F O C U S
PRODUCTS LAB/n-Paraffins Daaboul invests in LAB capacity A 40,000 tonne/y linear alkyl benzene (LAB) plant is being built near Damascus, Syria, by Daaboul Detergents. The facility was partially constructed in Bulgaria in the 1980s, but was never finished. The plant is being upgraded and rebuilt in Syria by Ballestra of Italy. European Chemical News, 8 Apr 2002, 76 (2000), 25
S U R FA C TA N T S
Saudi investors finalize plans for nparaffins, LAB complex Gulf Farabi Petrochemicals is a new company based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia by eight private sector investors to build a $250 M complex at Al Jubail to produce 70,000 tonnes/y linear alkyl benzene (LAB) and 120,000 tonnes/y n-paraffins. The complex is due for completion in 2004. 55,000 tonnes/y n-paraffin will be used by Gulf Farabi to feed the LAB plant with the rest being exported to Asia. Some LAB output will be consumed in the domestic market with the remaining exported.
As terms could not be agreed with a potential buyer, 330 jobs will be lost with the closure of Unilever’s detergent production unit in Toronto, Canada, in mid 2003. The unit is designed for production of powder detergents, but demand is moving towards liquid formulations. By 2005, 100 production sites are to be closed by Unilever out of 380 worldwide. Costs will be reduced by $1.6 bn/y and 25,000 jobs will be lost. Petresa Canada is the main linear alkyl benzene feedstock supplier to the Toronto plant from its facilities in Becancour, PQ, which have a capacity of 120,000 tonne/y. European Chemical News, 15 Apr 2002, 76 (2001), 8
Gulf Petroproducts to get LAB (linear alkylbenzene) loans soon By the end of Jun 2002, loans are expected to be secured for the proposed $250 M, 80,000 tonne/y linear alkylbenzene facility and the 100,000 tonne/y n-paraffin unit being planned by Gulf Petroproducts at Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. The facilities are due to be commissioned in 1Q 2005. UOP is to licence its molex technology for n-paraffins and pacol and detal technology for LAB to the project. Kerosene feedstock for the nparaffin unit will be supplied by Saudi Aramco from its refinery at Yanbu. Gulf Petroproducts holds a 60% stake in the project, with the remaining 40% being held by a regional consortium led by the Al-Zamil Group. Asian Chemical News, 4 Mar 2002, 8 (347), 20
Asian Chemical News, 25 Mar 2002, 8 (350), 15
Long chain alcohols Market situation of the aliphatic alcohol industry in China
Construction has started of Mashaldaran Petrochemical’s (subsidiary of National Petrochemical Co) 50,000 tonnes/y linear alkylbenzene project at Kermanshah, Iran. Start-up is due in May 2003.
China is able to produce around 210,000 tonnes/y aliphatic alcohol. The development of production from 1986 is detailed. The two major production processes, conversion technology and chemical synthesis, are discussed. Fushun Petrochemical Co Ltd’s Detergent Chemical Plant has a capacity to produce 50,000 tonnes/y aliphatic alcohol using oxo synthesis developed by Petrochemical Co Ltd of Japan.
Asian Chemical News, 18 Mar 2002, 8 (349), 27
China Chemical Reporter, 26 Mar 2002, 13 (9), 13-14
Chemical Week, 24 Apr 2002, 164 (17), 18
Canada detergents: Unilever announces unit closure
paraffin plant has been postponed by a year to Spring 2003. The addition of 32,000 tonne/y of extra capacity has been delayed because the company wishes to complete some other projects first. The delay will increase project costs from Rup 293.9 M to Rup 350 M.
Mashaldaran starts building Iran LAB
Alkoxylates Challenges ahead for n-paraffin The n-paraffin market is coming into balance after 4 years of high prices and tight supplies. However, according to a report entitled Normal Paraffins-World Markets 2000-2010, if all the proposed new capacity and expansions come onstream, then capacity is likely to exceed demand after 2005. The report also forecasts that the market is facing two unprecedented developments: the potential for large new production associated with gas-to-liquids (GTL) projects, and a modified version of linear alkylbenzene (LAB) developed by Procter & Gamble Co that could impact the use of n-paraffins. LAB is the most important outlet for nparaffins, accounting for over 70% of global n-paraffin consumption. Growth in global demand for n-paraffins is pegged at 3% /y, increasing from 2.4 M tons in 2000 to 3.2 M tons in 2010. Chemical Market Reporter, 8 Apr 2002 (Website: http://www.chemexpo.com/cmronline)
TPL’s n-paraffin expansion delayed The planned expansion of Tamilnadu Petroproducts Ltd’s 62,000 tonne/y n-
Dow Chemical forms alkoxylation R&D team Dow Chemical Co of Midland, MI, has organised a cross-business alkoxylation research and development team under its industrial chemicals business division. The new team will be focusing on the science and technology expertise in the firm’s surfactants and polyglycol units. It will also aim to create product and process technology for applications of alkoxylates for the I&I, household and personal markets. Alkoxylates can be used in an extensive variety of applications that require control over tribology, rheology, solvency, hygroscopicity, interfacial tension and chemical reactivity. HAPPI, Household & Personal Products Industry, Apr 2002, 39 (4), 107
PMD seeks another partner for EO Project Management and Development Co, Saudi Arabia, is seeking a second foreign partner for its $400 M ethylene oxide and ethylene oxide derivatives plant at Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The project is JUNE 2002