trzebinia will amount to 16 million Nm3 of which around 75% will be used to produce propylene glycol.

Grupa Azoty is the largest Polish producer of hydrogen at present and intends to increase production through a by-product of propane dehydrogenation (PDH) at Police which will be then supplied to the group’s fertiliser capacities nearby.  Two of Grupa Azoty's hydrogen projects have been included in the list of projects of the European Association for Clean Hydrogen. The proposed projects cover several areas of hydrogen economy including hydrogen production, ammonia production, as well as hydrogen production for transport.  Hydrogen produced in Grupa Azoty's factories, largely for its own chemical synthesis is produced from natural gas and used in the synthesis of ammonia, but from year to year more and more hydrogen is sold to external partners (currently about 600 tpa).   

PKN Orlen-Synthos Green Energy

PKN Orlen and Synthos Green Energy have signed an investment agreement establishing a joint venture Orlen Synthos Green Energy. Its aim will be to prepare and commercialise the technology of small SMR nuclear reactors in Poland.  According to Orlen's calculations, the creation of the BWRX-300 reactor takes only about a third of the time needed to build a traditional large nuclear power plant. In addition, construction costs can be about 30% lower than in the case of conventional nuclear projects.  PKN Orlen and Synthos Green Energy will each have 50% of shares in the joint venture.

 

Petrochemical production PKN Orlen Jan-Oct 2021

 

PKN Orlen Production

(unit-kilo tons)

 Product

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

 Ethylene

266.7

407.5

 Propylene

271.0

375.9

 Butadiene

32.3

50.1

 Toluene

9.2

8.8

 Phenol

37.7

36.0

 Polyethylene

180.8

290.8

 PVC

240.6

286.9

 Polypropylene

177.1

243.2

PKN Orlen’s production of ethylene fell from 407,500 tons to 266,700 tons whilst propylene fell from 375,900 tons to 271,000 tons.  Lower ethylene and propylene production impacted on subsidiary production at BOP for polyolefins and Anwil for PVC. 

Polish propylene imports, Jan-Oct 2021

Polish Propylene Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Lithuania

6.415

18.793

Germany

95.178

10.108

Russia

47.609

19.705

Ukraine

68.226

63.199

Others

4.025

5.273

Total

221.453

117.077

Propylene imports into Poland amounted to 221,453 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 117,077 tons in the same period in 2020.  Lower propylene production from the cracker by PKN Orlen was the cause of higher imports last year.  Germany supplied 95,178 tons of propylene to the Polish market in January to October 2021, up from 10,108 tons, followed by Ukraine which supplied 68,226 tons against 63,199 tons.  Propylene import costs for Poland averaged €891 per ton in the first ten months.  Exports of propylene out of Poland increased in 2021 to 44,700 tons from 23,400 tons in January to October 2020. 

PCC Rokita-PCC Exol ethoxylates and polyols

PCC Rokita and PCC Exol have decided to invest around zl 351 million (€76.3 million) into an installation combining the production of ethoxylates and polyols.  The new installation will increase the range of environmentally friendly products and is expected to be ready in mid-2026. 

Orlen Unipetrol-dicyclopentadiene project

Orlen Unipetrol received delivery of a giant distillation column in December, which will be used in a new unit for the production of dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) at Litvinov.  The investment amounts to around €33 million.  There is currently a DCPD generation capacity deficit in Europe and demand could increase by another 20% by 2030.  Liquid hydrocarbon or DCPD will be produced by a technology developed by the group's researchers in cooperation with the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague.  The product will be used in the automotive industry, construction, electrical engineering, medicine and pharmacy.

The ethoxylate-polyol installation is to be constructed in the chemical industrial park at Brzeg Dolny by PCC BD, where partners PCC Exol and PCC Rokita each possess 50% of shares. shares.   The adopted technological solutions and its versatility of the new installation will enable quick adaptation of the product portfolio to dynamically changing market needs.  The capacity of the installation is expected to range from 50,000 tpa to 55,000 tpa.   The installation is to produce a range of ethoxylates, polyether polyols and other ethoxylated products, Including biodegradable products. The installation will use ethylene oxide supplied by PKN Orlen. Due to the fact that ethylene oxide has a lower carbon footprint than propylene oxide, some products will have a lower carbon footprint.    

PCC Exol Expansions 2021

Product

Ktpa

Oxyalates

10.0

Phosphorous esters

2.0

ETE-2

80.0

In 2021 PCC Exol decided to proceed with the investment into the expansion of the ETE-2 Plant at Plock (Ethoxylation II). After its completion, the assumed average potential production capacity of the plant is to be doubled and amount to about 80,000 tpa. 

After the completion of these investments, the company's nominal production capacity will increase approximately to 184,000 tpa compared to the current number of around 137,000 tpa.  PCC Exol started out as a separate company with a capacity of 100,000 tpa.  PCC Exol undertakes production at two locations at Brzeg Dolny and Plock, comprising a total of five plants including factories Ethoxylation I and II, Sulphated I and II and Formulations Industrial. The current production potential of the company is 137,000 tpa, including 102,000 tpa at Brzeg Dolny and 35,000 tpa at Plock.

NIS receives approval in bid for Petrohemija

Serbian Chemical Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Sep 21

Jan-Sep 20

Polyethylene

91.5

70.3

Polypropylene

20.2

9.5

Styrene Butadiene Rubber

14.8

13.3

Methanol

86.9

75.3

Acetic Acid

52.6

70.2

Serbia has agreed terms on the sale of HIP Petrohemija to local oil and gas company NIS.  The Serbian government owns a 75.27% stake in the capital of HIP Petrohemija at present, whilst NIS owns 20.86%, Lukoil 3.09%, and the remainder is in the hands of smaller shareholders.  A total of 10% of the costs of Petrohemija depends on the price of gas, and thus the government can only see Gazprom Neft as the only supplier. 

NIS placed the sole bid in October for the government tender for selecting a strategic partner in HIP Petrohemija.  The strategic partner intends to inject €150 million ($168 million) in the capital of HIP Petrohemija, acquiring a stake of up to 90% in the company's capital.

Ciech to reduce costs of soda ash production

Ciech’s soda ash plant at Inowroclaw is undergoing preparations to install a new method of ammonia absorption in the production process, intended to improve the efficiency of the use of raw materials.  Ciech is the second largest producer of soda ash and purified soda in the European Union, the largest producer of brewed salt in Poland, and the largest supplier of sodium silicates in Europe.  Ciech operates plants in Poland, Germany and Romania and employs over 3,000 people throughout the EU.

Ciech Selected Revenues (€ million)

Product group

Jan-Sep 21

Jan-Sep 20

Dense soda ash

166.4

180.7

Light soda ash

53.5

41.9

Sodium bicarbonate

33.9

30.2

Agro products

73.6

57.8

Polyurethane foams

61.0

38.8

Sodium silicates

34.2

27.1

Total

524.0

461.1

The four business segments of Soda, Agro, Foams, and Silicates generate in total more than 90% of the Ciech Group’s sales revenues. Sales of soda segment products accounted for 65,5% of sales in 2021.  Despite a successful 2021 the Ciech Group is now facing rising prices of raw materials and in order to maintain margins it will be necessary to increase prices.  In addition to rising raw material costs high gas and energy costs are pressing Ciech to revaluate all aspects of soda ash production.  

Synthos-Trinseo conclusion

Synthos Group completed the acquisition of the plant from Trinseo at Schkopau in eastern Germany at the start of December.  The acquisition of the Schkopau plant Synthos will strengthen its position by becoming the second largest global synthetic rubber producer.  After the acquisition, Synthos' production capacity in the area of synthetic rubbers (ESBR+PBR+SSBR) will increase to over 800,000 tpa. 

Synthos production and trade Jan-Oct 2021

Synthos Production (unit-kilo tons)

 Product

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

 Polystyrene

177.1

243.2

 EPS

240.6

286.9

 Synthetic Rubber

230.2

233.1

 

Synthos Feedstock Imports 2021

Product

Unit-ktons

€ mil

Butadiene

102.7

92.7

Ethylbenzene

112.7

109.4

Styrene

90.5

97.5

Synthos produced 230,200 tons of synthetic rubber in the first ten months in 2021 against 233,100 tons in the same period last year.  Synthetic rubber demand in Poland increased in the tyre sector in the first ten months, rising from 347,000 tons in 2020 to 444,700 tons in 2021.  Synthos imported 90,500 tons of styrene monomer in the first ten months in 2021 versus 84,000 tons in the same period in 2020.  Ethylbenzene imports increased from 42,100 tons to 112,700 tons.

PKN Orlen-PTA & paraxylene trade Jan-Oct 2021

Polish Imports of Paraxylene

(unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

France

21.223

0.0

India

11.201

0.0

Germany

0.0

3.506

Russia

38.347

8.990

Total

70.800

12.406

Paraxylene imports into Poland amounted to 70,800 tons in the period January to October 2021 against 12,406 tons in the same period in 2020.  The main suppliers to Poland in January to October 2021 included Russia with 38,347 tons, France with 21,223 tons and India 11,201 tons. 

 

Polish Exports of PTA (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Belarus

11.1

24.1

Germany

274.0

250.5

Lithuania

20.5

9.3

Switzerland

3.8

6.0

Others

5.4

17.4

Total

315.8

326.4

PKN Orlen’s exports of PTA in the first ten months amounted to 315,800 tons against 326,392 tons in the same period in 2020.  Shipments to Germany increased to 274,000 tons from 250,500 tons in January to October 2020.  Other destinations for Polish PTA include Lithuania and Belarus, with volumes rising in 2021 to Lithuania and dropping for Belarus.  Imports of PTA into Poland rose to 57,900 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 30,800 tons in the same period in 2020.  The Netherlands was the largest supplier last year.

Czech petrochemical trade, Jan-Oct 2021

Butadiene imports into the Czech Republic totalled 66,125 tons in the first ten months in 2021 versus 48,288 tons in the same period in 2020.  For other monomers, propylene imports in the first ten months rose from 35,996 tons to 36,006 tons whilst styrene imports rose from 44,242 tons to 57,195 tons.  Benzene imports increased to 57,987 tons.  Regarding export activity, the Czech Republic increased benzene shipments in the first ten months to 39,211 tons from 20,838 tons whilst ethylbenzene exports rose from 76,979 tons to 106,783 tons.  All of the ethylbenzene is exported to Poland.

Czech Petrochemical Imports

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Ethylene

3.194

3.209

Propylene

36.006

35.966

Butadiene

66.125

48.288

Benzene

57.987

57.170

Toluene

6.027

4.548

Styrene

57.195

44.242

Central European isocyanate imports, Jan-Oct 2021

Polish TDI Imports

 (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Germany

17.175

23.200

Netherlands

9.450

10.200

Hungary

31.654

26.300

Saudi Arabia

2.887

4.900

Others

8.902

2.300

Total

69.067

66.900

 

MDI imports into the Czech Republic totalled 36,320 tons in the period January to October 2021 up from 28,590 tons in the same period in 2020.  Import costs rose in the first ten months in 2021 to €85.453 million against €40.612 million in the period January to October 2020.  TDI imports into the Czech Republic rose from 5,325 tons in January to October 2020 for €16.071 million to 5,939 tons in the same period in 2021 for €18.834 million.  TDI imports into Poland amounted to 69,067 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 66,900 tons in the same period in 2020.  Costs of imports in the first ten months in 2021 totalled €172.946 million, equating to €2504 per ton.  Germany and Hungary were the two largest suppliers providing 17,175 tons and 31,654 tons in January-October 2021 respectively.

Central European methanol trade, Jan-Oct 2021

Polish Methanol Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Belarus

2.620

9.100

Finland

58.013

53.807

Lithuania

7.514

7.500

Germany

67.166

5.800

Netherlands

25.739

0.000

Norway

18.497

37.400

Russia

368.700

435.300

Others

15.120

64.333

Total

563.369

613.240

Polish methanol imports amounted to 563,369 tons in the first ten months in 2021 from 613,240 tons in the same period in 2020 whilst exports fell from 104,600 tons to 95,000 tons.  As a non-producer Poland re-exports methanol to Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany.  Russia is the major supplier to the Polish market and reduced shipments to 435,300 tons in January to October 2020 from 368,700 tons in the same period in 2021.   Prices of methanol in Poland averaged €307.3 per ton in the first ten months, almost double the average prices recorded in 2020.  

Major consumers of methanol in Poland include formaldehyde resin producers Lerg and Kronospan.  Czech imports of methanol increased from 75,432 tons in the first ten months in 2020 to 77,246 tons in 2021, with supplies from Russia rising from 31,520 tons to 46,229 tons.  Imports from Poland dropped from 28,443 tons to 19,522 tons and from Germany to 9,672 tons from 12,686 tons.

Russian polyethylene and trade Jan-Oct 2021

Russian Polyethylene Trade (unit-kilo tons)

Category

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Exports

1086

686

Imports

519

571

Russian polyethylene production rose 8% in the first ten months to 2.646 million tons against 2.449 million tons in 2020.  HDPE production rose by 7% to 1.618 million tons whilst LDPE exports rose 3% to 533,000 tons.  LLDPE production increased from 424,200 tons to 494.600 tons. 

Exports of polyethylene from Russia totalled 1.086 million tons in the first ten months in 2021 for $1.260 billion.  Russian HDPE exports amounted to 694,000 tons in the first ten months in 2021 for $743 million against 586,000 tons in the same period in 2020 for $441 million.  China was the largest destination for Russian HDPE, amounting to 354,000 tons against 384,000 tons in the first ten months in 2020.  For total polyethylene exports shipments to China decreased from 562,000 tons in January to October 2020 to 539,000 tons.

Russian Polyethylene Trade (unit-$ million)

Category

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Exports

1260

888

Imports

914

660

Imports of polyethylene to Russia decreased by 11% in January-October 2021 and amounted to 519,000 tons against 571,000 tons in the same period in 2020.  The leading importers in 2021 comprised South Korea, Germany and Belarus. 

Russian HDPE Production (unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Kazanorgsintez

308.6

428.8

Stavrolen

247.7

263.9

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat

78.1

102.9

ZapSibNeftekhim

984.1

728.5

Total

1618.5

1524.1

HDPE imports amounted to 181,000 tons in the first ten months, which is 23% down from the 225,000 tons in 2021.  Film grade and blow moulding HDPE accounted for the main reduction in shipments.  LDPE imports amounted to 164,000 tons in the first ten months against 159,000 tons in the same period in 2020.

Russian HDPE production, Jan-Oct 2021

Russian LLDPE Production

(unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Kazanorgsintez

34.4

19.5

Nizhnekamskneftekhim

183.6

180.3

ZapSibNeftekhim

272.6

224.4

Total

490.6

424.2

Russian HDPE production totalled 1.619 million tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 1.524 million tons in the same period in 2020.   ZapSibNeftekhim increased production by 35% to 984,100 tons, whilst Kazanorgsintez reduced production by 24% to 308,600 tons.  Stavrolen reduced production by 7% to 247,700 tons and Gazprom neftekhim Salavat fell by 25% to 78,100 tons.   

Russian LLDPE production, Jan-Oct 2021

Russian Polypropylene Production (unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Ufaorgsintez

98.5

97.7

Stavrolen

96.2

89.4

Neftekhimya

124.1

124.3

Nizhnekamskneftekhim

178.9

182.5

Polyom

166.8

150.5

Tomskneftekhim

127.9

123.5

SIBUR-Tobolsk

0.0

404.5

ZapSibNeftekhim

900.3

357.0

Total

1692.7

1529.4

Russian LLDPE production totalled 490,600 tons against 424,200 tons in the same period in 2020.  ZapSibNeftekhim increased production by 21% to 272,600 tons whilst Nizhnekamskneftekhim increased production by 4% to 187,600 tons.  Kazanorgsintez for the first ten months in 2021 produced 34.400 tons of LLDPE against 19,500 tons a year earlier.

Russian polypropylene production and trade, Jan-Oct 2021

In the first ten months of 2021 Russian polypropylene production increased by 11% to 1.693 million tons against 1.529 million tons a year earlier.  

SIBUR Tobolsk/ZapSibNeftekhim at Tobolsk complex increased by 18% to 900,300 tons.  Polyom at Omsk increased production by 11% to 166,800 tons, whilst Nizhnekamskneftekhim produced 178,900 tons against 182,500 tons.   Sales of plastics for Nizhnekamskneftekhim are projected to decline by 3% in 2021 to 714,000 tons, including due to a decrease in polypropylene sales by 8.7%, to 188,000 tons against the background of a high base last year.  Sales of polyethylene will fall by 0.9% to 219,000 tons, and polystyrene and ABS plastics to 308,000 tons (by 0.3%).  

Tomskneftekhim increased production by 4% to 127,900 tons, whilst Ufaorgsintez increased from 97,700 tons to 98,500 tons.  NPP Neftekhimya at Kapotnya produced 124,100 tons down from124,300 tons and Stavrolen increased production by 7% to 96,200 tons.

Russian Polypropylene Trade (unit-kilo tons)

Category

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Exports

677.0

600.0

Imports

248.0

291.0

Regarding outages, Ufaorgsintez shut its polypropylene production for a scheduled maintenance on 3 September for around ten days.  Polyom at Omsk will take off-stream its production with the capacity of 230,000 tpa for a two-week maintenance on 28 September. Stavrolen shut its 120,000 tpa polypropylene plant on 22 October with for 26 days.

Russian exports of polypropylene rose from 600,000 tons in the first ten months in 2020 to 677,000 tons in the same period in 2021, with revenues rising from $538.0 million to $923.0 million.  Homopolymer shipments accounted for 640,000 tons in 2021, thus comprising 91.8% of total exports.

Russian Polypropylene Trade (unit-$ million)

Category

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Exports

923.0

538.0

Imports

462.0

217.0

Imports of polypropylene into Russia in the first ten months amounted to 248,000 tons against 291,000 tons in the same period in 2020.   Import costs rose from $217.0 million to $462.0 million.  Homopolymer imports increased to 61,400 tons against 60,800 tons.  

Russian PVC Production

(unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Bashkir Soda

222.3

221.3

Kaustik

63.3

62.7

RusVinyl

289.2

276.6

Sayanskkhimplast

253.4

244.5

Total

828.2

805.1

Imports of propylene copolymers rose from 72,300 tons to 93,700 tons whilst stat copolymer imports increased from 23,400 tons to 27,700 tons.  External supplies of other propylene polymers amounted to 26,700 tons against 20,700 tons in January to October 2020.  Despite the expansion of Russian production of polypropylene in the past two years, there is still a dependency of Russian converters on imports of copolymers.   

Russian PVC market Jan-Oct 2021

Russian production of PVC amounted to 828,200 tons in the first ten months against 805,100 tons in the same period in 2020.  RusVinyl produced 289,200 tons against 276,600 tons for the same period in 2020 whilst Sayanskkhimplast increased production from 243,800 tons to 253,400 tons.  Bashkir Soda Company increased production slightly to 222,300 tons whilst Kaustik at Volgograd rose slightly to 63,300 tons.   Russian PVC exports fell from 173,000 tons in the first ten months in 2020 to 169,000 tons in the same period in 2021, whilst imports rose from 138,000 tons to 179,000 tons.   

Russian Polycarbonate Trade (unit-kilo tons)

Category

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Exports

25.5

18.0

Imports

16.5

33.0

Kazanorgsintez to complete polycarbonate expansion in 2022

Kazanorgsintez in 2022 will complete the modernisation of equipment for the production of polycarbonates, which will allow reaching a capacity of 100,000 tpa. 

Russian Polycarbonate Trade (unit-$ million)

Category

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Exports

80.3

26.0

Imports

55.4

65.8

Currently the plant is operating at around 90,000 tpa.  The completion of modernisation will be carried out at the plant to reduce electricity consumption and emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere.  Polycarbonate exports from Russia increased from 18,000 tons in the first ten months in 2020 to 25,500 tons in the same period in 2021, whilst imports dropped from 33,000 tons to 16,500 tons.

Russian paraxylene trade Jan-Oct 2021

Russian Paraxylene Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Gazprom Neft

41.0

79.9

Kirishinefteorgsintez

35.9

37.4

Ufaneftekhim

0.0

11.4

Total

76.9

128.7

Russian paraxylene exports amounted to 76,900 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 128,700 tons in the same period in 2020.  Average prices per ton for Russian exports increased from $475.5 in 2020 to $674.6 in the first ten months in 2021. 

Paraxylene export prices and PTA import prices for the Russian market generally follow the same trajectory although did go in different directions in October.

Exports of paraxylene from Russia in the first ten months were divided between Belarus (6,100 tons for $5.2 million) and Finland (70,000 tons for $44.3 million). 

Paraxylene supply was restricted in the fourth quarter after Ufaneftekhim started an extended shutdown on 10 August and is expected to last 90-100 days.  Gazprom Neft from the Omsk refinery has redirected most of its production to the Polief PTA plant in Bashkortostan, although it is not yet clear if the Kirishi plant will supply Polief. 

At the end of September, supplies of paraxylene from Kazakhstan began to the Polief plant but volumes were limited by the low production at Atyrau.   Besides deliveries from Kazakhstan supplies of paraxylene delivered by sea transport to Polief started in October. Shipments are being carried out from the Latvian terminal Ovi at Riga; the volume of the consignment will be approximately 10,000 tons.  Paraxylene may also be imported from Asia in order to maintain PTA production at Blagoveshchensk.   

Russian PTA imports, Jan-Oct 2021

Russian PTA Imports by Country

(unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Oct

Jan-Oct 20

Belgium

15.0

8.0

China

225.0

220.0

South Korea

0.0

7.0

Poland

0.0

3.0

Others

0.4

1.9

Total

240.3

239.9

PTA imports into Russia amounted to 240,300 tons in the first ten months in 2021 versus 239,900 tons in the same period in 2020.  China shipped 240,300 tons of PTA to Russia in the period January to October 2021 against 239,900 tons in the same period in 2020. Average prices for PTA imports into Russia amounted to $661.7 per ton in January to October 2021 against $579.9 per ton in the same period in 2020. 

Ekopet-PTA imports 2021

Russian PTA Imports by region (unit-kilo tons)

Region

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Kaliningrad

162.5

158.8

Moscow

77.4

78.6

Others

0.4

2.6

Total

240.3

239.9

Ekopet Imports of MEG

Volume

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Kilo tons

63.7

59.0

Value

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

$ million

59.0

29.5

Tatneft’s subsidiary Ekopet at Kaliningrad imported 162,500 tons of PTA in the first ten months in 2021 against 158,800 tons in the same period last year.  Costs for PTA purchases amounted to $108.8 million for PTA purchases in the first ten months from $87.7 million in January to October 2020.  

China was the main supplier of PTA to Ekopet last year with MEG supplied from Saudi Arabia.  Imports of PTA from China to the Kaliningrad region amounted to 152,000 tons in the first ten months in 2021 for a total cost of $97.6 million followed by Belgium with 11,000 tons for $9.2 million.  Imports of MEG to the Kaliningrad region rose from 59,000 tons in the period January to October 2020 to 63,700 tons in the same period in 2021.  Import costs rose from $29.5 million to $59.0 million. 

Polief-PTA production

Taneko-paraxylene & PTA projects

The aromatics production complex at Taneko is planned to be launched in December 2022.  The main products will be benzene, toluene and paraxylene.  The intention is to use the paraxylene as a feedstock for PTA for which the capacity size is yet to be decided.

PTA production at Blagoveshchensk totalled 234,315 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 186,000 tons in the same period in 2020.  Higher production of PTA at Polief enabled its owning group SIBUR to export small volumes in 2021.  Polief’s capacity for the production of PTA is 350,000 tpa and PET 252,000 tpa. 

Polief-green energy

The first photovoltaic module of the solar power plant has been installed at Polief.  The design capacity of the power plant is about 4.9 MW, which is 7.1% of the capacity of all operating solar power plants in Bashkortostan. The readiness of the object at this stage of construction has reached 80%.  It is planned to complete the construction of the SPP and integrate it into the energy supply chain of the plant in early 2022.  The project will significantly increase the share of "green" electricity in the energy balance of the enterprise and reduce the carbon footprint of PTA production.

Russian PET Imports

(unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Belarus

6.2

5.4

China

147.0

109.0

Lithuania

10.2

7.8

Vietnam

3.8

0.2

Others

7.6

1.1

Total

175.0

127.0

Russian PET consumption & trade Jan-Oct 2021

In the first ten months in 2021, 661,830 tons of PET were processed Russia which is 13% more than in the same period in 2020.  The production of PET increased to 611,800 tons in 2020 against 550,400 tons a year earlier.  The consumption of the product also increased to 732,000 tons which is 30,500 tons of more than 2019.  In total, in the Russian Federation in 2020, the production of bottled PET amounted to 579,600 tons, which is 3% higher than in 2019. 

PET imports into Russia amounted to 175,000 tons in the first ten months in 2021, compared to 127,000 tons in the same period in 2020 with China acting as the dominant supplier in both years.  Exports of PET from Russia amounted to 27,000 tons in the first ten months, up from 24,600 tons.  Ekopet accounted for 84.6% of exports in 2021.  Russian PET exports in 2020 increased by 60.7% compared to 2019 and amounted to 32,400 tons.  The share of the Ekopet plant in the volume of exports was 74.1%, and Polief (SIBUR Holding) 25.8%.  The main consumers of Russian PET exports in 2020 included Belarus, the US and Uzbekistan.

PET recycling Russia

Other recycling projects in Russia

Other recycling plants are being constructed in the Moscow area this year, firstly by the Russian company EcoLine-Vtorplast which is being designed to process 60,200 tpa of plastics for recycling which will be turned into 120,000 tpa of plastic containers.  Another project in the Moscow region includes the expected launch in the second half of 2022 of a polymer processing plant with a capacity of up to 43,000 tpa including PET.  This project is being managed by a company called RT-Invest. (belonging to Rostec) in the Moscow region.  The plant will consist of four clusters which comprises a bottle PET processing complex.

Russian PET producers are striving to utilise recycled PET in their manufacturing processes, with the Senezh plant at Solnechnogorsk near Moscow increasing usage of recycled materials by 2.5 times in 2021 over 2020.  Market demand for environmentally friendly packaging is growing from not only foreign customers but also domestic companies.  The Senezh plant previously launched FTR (flakes-to-resin) technology for the growing demand for recovered raw materials.  Upon reaching its design capacity, the plant will produce 130,000 tpa involving about 35 thousand tons of recycled PET bottles in the production cycle.

Tatneft is studying the issue of organising processing of secondary PET at the Ekopet site in the Kaliningrad region and aims to start in 2022.  In Bashkortostan Polief is to start using secondary PET in 2022, aiming to use around 34,000 tpa which will form only a small percentage of total capacity.  Polief will produce PET granules with a content of up to 25% of secondary raw materials. 

The company will need to source most of its recycled PET from other parts of Russia as currently the collection of used PET bottles in the Republic of Bashkortostan is rated at only around 4,000 tpa.  Potential collection rates could rise to around 20,000 tpa if the appropriate measures for collection and sorting are introduced.

Russian benzene production Jan-Oct 2021

Russian Benzene Production (unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Angarsk Polymer Plant

68.8

68.1

Gazprom Neft

87.4

80.3

LUKoil-Neftekhim

0.0

24.4

LUKoil-Permnefteorgsintez

38.3

40.0

Magnitogorsk MK

29.4

35.2

Nizhnekamskneftekhim

235.3

233.8

Novolipetsk MK

7.5

0.7

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat

148.2

164.9

Severstal

27.1

28.8

SIBUR-Holding

74.8

59.1

Slavneft-Yaroslavlorgsintez

53.9

56.0

Surgutneftegaz

11.5

53.3

Ryazan RN Holding

28.9

27.7

Ufaneftekhim

56.2

74.0

Ural Steel

7.5

8.3

Uralorgsintez

76.4

71.9

Zapsib

53.8

52.4

Novokuibyshevsk Petrochemical

16.8

13.0

Total

1021.7

1091.9

Russian benzene production totalled 1.022 million tons in the first ten months in 2021 versus 1.092 million tons in the same period in 2020.  Nizhnekamskneftekhim produced 235,300 tons against 233,800 tons whilst Gazprom neftekhim Salavat reduced production from 164,900 tons to 148,200 tons.  Gazprom Neft at the Omsk refinery increased production from 80,300 tons to 87,400 tons and Uralorgsintez increased production from 71,900 tons to 76,400 tons.      

Russian Benzene Sales (unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Angarsk Polymer Plant

39.0

44.5

SIBUR-Kstovo

72.5

64.9

Severstal

27.9

28.4

Uralorgsintez

74.1

69.8

Kirishinefteorgsintez

2.7

5.9

West Siberian MC

53.6

51.3

Ryazan NPZ

25.9

23.7

Slavneft-Yanos

53.4

49.9

Gazprom Neft (Omsk)

81.8

56.0

Gazprom n Salavat

31.3

24.0

Stavrolen

0.0

24.4

Nizhnekamskneftekhim

13.6

21.7

Ufaneftekhim

0.2

7.3

Karpatneftekhim

14.4

5.3

Ukrtatnafta

2.1

0.0

Naftan

25.1

11.5

Atyrau

6.2

26.3

Novolipetsk MK

5.1

0.0

Chelyabinsk MK

13.5

8.9

Altay-Koks

3.0

18.7

Koks

24.3

17.6

Magnitogorsk MK

30.9

37.7

Nizhny Tagil MK

7.1

13.7

Ural Steel

2.0

0.4

Total

610.0

612.0

Sales of benzene on the Russian domestic market, including imports, amounted to 610,000 tons versus 612,000 tons in the same ten months in 2020.  A number of factors contributed to the lower sales volumes on the domestic market last year including plant outages and increased internal processing.

SIBUR-Kstovo increased sales from 64,900 tons in the first ten months in January to October 2020 to 72,500 tons in the same period in 2021, whilst Stavrolen at Budyennovsk did not produce benzene in the first ten months in 2021 after shipping 24,400 tons in January to October last year.  Severstal shipped 27,900 tons against 28,400 tons in 2020. 

Exports of benzene amounted to 31,831 tons in the first ten months against 69,460 tons in January to October 2020.  Exports this year have been affected by the long-term repairs taking place at the Kirishi plant which started in March and continued to the end of 2021. 

Railway supplies of benzene from abroad to the Russian market increased in October by 3,300 tons compared to September, to a total of 12,400 tons.  Russian consumers increased purchases of imported benzene due to a shortage of product in the domestic market caused by repairs at a number of domestic plants.   

The Atyrau refinery in Kazakhstan reduced benzene sales on the Russian market to 6,200 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 26,300 tons in the same period in 2020.  The Atyrau refinery encountered technical problems in the first quarter which has since restricted exports of benzene and paraxylene. 

The Belarussian refineries increased deliveries to the Russian market to 25,100 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 11,500 tons in January to October 2020 whilst from Ukraine Karpatneftekhim increased shipments from 5,300 tons to 14,400 tons.   Overall Belarus supplied 27,458 tons of benzene to the Russian market in the first ten months for $24.772 million whilst Ukraine supplied 28,121 tons for $29.046 million.

For caprolactam producers Kuibyshevazot reduced benzene purchases from 138,000 tons to 125,300 tons in January to October this year whilst Azot at Kemerovo increased purchases from 91,800 tons to 104,600 tons.  Shchekinoazot reduced purchases from 66,700 tons to 57,900 tons. 

For the production of cumene Kazanorgsintez purchased 52,000 tons of benzene in January to October 2021, versus 54,800 tons in the same period in 2020.  Kazanorgsintez buys benzene from a range of suppliers including Nizhnekamskneftekhim.  Other phenol producers included Omsk Kaucuk which increased purchases from 23,600 tons to 28,600 tons and Novokuibyshevsk Petrochemical which reduced from 44,000 tons to 38,200 tons.  In the styrene sector SIBUR-Khimprom at Perm purchased 90,500 tons of benzene in January-October 2021 against 78,500 tons in the same period in 2020.

Russian caprolactam production, Jan-Oct 2021

Russian Caprolactam Production

(unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Kuibyshevazot

163.2

154.9

Shchekinoazot

47.4

49.2

SDS Azot

96.4

93.3

Total

307.0

297.4

Russian caprolactam production amounted to 307,000 tons in January to October 2021 against 297,400 tons in the same period in 2020.  Kuibyshevazot increased caprolactam production from 154,900 tons to 163,200 tons whilst SDS Azot at Kemerovo increased production from 93,300 tons to 96,400 tons.  Caprolactam exports from Russia fell from 196,700 tons to 136,400 tons in the first ten months in 2021.  Kuibyshevazot reduced exports from 50,200 tons in the period January to October 2020 to 17,000 tons in 2021, following the increase in polyamide capacity, whilst SDS Azot at Kemerovo reduced exports from 101,200 tons to 71,600 tons.

Russian orthoxylene domestic sales Jan-Oct 2021

Russian Orthoxylene Domestic Sales

(unit-kilo tons

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Gazprom Neft

114.3

66.6

Ufaneftekhim

30.2

53.7

Kirishinefteorgsintez

25.0

15.7

Total

169.4

115.6

Orthoxylene domestic sales on the Russian market rose in the first ten months in 2021 to 139,400 tons from 115,600 tons in the same period in 2020.  Gazprom Neft increased shipments to 114,300 tons against 66,600 tons in the same period in 2020 whilst Ufaneftekhim reduced sales from 53,700 tons to 30,200 tons.  Kirishinefteorgsintez increased domestic sales from 15,700 tons to 25,000 tons in January to October 2021.  

Russian phenol market, Jan-Oct 2021

Russian Phenol Production (unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Ufaorgsintez

61.0

50.7

Kazanorgsintez

64.8

60.1

Novokuibyshevsk Petrochemical

54.6

58.2

Omsk Kaucuk, Omsk

37.9

25.1

Total

218.3

194.1

Russian Domestic Market Phenol Sales by Supplier

(unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Omsk Kaucuk

33.0

18.8

Novokuibyshevsk Petrochemical

41.3

47.6

Kazanorgsintez

0.0

0.1

Ufaorgsintez

50.4

28.9

Total

124.7

95.4

Russian Phenol Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Omsk Kaucuk

12.2

5.8

Ufaorgsintez

11.3

0.0

NNK

4.0

23.1

Total

27.5

28.9

Russian phenol production amounted to 218,300 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 194,100 tons in the same period in 2020.  Novokuibyshevsk Petrochemical produced 54.600 tons of phenol against 58,200 tons in 2020 whilst Ufaorgsintez increased production from 50.700 tons to 61,000 tons.  Kazanorgsintez increased production from 60,100 tons to 64,800 tons.  Omsk Kaucuk produced 37,900 tons against 25,100 tons.  The modernisation of cumene production at Omsk has led to a reduction in the volume of pollutant emissions into the atmosphere by more than 85%.

Phenol sales on the domestic market rose in the first ten months in 2021 to 124,700 tons against 95,400 tons in the same period in 2020.  Omsk Kaucuk increased sales from 18,800 tons to 33,000 tons whilst Ufaorgsintez increased from 28,900 tons to 50,400 tons.  Regarding export activity, shipments amounted to 27,500 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 28,900 tons in January to October 2020, including 12,200 tons from Omsk Kaucuk and 11,300 tons from Ufaorgsintez.

 

Russian rubber production and market balance Jan-Oct 2021

 

Russian Synthetic & Natural Rubber Market

(unit-kilo tons)

 

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

 Production

1414.0

1244.0

 Exports

921.8

775.0

 Imports

193.5

166.2

 Supply/Demand Balance

685.7

635.2

Synthetic rubber production in Russia totalled 1.414 million tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 1.244 million tons in the same period in 2020.  Both exports and imports of rubber increased in 2021 whilst overall domestic consumption of rubber amounted to 685,700 tons versus 635,200 tons in the first ten months in 2020.

Russian synthetic rubber exports, Jan-Oct 2021

Russian Synthetic Exports by Destination

(unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Belarus

28.5

25.7

Brazil

25.8

21.0

China

133.1

183.4

Czech

27.9

22.4

Germany

32.5

28.8

Hungary

42.7

25.6

India

90.1

77.6

Mexico

36.3

21.4

Poland

99.7

68.3

Romania

33.5

24.5

Serbia

12.7

11.7

Slovakia

32.1

27.3

Turkey

78.1

47.6

Ukraine

24.3

14.4

US

48.1

27.8

Others

176.4

152.7

Total

921.8

780.2

Russian exports of synthetic rubber amounted to 921,800 tons in the first ten months in 2021, up from 780,200 tons in the same period in 2020.  Average prices for Russian synthetic rubber exports rose from $1406 per ton in January to October 2020 to $1693 in the same period in 2021. 

Exports to China amounted to 133,100 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 183,400 tons in the same period in 2020.  This was followed by Poland, rising from 53,300 tons to 78,600 tons, and India rising from 68,300 tons to 99,700 tons.   In terms of revenues Russian rubber exports to China totalled $211.9 million in the first ten months from $196.6 million whilst to Poland revenues increased from $94.8 million to $173.1 million. 

Russian Synthetic Rubber Exports

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

E-SBR

42.3

26.7

Block

66.3

46.2

SSBR

11.3

6.3

SBR

99.9

105.7

Polybutadiene

213.2

180.3

Butyl rubber

105.9

103.7

Halogenated butyl

112.4

99.7

NBR

32.9

27.2

Isoprene

227.2

167.8

Others

10.5

16.6

Total

921.8

780.2

Isoprene rubber exports increased from 93,600 tons to 128,600 tons whilst polybutadiene exports increased from 180,300 tons to 213,200 tons.  As a result of higher volumes and prices, revenues from synthetic rubber exports rose in total from $969.3 million in January to October 2020 to $1537.1 million in January to October 2021. 

Nizhnekamskneftekhim-rubber exports Jan-Oct 2021

Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s exports of synthetic rubbers rose in the first ten months to 510,000 tons from 436,300 tons in the same period in 2020.  Isoprene rubber exports from Nizhnekamsk rose from 138,500 tons to 176,200 tons whilst butadiene rubber exports increased from 124,500 tons to 154,100 tons. 

Revenues from synthetic rubber exports rose from $587.6 million to $878.5 million.  Nizhnekamskneftekhim forecast that revenue from rubber sales would comprise around 37% of total revenues in 2021 followed by 36% for plastics and 27% for other petrochemicals.  

For the full year of 2021 Nizhnekamskneftekhim expected sales of rubbers to finish at around 686,000 tons, thus an increase of 16.7% over 2020.  In the structure of the company’s sales synthetic rubber accounted for 41% of Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s revenues in 2020 followed by plastics with 34%.  The main share in the structure of sales of synthetic rubbers is in Europe 35.4%, Asia 31.4%, and North America 10.7%.   Feedstocks for synthetic rubber production at Nizhnekamsk comprise a balance between NGLS delivered by pipeline from the Minnibayevo Gas Processing Plant and C4s purchased on the open market from other olefin producers such as Kazanorgsintez, Stavrolen and Gazprom neftekhim Salavat.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim Rubber Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Isoprene Rubber

176.2

138.5

Butyl Rubber

56.5

63.4

HBR

112.4

99.6

Polybutadiene

154.1

124.5

Others

10.9

10.3

Total

510.0

436.3

Nizhnekamskneftekhim Rubber Exports ($ million)

Product

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Isoprene Rubber

278.9

181.4

Butyl Rubber

95.7

81.9

HBR

247.1

193.4

Polybutadiene

224.6

130.8

Others

32.2

13.8

Total

878.5

587.6

Nizhnekamskneftekhim-isoprene rubbers

Isoprene export revenues for Nizhnekamskneftekhim jumped to $278.9 million from $181.4 million in January to October 2020.   Nizhnekamskneftekhim reduced its share in the global isoprene rubber market from 43.9% to 37.8% in 2020 but remained the global leader in production.   

Nizhnekamskneftekhim-butyl rubbers

Nizhnekamskneftekhim increased exports of halogenated butyl rubber to 112,400 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 99,600 tons in the same period in 2020, with revenues rising from $193.4 million to $247.1 million.  Butyl rubber export revenues rose from $81.9 million to $95.7 million, although volumes dropped in the first ten months to 56,500 tons against 63,400 tons in January to October 2020.  Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s share in the global butyl rubber market decreased from 17.5% to 16.3% in 2020, and for the global butadiene rubber market from 5.3% to 4.7%.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim plans to complete the modernisation of halogenated butyl rubber production by 1 October 2022, which will increase production to 200,000 tpa. The expansion was previously targeted for July but has been delayed by various bottlenecks.  Nizhnekamskneftekhim is the only producer of halogenated butyl rubber in Russia with a capacity of 150,000 tpa and the new extension will comprise 50,000 tpa.  Modernisation plans involve the replacement of used equipment with modern and more productive parts. 

 

Togliattikaucuk exports Jan-Oct 2021

 

Togliattikaucuk Rubber Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Isoprene Rubber

15.7

2.3

Butyl Rubber

49.2

34.9

SBR

39.9

25.6

Others

2.7

0.2

Total

107.6

63.0

Togliattikaucuk Rubber Exports ($ million)

Product

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Isoprene Rubber

21.9

4.9

Butyl Rubber

73.4

55.2

SBR

56.6

29.1

Others

4.8

0.3

Total

156.6

89.5

Togliattikaucuk exported 107,600 tons of synthetic rubber in the first ten months in 2021 against 63,000 tons in the same period in 2020.  Butyl rubber exports rose from 34,900 tons to 49,200 tons which led to increased revenues of $73.4 million against $55.2 million.  Overall export revenues from synthetic rubber increased from $89.5 million in January to October 2020 to $156.6 million in the same period in 2021. 

Togliattikaucuk is implementing a long-term comprehensive programme of measures aimed at reducing the impact on the environment.  In order to reduce the carbon footprint, the company is applying a number of measures including tackling of emissions, turning waste into products, increasing the quality of wastewater treatment combined with resource saving. 

Tatneft expects the new rubber projects at Togliattikaucuk to start construction this year.  Licensing and engineering agreements were signed with Versalis in 2021.  Projects include installations for butadiene-nitrile rubber and butadiene-styrene carbonylated latex, consisting respective capacities of 70,000 tpa and 30,000 tpa.  Tatneft is also starting a project this year in Kazakhstan for the production of butadiene rubbers in Kazakhstan.

Russian methanol production Jan-Oct 2021

Russian Methanol Production

(unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Shchekinoazot

814.4

816.0

Gazprom Methanol

688.8

699.3

Metafrax

989.0

937.8

Akron

86.8

80.3

Azot, Novomoskovsk

213.3

173.8

Angarsk Petrochemical

25.4

45.9

Azot, Nevinnomyssk

106.7

101.9

Tomet

546.6

750.4

Ammoni

99.1

83.7

Totals

3570.2

3689.0

Russia produced 3.570 million tons of methanol in the first ten months in 2021 against 3.689 million tons in same period in 2020.  The decline was due primarily to the lower production from Tomet, which fell from a total of 750,400 tons in January-October 2020 to 546,600 tons in the same period this year.  At the end of 2021 Tomet placed a tender for 50 railway tanks for transportation of methanol in order to replace older rolling stock. 

Metafrax produced 989,000 tons of methanol in the first ten months in 2021 against 937,800 tons in the same period in 2020, followed by Shchekinoazot dropping from 816,000 tons to 814,400 tons and Gazprom Methanol which dropped from 699,300 tons to 688,800 tons. 

Russian Methanol Exports by Producer

(unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Azot Nevinnomyssk

5.1

5.2

Azot Novomoskovsk

78.1

62.1

Akron

6.8

12.9

Metafrax

337.3

426.9

Gazprom Methanol

349.9

401.0

Tomet

198.1

316.3

Shchekinoazot

563.1

600.9

Ammoni

0.1

5.5

Total

1538.5

1830.8

The two plants which are owned by the Evrokhim Group produced 213,300 tons at Novomoskovsk and 86,800 tons at Nevinnomyssk respectively.  Ammoni in Tatarstan increased methanol production from 83,700 tons in January to October 2020 to 99,100 tons. 

Tomet faced pressure on methanol production safety following an extended inspection in the period from 29 October to 15 November.  Production is located at the Togliattiazot site where 42 violations of industrial safety requirements were revealed.  Operation of equipment was decreed not to meet the requirements of industrial safety rules. 

Tomet has a capacity of 950,000 tpa of which 40% of which is exported.   Tomet intends to eliminate the comments made by Rostekhnadzor in time and to prevent the delay in the production of methanol.

 

Russian methanol exports, Jan-Oct 2021

 

Export shipments of Russian methanol from producers totalled 1.539 million tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 1.831 million tons in the same period last year.  Average prices of Russian exports rose from $193 per ton in January-October 2020 to $325 in the same period in 2021.  Tomet reduced exports from 316,300 tons in January to October 2020 to 198,100 tons in the same period in 2021 although other producers compensated with higher volumes partly to take advantage of higher prices. 

Russian Methanol Export Destinations (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Belarus

105.8

93.8

Finland

657.0

840.6

Germany

1.9

1.9

Kazakhstan

20.0

33.0

Latvia

8.5

11.2

Lithuania

70.9

69.2

Netherlands

111.3

174.0

Poland

251.0

319.4

Romania

67.8

58.4

Slovakia

185.9

113.4

Spain

0.0

5.5

Turkey

6.4

26.8

UK

0.0

46.1

Ukraine

49.9

31.8

Others

5.8

16.6

Total

1542.1

1841.5

Metafrax exported 337.300 tons of methanol in the first ten months in 2021 versus 426,900 tons in the same period in 2020, whilst Gazprom Methanol (Sibmetakhim) reduced shipments from 335,400 tons to 401,000 tons.  Shchekinoazot, Russia’s current largest exporter of methanol, reduced shipments from 600,900 tons to 563,100 tons in January-October 2021. 

Finland accounted for 657,000 tons of Russian methanol exports in the first ten months in 2021 against 840,600 tons in the same period in 2020.  The largest Central European destination for Russian methanol exports is Poland which accounted for 251,000 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 319,400 tons in 2020.  Metafrax and Gazprom Methanol are the main exporters via the Finnish ports, using the infrastructure established in the Soviet era, whilst Shchekinoazot started using the new terminal at Kotka in October.  The company is expected to seek out other markets in 2022 from Kotka following the start-up of the M-500 plant.

The major destinations for methanol exports from Shchekinoazot include Belarus, Poland and Slovakia, using a number of routes.  In 2021 Shchekinoazot and the Fertilog Group commissioned a new terminal, Tanking Terminal Kotka (TTK), at the port of the Finnish port of Kotka which is intended for usage for the overflow of methanol produced through the new M-500 plant.  TTC has the facility to store 28,000 tons of methanol at a time, whilst providing a high rate of discharge of cargo from tanks and a high rate of loading of ships on two berths.  The cargo turnover of the new terminal is up to 600,000 tpa of methanol.

Russian methanol domestic sales, Jan-Oct 2021

Russian Methanol Domestic Sales (unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Azot Nevinnomyssk

19.3

13.2

Azot Novomoskovsk

133.4

114.2

Metafrax

358.1

261.5

Gazprom Methanol

309.2

253.4

Tomet

311.1

359.1

Shchekinoazot

155.2

124.8

Ammoni (Mendeleevsk)

57.5

47.8

Total

1343.9

1173.9

Due to the increasing number of deaths and poisonings through illegal alcohol using substances such as methanol the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia is exploring the possibility of transferring responsibility for Russian methanol production to Rospotrebnadzor.  The Ministry of Internal Affairs noted that for the illegal circulation of methanol and methanol-containing liquids, as well as the manufacture, storage and sale of products based on them, dangerous to life and health consumers, the criminal liability may be toughened.  Proposals for these initiatives can be enshrined in the draft resolution of the government of the Russian Federation.

Russian Methanol Domestic Buyers (unit-kilo tons)

Consumer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Nizhnekamskneftekhim

260.2

170.0

Togliattikaucuk

103.8

112.9

Uralorgsintez

49.7

56.1

SIBUR-Khimprom

19.4

15.0

SIBUR Tobolsk

34.3

36.0

Omsk Kaucuk

72.7

68.5

Novokuibyshevsk NPZ

29.9

34.8

Uralkhimplast

19.3

16.5

Slavneft-Yanos

11.1

9.6

Metadynea

80.3

63.5

Kronospan

97.1

76.9

Gazprom

152.4

104.5

Khimsintez

29.0

10.8

Volzhsky Orgsintez

15.1

8.5

Others

369.5

398.8

Total

1343.9

1182.5

Producers have sought to clarify that there is no connection with mass methanol production and illegal alcohol containing methanol and thus should be excluded from tight control.  However the federal authorities are facing a huge problem and are considering all options in order to try and stem these cases.

Sales of methanol on the Russian domestic market amounted to 1.344 million tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 1.174 million tons in the same period in 2020.  Despite a drop in sales by Tomet from 359,100 tons to 311,100 tons, sales from several other producers increased. 

Metafrax increased domestic merchant sales from 261,500 tons to 358,100 tons whilst Gazprom Methanol (Sibmetakhim) increased shipments to domestic customers to 309,200 tons from 253,400 tons. 

Shchekinoazot increased merchant domestic sales from 124,800 tons to 155,200 tons and in Ammoni was able to increase sales from 47,800 tons to 57,500 tons. 

Purchases of Methanol by Nizhnekamskneftekhim

(unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Azot Novomoskovsk

2.5

0.0

Metafrax

158.8

109.0

Gazprom Methanol

7.2

0.0

Shchekinoazot

27.8

4.7

Tomet

49.8

29.6

Ammoni

14.1

26.7

Total

260.2

170.0

Nizhnekamskneftekhim increased methanol merchant purchases from 170,000 tons in the first ten months in 2020 to 260,200 tons in the same period in 2021.  The rise in purchases was due mainly to increased production of isoprene monomer. 

Togliattikaucuk, which is owned by Tatneft, purchased 103,800 tons of methanol in the first ten months against 112,900 tons in the same period in 2020.  Gazprom increased purchases of methanol for gas hydrates in Siberia from 104,500 tons in January-October 2020 to 152,400 tons in 2021.  Most of the methanol purchased by Gazprom is sourced from Gazprom Methanol. 

Russian Formaldehyde Production

(unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Oct-21

Sep 21

Pigment

3.6

1.9

Shchekinoazot

3.3

3.1

Akron

10.5

15.5

Metafrax

24.7

36.3

Sverdlov Plant

2.2

2.0

Khimsintez

5.1

5.3

Uralkhimplast

4.6

4.5

Nizhnekamskneftekhim

4.9

4.4

Gazprom Methanol

6.1

6.4

Metadynea

4.9

1.7

Total

70.0

81.1

In the formaldehyde resin sector Metadynea increased methanol purchases from 63,500 tons to 80,500 tons whilst Kronospan increased purchases from 76,900 tons to 96,100 tons.  The Novomoskovsk methanol plant is the major supplier to both Metadynea and Kronospan.  Uralkhimplast purchased 19,300 tons of methanol in the first ten months in 2021 against 16,500 tons in 2020, most of which was supplied by Metafrax.  Khimsintez increased purchases from 10,800 tons to 29,000 tons. 

In the second half of November, the cost of methanol on the Russian market remained in the range of 40,000-42,000 roubles per ton (hereinafter, including VAT), in the Central FD its cost is 41,500-43,500 roubles per ton.  On 21 November at Shchekinoazot, a ten-day repair began at the methanol plant installation M-450, although the market was compensated due to the launch of the new M-500 plant.  The M-450 plant was down for two weeks in order to replace the catalyst.

Metafrax Chemicals-second paraformaldehyde line

Metafrax Chemicals may build the second stage of paraformaldehyde production at the site at Gubakha.  Metafrax Chemicals began construction of a paraformaldehyde production unit with a capacity of 30,000 tpa in May 2021.  The company will produce a solid product in the form of granules that have no restrictions on the duration of transportation and shelf life.  The company plans to produce paraformaldehyde grade A, intended for the manufacture of plastics, paints, resins, adhesives, insulating materials.  The product is widely used in the production of chipboard and MDF as a binding polymer. The same species is intended for the production of herbicides in agriculture and antiseptics in animal husbandry.

Ammoni-2 construction and methanol expansion

Ammoni plans to build the second stage of its investment programme in Tatarstan by the end of 2027.  A new complex consisting of modern energy-saving units of ammonia, methanol and urea will be built on a site adjacent to the existing Ammoni plant by the end of 2027 and will increase the output of marketable products by more than 2.6 times. The production capacity will comprise 1.2 million tpa for ammonia, 500,000 tpa of methanol and 1.4 million tpa of urea, and investment costs will amount to around €1.5 billion.  The current Ammoni-1 plant comprises capacities of 717,500 tpa for ammonia and urea, and for methanol 233,800 tpa. 

Regarding gas feedstocks a new pipeline is required to supply around 1.1 billion cubic metres per annum to the site.  This will be dependent on an agreement between Ammoni’s owners SDS Azot at Kemerovo and Gazprom.  At this stage the existing Ammoni complex produces methanol mostly for the domestic market for formaldehyde and rubber consumers, but the construction of the new complex is seen in the context of energy transition.  In particular, both ammonia and methanol are considered as form options for storing and transporting hydrogen both for hydrogen energy and for transport that will use hydrogen as fuel. 

Nakhodka methanol project approval

Nakhodka Mineral Fertiliser Plant (NZMU) received a positive conclusion in December from the state examination.  The relevant conclusions were given by the Rosprirodnadzor.

This means that the main element of the future production of methanol in Nakhodka meets the environmental requirements established by the legislation of the Russian Federation.  All infrastructure facilities of the NZMU received positive opinions: including treatment facilities for household wastewater, a marine terminal and a methanol production plant.

NZMU is an anchor resident of the territory of advanced development (TOR) Petrochemical.  The general designer for the project for the construction of the methanol plant of the Nakhodka Mineral Fertiliser Plant (NZMU) is the GIAP group of companies.

The construction of the first stage of the chemical project began in September 2021. The capacity of the first stage is 1.8 million tpa of methanol and the second is 3 million tpa urea. The commissioning of the methanol plant is scheduled for the third quarter of 2023

AEON Volgograd methanol project-design

The start of the project for the production of methanol on the basis of the former Khimprom plant in the Kirov district of Volgograd is scheduled for mid-2022.  The design stage is close to completion before moving to the approval stage which would enable construction to start.  The plant is to be constructed with a capacity of 1.0 million tpa and is required to correlate with the current legislation in both industrial safety and environmental protection. 

A main environmental challenge regards the sludge reservoir for Khimprom and needs to be completely cleaned and restored before construction can start.  The main investor in this project AEON Corporation has put its case forward that the impact on the environment will be minimised and the new methanol plant will be completely different from the former industrial giant Khimprom which was forced to close in 2014. 

Marubeni and Mitsubishi are supporting the project in terms of sales and construction, whilst Haldor Topsoe will provide the license, basic engineering, catalysts and proprietary hardware for methanol production.  

The total investment costs for the Volgograd methanol project have been estimated at around $900 million.  In addition to methanol AEON is developing a promising project to produce bioprotein from gas.  This is pure protein that can be used as a substitute for fish flour for animal feed, which is an extension of "green" technologies and reducing the load on seas.

Environmental challenges for Indiga methanol project

The Indiga methanol project proposed by Ruskhim carries high environmental risks and will require a comprehensive study before being allowed to proceed.  According to Russian standards for conducting environmental impact assessment (EIA), such complex infrastructure projects need to examine all aspects such as drilling sites, processing enterprises and transport infrastructure.

The Pechora River is already experiencing a powerful negative pressure from industrial development in the Komi Republic, and this the new project is expected to only increase the negative impact on river ecosystems. This will lead to new threats to aquatic biological resources.  

Unlike the Skovorodino methanol project under construction in the Russian Far East the Indiga methanol project in the Yamal region will have to be undertaken almost from scratch.  This not only involves the construction of a pipeline linking the plant to raw materials but also either the construction of a methanol terminal at Indiga that would allow exports, or alternative rail connections.

Russian butanol production Jan-Oct 2021

Russian N-Butanol Production (unit-kilo tons)

 

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Angarsk Petrochemical Company

21.8

23.8

Azot, Nevinnomyssk

12.0

14.5

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat

43.4

52.2

SIBUR-Khimprom, Perm

23.6

25.0

Total

100.8

115.4

     

Russian Isobutanols Production (unit-kilo tons)

 

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Angarsk Petrochemical Company

13.5

15.6

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat

24.6

25.5

SIBUR-Khimprom, Perm

29.9

40.1

Total

68.0

81.1

Russian normal butanol production totalled 100,800 tons in January to October 2021, against 115,400 tons in the same period in 2020.  Gazprom neftekhim Salavat was the largest Russian producer, producing 43,400 tons against 52,200 tons in January to October 2020. 

Isobutanol production in Russia dropped from 81,100 tons last year to 68,000 tons in January to October 2021.  Gazprom neftekhim Salavat reduced production to 24,600 tons from 25,500 tons, and SIBUR-Khimprom reduced from 40,100 tons to 29,900 tons.

Russian domestic butanol sales, Jan-Oct 2021

Russian Butanol Consumption (unit-kilo tons)

Consumer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Akrilat

15.5

16.6

Dimitrievsky Chemical

13.3

12.3

Volzhskiy Orgsintez

6.6

6.7

Roshalsky Plant of Plasticizers

3.4

1.4

Others

13.5

15.8

Total

52.2

52.5

Russian Butanol Domestic Sales (unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Gazprom n Salavat

5.4

6.4

SIBUR-Khimprom

17.5

19.9

Angarsk Petrochemical Company

24.8

21.3

Azot Nevinnomyssk

0.3

2.3

Totals

48.1

50.0

 

Merchant normal butanol sales on the Russian domestic market dropped slightly in the first ten months in 2021 to 52,200 tons from 52,500 tons in the same period in 2020.  The largest butanol buyer was Akrilat at Dzerzhinsk which took 15,500 tons down from 16,600 tons and unchanged from last year whilst Dimitrievsky Chemical increased purchases slightly from 13,300 tons to 12,300 tons.  Angarsk Petrochemical was the largest supplier of normal butanols in the first ten months shipping 24,800 tons versus 21,300 tons in the same period in 2020 whilst SIBUR-Khimprom reduced sales from 19,900 tons to 17,500 tons.  Both SIBUR-Khimprom and Gazprom neftekhim Salavat direct almost the entire volume of n-butanol produced to internal processing. 

 

Russian acetone production & exports, Jan-Oct 2021

Russian Acetone Production (unit-kilo tons)

Producer

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Ufaorgsintez

38.2

29.6

Kazanorgsintez

41.9

41.5

Novokuibyshevsk Petrochemical

33.8

35.9

Omsk Kaucuk

23.5

20.3

Total

137.4

127.4

Russian acetone production amounted to 137,400 tons in the first ten months tons in 2021 against 127,400 tons in the same period in 2020.  Omsk Kaucuk produced 23,500 tons of acetone up from 20,300 tons in the same period in 2020 due to technical problems.  Conversely, Ufaorgsintez increased production from 29,600 tons to 38,200 tons whilst Kazanorgsintez reduced from 41,900 tons to 41,500 tons. 

Russian Acetone Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Belarus

9.4

8.5

Netherlands

25.6

11.9

Turkey

5.7

7.2

Lithuania

1.4

1.0

Latvia

8.5

1.2

Others

7.0

10.6

Total

57.6

40.4

Exports of acetone from Russia amounted to 57,600 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 40,400 tons in the same period in 2020.  The Netherlands was the major destination for Russian acetone exports in the first ten months this year, accounting for 25,600 tons, followed by Belarus with 9,400 tons.

Russian plasticizer market Jan-Oct 2021

2021 was marked by record high prices of plasticizers in the Russian market in that from January to October, the cost of domestic dioctyl phthalate increased by almost 58%, and dioctyl terephthalate by 30%.  At the same time after prices had peaked in the middle of the year some market softening was seen in the fourth quarter.  Kamteks-Khimprom at Perm was forced to stop production of DOP in mid-2021 due to the high cost of 2-EH which it needs to import.

Production and consumption of DOF and DOTP in Russia

(unit-kilo tons)

Indicators

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

2020

Production

112.6

109.3

132,9

Export

13.9

16.7

19,2

Import

14.3

11.7

14,6

Market capacity

113,1

104,3

128,3

Share of exports in production

12%

15%

14%

Share of imports in consumption

13%

11%

11%

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat produced 27,800 tons of DOP in January to October 2021, which is 11% more than in the same period in 2020. 

SIBUR produced 84,800 tons of DOTP which was unchanged from 2020 but reduced exports by 17% to 13,900 tons whilst imports rose by 23%. 

Russian Ethyl Acetate Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Company

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Laxmi Organics Industries

3.4

4.1

Ineos

1.3

1.5

Rhodia Brasil

0.7

0.8

KH Chemicals

0.3

0.0

IOL Chemicals And Pharmaceuticals

0.2

0.9

Artha Mineral

0.1

0.0

Anhui Ruibai

0.1

0.0

Sasol Chemie

0.1

0.2

Solventis

0.1

0.0

Others

0.3

0.2

Total

6.5

7.6

Tatneft suspends maleic anhydride project

Tatneft has decided to suspend the construction of the maleic anhydride project after assessing capital investments, market conditions, etc.  At the end of 2021 Tatneft concluded that the payback of the project does not meet initial expectations.  The project was planned for a site at the Minnibayevo Gas Processing Plant.   SIBUR is well advanced with its own maleic project at Tobolsk.  This plant of 45,000 tpa capacity is close to completion.

Metadynea-propylene glycol

Metafrax-melamine expansion

Metafrax Group plans to double its planned melamine production capacity to 80,000 tpa by 2025.  Metafrax Chemicals signed a memorandum of understanding with the Swiss Casale SA, which involves the construction of a plant for 40,000 tpa of melamine at Gubakha.  Casale will receive an EPC contract.

The domestic Russian melamine market is estimated at about 60,000 tpa.  The commissioning of the second 40,000 tpa melamine line at Gubakha is scheduled for 2025, the cost of the project is estimated at €270 million. The new melamine production will be fully integrated with the ammonia-urea-melamine facilities, the first project of which should be completed in 2022.  Commissioning of the second melamine facility combined with additional ammonia and urea capacity is scheduled for the second half of 2025.

Metadynea (part of Metafrax Group) signed a license agreement and a contract for the basic design of the production complex of low-tonnage chemical products with Air Liquide Engineering and Construction.  The contract provides for the basic design of a complex for the production of low-tonnage chemical products including bio-propylene glycol (BIO-MPG) and glycerine at the Orekhovo-Zuyevo site. 

The complex is to be designed using a unique technology for the synthesis of BIO-IPG from glycerol, developed and patented by BASF.  The design of the complex is planned to be completed in 2022, and Metadynea intends to launch production at the end of 2024.

The total investment of Metafrax Group in the project may amount to more than 5 billion roubles with a capacity of up to 30,000 tpa.  The Metadynea project involves the production of a product completely from biodegradable raw materials, renewable sources of plant origin.  The Metadynea project will be able to almost completely cover the Russian market. 

Volzhsky Orgsintez-potassium butyl xanthate

Volzhsky Orgsintez and GIAP signed a contract for the development of project documentation for the construction of a new production of potassium butyl xanthate.  The production capacity will be 20,000 tpa.   Construction is scheduled to begin in 2022.  Volzhsky Orgsintez currently operates a plant for the production of potassium butyl xanthate with a capacity of 26,500 tpa.  Potassium butyl xanthate is a flotation reagent used in the enrichment of ores of heavy, non-ferrous, noble and rare metals, native copper as a reagent-collector.

Russian TDI-MDI imports, Jan-Oct

Russian TDI Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Belgium

0.963

0.367

China

15.388

3.977

France

0.782

0.118

Germany

4.955

11.849

Hungary

6.597

7.700

Netherlands

1.572

1.700

Saudi Arabia

2.440

6.331

South Korea

12.432

5.283

Turkey

0.256

0.326

US

4.375

1.100

Others

0.102

3.300

Total

50.410

43.177

Russian TDI imports amounted to 50,410 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 43,177 tons in the same period in 2020.  Values of Russian TDI imports rose from a total of $70.758 million in January to October 2020 to $129.502 million in the same period in 2021, with average prices per ton rising from $1691 to $2577. 

Russian TDI Imports ($ million)

Country

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Belgium

3.119

2.455

China

37.380

5.809

France

2.171

1.185

Germany

13.414

17.100

Hungary

19.506

15.000

Netherlands

3.683

2.371

Saudi Arabia

6.897

12.567

South Korea

29.293

6.371

Turkey

1.121

0.765

UK

0.252

0.001

US

10.948

15.111

Others

0.311

0.000

Total

129.502

70.758

China supplied 15,388 tons to Russia in the first ten months in 2021 against 3,977 tons in the same period in 2020, whilst Hungary reduced shipments from 7,700 tons to 6,597 tons.  Germany reduced sales of TDI to Russia to 4,955 tons from 11,849 tons and Saudi Arabia reduced shipments from 6,331 tons to 2,440 tons.

MDI imports into Russia rose to 153,423 tons in January to October 2021 from 129,790 tons in the same period in 2020.  Values of Russian MDI imports amounted to $372.918 million in the first ten months rising more than double from the $187.426 million in the same period last year.  Values were boosted by the increase in both volumes imported and average prices per ton which rose from $1351 to $2385. 

The Netherlands shipped 32,493 tons of MDI to Russia in the first ten months in 2021 against 25,692 tons in the same period in 2020, whilst Saudi Arabia increased shipments from 34,857 tons to 37,061 tons.  Germany and Belgium are also major suppliers to the Russian market.   China was the source of imports of 35,885 tons in the first ten months last year from 29,201 tons in the preceding ten months.  From the larger import sources of MDI Saudi Arabia supplied shipments to Russia in the first ten months at $2297 per ton, Netherlands at $1948 per ton and China at $2860 per ton.

Russian Imports of MDI

(unit-kilo tons)

Country

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Belgium

17.602

13.344

China

35.885

29.201

Germany

16.079

18.015

Hungary

4.437

3.114

Japan

1.87

1.595

Netherlands

32.493

25.692

Portugal

3.616

2.414

Saudi Arabia

37.061

34.857

South Korea

2.362

0.97

Others

2.018

0.588

Total

153.423

129.79

The largest region for Russian MDI imports remains the Vladimir Oblast where there are a number of polyurethane manufacturers followed by Moscow, Tatarstan and Lipetsk.  Shipments of MDI to the Vladimir Oblast accounted for 60,942 tons in the period January to October 2021 for $134.446 million which accounted for 40% of Russian imports and 36% of value.    

Prices for both TDI and MDI were holding third quarter levels in the fourth quarter but can also be forced higher due to feedstock costs driven by high crude.  Logistical issues are impacting on chemical producers globally with Europe in particular facing supply side bottlenecks.  This is affecting the market in some cases in raw material or finished product deliveries and it appears that there is no real sign of the logistics conundrum improving at least until into 2022. 

In China, overall supply in October was relatively tight as most of the major pure MDI plants were operating at around 75%.  Lianheng’s MDI plant in Shanghai was running at a low level, while other major producers in China were operating as normal.  TDI availability from China was affected by a force majeure at Cangzhou Dahua’s 140,000 tpa plant at the start of October.

Ukrainian polymer imports & production, Jan-Oct 2021

Ukrainian Polymer Imports

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

PVC

18.5

25.1

LDPE

52.3

57.0

LLDPE

50.8

52.0

HDPE

55.4

66.6

Polypropylene

82.7

88.7

Polyethylene imports into Ukraine amounted to 220,400 tons in the period January to October 2021 against 224,900 tons a year earlier.  HDPE imports amounted to 74,400 tons against 80,900 tons for the same period in 2020, whilst LDPE imports dropped by 2% to 65,700 tons.  LLDPE imports was unchanged at 50,800 tons and other imports rose from 10,000 tons to 12,600 tons.

Polypropylene imports into the Ukrainian market amounted to 113,300 tons in January to October 2021 against 113,000 tons in the same period in 2020.  The total supply of polypropylene homo grade amounted to 81,400 tons, which is 10% less than in 2020, whilst imports of propylene block copolymers dropped from 11,400 tons to 11,000 tons.  Imports of random copolymers increased from 12,900 tons to 14,900 tons.  The total volume of supplies of other propylene copolymers amounted to just over 2,300 tons. 

In the first ten months of this year, PVC imports into Ukraine dropped by 21% to 22,900 tons against 25,100 tons.  Export sales of PVC, produced by Karpatneftekhim, increased by 18% compared to last year from 136,300 tons to 160,200 tons.

Karpatneftekhim Jan-Oct 2021

Karpatneftekhim Petrochemical Exports

(unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

Propylene

85.2

80.3

Benzene

69.2

57.2

Karpatneftekhim exported 85,200 tons of propylene in the first ten months in 2021 against 80,300 tons in the same period in 2020, whilst benzene imports rose from 57,200 tons to 69,200 tons.  The largest share of propylene shipments was exported to Poland. 

Karpatneftekhim examining project for thermoplastic elastomers

Karpatneftekhim is considering the possibility of building a production of styrene-butadiene-styrene thermoplastic with a capacity of up to 50,000 tpa.  The company sent a corresponding request to engineering companies to receive proposals on production technology and design.  The company plans to use butadiene for the production of TEP from its own pyrolysis unit.

Styrene-butadiene-styrene known as thermoplastic elastomers are used as additives to asphalt concrete pavement and roofing materials. The key features of TEP include high compatibility with road and roof bitumen, an optimal balance of mechanical strength and elasticity, as well as the possibility of repeated processing without deterioration of quality characteristics.  Karpatneftekhim already produces C4s as a by-product of olefin production which would form the feedstock base for the new plant.

Ukrainian methanol imports, Jan-Oct 2021

Ukrainian methanol imports

(unit-kilo tons)

upplier

Aug-21

Sep-21

Oct 21

Metafrax Chemicals

1.1

1.6

4.3

Shchekinoazot

3.2

2.6

2.6

Others

0.1

0.3

0.0

Total

4.3

4.5

6.9

Imports of methanol into Ukraine increased in October to 6,892 tons against 4,514 tons in September with Metafrax Chemicals increasing deliveries from 1,598 tons to 4,267 tons.  Overall methanol imports into Ukraine amounted to 69,160 tons in the first ten months in 2021 against 60,500 tons in the same period in 2020.

One of the largest Ukrainian methanol consumers Ukrgasvydobuvannya has entered into an agreement for the supply of methanol in the volume of 14,700 tons from December 2021 to December 2022 with AGTG SA (Switzerland).  Methanol produced by Shchekinoazot, and Metafrax Chemicals will be supplied to the customer's gas production departments by rail on DAP terms at an indicative price of €449.85 per ton. 

Mogilevkhimvolokno paraxylene and methanol purchases 2022

Belarussian imports of methanol (ktons)

Russian company

Transit point

Sept 21

Oct 21

Azot Novomoskovsk

Zadneprovskaya

4.03

7.24

Azot Nevinnomyssk

Zadneprovskaya

0.24

0.0

Shchekinoazot

Zadneprovskaya

3.11

4.13

Shchekinoazot

Lyshchitsy

10.4

8.38

Shchekinoazot

Postavi

0.13

0.06

Shchekinoazot

Rechitsa

0.65

0.78

Gazprom Methanol

Osipovichi-1

0.0

0.06

Total

 

18.6

24.7

Mogilevkhimvolokno undertook two raw material tenders in October for paraxylene and methanol deliveries in 2022.  Up to 75,000 tons of paraxylene are required next year, delivered in volumes of 19,500 tons for the first, third and fourth quarters and 16,500 tons for the second quarter.  Mogilevkhimvolokno has also placed a tender for 6.000 tons of methanol to be supplied in 2022. 

Kazakh petrochemical investments 2022 and future

The 500,000 tpa polypropylene plant is expected to start in the first half of 2022 after progress had achieved 96% of the project schedule by the end of 2021.  The polypropylene project marks the first major polymer investment in Kazakhstan which is to be followed by polyethylene as soon as KazMunaiGaz can decide upon a partner.   Other polymer and chemical projects being undertaken include the construction of a PET plant in the Atyrau region with a capacity of 430,000 tpa and a plant for the production of methanol in the West Kazakhstan region, with a capacity of 130,000 tpa. 

Tatneft-KazMunayGaz butadiene jv

Tatneft and KazMunayGaz signed a corporate agreement on the activities of the jv Butadien LLP for the for the production of butadiene rubbers.  The launch of production is scheduled for 2026 on the territory of the FEZ National Industrial Petrochemical Technopark" in the Atyrau region in Kazakhstan.  The planned capacity of the enterprise is up to 180,000 tpa of butadiene and butadiene rubbers. 

The shares of KazMunayGaz and Tatneft in the project are 25% and 75% respectively. Tentatively, the cost of the project is estimated at about $1 billion, and the parties are considering options for financing the project, including through borrowed funds.  It is assumed that raw materials will be supplied from the Tengiz and Korolev fields of Kazakhstan. Finished products are planned to be sent to the tyre plant in the Karaganda region, as well as for export.

Aromatics production at Atyrau refinery dropped in 2021

The Atyrau Refinery reduced the production of production of benzene in the first ten months to 6,500 tons against 40,200 tons in the same period in 2020, whilst paraxylene dropped from 140,600 tons to 38,200 tons. 

Over the full year the targets for the planned production of benzene and paraxylene were reduced five times over 2020 from 246,000 tons to 55,300 tons.  The reasons for the decline include electricity failures at the refinery at the start of 2021 and then later in the year the focus of the refinery on fuel production at the expense of aromatics production. 

Kazakh methanol import tenders 2022

In December the Atyrau Refinery announced a tender for the purchase of 13,991 tons of methanol for 2022.  Delivery is required in batches of 520 tons for the whole year.  The amount sought for 2022 is double last year’s volume which dropped due to the unstable operation of the plant.  Oil company KazMunayTeniz announced a tender in December for the purchase of 61.644 tons of methanol for delivery in 2022.  Applications for participation in the tender were being accepted until late December.

Shipments of the product from Russia in January-November decreased by half compared to the same period in 2020, by 7.7 thousand tons, to 7.5 thousand tons, according to operational data of railway freight forwarders.  Suppliers of methanol were Metafrax Chemicals (4.4 thousand tons) and Shchekinoazot (3.1 thousand tons). For the whole of 2020, the refinery received 16,800 tons of methanol. 

Kazakh polymer imports Jan-Oct 2021

Kazakh Polymer Imports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Oct 21

Jan-Oct 20

HDPE

103.8

123.5

LDPE

18.7

22.1

LLDPE

9.0

10.5

PP

37.3

33.3

PVC

59.1

47.4

In January-October 2021, imports of polypropylene to Kazakhstan increased by 12% compared to the same period in 2020 to 37,300 tons against 33,300 tons.  Homopolymer imports amounted to 26,500 tons in January to October 2021 against 26,300 tons, whilst imports of propylene copolymers increased from 7,000 tons to 10,800 tons.  Exports of polypropylene grew more significantly by 34%, rising from 19,300 tons to 26,500 tons.

In the first ten months in 2021, imports of polyethylene to Kazakhstan decreased by 15% to 131,500 tons against 154,000 tons in the same period in 2020.  HDPE imports amounted to 103,800 tons, which is 19% lower whilst LDPE dropped 18% to 18,700 tons.  LLDPE imports dropped by 17% to 9,000 tons.



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