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Hanwha Total expands ethylene capacity in South Korea17 Sep 2019 / ChemCourier. Butadiene&C4s Weekly / ChemCourier. Styrene&Benzene Weekly / production

Hanwha Total Petrochemical has announced it has successfully raised the annual ethylene capacity in Daesan, South Korea, from 1.1 million t to 1.4 million t. The company will supply the product to its own polyethylene plant, which will also have its capacity increased. The unit will make ethylene from the propane sourced from the USA, according to the producer’s official statement. The company will further expand ethylene capacity at the plant to 1.5 million-tpy capacity by the end of 2020.

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India to ban six plastic products in October12 Sep 2019 / ChemCourier. Polyolefins Market Weekly / regulations

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning to release a country-level directive to ban six widely-used plastic products on October, 2. The list of items includes plastic bags, coffee cups, plates, small soda and water bottles, straws and certain types of sachets.

This initiative will be a next step by India’s government in lowering consumption of single-use plastic products. Earlier this year, a few government departments imposed a ban on plastic carry bags among other measures.

The aforementioned ban is the comprehensive one and covers manufacturing, usage and import of such products. Penalties for violations will probably take effect after an initial six-month period to allow companies and end-users time to adopt alternatives, officials said. By implementing such a law, India may reduce its plastic products usage (which is now close to 14 million t per year) by 5-10%.

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LyondellBasell forms joint venture in China12 Sep 2019 / ChemCourier. Polyolefins Market Weekly / company news

LyondellBasell, the US-based company and the dominant player in the world plastics market, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s Liaoning Bora Enterprise Group (Bora) to cooperate as a joint venture (JV) in China.

According to the official press release, Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell, underlined the key role and great potential of the Chinese chemical market: “The formation of this JV with a well-respected Chinese company allows us to increase our flexibility to produce these products closer to the customer.”

LyondellBasell and Bora will participate in the JV on an equal basis. A 1.1 million tpy ethylene cracker will produce olefins and polyolefins used in a wide variety of construction and consumer products including pipe, durable plastic containers, agricultural films etc. LyondellBasell’s technologies will be used in the production; the company will be also marketing polyolefin products produced at the complex. Bora has already begun the construction of the facility.

The agreement marks the continuous shift in the business operations between the US and Chinese companies amid the trade war between these countries. USA’s ExxonMobil announced a plan to build 1.200 KTA flexible feed cracker with two PE and two PP units in September, 2018, which had been scheduled for completion in 2023. Perhaps, we are now witnessing the birth of a new business model for the US-located companies, which will prefer to produce polyolefin pellets in China rather than shipping the ready product to the country.

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