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Baltic Chemical Company (BCC), a subsidiary of RusGazDobycha, will build two ethylene crackers with capacity of 1.4 million tpy each in Ust-Luga, Russia. Gazprom will construct a gas processing unit there to supply ethane to new plants. They, in turn, will provide the polyethylene units BCC will also build there with the produced ethylene. The company will use McDermott’s and Univation’s ethylene and polyethylene production technologies respectively and get engineering services from China National Chemical Engineering Group Corporation. The first cracker will start up in Q4 2023—Q1 2024 and the second one in Q4 2024—Q1 2025.
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Shell Chemicals is building a massive petrochemical complex that will use ethane from the shale gas produced in the Marcellus and the Utica basins to make around 1,500 million tons of polyethylene (PE) per year. The complex will include four processing units, an ethane cracker and three PE units. According to Chem-Courier’s data, there will be two high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and one linear low-density PE (LLDPE) units of 500,000-tpy capacity each. The project located in Monaca, outside of Pittsburgh, will be the first US petrochemical project to be built outside of the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana. Production is expected to begin in the early 2020s. Reminder: Shell selected the site in early 2012 and began construction in late 2017.
The site will market most of the PE output domestically. Many North American PE makers have set up major new facilities on the US Gulf Coast in the past several years to take advantage of low-cost shale feedstock. Shell has informed that the project location will give it in the competitive edge of shipping and delivery times over locations in Texas and Louisiana.
The Italian government has agreed a new draft budget that includes an additional tax on plastic production. According to the bill, manufacturers will be liable to a €1 levy on each kilogram of plastics from July 2020. The list of plastic products includes bottles, polyethylene bags and trays, detergent containers, bubble wrap, packaging for household appliances and product labels.
Italy is currently ranked Europe’s second largest plastic maker and consumer. European Plastics Converters, PlasticsEurope and Plastic Recyclers Europe have opposed the plastic packaging tax proposal recently, believing it will impact on the industry negatively, cause job losses, revenue cuts and an economic slowdown eventually.
Roberto Gualtieri, the finance minister, had said the measure could be modified to reduce the impact on the plastics industry.
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