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China has developed a set of rules and bans aimed at non-degradable plastic products to reduce environmental pollution. The plan has several phases.
The first one involves the prohibition against the use of single-use plastic bags made of polyethylene and disposable food utensils made of polystyrene by shopping malls, supermarkets and restaurant takeout services in China’s largest cities by the end of 2020. Other urban areas are obliged to get rid of the bags by the end of 2022. Eventually, a complete ban on such products will have taken effect by the end of 2025.
‘The National Development and Reform Commission will update and publish the list of the plastic products restrictions as well as elaborate the scope of bans on their certain types and the implementation standards in a timely manner’, Meng Wei, a spokeswoman for the commission has said.
As China announced a national standard for biodegradable plastic shopping bags late last year, the industry is ready for their production. In addition, recycling facilities are under construction all over the country.
As China is the world’s largest polyethylene importer, the ban, although divided into phases, may be disruptive to the local polyethylene market once the initiative is fully in force.
Borouge, a joint venture between Borealis and ADNOC, has contracted Axens, an engineering company, to design MTBE, 1-Butene and 1-Hexene units for its cracker No.4 project in its petrochemical complex in Ruwais, the UAE. The company is already using Axens’s 1-Butene technology at the first and the third one. Reminder: Borouge is building 1.8 million-tpy ethylene cracker which will be the fourth one in its petrochemical complex. After the project completion, the company’s capacity at this site will reach 3.3 million tpy of olefins, butadiene and aromatics annually. The new cracker will be able to consume such feedstocks as ethane, butane and naphtha coming from ADNOC’s refinery and gas processing facilities. This will make the plant the largest of its kind. The project also includes the construction of downstream plants. Aside from Axens, TechnipFMC, Maire Technimont and WorleyParsons will provide design and engineering services as well. The startup date is unknown yet.
Russia increased its styrene monomer exports to Turkey to 5,800 t in December 2019. To compare, the country had shipped some 2,300 t of its SM there in 11 months of last year.
Finland remained the main consumer of the Russian goods, having imported 129,000 t of styrene in 2019. Latvia received around 4,500 t of the same material in the same period.
The flow of Russian SM to Turkey has continued in early 2020 as traders have booked some 3,200 t of the monomer for shipment in H1 January, according to the preliminarily estimates.
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