Jay Polychem is one of the important leaders in Petrochemical industry catering to the demands of various industries acrosss India and globe. Jay Polychem has made an effort to look out for the stories and happenings in Petrochemical, Polymer, Oil & Gas related verticals and publish them in one place. This way Jay Polychem has provided a platform to people from related industries to follow one space for latest happenings and to keep them updated.
2 Oct 2013 - City-based Jay Madhok Energy Pvt Ltd has outbid state-owned GAIL Gas, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL), Indian Oil-Adani combine and Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) to win the rights to sell CNG and piped gas in Jalandhar.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) last month issued authorisation letter to Jay Madhok Energy to sell compressed natural gas (CNG) to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households in Jalandhar for 25 years.
PNGRB said the company will have to comply with its rules governing city gas distribution.
In all, 26 companies submitted 51 bids for the seven cities offered in the third round of auction of city gas distribution licences in July 2010 – Asansol-Durgapur in West Bengal, Bhavnagar, Kutch-East, Kutch-West and Jamnagar in Gujarat, and Ludhiana and Jalandhar in Punjab.
Jalandhar attracted the second-highest bids, with 12 firms in the fray, including Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL), GAIL Gas, Indraprastha Gas, Indian Oil-Adani Gas, GSPC Gas, BPCL-ONGC-OIL, Lanco Infratech, HCC Infrastructure and Jay Madhok Energy.
PNGRB said it opened price bids last month and awarded rights for Jalandhar to Jay Madhok.
Key People: Sandeep Madhok (Director)
1 Nov 2011 - A plastic that could repair itself when broken without using glue has been developed. Called supramolecular polymer, the new type of plastic is being developed by the chemical company AkzoNobel in collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. The new plastic, which has been called Supra B, takes advantage of a kind of bonding that gives water its viscosity and surface tension. Known as hydrogen bonding, it uses the attraction between hydrogen atoms and other atoms such as oxygen or nitrogen. In Supra B, the scientists have managed to quadruple the number of hydrogen bonds between the small plastic, or polymer, molecules so that it is as strong as other forms of plastic, but does not require a chemical reaction to join them together.
According to Telegraph.co.uk, Graham Armstrong, corporate director of research, development and innovation at AkzoNobel, said: "We are working on polymers that are able to heal themselves. They use supramolecular chemistry, which exploits some of the lessons we have learned from the way proteins bind together in biology. It means we can have solids that genuinely can heal."
9 June 2011 - The phase III upgradation and expansion project of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd has almost come to a standstill for the last nine days due to the protest by the Project Displaced Families (PDF) of Mangalore Special Economic Zone (MSEZ). The PDFs have blocked men and machinery from entering the refinery worksite. Nine days later the impact is getting more intense as the project is now suffering a one-month delay in commissioning.
A MRPL press release here on Tuesday stated the delay can run up a production loss to the tune of Rs 80 crore per month. Other than this, clearing of storm water drains and desilting have been affected, consequently, threats of water clogging and even flooding in surrounding areas are looming ahead. Worst affected are 17,000-odd contracted labour force that have lost their pay and work and a large number have fled the region out of fear from the protesters.
31 May 2011 - Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL) is planning to invest Rs 4,000 crore in eight new product lines, some of these would be through joint venture with technical partners, HPL vice-chairman Purnendu Chatterjee, who is also the chairman of The Chatterjee Group (TCG), said on Monday.
However, he indicated that clarity on ownership structure in HPL would be important for raising resources for these projects. It may be noted that the state government and TCG are caught in a legal wrangle for the management control of HPL since 2005. Chatterjee, who jointly met the media with managing director Partha S Bhattacharyya, said he is getting positive vibes from the new state government.
Elaborating on the plan for new projects, Chatterjee added that the debt-to-equity ratio for the new projects would be 1.5:1. "The equity will come from HPL reserve and technical partners. If we require some more, then HPL can induct some private equity players. Later, we can buy back their shares," he added.
27 May 2011 - State-run engineering consultancy firm Engineers India Ltd (EIL) is tying up with a major Saudi Arabian group to jointly bid for contracts in the West Asian country that is dominated by US and European majors.
This is part of a makeover plan that will see the firm turn into a one-stop concept-to-commissioning agency for large industrial projects, company chairman A K Purwaha told TOI on Thursday. He, however, declined to identify the group.
EIL sees Saudi Arabia offering many opportunities since the refineries there are old and going in for expansion and refurbishment. The country is also planning petrochemicals capacity. EIL is also tapping Oman, and other oil-producing countries in the region. EIL has orders worth Rs 7,500 crore. Its net profit rose 20% to Rs 523 crore in 2010-11 from Rs 436 crore in 2009-2010.
18 Apr 2011 - The March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan has seen calm stock market reaction -stock markets in the developed and emerging world have actually gained 1-8% in the last month, with the Nikkei Stock Average losing over 10%. Stock indices in India were among the top gainers, raising questions about the impact of the disaster to India. As per BusinessLine, most researchers now seem to be agreed that the demand destruction caused by the disasters in Japan will trim its economic growth rate in Japan over the next 3-6 months. However, there is a strong consensus that Japan's GDP growth will rebound in Q4-2011 and H1-2012, as the resilient nation flags off its reconstruction efforts. Lower demand from Japan may, in fact, offer a brief breather from rising commodity prices over the next 3-6 months.
For India, capital outflows due to Japanese investors are not of major concern as this has seen sharp reductions in the last five years from a net investments of Rs 8,000 crore in 2005 to net putllouts in 2010. Japan accounted for just 5% of inbound FDI. India also has among the lowest trade exposures to Japan in the region, with Commerce Ministry data showing Japan accounting for under 2.4% of India's import and export trade by value in the first six months of FY-11. China, in contrast, sources about 13% of its imports from Japan and ships about 8% of its exports to it, Malaysia and Indonesia ship about 10% of their exports to Japan.
The Tsunami-quake event may prompt affluent Japanese investors to more actively diversify overseas. Given that Japan's high net worth investors account for nearly 40% of the wealth in the Asia-Pacific region (holding assets worth US$3892 billion), that's likely to have big liquidity implications. The crisis could prompt large Japanese corporations to diversify their manufacturing base overseas and unravel the complicated structure of cross-holdings in corporate Japan. If that happens, India, as one of the most promising consumer markets in the Asia Pacific, may turn out to be a beneficiary, particularly companies in autos, financial services and pharmaceuticals in India.
5 Apr 2011 - Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) today announced the appointment of Vishnu Agrawal as Director Finance.
Agrawal "has been appointed for a period of five years," MRPL said in a statement here.
Prior to taking over as MRPL's Director (Finance), Agrawal, 55, was heading the Integrated Trading Desk and Treasury Management of the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC)
With this appointment, MRPL now has two functional Directors -- Director (Technical) and Director (Finance)-- besides the Managing Director.
Agrawal is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and has over 30 years of experience in finance and accounts, commercial, international trade, treasury, corporate finance, marketing, management and information systems.
He has been associated with MRPL as Group General Manager (Finance) since June last year, in addition to his assignments at ONGC.
24 Mar 2011 - With production of key petrochemicals in Japan hamstrung by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, prices of plastic materials and other products have begun to climb.
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp.'s (TSE:4188) ethylene plant in Ibaraki Prefecture has been knocked out of commission, and the firm does not know when production can resume there, according to President Yoshimitsu Kobayashi.
In addition, facilities accounting for 85 per cent of the group's production capacity for polypropylene and 54 per cent of its output capacity for polyethylene are offline due to the disaster.
Shin-Etsu Chemical Co.'s (TSE:4063) PVC plant in Ibaraki Prefecture has halted operations. BASF Japan Ltd. and Kao Corp. (TSE:4452) facilities producing additives for making synthetic plastics have also stopped running.
Maruzen Petrochemical Co. is unsure when it can resume operations at an ethylene plant in Chiba Prefecture. Although JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. intends to restart its Kawasaki plant by month's end, there are growing concerns that the domestic market for petrochemical materials could be impaired over the long term.
Companies that did not suffer damage to their facilities are also starting to be affected. A shortage of additives has forced Prime Polymer Co. to ask clients to accept the use of alternatives.
18 Mar 2011 - India faces pressure to step up its battle against price gains even after the steepest interest-rate increases among Asia's major economies, as oil costs rise and consumer demand strengthens.
The Reserve Bank of India yesterday raised its inflation forecast for the second time since late January as it lifted the benchmark repurchase rate by a quarter-point to 6.75 percent, the eighth move in a year.
"The pressures to manage inflation, out of the evolving domestic and global situations, have only intensified," Shanto Ghosh, an economist at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt., said in an interview from New Delhi yesterday. "The pace of further monetary tightening may see some acceleration."
Governor Duvvuri Subbarao may boost borrowing costs by another 0.75 percentage point in 2011, HSBC Holdings Plc and DBS Group Holdings Ltd. said. India imports three-quarters of its energy needs and oil has surged about 18 percent in the past 12 months, stoked by political turmoil in the Middle East and Libya that threatens supplies.
"The RBI would now appear even more concerned about the inflation outlook," said Leif Eskesen, an economist at HSBC in Singapore. "Inflation risks clearly remain the dominant concern, especially considering the current cocktail of elevated food prices, rising international commodity prices and demand- led inflation pressures."
The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index has slid 11.5 percent this year, the most in Asia after Japan, where stocks have plunged after last week's strongest earthquake on record triggered a tsunami and nuclear crisis.
11 Mar 2011 - Gail (India) Ltd, country's largest gas transmission and marketing firm, has started a research project with Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) at Dehradun on the conversion of waste plastic and low polymer wax into value-added hydrocarbons.
"GAIL (India) Ltd has initiated a collaborative research project with Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) at Dehradun on Scale up Studies for the Conversion of Waste Plastic and Low Polymer Wax to value added hydrocarbons," Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
The Minister said the objective of the project is to develop a feasible system for conversion of waste plastics and low polymer wax and polyethylene (PE) wax to value added hydrocarbons, fuels and petrochemicals.
8 Mar 2011 - Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) is to set up a brand new export-oriented 15 mln ton refinery at Vizag, Andhra Pradesh by the year 2011-2012. The Refinery cum Petrochemical project is estimated at a value of Rs.160 bln (US$3.5 bln). HPCL will be looking out for new international partners for constructing the refinery. However the equity structure in the new refinery will be same as the one that has been intended for the 9 mln ton Bhatinda refinery. The final dates for submitting the bids will be on 31st December 2012
4 Mar 2011 -India has paid 1.5 billion ($2.08 billion) to clear pending dues for buying crude oil from Iran, oil minister S Jaipal Reddy said. India?s crude oil imports from Iran faced an impasse for over three months after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) declared that a regional clearing house that involved the Iranian central bank could no longer be used to settle oil and gas transactions between the two countries.
Consequent to the withdrawal of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) mechanism by the RBI with effect from December 23, all payments to Iran for import of crude oil have to be settled in any permitted currency outside the ACU mechanism,? Mr Reddy told the Lok Sabha.
The two nations are still working out a solution on how to pay for oil outside the ACU, an oil ministry official said. Scrapping of the payment system did not disrupt crude oil supply from Iran, India's second-biggest crude oil supplier after Saudi Arabia. Domestic oil companies are keenly awaiting a solution as India imports 80% of the 184 million tonnes of crude oil it refines every year, and Iran accounts for 16% of these purchases. The uncertainty had encouraged Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd to issue spot tenders to import crude oil to make sure its operations were not hindered if the bilateral issue is not quickly resolved.
It imports about 5 million tonne of crude from Iran. Analysts believe the RBI had acted under the pressure of the United States, which has lauded its action . Last year, India had protested Iran's remarks on Kashmir, and earlier, India had voted against the country's nuclear programme in a resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency. ACU, an initiative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP), was established in 1974 at Tehran for promoting regional co-operation.
28 Feb 2011 - Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday presented the Union Budget 2011-2012 in the Lok Sabha. An overview of the budget estimates for 2011-12 projects Rs 9,32,440 crore - an increase of 24%. Expenditure in 2011-12 is estimated at Rs 12,57,729 crore, an increase of 13.4%. Revenue deficit fixed at 2.3% in revised estimates of 2010-11 and 1.8% in 2011-12. Tax reductions to result in revenue loss of Rs 11,500 crore. Some of the highlights of the Union Budget are:
No change in tax slabs has been proposed. The tax exemption limit for general category has been raised from Rs 1,60,000 to Rs 1,80,000. For senior citizens, exemption age limit has been reduced from 65 to 60. Their tax exemption limit will be Rs 2,50,000. A new exemption bracket has been created for those above 80 years of age. Their tax exemption limit will be Rs 5,00,000. Surcharge for companies cut to 5%, from 7.5%. Direct Tax Code to replace the Income Tax Act, will be implemented from April, 2012 and the Goods and Services Tax Bill is to be introduced in Parliament this year.
Service tax rate kept at 10%. Service tax widened to cover hotel accommodation above Rs 1,000 per day, A/C restaurants serving liquor, some category of hospitals, diagnostic tests.
A proposal to introduce self-assessment of customs duty wherein importers and exporters will themselves assess payment of duty. Standard rate of central exercise duty will be maintained at 10%. A 1% central excise duty on 130 items entering the tax net. Basic food and fuel and precious stones, gold and silver jewellery will be exempted and there will be no change in CENVAT rates.
23 Feb 2011 - Thai Based Apex Plastics Group is seeking to IPO in 2011 and with turnover exceeding $300m USD in 2011 the IPO should gain the interest of regional investors. The company also plans to open a 150,000 brl a day Oil Refinery.
Apex Plastics will IPO under the name Apex Petrochemicals International and is considering Singapore and Hong Kong as the primary exchange.
Apex Operates 4 Divisions and will add a large scale oil refinery.
Apex Plastics Company Limited was established in 1989 and is one of Thailand's and Asia's leading manufacturers of PVC products.
APEX Plastics is operating two factories, in Mahachai and in Kabinburi, with a total of 13 calender lines.
The products manufactured include PVC transparent/clear sheets, opaque sheets and colored sheets, with or without printing, both rigid and soft. We also manufacture vinyl floor covering, sponge floor covering, canvas, tarpaulin, table cloth, pond and reservoir lining, sponge and solid leather, stickers, celluloid sheets and overlay.
APEX Plastics can make virtually any kind of PVC sheet following your specifications as a customer and we are currently exporting our products to over 140 countries worldwide.
22 Feb 2011 - BP lined up one of the biggest foreign direct investments in India to date with a US$7.2 billion (RM21.8 billion) tie-up with the country's Reliance Industries to explore for deepwater oil and gas.
This marks the second major deal under BP's new chief executive Bob Dudley, who last month agreed a share swap with Russia's state-controlled Rosneft to jointly explore the Arctic for offshore oil and gas.
BP said yesterday that it would pay Reliance Industries US$7.2 billion and performance payments of up to US$1.8 billion if the tie-up led to the development of commercial discoveries.
"BP is the best finder of hydrocarbons in deepwater in the world," Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, said at a press conference.
BP wants to put last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster behind it, and said earlier this month it would look for long term growth through a fresh focus on discovering oil and gas via exploration partnerships.
The oil spill prompted a $30 billion asset disposal program to help cover BP's costs. But Dudley said BP still had plenty of cash to fund the investment in Reliance assets at a price equivalent to $7.50 per barrel.
22 Feb 2011 - Reliance Industries Ltd., India's biggest company by market value, may add overseas energy assets after doubling its cash to $14 billion through the sale of stakes in domestic oil blocks to BP Plc, investors said.
BP will pay the Mumbai-based energy explorer $7.2 billion for a 30 percent interest in 23 oil and gas areas in India, Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani said on a conference call yesterday. Reliance said Jan. 21 it had cash and equivalents of 318.3 billion rupees ($7.1 billion) as of Dec. 31.
Billionaire Ambani and BP Chief Executive Officer Robert Dudley sealed two years of talks with a deal that may increase in size to $20 billion with future performance payments and investment. Reliance committed $3.4 billion to U.S. shale gas projects last year and has said it may buy fields in the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil to hedge the risk of investing in India.
"Reliance will certainly acquire more assets now," said Taina Erajuuri, who helps manage the equivalent of $1.2 billion of emerging-market stocks, including Reliance shares, at Helsinki-based FIM Asset Management Ltd. "All that cash will come into the balance sheet and give the company that much confidence."
18 Feb 2011 - BP confirmed that it is proceeding with its project for a major increase in purified terephthalic acid (PTA) production capacity at the BP Zhuhai Chemical Company Limited (BP Zhuhai) site in Guangdong Province, China, a JV between BP and Zhuhai Port Co., Ltd. (formerly named Fu Hua Group) and also announced that it is planning to build a new world-scale PTA plant at the same site.
The planned debottleneck at Zhuhai will increase capacity by more than 200,000 tonnes a year from its second unit (Z2), making the total PTA production capacity of the Zhuhai site some 1.7 million tonnes a year.
BP has completed engineering design work for the Z2 debottleneck and expects the expansion to be fully operational in 1Q2012.
A new third PTA plant in Zhuhai is under pre-engineering planning. With a capacity of 1,250,000 tonnes per year, it will be the first to employ BP's latest generation PTA technology and, subject to approval from its shareholders and relevant Chinese government agencies, is expected to come on stream earliest 2014 to meet PTA demand growth in China. This will make Zhuhai the largest PTA site in BP's global PTA system.
Sue Rataj, BP's Chief Executive in Petrochemicals, said: "This investment will be the world's largest single train PTA plant, built in the world's largest and fastest growing PTA market with the world's best and lowest cost technology - once again reinforcing BP's commitment to the PTA business and to China."
10 Feb 2011 - Disinvestment in the public-sector Punjab Alkalies and Chemicals has been put on fast track, with 11 top companies participating in its 'due diligence' process, which ended on January 31.
The company is likely to go into private hands by early March, after the Punjab government, through the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC), sells its entire 44.26 per cent equity (representing 90.90 lakh shares), to a private player. The Punjab Cabinet Sub-Committee on Disinvestment has already cleared the stake sale in Punjab Alkalies.
As many as 11 top companies, who have already participated in the 'due diligence' process, are set to participate in the pre-bid conference to be held in Chandigarh in mid-February. Various private players in the fray for the buyout will place their financial bids within 15 days of the conference, as stipulated under the rules laid down by the Department of Disinvestment, Government of India.
Among the top players keen on buying the public sector company include Grasim Industries, JP Associates, Bhushan Power and Steel, Nirma, Lords Chloro Alkali and Surya Pharmaceuticals, besides the DCM Shriram group. Others in the fray are Kudos Chemie, KLG Resources, Panoli Intermediates and Jay Polychem.
10 Jan 2011 - Dow Chemical has opened a new office in Kuwait, emphasizing the critical significance of its investments and partnerships in the country. Dow's office in Kuwait will drive the company's business partnerships across the country, while working to enhance the existing partnerships, and nourish the company's investments in the petrochemical sector which led to establishing six leading joint ventures.
Dow Chemical has been in Kuwait for 15 years through EQUATE Petrochemical Company, a successful joint venture with Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) of Kuwait. Dow and PIC are now partners in six mutually beneficial joint ventures in Kuwait among which are EQUATE, MEGlobal, and The Kuwait Olefins Company. As the largest foreign investor, and the largest private employer of Kuwaiti nationals through its joint ventures in the petrochemicals industry in Kuwait, Dow has consistently promoted economic development and prosperity. Historically, Dow's strong existing asset base, technology position and market presence bring several advantages to its partnerships and joint ventures.
9 Jan 2011 - A proposed solution to the dispute between India and Iran over oil payments raises new questions as India seeks to use a European bank that is subject to US sanctions to facilitate the USD 12 billion-a-year trade.
The two countries have been negotiating a new payment scheme after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said a long-standing clearing mechanism could no longer be used, jeopardising Iran's 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of exports, which cover 12% of India's oil needs.
Q&A - India's payments dispute with Iran over oil
The United States has not commented on the new proposal. Washington welcomed the RBI's initial move, which came just weeks after US President Barack Obama visited India, which aspires to a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
Iran is second only to Saudi Arabia as an oil supplier to India, while India is Iran's second-biggest crude buyer after China, accounting for about 20% of its exports.
Following are some key questions on the issue:
9 Jan 2011 - The national highway-48 connecting Mangalore with Bangalore was closed for traffic for more than 10 hours from Tuesday morning after liquefied petroleum gas leaked from a toppled tanker at Periyashanti in Nelyadi, Puttur taluk.
The tanker driver, Dhanashekar, was crushed to death under the vehicle around 6.30 am. The multi-axle bullet tanker was heading to Andhra Pradesh from Mangalore. It has been suspected that the driver lost control while negotiating a curve. The tanker careened, and fell on its side about 40 feet from the road.
LPG leaked and spread over the area. The police, fire brigade and officials of the Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd(MRPL) swung into action to prevent further damage.
Sources in the police outpost at Nelyadi said this was the tenth such accident in the last three years, and in every mishap, noxious gas or liquid petroleum had threatened the safety of the eco-sensitive area.
According to the toll plaza records at Buntwal, over 2,000 petroleum tankers cross the gates every day towards Bangalore. About 50% of them ply during the day.
9 Jan 2011 - Shares of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) slipped by nearly 8 per cent in early trade on the BSE today, despite the company reporting a 21 per cent jump in third quarter net profit yesterday.
MRPL had posted a net profit of Rs 313.76 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2010, compared to Rs 259.54 crore in the year-ago period.
Profit-booking by wary investors amid a weak broader market saw shares of MRPL shed 7.76 per cent to hit a one-year-low of Rs 61.80 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
28 January 2011 - Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. and Essar Oil Ltd. declined in Mumbai after an Iranian trade official said the Middle Eastern nation may halt crude sales to India in two weeks if a payment impasse isn't resolved.
State-run Mangalore Refinery, the largest Indian buyer of Iranian crude, fell as much as 4.4 percent to 65.65 rupees and closed at 68.40 rupees. Essar Oil dropped 4 percent to 120.25 rupees and group company Essar Energy Ltd. declined 2.6 percent to 529 pence at 10:55 a.m. in London.
Refiners including Indian Oil Corp., the nation's largest, need to find a way to pay for Iranian crude after the Reserve Bank of India on Dec. 27 dismantled a mechanism used to settle oil trades in euros and dollars. Indian refiners owe Iran about $900 million for crude oil, Mehdi Fakheri, vice president of international affairs at the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines, said in an interview in Mumbai yesterday.
"If Mangalore Refinery doesn't get the crude from Iran, then utilization rates could drop and margins could be affected as well," said Alok Deshpande, an oil and gas analyst at Mumbai-based Elara Securities Ltd., who has a "sell" rating on the stock. "As long as this is not resolved, it's going to have a major overhang on the shares."
28 January 2011 - Huntsman has developed the first product in a new line of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) that offers a broader temperature operating range than standard grades and is a good all-round performer in industrial applications where compromise is not an option.
IROGRAN® A 92 K 5031 DP has been formulated with the needs of modern manufacturing in mind. It can be extruded or injection molded to create elastomer components for heavy-duty engineering equipment, engines and hydraulic systems where working conditions may reach up to 130°C or drop as low as -40°C. Offering high strength at room temperature, a low compression set at 100°C and consistent form retention and stability up to 120°C, IROGRAN ® A 92 K 5031 DP is a practical material for the manufacture of pneumatic tubes, spiral hoses, timing belts and cable jackets employed in high temperature applications such as automotive brake and engine systems. The product's good anti-burst properties and capacity to resist long-term exposure to oils, hydrolysis, chemicals and abrasion also makes it a reliable base material for hydraulic seals. Helmut Witt, New Business Development Manager at Huntsman Polyurethanes, said: "In the production of flexible elastomeric parts, the most successful materials are those that offer infinite processing possibilities and performance scope alongside consistent quality. IROGRAN® A 92 K 5031 DP is made using a special technique developed by Huntsman. Employing raw materials economically, this process delivers optimized hard block products of an extremely reliable standard. With a range of properties that function regardless of temperature fluctuations, IROGRAN® A 92 K 5031 DP stands out as an important new raw material for industrial applications where performance, even in the most extreme conditions, is mission critical."
27 January 2011 - Iran has halted production of gasoline at petrochemical plants after a reduction by the Government in fuel subsidies that led prices to quadruple and consumption to fall, as per Bloomberg. Iranians now pay 4,000 rials (40 cents) a liter of gasoline for up to 50 liters a month, and 7,000 rials a liter for larger quantities. Until fuel subsidies were cut, people paid a subsidized price of 1,000 rials a liter for a monthly maximum of 60 liters. Demand for gasoline in Iran has started to dwindle after the government cut fuel subsidies on Dec. 19. Additionally, Iran's gasoline reserves have reached a peak amid expected completion of refinery projects in coming months, providing the country a robust supply of gasoline.
As an emergency plan to counter UN sanctions on fuel supplies, Iran started producing gasoline at six petrochemical facilities. About 17 million liters a day of gasoline was produced at the petrochemical complexes for almost 5 months. The United Nations has imposed four rounds of economic sanctions on Iran due to its refusal to curtail its nuclear energy program, perceived by many nations as a threat to develop weapons. The Iranian government maintains it wants nuclear energy solely for civilian purposes such as generating power.
26 January 2011 - The month-long payment dispute over Iran's oil sales to India demonstrates how difficult it has become for foreign firms and institutions to do business with Iran, regardless of the legitimacy of the transaction. Although sanctions do not directly target Iran's oil sales, U.S. restrictions on Tehran's financial dealings are indirectly making it more difficult for Asian and European companies to purchase oil from Iran.
The payment dispute began when India's central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, announced in late December that Indian companies could no longer use the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) to make oil and gas purchases from Iran. The ACU mechanism, set up in 1974, acts as a clearinghouse for bilateral trade between its nine member states. The transactions handled by the ACU are settled by the central banks of the respective countries, making it difficult to identify the individual companies involved. The United States has been pressuring India to close down this trade mechanism with Iran because it has provided Tehran with the ability to bypass restrictions on its financial dealings.
26 January 2011 - Gita Holdings, the Swiss-based fund that has agreed to buy polyvinyl chloride producer Vinyls Italia, plans to increase production capacities and modernize facilities at two of the Italian company's sites, as per Platts. Gita will invest at least € 300 million (US$406 mln) to increase combined PVC capacity at Porto Marghera and Porto Torres to 475,000 tpa with chlorine capacity rising to 360,000 tpa, caustic soda capacity to 395,000 tpa and ethylene dichloride capacity to 500,000 tpa in the next 6 years. The Swiss fund has agreed to buy and restart Vinyls Italia assets at Porto Marghera, Porto Torres and Ravenna, all of which were halted in May 2009 when the company went into liquidation. The assets are owned by Italian oil major Eni and its chemical subsidiary Syndial. Gita, which will form an Italian-based company to manage the operation, could not be reached for comment.
The company is targeting an increased PVC production capacity of 475,000 tpa at the two sites, up from an existing capacity of 265,000 tpa. It will also modernize the chlor-alkali plant at Porto Marghera to more efficient and EU-compliant membrane technology, at the time increasing output to 160,000 tpa from 140,000 tpar. It also intends to increase vinyl chloride monomer production at Porto Torres. No modernization plans for Ravenna were outlined. The company and unions have a timetable of between two and four months for restarting production at the sites. Production of PVC and other petrochemicals would be adjusted to market needs.
25 January 2011 - Chemical Week, Indian Chemical Council and Chemical & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association Present Fourth Annual Event
NEW YORK & MUMBAI--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The chemical industry is at a turning point, as shifts in demographics, society, environment, macroeconomics and technology bring a new set of challenges and opportunities in the new decade. Business leaders will need to identify the megatrends that will impact the sector's long-term growth, as well as company growth strategies. At the Fourth Annual India Chemical Industry Outlook, presented by Chemical Week ( part of IHS Inc.), the Indian Chemical Council (ICC) and Chemical & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association (CPMA), attendees will find out how global trends and the opportunities presented in the dynamic Indian economy will grow the chemical industry. The event will be held February 23-24, 2011 at the Taj Lands End in Mumbai, India.
The theme for this year's event is Global Megatrends Shaping the Chemicals Business: the Indian Perspective. Participants will have an opportunity to network with and hear from senior Indian government officials and executives from major international companies. Speakers this year include:
25 January 2011 - A polymer that can heal itself over and over again when exposed to ultraviolet light has been developed by materials researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Kyushu University. The substance could potentially be used to create products that repair themselves when damaged, including self-healing medical implants or parts for vehicles such as aircraft.
When the polymer is cracked it can swiftly be prepared without the need for heat or glues by simply pressing both sides of the material together and applying UV light. Researchers found that they could break the material into pieces and then reassemble it at least five times. They believe that with further development they could create a material that could heal itself many more times. Other self-healing materials have relied on microcapsules containing a healing agent, which break open when a crack forms. However, once the healing agent has been used up, the material loses its self-healing ability. The new polymer is cross-linked with trithiocarbonate bonds -- carbon atoms bonded to three sulphur atoms, two of which use their second bonding position to attach to another carbon atom. When UV light is applied, one of the carbon-sulphur bonds is broken, producing two radicals -- molecules with a free, unpaired electron. These radicals then react with other thrithiocarbonate groups to form new carbon-sulphur bonds, while breaking others to form more free radicals.
21 January 2011 - Global polymeric foams is forecast to reach 18 mln tons by 2015, as per a report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Growth in the market is led by the unique benefits offered by cellular materials compared to conventional materials, introduction of new application markets, and growing interest in green building technologies. Polymeric foams are ubiquitous in their application and versatile in function, with high-density cellular plastics finding widespread use in furniture, transportation, and building products while low-density foams are employed in shock absorption, insulation, and rigid packaging. Foams exhibit superior insulating properties, impact-resistant characteristics, buoyancy, and outstanding strength-to-weight ratios, among other attributes.
The global economic crisis led to a decline in demand for polymeric foams across most countries during the years 2008 and 2009, as stated by the new market research report. Sluggish demand forced several manufacturers to either close some of the plants or shut down all operations. Majority of the countries are forecast to witness sluggish growth in the imminent future. Growth is favored by the emergence of applications such as foamed PVC for windows/doors, house siding and construction shapes, and cross-linked polyolefin foam in sports and leisure goods. The continuous focus on sustainable, green construction products is likely to fuel growth in the polymeric foams markets. The need to comply with new regulatory specifications and secure certifications is expected to create growth opportunities for manufacturers.
19 January 2011 - During Q3 FY11, GAIL reported an operating profit of Rs 13.3 bln up 3.5% yoy, while OPM fell by 485 bps yoy to 15.9%. Lower profitability was on account of slump in EBIT margins for petrochemical and natural gas transmission segments. The petrochemicals business was hit on account of a 23-day plant shutdown, which impacted sales volumes. Apart from falling petrochemical spreads, lower production resulted in 886 bps yoy slump in EBIT margins for the petchem segment. EBIT margins for natural gas transmission segment were lower by 331 bps yoy. The impact of these two segments was offset by 10 ppts increase in EBIT margins for LPG transmission segment and 298 bps yoy rise in LPG and liquid hydrocarbon segment (lower subsidy incidence). Dry well expenditure was also higher by 50% yoy at Rs321 mln. As compared to operating profit growth of 3.5% yoy, PAT grew by 12.5%. This was on the back of 51.4% yoy jump in other income 350 bps lower effective tax rate. Polymer sales volume dipped by 33% since a year ago to 81,000 tons. Net petrochemical sales by value fell by 30% to Rs 5.71 bln.
18 January 2011 - Evonik Industries and the Indian chemical company Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited (GACL) are driving forward plans for a new multi-million project. At its heart is the construction of a new hydrogen peroxide production plant by Evonik and a propylene oxide facility by GACL. The aim is to produce propylene oxide using the environment-friendly HPPO (Hydrogen Peroxide to Propylene Oxide) process developed jointly by Evonik, Essen (Germany), and Uhde, Dortmund (Germany). Representatives of Evonik and GACL have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the proposed project in Dahej in the state of Gujurat (India). The project is contingent upon the approval of the Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Evonik Industries AG.
"India is one of the world's most important growth markets and we want to increase our presence there. The government of Gujarat has created the right conditions in the chemical industry to welcome foreign investors. The proposed joint project with GACL could become a real landmark in Evonik's presence in India," stressed Dr. Thomas Haeberle of the Board of Management of Evonik Degussa GmbH. The Memorandum of Understanding is expected to mark the start of a close and lasting collaboration between Evonik and GACL, which intends to acquire a license from Evonik and Uhde to use the HPPO process to produce propylene oxide. Evonik will produce and supply the hydrogen peroxide required for the planned new propylene plant at an over-the-fence facility. Experts are predicting a sharp rise in global demand for propylene oxide in the coming years. The model for this alliance in India is the world's first industrial-scale HPPO production facility, which has capacity 100,000 tpa. This plant was started up in 2008 by the Korean company SKC in Ulsan (Korea) and has operated continuously at maximum capacity since it came into service.
17 January 2011 - Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production is likely to restart in Italy in March after a nearly two-year break as a Russian-Swiss fund presents a final offer for Italian producer Vinyls Italia, as per Platts. Production at Italian facilities at Porto Marghera (200,000 tpa), Porto Torres (65,000 tpa) and Ravenna (205,000 tpa) will be restarted next month with a view to resume production in March. The three facilities, Italy's only PVC production sites, were closed in May 2009 as Vinyls Italia went into receivership.
13 Jan 2011 - Global demand for bioplastic packaging is forecast to reach 884,000 tons by 2020, as per a report by Pira International. This translates to a compound annual growth rate of 24.9% from 2010-15 slowing to a CAGR of 18.3% in the five years to 2020. According to the study, a new breed of bioplastics will be major drivers as packaging market demand gradually shifts from biodegradable and compostable polymers towards biopackaging based on renewable and sustainable materials. Braskem, the Brazilian plastics and chemicals supplier offers grades of polyethylene in which the ethylene is derived from sugar cane. Tetra Pak and P&G are among brand owners who are testing the supplier's "green" polyethylene this year. Bioplastics are defined in the report as materials that are either biodegradable and compostable and derived from both renewable and non-renewable sources, or materials that are non-biodegradable and derived from renewable resources.
From 2010 bioplastics technology is expected to change with the commercialization of bioplastics produced directly by natural/genetically modified (GM) organisms and the introduction by Braskem and others of non-biodegradable, bio-derived polyethylene (PE). Pira expects these materials will account for a quarter of total bioplastic packaging market demand by 2020. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are forecast to achieve a CAGR of 41% and bio-derived PE a whopping 83% over the period.
Traditional bioplastic packaging technologies based on starch, cellulose and polyester are each forecast to show a decline in market share to 2020. Bioplastics packaging is a highly concentrated market with the top five suppliers currently accounting for more than 50% of bioplastics packaging market demand. Pira predicts major changes among the leading ranks of bioplastics packaging suppliers in the next five to ten years. Large petrochemical companies including Braskem, Dow Chemicals and Solvay are scheduled to commence bio-derived PE production by 2012 at industrial-scale facilities in Brazil, which will propel these into the top rank of bioplastics producers over the next five years. Telles, the joint venture PHA supplier between Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Metabolix, is also expected to become a major world player, reports Pira. Several Chinese companies are investing in capacity expansion programs that could propel them into leading market positions.
12 Jan 2011 - Global biodegradable polymers market is expected to reach 1845 mln lbs by 2015, as per Global Industry Analysts Inc. Massive volumes of plastic products are disposed worldwide every year, exerting enormous pressure on the ecological balance. All such plastics form potential candidates for substitution by biodegradable polymers in future. Applications of biodegradable polymers, which were hitherto mostly confined to compostable waste bags/carrier bags, agriculture mulching film, and catering sectors, is rapidly widening to other sectors, including automotive, electronics, toy making, and healthcare. With enhanced processability, extending customer base and improved costs, biodegradable polymers are proving to be environmentally beneficial and economically viable alternative to conventional polymers. These polymers have generated wide scale interest amongst customers and companies alike. The presence of a sizable potential market has opened up a plethora of opportunities for companies within the chemical, agricultural, and plastic sectors.
11 Jan 2011 - Mexichem SAB, Mexicos� PVC maker and the largest maker of plastic pipes in Latin America, has acquired Rockwood Holdings Inc.'s AlphaGary thermoplastic compounds business for US$300 mln in cash, as per Bloomberg. AlphaGary has operations in USA, UK and Canada with annual sales of US$231 mln. Rockwood, the world's largest producer of lithium products, expects to use the sale proceeds to reduce debt.
Mexichem has more than quadrupled sales in the past five years, mainly through takeovers. It's board had approved investments in October 2009 of about US$1 billion to expand operations in the state. The PVC maker has made at least four acquisitions this year, including the purchase of a fluorine unit from Ineos Group Holdings Plc for about US$350 mln. Mexichem plans to expand production of vinyl chloride monomer ( VCM) in the state of Veracruz, Del Valle.
10 Jan 2011 - Asian styrene prices continued their upward trend after the new year as they gained US$45/ton when compared to the last working day of 2010, as per Chemorbis, styrene prices remain firm despite the ten dollar drop on Friday in line with oil prices that dropped below the US$90/bbl threshold on 6 January. The most recent increases put further pressure on Asian PS prices as they are still traded below theoretical production costs.
In China, import PS prices recorded additional increases during the past week as overseas producers chose to lift prices by US$30-50/ton to catch up with higher styrene costs. Despite the recent increases, current import GPPS range is being traded US$55-95/ton below the theoretical GPPS production based on spot styrene prices. In Southeast Asia, PS prices also recorded increases in the import market due to the same reason as the rising upstream costs pulled PS offers up. Similar to China, import sellers raised their prices by US$20-50/ton to recoup their margins. These increases caused the overall import GPPS range to gain US$30-60/ton on week over week basis. In Egypt's import PS market, Far Eastern GPPS offers indicate US$20-50/ton increases in a week's time on the back of the higher upstream costs despite seasonally low demand. However, Asian PS offers are still under upward pressure in Egypt when considering the most recent Asian GPPS offers to China, with room to move up US$15-30/ton.
7 Jan 2011 - Research is being carried out for the development of biorenewable polymers capable of healing themselves as they degrade and crack is being conducted by Kessler, an Iowa State University associate professor of materials science and engineering and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory. The research project is supported by a five-year, $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Program. The technology has evolved into a system that embeds catalysts and microcapsules containing a liquid healing agent within a composite. As cracks develop in the composite, they rupture the microcapsules and release the healing agent. The healing agent contacts the catalyst and reacts by forming 3-D polymer chains that fill the cracks. That increases material lifetimes and reduces maintenance.
Kessler's research has found that a healing agent for a polymer based on tung oil works too fast. Kessler and Peter Hondred, an Iowa State graduate student in materials science and engineering, are working to slow the agent for better healing. The researchers are also working to develop encapsulating techniques that work with biorenewable polymers. And they're working to develop bio-based healing agents. Despite the challenges, Kessler thinks there is potential to develop self-healing, biorenewable materials. He said the big question is whether researchers can push the healing efficiency of biorenewable polymers close to the 90% of standard composites.
6 Jan 2011 - State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and GAIL India (GAIL) have inked an agreement to ensure mutual business growth in the areas of natural gas and petrochemicals.
For gas business, both companies agreed to work together for exclusive sale of natural gas produced by ONGC from its various fields to GAIL during the next three years.
For ONGC Petro Additions Limited (OPaL), GAIL agreed to become a co-promoter of 1.1 mln tpa ethylene cracker petrochemical complex, under implementation in Dahej SEZ area, at a capital investment of Rs.19,535 crore. An understanding was also reached for marketing a portion of petrochemical products of OPaL by GAIL. Both would also explore the possibility of setting up a downstream unit using butadiene, a by-product of OPaL, to GAIL for manufacture of value-added products.
5 Jan 2011 - PolyOne Corporation, a premier global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions, has acquired Uniplen Industria de Polimeros Ltda. (Uniplen), a leading Brazilian producer of specialty engineered materials and distributor of thermoplastics, "The Uniplen acquisition provides PolyOne with local expertise in specialty engineered materials as well as an attractive position in the Brazilian thermoplastics distribution market," said Stephen D. Newlin, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The combination of Uniplen and our previously announced acquisition of Polimaster firmly establishes our Specialty product offering and overall customer service capabilities in Brazil." Newlin added, "We now have specialty engineered materials, color masterbatch and distribution capabilities in Brazil, providing the necessary critical mass to serve our global customers in the region. Consistent with our globalization strategy, our expanded geographic footprint is capable of providing specialty solutions to customers anywhere in the world." The recently acquired Brazilian businesses are located in Sao Paulo, Santa Catharina and Novo Hamburgo, near Porto Allegre and serve customers in diverse end markets including consumer, transportation and appliance. "Uniplen and Polimaster demonstrate our commitment to expanding our specialty platform with bolt-on acquisitions at reasonable prices," said Robert M. Patterson, senior vice president and chief financial officer. "We will continue to seek opportunities that increase our presence in high growth regions such as Brazil, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as in attractive end markets such as consumer and healthcare." The Uniplen transaction was completed for an upfront cash purchase price of US$21 mln with a potential for further consideration payable over the next three years based on achieving certain performance metrics. Uniplen recorded revenues of approximately US$34 mln in 2010.
4 Jan 2011 - Crude futures settled above US$91 a barrel on the last trading day of 2010, near a two-year highs. Light, sweet crude for February delivery rose to US$91.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange rose to US$94.75 a barrel. In 2010, futures have risen 15%, but most of that rally has come in the last two months. Recently, US stockpiles of oil and fuel products fell from multi-year highs. This month, U.S. oil inventories dropped by more than 20 million barrels, helped by improving demand for gasoline and better domestic economic growth. Meanwhile, China's oil imports hit the highest level on record in September.
3 Jan 2011 - Italy, one of the top users of plastic shopping bags in Europe, is banning them with effect from January 1, 2011. Retailers have been banned from providing shoppers polyethylene bags. They can use bags made of such material as biodegradable plastic, cloth or paper. As per Reuters, retailers warn of chaos and many stores seem ready for the switch. Italians use about 20 billion bags a year, translating to more than 330 per person. This amounts to about one-fifth of the total used in Europe. Italy's rubber and plastics federation estimated the cost of changing over machines to make biodegradable bags was 30,000 euros (US$39,440) to 50,000 euros per plant.
30 December 2010 - Myriant Technologies, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Myriant Lake Providence Inc., is to commence construction on the world's largest bio-based succinic acid plant. The plant, to be built at an investment of US$80 million will be spread over 392,000 sq. ft. at the Port of Lake Providence. Once operational in 2012, the project will use sorghum and carbon dioxide to produce up to 30 mln lbs per year of succinic acid. The project was awarded funding in January 2010 from the DOE and will also benefit from funding provided by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, or DOTD, to the port via its Port Priority program. In addition, Louisiana Economic Development is providing an incentive package that includes turnkey workforce solutions from LED FastStart, a 5-6% rebate on payroll expenses and certain sales taxes through the Quality Jobs program, and property tax abatement for materials used in new manufacturing through the Industrial Tax Exemption program.
"Our commitment to making Louisiana the best place in the world for businesses to invest and succeed continues to create more opportunities for our workers to pursue their dreams right here at home," said Gov. Jindal. "Myriant's new, sustainable specialty chemical manufacturing plant is great news for Lake Providence and for Northeast Louisiana. Not only does this project create nearly 200 new jobs for the people of Northeast Louisiana, it also is a beacon to innovators everywhere by using cutting-edge technology to help reduce our dependence on foreign imported oil. This type of alternative energy manufacturing venture is one of our top target growth industries that helps to diversify the economy of our state, attract more businesses, and create more jobs. Our state's great low-cost manufacturing environment, well-established transportation and logistics networks, and skilled workforce trained in specialty chemicals provide several competitive advantages for companies like Myriant." "This project puts Louisiana at the forefront of innovation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil," said U.S. Department of Energy, or DOE, Secretary Steven Chu.
29 December 2010 - South Korea's Honam Petrochemical Corp has received full acceptance to take Titan Chemicals Corp Bhd private, by acquiring the remaining 27.25% shares it does not own at RM2.35 apiece. Titan shares, for which acceptance had been received by Honam after the posting date and up to 5pm closing date on Dec 24, 2010, were listed as 27.25%, representing 470.89 million shares, according to Titan in a filing. On Nov 1, 2010, Titan received a notice of unconditional takeover offer from Honam to acquire all remaining shares (excluding treasury shares) following Honam's sale and purchase agreement in July to buy a 72.32% stake, or 1.25 billion shares, in Titan Chemicals for RM2.94 billion.
28 December 2010 - The Chatterjee Group has assumed responsibility of the selection process to find a new managing director for Haldia Petrochemicals, with the incumbent Swapan Bhowmik set to retire in three months. The post of managing director has been a long disputed topic between promoters TCG and the Bengal government.
Purnendu Chatterjee, chairman of TCG, is holding interviews on his own with probable candidates to head Bengal's showcase industrial venture. The candidates chosen by Purnendu will have to appear for another round of interview before a search panel that include chairman Tarun Das, Bengal government nominee and state industry secretary Dipankar Mukhopadhyay, independent member Jamshyd Godrej and vice-chairman Purnendu Chatterjee himself. The committee will shortlist the candidate only from the list that Chatterjee is going to provide.
24 December 2010 - Plastindia exhibitions have grown in stature to become a date in the international calendar for our industry. Every version of PLASTINDIA has delivered, much more than expected to the participant - be it the Exhibitor who is always on the lookout for such international platforms or the hoards of business visitors who have gone back richer in experience, as per Mr. Ashok Goel, President Plastindia Foundation, at the launch of Plastindia 2012 in Mumbai. Plastindia 2012 is all set to live up to its expectations. I have often heard that the Indian Plastics fraternity is fragmented, highly SME concentrated and is a closely run business. Despite this the Industry has been witnessing more than GDP Growth of India year on year for the past 5 to 6 years. Not many sectors can boast of a consistent growth of about 15% over these years if it wasn't for our own initiatives & enterprising spirits. However, this approach of fragmented growth has its limitations and becomes more evident when we are exposed to the international markets.
If we look at the downstream industry, during the last 3 years, Indian has almost doubled our per capita consumption of plastics to 8 kgs. Very soon we will be consuming 10 Million Tons of polymers. The machinery sector of the industry has its own development story. They are competing with the very best in the world and have carved a niche for themselves in the global market. They have been constantly improving and enabling the processing sector in India to realize optimal production. And, in the upstream industry, we have investments planned for around US$37 billion which is spread across the country. This would mean the growth of the Industry would be spread across the country and not concentrated in any region. This trend was witnessed at Plastindia 2009, where we had participants from far and wide across the country. This augers well for the Industry and what's more is that these are being noticed.
23 December 2010 - Reliance Industries (RIL) and Russian petrochemical company Sibur haves announced a joint venture for the production of butyl rubber in India. The joint venture facility will have an initial capacity of 100,000 tons of butyl rubber at RIL's integrated refining-cum-petrochemical site in Jamnagar. The project is expected to be commissioned by 2013 at an estimated investment of US$450 mln. Sibur will provide its proprietary technology for butyl rubber polymerisation and finishing, while RIL will supply monomers and provide the JV with world-class infrastructure and utilities. RIL will have a majority stake in the joint venture.
Initial production will comprise regular butyl rubber, and is expected to manufacture other types of butyl rubber specialities in the future. Commenting on this development, NR Meswani, Executive Director, RIL, said "This is a significant step towards Reliance's commitment to service India's growing automotive sector by bringing in complex technologies,... available with only a very few companies globally. The setting up of domestic manufacturing of butyl rubber will fulfill a long standing demand of the Indian tyre and rubber industry and this investment is part of Reliance's vision of emerging as a significant global payer in the synthetic rubber business We are satisfied with the dynamics of the creation of the joint venture and hope to begin construction soon," said Sibur's President Dmitry Konov commenting on the joint venture.
"Sibur has unique technologies for the production of synthetic rubber, which in partnership with Reliance will cater the growing needs of the Indian tyre industry with high-quality raw material."
20 December 2010 - The demand for medical polymers grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.2% from 2000 to 2009, as per GBI Research. In value terms in the year 2000, the demand for medical polymers was US$650 mln. The demand for medical polymers has grown over the years because of increased use of plastics in medical applications. Factors such as technology, properties such as transparency, resistance, and ease in forming and joining have increased its use in the medical industry. Plastics have replaced other traditional materials such glass and metals and are the leading choice of material in medical applications. Demand for medical polymers reached US$1218.4 mln in 2009 from US$650 mln in 2000. Demand is expected to increase until 2015, growing at a CAGR of 9.8% from 2009 to 2015. Existing polymers will continue to be used in medical applications, while technological advancements will help to improve their properties. Other forms of plastics will be developed for medical use, thereby leading to an increase in demand for medical polymers. North America leads the demand for medical polymers with a share of 42.2%. Europe with a share of 30.1% is the second. Asia follows with a share of 22.8% and with vast potential and the ROW has a share of 4.9%. Polyvinyl Chloride based medical polymers have the largest share when it comes to medical applications. Properties such as softness, high transparency, facility of sterilization and strength make PVC the first choice for medical polymer manufacturers. PVC based medical polymers constitute 40% of the market. Polypropylene also has a significant share with 20% of the market followed by Polyethylene with a share of 15%. Other medical polymers had a share of 25%. Prominent other plastics included Polycarbonate, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, Biopolymers, Nylon and Polystyrene. In terms of value the demand for PVC based medical polymers was US$487.3 mln out of the total market of US$1218.4 mln in 2009. Demand for polypropylene was US$243.7 mln followed by polyethylene with a demand of US$182.8 mln. The market for other medical polymers was US$304.6 mln.
16 December 2010 - Italy's PVC market has been trading at a premium over other global markets including Turkey, Egypt and Southeast Asia for some time, as per Chemorbis. The price gap between Italy and these regions peaked mid-November, when PVC sellers in Muslim countries did not see healthy demand due to the prolonged Eid holidays. Even though Italy's PVC market has not witnessed noticeable price hikes for the last couple of months, the country has been carrying a premium over other global markets despite the fact that these markets saw firmer prices, especially from Asian and US sellers who elected to reflect their rising costs to their prices last month. Apart from tight PVC supplies across Europe as a result of earlier production outages at regional producers, the high euro/USD parity rate, which hovered close to the 1.40 level in the first half of November after breaching this threshold earlier that month, was one of the factors contributing to the continuous premium. Although the exchange rate parity retreated gradually in the meantime, being cited as 1.34 as of yesterday, the USD equivalence of current PVC offers in Italy correspond to higher levels compared to the prevailing prices in other markets.
13 December 2010 - US based concentrates maker Ampacet is planning to open manufacturing plants in Brazil and India in early 2011, and add a new line in Italy by mid-2011. The Brazilian unit in Camacari is expected to produce 11-13 million lbs of black concentrates for blown film, blow moulding and injection molding applications annually. In March 2011, the Indian facility in Pune will be opened with a production capacity of 24-29 million lbs of white and additive concentrates. Ampacet's North American projects include three new lines in DeRitter, among which two will be for colour and additive concentrates and the third to make black masterbatches. The projects also include single new lines in Cartersville and Kitchener, which will make similar white masterbatches using resins, reports plasticsnews.com. In Kitchener, the company will install a new colour concentrate line for custom packaging and other uses and the plant in Italy will receive a new line making colour concentrates.
10 December 2010 - The Shaw Group Inc. has been selected by GAIL (India) Ltd. to provide its proprietary technology and basic engineering for a new 450,000 tpa ethylene plant. Shaw also will provide support during detailed engineering, procurement and construction, and commissioning and startup of the plant, which will be part of GAIL's petrochemical complex in Pata, Uttar Pradesh.
"Shaw provided technology and basic engineering for GAIL's first 400,000 tons per annum ethylene plant at Pata in the late 1990s. The performance of that plant, coupled with our ability to integrate it with the new parallel plant, will result in capital and energy savings for our customer," said Lou Pucher, president of Shaw's Energy & Chemicals Group.
9 December 2010 - The Asian polyethylene and polypropylene market firmed this week as disruptions of domestic polymer deliveries in China prompted demand for imported material, as per Platts. End-users and distributors in South China receive domestic polymer cargoes via trucks from North China and East China. Heavy snow has been disrupting traffic in North China since mid-November closing 11 highways in Northeast China's Liaoning province by end November. This has resulted in strong buying appetite for import materials there. In addition, polymer truck deliveries were disrupted amid a severe gasoil shortage in China. As China's factories are using gasoil for thermal power generation in order to cover a power supply shortfall from local governments, land transport companies were not able to purchase enough gasoil to sustain their truck delivery operations. Chinese cities are currently suffering an unprecedented shortage of gasoil as local enterprises turn to the fuel to generate electricity in order to keep operating during periods of power rationing. Some local governments in China are switching off electricity supplies as part of commitments to Beijing on energy conservation and emissions reductions.
8 December 2010 - India's fourth PCPIR has received Central approval. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Government of Orissa to set up a Petroleum Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) in Paradip. As of date, PCPIRs in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal have already received approvals.
A total investment of about Rs 277,734 crore is expected in the Orissa PCPIR, which includes a committed investment of Rs 29,777 crore. The proposal envisages development of physical infrastructure such as roads, rail, air links, ports, water supply, power etc. at a cost of Rs 13,634 crore. The PCPIR policy prescribes that infrastructure will be created/upgraded through Public Private Partnerships to the extent possible and Central Government will provide the necessary Viability Gap Funding (VGF). Accordingly, Government of Orissa (GoO) has sought support from Government of India involving a commitment Rs 716 crore on account of VGF funding for one port and three road-related projects.
7 December 2010 - During 2010 market prices for polycarbonate increased significantly, pushed initially by rising raw material costs and then by a tightening supply/demand balance, as low inventories throughout the chain at the start of the year, combined with robust demand and supply issues, led to a tightening market, as per Chemical Market Associates, Inc. (CMAI). Prices increased more rapidly in North American and Asian markets than in Europe, where the lingering recession dampened demand and upward price movements until the middle of the year. In the latter stages of 2010, prices are moderating once again as supply becomes easier. In recent years, due to oversupply, ABS prices have fallen relative to competing polymers and this has also served to promote growth for ABS, particularly in North America and Europe. Furthermore, the recent narrowing of the price spread between polypropylene and ABS, particularly in Europe, has led to the shift in some automotive applications from polypropylene to thin-wall ABS designs. However, in 2010 ABS prices have increased once more partly due to higher upstream raw material costs from benzene and styrene, propylene and hence acrylonitrile, and butadiene. Shortages of butadiene in various regions also led to restrictions in the production of ABS and, faced with recovering demand, this led to a tightening ABS market and consequently higher prices this year.
7 December 2010 - A process capable of producing a thin and uniform light-absorbing layer on textured substrates that improves the efficiency of polymer solar cells by increasing light absorption has been developed by researchers from Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory. Our technology efficiently utilizes the light trapping scheme," said Sumit Chaudhary, an Iowa State assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory. "And so solar cell efficiency improved by 20%." The key to improving the performance of solar cells made from flexible, lightweight and easy-to-manufacture polymers was to find a textured substrate pattern that allowed deposition of a light-absorbing layer that's uniformly thin - even as it goes up and down flat-topped ridges that are less than a millionth of a meter high. The result is a polymer solar cell that captures more light within those ridges - including light that's reflected from one ridge to another, he said. The cell is also able to maintain the good electrical transport properties of a thin, uniform light-absorbing layer. Tests indicated the research team's light-trapping cells increased power conversion efficiency by 20% over flat solar cells made from polymers. Tests also indicated that light captured at the red/near infrared band edge increased by 100% over flat cells.
22 November 2010 - An investment of US$3 bln has been planned by a consortium of six towards building of a pipeline to transport ethanol from Riberao Preto to local markets and for export. About 20 million cubic meters pa will be carried by the pipeline by 2020. Work is set to commence on the pipeline in the city of Riberao Preto, the heart of the sugarcane industry in the interior of Sao Paulo state.
11 October 2010 - A day after the Chinese National Day holiday, most sellers in China elected to lift their offer levels for PP, PVC, PE and PS, pointing to the higher energy and futures market prices, as per Chemorbis.
In the PP market, prior to the holiday, import and local offer levels were mostly stable. Some of the domestic producers had lowered their prices by around CNY100-150/ton (US$15-22/ton) while the others stopped offering retroactive discounts in order to keep the market sentiment firm before the holiday started. Following the holiday, domestic producers returned to the market with increases of CNY100-300/ton (US$15-45/ton) while a distributor reported lifting their offer levels by CNY300-400/ton (US$45-60/ton). All these sellers point to the bullish market sentiment and the fact that they are not under any sales pressure for their price hikes. They feel optimistic about the market trend in the near term despite the currently sluggish trading activities since most players are yet to return to their desks.
8 October 2010 - Oil & Natural Gas Corp. may partner Kuwaiti companies to bid for oil and gas exploration blocks in India and abroad, R.S. Sharma, chairman of India's largest energy explorer, said Tuesday.
India, which imports four-fifth of its crude oil requirements, is set to launch its ninth round of oil and gas block auctions next month as it seeks to increase output to meet demand in a fast-expanding economy. The country is looking for foreign investments as it plans to explore its entire sedimentary basin by 2015.
Kuwait has shown interest in India's oil and gas block auctions, Sharma told reporters after a meeting with Kuwait's oil minister, Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah. "In case they bid, they will bid with ONGC."
7 October 2010 - Researchers at the University of Cambridge Research Centre, in collaboration with Nokia are working to develop a stretchable 'electronic skin'. The material is a highly flexible, transparent silicone rubber. Stretchable electronic skin will open the doors to a whole new world of interactive devices- handheld electronic devices, robotics, health monitoring, or the arts and entertainment. The material developed at the Nokia Research Centre in Cambridge, UK uses evaporated gold as a conductor to create an electronic touch interface, which it says can be "stretched like a rubber band". In the future the material could be used for wearable devices or integrated into clothing. The mobile phone giant revealed on its blog, Nokia Conversations, that the research centre is in the process of developing a technology that means circuit boards no longer have to be solid. Instead they say that production of a flexible, stretchable material, that responds to touch and pressure, is possible.
7 October 2010 - (IANS) Kuwait has expressed interest in investing in India's oil and gas sector, especially in the areas of petrochemical complexes and crude oil storage, a statement Tuesday said.
This was discussed during the meeting between Kuwait's Petroleum Minister Sheikh Ahamad Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and his Indian counterpart Murli Deora here Tuesday.
"One of the important issues discussed was possible investment of Kuwait in the oil and gas sector, particularly in petrochemical complexes and building of a crude oil storage hub in India," said a petroleum ministry statement.
6 October 2010 - South Korea's largest chemicals maker, LG Chem Ltd., has bought out LG Dow Polycarbonate Ltd., a joint venture with Dow Chemical Co, as per Bloomberg. The joint venture is LG Chem's wholly owned unit as of Oct. 1. However, the value of the purchase has not been disclosed. LG Dow Polycarbonate Ltd. has two plants with a total capacity of 170,000 tpa in Yeosu.
4 October 2010 - The Guest of Honour Shri Ashok Sinha, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries and the Chief Guest Shri Subodh Kant Sahay, Hon'ble Minister for Food Processing Industries, Government of India, inaugurated The International Summit for Packaging Industry (ISPI) organized by the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) and supported by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) and the Asian Packaging Federation (APF). The two days summit was held on 1st and 2nd October, 2010 at the Hotel Renaissance, Mumbai. The theme of the summit was 'Packaging Innovations and Sustainability' where national and internationally renowned experts presented papers to cover prospects of the packaging industries, printing technology, converting technology, packaging media, packaging system and machinery, packaging testing and evaluation, packaging distribution etc.
27 September 2010 - IndianOil has launched it's 'PROPEL' range of petrochemical products, after successful completion of its world scale petrochemical projects in record time. The company, acknowledged as the leader in the petroleum downstream sector in the country, is expected to bring to play its formidable reach, network and infrastructure into the petrochemicals business.
8 Septemeber 2010 - Mr. Ashish Vaid - Polymers head has been invited as speaker in 17th Asia Petrochemical Summit to be held in Singapore from 20 to 21 September, 2010. His topic is Styrenics Scenario in India/Asia