PT Blog

Check out the latest post-Harvey analyses on availability of some key feedstocks and resins from IHS Markit with PetroChemWire (PCW) weighing in.

Ethylene: Around 10% of U.S. ethylene production remains offline and total U.S. ethylene consumption capacity is in a similar range. The new ethylene units that were slated to come online over the next six months are expected to be delayed, with CP Chem potentially seeing significant delays at Cedar Bayou, Texas. IHS Markit is still evaluating the timing of new units.

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Norway’s Norner, an independent plastics institute with over 38 years of experience, has signed the first licensing agreement for its patented “breakthrough” polyethylene (PE) production technology. The concept of the Norner Trimodal Technology (NTT) is based on a system of three polymerization reactors where a fraction of a third high-molecular-weight polymer is introduced in a small third reactor-containing comonomer. This reportedly enables a cost-efficient upgrading of existing bimodal plants via the addition of a third reactor.

According to research director Morten Lundquist, Norner’s polymer experts used their deep know-how in combination with their advanced polymerization lab to develop the three-reactor concept. This is a “smarter way” of producing trimodal materials since it enables a higher comonomer content in the highest molecular weight which boosts the performance of the materials.

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By mid-September, unlike the previous month at that point, it was clear that prices of all commodity thermoplastics were firm-to-up and the post-Hurricane Harvey impact was central to this movement. This, according to the latest weekly PetroChemWire (PCW) reports on PP, PE, PS, PVC and PET, as well as from the most recent market update of The Plastics Exchange. The key takeaways:

PE: PCW Senior Editor David Barry reported that spot PE prices were flat-to-higher as supply availability continued to take priority over cost in many market segments. He identified the blow molding HDPE, injection molding HDPE, and LLDPE hexene as being the most supply challenged. “Large blow molders and distributors were seen scouring the market for spare inventory to cover shortfalls due to supplier force majeure declarations.”

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Seats and hotel rooms are filling up fast Plastics Technology’s upcoming Extrusion 2017 Conference, to be held Oct. 18-20 in Charlotte, N.C. at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel in the downtown section of the city. But there is still time for you to register to attend this yearly event covering all things extrusion.

This two-and-a-half-day event, Plastics Technology’s third such conference, is packed with presentations from more than 80 technical experts from the world of extrusion covering a wide range of subject areas.

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The latest post-Hurricane Harvey updates from both Houston-based PetroChemWire (PCW) and U.K-based consultancy Wood MacKenzie are signaling perhaps a swifter recovery at the Texas monomer and resin manufacturing sites than originally thought possible.  

PCW, which continues to doggedly report on the overall impact and restarts, noted in its 23rd update that conditions continued to improve at many of the sites as of Friday, Sept. 15. Highlights of the report includes:

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