CIREC Monthly News, November 2018

Key pointers from this month’s issue

Central Europe

PDH Polska is seeking to finalise bidding for its propylene and polypropylene projects in Poland, whilst Orlen and MOL both concentrate on developing propylene chain products.  Polypropylene imports into Poland totalled 372,000 tons in the first half of 2018 against exports of 100,000 tons.  Duslo in Slovakia launched a new ammonia plant in September, whilst BorsodChem received EC approval for a Hungarian gov’t loan to build an aniline plant at Kazincbarcika.  PCC is aiming to expand its capacity for monochloroacetic acid in Poland, conversely Grupa Azoty ZAK has ceased production of the plasticizer DEHP at Kedzierzyn-Kozle.  Regarding petrochemical production, both Unipetrol and MOL started maintenance shutdowns in September.   

Russian chemical production & domestic sales

Olefin production in Russia rose in the first eight months in 2018, particularly propylene where the Tobolsk plant increased output.  Propylene sales on the domestic Russian market changed minimally in the first eight months in 2018, rising to 255,000 tons from 254,300 tons.   Paraxylene sales on the Russian domestic market amounted to 120,500 tons in the first eight months in 2018 versus in the same period in 2017.  Ufaneftekhim increased sales from 59,900 tons to 79,100 tons in the first eight months in 2018, compensating for Gazprom Neft at Omsk reduced shipments from 62,400 tons to 41,500 tons.  Russian production of HDPE totalled 652,500 tons in January-August 2018, 1% up on Jan-Aug 2017 when production totalled 647,100 tons.  Overall for the eight months in 2018 merchant sales of phenol in the Russian market declined from 87,100 tons to 77,200 tons, as both Kazanorgsintez and Ufaorgsintez focused more on processing into bisphenol A than commercial shipments. 

Russian chemical trade

Russian PVC exports rose from 61,300 tons in the first eight months in 2017 to 78,200 tons.  Butanol exports from Russia increased in the first seven months this year, although remain lower than the volumes recorded prior to the start-up of the Salavat acrylic acid complex in 2017.  Normal butanol export shipments rose to 21,000 tons versus 10,900 tons in the first seven months in 2017, whilst isobutanol volumes increased from 10,800 tons to 22,500 tons.  Exports of 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) amounted to 14,300 tons in the first seven months in 2018, down from 16,600 tons in 2017.  New export routes are required by Shchekinoazot following the launch of the new complex for methanol and ammonia production, the first unit of its kind in Russia where the two products are produced using the same facilities and technology.  The complex is capable of producing 1,350 tons of methanol and 415 tons of ammonia per day. 

Russian chemical projects & competition

SIBUR intends to expand the production of thermoplastic elastomers (TEPs) by 50,000 tpa at the Voronezh industrial site, thus raising total capacity to 135,000 tpa.  The final decision by SIBUR on the construction of the Amur Gas-Chemical Complex will be taken by SIBUR shareholders in 2019.  Toyo Engineering Corporation and the Irkutsk Oil Company (INK) signed an agreement on cooperation in September regarding the large-scale gas project.  Chinese company Wison Engineering presented to Gazprom neftekhim Salavat MTO technology for the production of olefins from natural gas.


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