September 2019 news

Russian petrochemical projects
Russian chemical production & trade
Russian monomers
Russian aromatics & derivatives
Russian rubber news
Russian methanol producer and trade news

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Azerbaijan & Central Asian Methanol News

 

 
 

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PKN Orlen-petrochemical programme & Lotos acquistion

Polish Propylene Imports (Jan-May 19)

Country

Tons

€ million

Austria

4,901

4.221

Germany

5,959

5.287

Lithuania

3,824

3.431

Russia

17,136

14.857

Ukraine

26,861

22.867

Hungary

7,115

6.244

Others

1,101

0.896

Total

66,897

57.703

PKN Orlen has licensed the UOP MaxEneTM process, which can increase production of ethylene and aromatics and improve the flexibility of gasoline production.  The project, for Plock facility, is currently in the basic engineering stage.  PKN Orlen continues to aim for the end of 2020 for clear outline of its investment programme in petrochemicals.   The group expects to invest more than zl 8 billion (€1.845 billion) in petrochemical projects by 2023.  In the case of installations of olefin, phenol and aromatic derivatives, the group is already at the stage of acquiring licences and base projects and the choice of contractors of these investments should take place by end of 2020.

Polymery Police-capital increase

Grupa Azoty Police adopted a resolution on 26 August regarding the increase of capital for Polymery Police, for the construction of the polypropylene and propylene facilities in the north of Poland.  The final number and issue price of the new issue shares will be determined by the company's management board by 7 November 2019. 

A comprehensive project contract has already been agreed with Hyundai Engineering.  In addition, companies from the Grupa Azoty have signed a letter of intent with Grupa Lotos regarding the potential capital involvement of this group at the level of approximately zl 500 million. 

PKN Orlen has signed an agreement in August with the State Treasury and Lotos Group regarding the purchase of shares of the Gdansk company.  The combination of the potentials of both companies is of strategic importance both in the context of development investments and the diversification of crude oil supplies, which is important for the security of Poland but also the region.  In the first half of 2019, the net profit for Lotos amounted to zl 637 million compared to zl 855.7 million in the corresponding period in 2018.   In the second quarter this year, the Lotos refinery at Gdansk processed 2,749 million tons of crude oil, up by 4.2% more than in 2018.   The EBITDA of Grupa Lotos in the second quarter of 2019 amounted to zl 783.3 million, down by 4.6%.    

Polish propylene imports, Jan-May 2019

Imports of propylene totalled 66,897 tons in the first five months in 2019 for a total cost of €57.703 million.  Ukraine provided the largest volume of imports, from Karpatneftekhim, and totalled 26,861 tons for a total cost of €22.867 million.  Germany was the second largest supplier, shipping 17,136 tons at a cost of €14.857 million.  Imports dropped in April and May this year due to increased propylene production at Plock, particularly following the start-up of the metathesis plant.  Production of propylene in Poland totalled 263,600 tons in the first seven months in 2019 against 158,500 tons in the same period last year. 

Hydrogen catalysts & PTA-Wloclawek

PKN Orlen is constructing s pilot installation at Wloclawek to conduct research into hydrogenation catalysts.  Mostostal Pulawy is the general contractor of the investment in which PKN Orlen states that the new construction will be coupled with the PTA plant. 

PKN Orlen at Plock uses 264 types of catalysts and other intermediaries for oil processing reactions in the refinery part and 131 in the petrochemical part.  PKN Orlen decided to launch its first pilot plant for testing hydrogenation catalysts for PTA production to ensure cost and time optimisation for the selection of the best process variants.  The new pilot plant will allow testing of catalysts on an industrial scale on a hydrogenation plant built next to the hydrogenation reactor. 

Polish phenol & bisphenol trade, Jan-May 2019

Poland imported 45,929 tons of phenol in the first five months in 2019 at a total cost of €42.581 million.  The major supplier was Germany providing 36,536 tons at a cost of €33.337 million, followed in second place with Finland with 6,358 tons at cost of €6.028 million.  Other suppliers included Russia with 1,718 tons at €1.513 million and Saudi Arabia with 1,097 tons at a cost of €1.148 million.  Poland exports only small volumes of phenol from its production plant at Plock. 

Polish Phenol Imports (Jan-May 19)

Country

Tons

€ million

Finland

6,358

6.028

Germany

36,536

33.337

Russia

1,718

1.513

Saudi Arabia

1,037

1.148

Others

0.28

0.589

Total

45,649

42.615

Poland imported 5,775 tons of bisphenol A in the first five months at a total value of €4.086 million.  The main suppliers to the Polish market included South Korea with 2,576 tons, Germany 1,717 tons and Russia 1,440 tons.  Bisphenol A production was ceased by PCC Group in 2009.

Polish PTA exports, Jan-May 2019

Polish PTA exports totalled 170,900 tons in the five months this year of which 143,500 tons was sent to Germany and 13,266 tons to Belarus.  PKN Orlen is currently trying to make improvements in the PTA process a Wloclawek, including work on a new method of recovery of metal ions from wastewater generated in the PTA production process.  The PTA plant at Wloclawek possesses a production capacity of 600,000 tpa and was opened in 2011.

HIP Petrohemija-privatisation

The IMF continues to advise Serbia's government that it needs to sell HIP Petrohemija in order to avoid problems with the company in the medium term.  Even though in the last few years the company has been making profits and there are no short-term concerns, the IMF thinks this may be a good opportunity to resolve the situation of the company.  However, the Serbian government is no hurry to sell Petrohemija. 

The company generated a gross profit of €917 million in 2018. €9.2 million was earmarked for capital investment projects and €9.1 million was contracted.  Petrohemija no longer uses state subsidies.  Previously privatisation was considered important for investment into other products such as polypropylene, but the outlook is much improved.  Regarding current ownership, NIS, majority owned by Gazprom Neft, owns 12.72% Srbijagas owns 13.38%, and another 4.87% is controlled by power distributor Elektrovojvodina.  The Serbian government owns the majority stake and controls a further 13.63% via the country's Development Fund.  Regarding recent production Petrohemija completed a maintenance shutdown in August, lasting one week, affecting ethylene, HDPE and LDPE production. 

Polish Methanol Imports (Jan-May 19)

Country

Tons

€ million

Belarus

2,456

0.794

Lithuania

4,590

1.495

Germany

12,423

3.839

Norway

13,023

3.588

Russia

174,472

47.697

Slovakia

1,037

0.375

Venezuela

22,951

6.448

Others

226

0.341

Total

231,178

64.341

Polish methanol imports, Jan-May 2019

Polish methanol imports totalled 231,178 tons in the first five months this year, down by 10% against the same period last year.  Costs for the first five months amounted to €64.3 million.  Russia supplied 174,472 tons for €47.697 million, followed by Venezuela with 22,951 tons for €6.448 million. 

Central European methanol market

Romanian methanol plant Viromet restarted production in July based on imported gas.  Specialized in the production of methanol, formaldehyde, synthetic resins and plastics products, the company produces 456 tons of methanol per day, corresponding to a consumption of 22 million cubic metres of gas.  Viromet will produce 66,000 tons of resin for the wood industry to be distributed to Kronospan Sebes.   The investor hopes to complete an investment in a new reactor by 1 October, which will result in increasing production of methanol to 825 tons a day. 

In Serbia after efforts to privatise MSK at Kikinda on two occasions, the government is not planning a third call for privatisation.  Namely, the state has already announced two tenders for finding a strategic partner for MSK Kikinda, but there were no interested buyers.  MSK is no longer a burden on the state.

Methanol imports into the Czech Republic totalled 46,200 tons in the first seven months in 2019 against 47,800 tons in the same period in 2018.  Russia supplied 27,500 tons of methanol to the Czech market in the first seven months for €8.3 million, whilst Germany supplied 8,296 tons for €2.901 million.

Synthos-PGNiG

PGNiG and Synthos have signed an LNG supply contract in Poland to date, which provides for delivery of 8,200 tons by the end of 2021.  Gas will be used by Synthos for energy purposes, partially replacing coal.  Synthos plans to build a CCGT cogeneration gas source at Oswiecim with an electrical capacity of approximately 100 MW.

In the first stage, transport is to take place by road tankers, the contract will require two deliveries a day.  PGNiG wants to provide clients with approximately 20,000 tpa of LPG by 2021.  Liquefied natural gas is to come from the LNG terminal in Swinoujscie and from the PGNiG liquefaction installation in Odolanów and will go to the Synthos chemical plant at Oswiecim.  LNG will replace coal at the Synthos plant in some boilers for energy production. 

Grupa Azoty, Jan-Jun 2019

Grupa Azoty increased its net profit in the first half of this year to zl 394.95 million (zl 270 million higher than in the same period in 2018) due mainly to low gas prices, helped by availability from the US.  The company's sales revenues amounted to zl 6,102 billion in January to June 2019 against zl 4.877 billion.   Operating profit amounted to zl 535.49 million versus zl 196.45 million in the same period last year.  Grupa Azoty is heavily focused on investment into Polymery Police and separates this project from other capital expenditures.

Grupa Azoty Pulawy-urea contract

Grupa Azoty Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy concluded a contract in August with Central European companies Kronospan Mielec, Kronospan KO, Diakol Strazske and Dukol Ostrava, for the sale of Pulrea urea from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2023.  Prices will be negotiated on a monthly basis, with the whole contract valued at zl 300 million.  Pulrea is urea which can be used in the production of plastics and as an auxiliary agent for general chemical applications.

Polish Chemical Production (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Jul 19

Jan-Jul 18

 Caustic Soda Liquid

212.5

139.7

 Caustic Soda Solid

37.7

66.2

 Ethylene

311.0

261.0

 Propylene

263.6

156.5

 Butadiene

37.4

23.6

 Toluene

7.6

7.0

 Phenol

26.7

23.2

 Caprolactam

97.7

84.6

 Acetic Acid

4.0

8.5

 Polyethylene

221.2

195.7

 Polystyrene

39.0

32.1

 EPS

62.2

36.0

 PVC

169.0

128.3

 Polypropylene

199.3

140.6

 Synthetic Rubber

165.7

138.5

 Ammonia (Gaseous)

1410.0

1362.0

 Ammonia (Liquid)

58.9

69.3

 Pesticides

33.7

27.6

 Nitric Acid

1340.0

1194.0

Nitrogen Fertilisers

1126.0

1019.0

Phosphate Fertilisers

273.6

208.6

Potassium Fertilisers

253.1

201.1

Anwil-hydrogen chloride and nitric acid projects

Anwil has concluded a contract for a new nitric acid plant with ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions, with a capacity of 1,300 tons per day.  The contract includes the design, delivery and construction of a turnkey system by mid-2022 at Wloclawek.  The completion of the investment is planned for mid-2022.  In total, three new production installations for the fertiliser line will be created at Wloclawek, including an installation for the production of nitric acid, ammonium nitrate solution (so-called neutralisation) and installation for the production of fertilisers using the granulation method drum. 

PCC Rokita, Jan-Jun 2019

In the first half of 2019, PCC Rokita generated zl 734.4 million in sales revenues compared to zl 721.2 million in the same period in 2018 and recorded a lower net profit of zl 41.8 million compared to zl 108.1 million.  The EBITDA dropped 15% in the first half year to zl 131.7 million.   The chlorine and alkali division reduced its EBITDA by 11% zl 101.5 million despite higher volume sales. 

Polyol sales fell in the first half year for PCC Rokita from zl 315 million in January to June 2018 to zl 301 million, whilst the segment faced weak margins for propylene oxide and falling prices for polyols.  Further falls have been recorded in TDI prices which help polyurethane mattresses to compete effectively with mattresses produced using alternative technologies.  Polyols for PCC Rokita were also affected by sales in the automotive industry and competition from Sadara complex in Saudi Arabia to markets traditionally served by European producers such as Russia, Turkey and Africa.

Subsidiary PCC Exol’s net profit rose by zl 1 million in the first half of 2019 to zl 9.5 million, whilst the gross margin on sales reached 13.8%.  PCC Exol is expanding its product range intended for industrial applications, including the paint and varnish market and extinguishing products.   PCC Exol has also begun research on the development of surfactants with a special polymeric structure, in addition to carrying out subsequent stages of the investment at the ethoxylate plant at Brzeg Dolny.

Chimcomplex-Oltchim, Jan-Jun 2019

After the acquisition of assets from Oltchim at the end of 2018, the revenues of Chimcomplex rose 4.5 times in the first half of 2019 to 709.1 million lei (€149.9 million), while operating expenses rose 4.8 times to 648.59 million lei (€137.1 million).  Thus, the operating result for Chimcomplex amounted to 60.51 million lei (€12.8 million) which was up 2.6 times on the same period in 2018.  Chimcomplex borrowed €164 million from Credit Suisse and Russian bank VTB to pay for Oltchim’s core assets. 

Czech petrochemical exports, Jan-Jul 2019

Czech ethylene exports amounted to 57,200 tons in the first seven months in 2019 against 52,300 tons in the same period in 2018.  Most of the ethylene is shipped from Litvinov to Germany by pipeline.  Exports of ethylbenzene, produced at Kralupy, amounted to 90,900 tons in January to July versus 83,000 tons.  Propylene exports amounted to 6,000 tons in January to July 2019 against 9,400 tons in 2018.

Czech Petrochemical Exports (unit-kilo tons)

Product

Jan-Jul 19

Jan-Jul 18

Ethylene

57.2

52.3

Propylene

6.0

9.4

Butadiene

3.0

0.2

Benzene

31.9

23.5

Toluene

6.8

9.6

Ethylbenzene

90.9

83.0

Czech chemical trade, Jan-Jul 2019

TDI imports amounted to 4,869 tons in the first seven months in 2019 at a cost of €13.273 million, down from 8,700 tons in the same period in 2018 at a total cost of €23.991 million.  The largest source of supply of TDI in the first seven months this year was Germany with 2,621 tons at a cost of €9.255 million.  MDI imports amounted to 16,500 tons in the first seven months in 2019 against 17,200 tons in the same period in 2018, whilst costs of imports dropped from €37.897 million to €26.808 million.   Regarding DINP plasticizers, imports totalled 7,173 tons in January to July this year at a total cost of €8.813 million against 6,560 tons in January to July 2018 for a total cost of €8,019.  DINP plasticizer exports totalled 24,318 tons in the first seven months in 2019 at a total cost of €29.274 million against 23,194 tons in the same period last year for €27.0 million. 

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