US bans asbestos imports for chlor-alkali

  • : Chemicals, Petrochemicals
  • 24/03/18

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a rule prohibiting uses of chrysotile asbestos, including an immediate ban on the import of asbestos for producing chlor-alkali.

The ban, announced on Monday, is the first rule finalized under 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA).

Chrysotile asbestos was the only form of asbestos still allowed to be used and imported into the US. Asbestos diaphragms are used to make chlorine and sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda. The chemicals, known collectively as chlor-alkali, are used to disinfect drinking and waste water, and to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Two-thirds of US produced chlorine is made without using asbestos and there are eight chlor-alkali plants in the US that use asbestos diaphragms in production, according to the EPA.

Six of these eight plants are required to transition to either non-asbestos diaphragms or membrane technology within five years, with the remaining two to follow.

The EPA aims to ensure the transition will not disrupt the supply of chlorine needed for water purification. Companies with multiple facilities have five years to convert their first facility, eight to convert the second and 12 years to change technologies at their third.

The ruling also bans most sheet gaskets that contain asbestos as well as uses in oilfield and automotive brake blocks and linings.


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24/06/14

India implements e-PVC anti-dumping duties

India implements e-PVC anti-dumping duties

Singapore, 14 June (Argus) — India's central government has imposed additional anti-dumping duties (ADDs) on imports of paste polyvinyl chloride (e-PVC) from China, South Korea, Malaysia, Norway, Taiwan, and Thailand from 13 June. The implementation comes after Indian authorities concluded investigations on 26 April which found that imports were purchased at dumped prices from these countries. Authorities also noted there was a substantial increase in imports from these countries and concluded that the domestic industry was affected negatively because of this. But the authorities also incorporated exclusions to the ADDs. These were on PVC resins with a K-value below 60K, PVC blending resins, co-polymers of PVC paste resin, battery separator resins and the brand name "Biovyn" produced by European PVC producer Innovyn. The announcement of the ADDs comes at a time when regional freight challenges have been a significant concern for Indian importers. Limited container availability has resulted in South Korean producers Hanwha Solutions and LG Chem postponing shipments of cargoes that were purchased by Indian buyers for arrival in June and early July. The producers sent letters to their customers informing them of the freight challenges. Both producers indicated a raise in prices for shipments, with LG Chem indicating a rise in PVC prices by $100/t. Key Taiwanese PVC producer Formosa was forced to postpone the announcement of its offers for July shipment from this week to next week because of shipping uncertainties, according to market participants. With the lack of imports, Indian producers this week raised domestic prices of suspension-PVC (s-PVC) by 4,000 rupees/t ($48/t) and e-PVC by Rs5,000/t. Offers of Chinese-origin cargoes have been limited, with some s-PVC offers at $930-950/t this week. Chinese producers are trying to circumvent freight difficulties by shipping PVC cargoes in jumbo bags in bulk vessels instead of containers. But acceptance by Indian buyers has been underwhelming, according to market participants. The ADDs will be enforced for a period of six months from 13 June and are payable in Indian rupees. By Matthew Rajendra India e-PVC ADD list $/t Country of Origin Country of export Producer Duty China Any Formosa Industries (Ningbo) Co., Ltd. 546 China Any Shenyang Chemical Co. Ltd 115 China Any Other Chinese producers except above 600 Any China Any 600 South Korea Any Hanwha Solutions Corporation 0 South Korea Any Other South Korean producers 41 Any South Koreaa Any 41 Malaysia Any Kaneka Paste Sdn. Bhd. 317 Malaysia Any Other Malaysian producers 375 Any Malaysia Any 375 Taiwan Any Formosa Plastics Corporation 118 Taiwan Any Other Taiwanese producers 168 Any Taiwan Any 168 Thailand Any TPC Paste Resin Co. Ltd. 195 Thailand Any Other Thai producers 252 Any Thailand Any 252 Norway Any Any 328 Any Norway Any 328 Data from India's Ministry of Finance Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Ineos Styrolution to close Sarnia SM plant


24/06/11
24/06/11

Ineos Styrolution to close Sarnia SM plant

Houston, 11 June (Argus) — Global styrenics producer Ineos Styrolution plans to permanently close its430,000 metric tonne (t)/yr styrene monomer (SM) production site in Sarnia, Ontario, by June 2026. "The long-term prospects for the Sarnia site have worsened to the point that it is no longer an economically viable operating asset," Ineos Styrolution chief executive Steve Harrington said on Tuesday. The Sarnia site was shut down on 20 April to address issues related to benzene (BZ) emissions after the Canadian government issued a BZ emissions control order on 18 April. The company said it continues to assess what would be required to restart the plant, a process that will require about six months. Ineos said complying with the BZ emissions control order was unrelated to the decision to permanently close the plant. Ineos said it has made several investments to ensure safe and reliable operations and that additional large investments unrelated to plant startup were necessary for site operations moving forward, which the company considers economically impractical. Ineos declined to comment further. Sources close to the company said Ineos has been fulfilling Sarnia's customer orders with products from Texas units in Baytown and Texas City. By Jake Caldwell Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Malaysia’s palm oil stocks up slightly in May


24/06/10
24/06/10

Malaysia’s palm oil stocks up slightly in May

London, 10 June (Argus) — Malaysia's palm oil stocks increased slightly at the end of May from the previous month, as growth in production outpaced exports, according to data from the country's palm oil board (MPOB). Total Malaysian palm oil inventories rose to 1.75mn t at the end of May, a 0.5pc increase from April. Crude palm oil production rose by 14pc on the month to 1.7mn t, as peak harvest season commenced. Market participants watch palm oil stock levels to gauge supply-demand dynamics. Malaysia's monthly releases are tracked more closely, as data on its palm oil industry are considered the most reliable. The country is the second-largest palm oil producer globally after Indonesia. The country's palm oil exports rose by 12pc from April to 1.38mn t in May, according to the MPOB. Exports rose despite a recent increase seen in palm oil prices, which has caused its discount to rival soybean, sunflower and rapeseed oils to narrow, and has driven a decline in sales to some price-sensitive markets like India. Palm kernel production rose by 11pc on the month to 408,000t, while output of crude palm kernel oil rose by 26pc to 194,000t. Exports of biodiesel fell by 41pc on the month to 20,900t. External sales of oleochemicals rose by 10pc on the month to 257,400t, while exports of palm kernel oil moved up slightly from April to 87,800t. By Carolina Palma Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

China's Zhenjiang Ceville builds recycled plastic plant


24/06/03
24/06/03

China's Zhenjiang Ceville builds recycled plastic plant

Shanghai, 3 June (Argus) — Chinese recycled polymer producer Zhenjiang Ceville has started building a recycled plastic plant in Zhenjiang city in east China Jiangsu province to meet rising demand for such products. The new project includes waste bottle washing, shredding, pelleting units and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) chemical recycling facilities to produce 100,000 t/yr of mechanically recycled food-grade or multi-purpose recycled PET (rPET) pellets, 40,000 t/yr of mechanically recycled food-grade recycled polyethylene/polypropylene (rPE/rPP) and 10,000 t/yr of chemically recycled PET pellets. Total investment is 500mn yuan ($69mn). Ceville is targeting to commission the PET chemical recycling unit in the first quarter of 2025, and the other units will be on line between the second quarter and third quarter of the same year. Ceville was set up in 2018 and producing recycled polyester staple fibers was its main business. But rapidly rising demand for food-grade recycled polymers led to it commissioning a 25,000 t/yr 100pc mechanically recycled PET pellet plant in late 2021 and a 10,000 t/yr rPE/rPP unit in 2022. The company is the first mainland Chinese company to get European Food Safety Authority certification for its recycled post-consumer PET to be used as food-grade material. Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

US PVC export prices rise on tighter global supply


24/05/31
24/05/31

US PVC export prices rise on tighter global supply

Houston, 31 May (Argus) — US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) export prices have risen by $60/metric tonne on average in the last few weeks as tighter global supply and freight challenges outweigh rising domestic production. PVC export prices settled this week at $770-800/t fas Houston, touching $800/t for the first time since September 2023 and up from $720-730/t fas during the first week of May. US producers have raised operating rates following months of maintenance and unplanned outages, but that has had little effect on global supplies as some US producers say domestic sales volumes also have risen, tightening producers' inventories. At the same time, Chinese PVC producers have been reducing exports, specifically to Africa, India, and south Asia. Market participants claim freight rates from Asia are becoming too expensive, making Chinese PVC exports less competitive compared to supply from the US and Europe. This has allowed US producers to sell into previously competitive regions at higher prices. US export prices also have benefited from a force majeure declaration and shutdown at Orbia's Altamira PVC plant in Tamaulipas, Mexico. The 690,000 t/yr plant has been down since 5 May due to water shortages, and Orbia has made no public announcement on when the plant will resume operations. As traders and buyers in Latin America organized June shipments, the weight of the shutdown came into effect. Whether Orbia reallocates some supply from its Colombian operations into Central America remains to be seen, but US exporters expect Latin America to be increasingly tight on PVC either way. The lack of affordable resin from Asia due to freight rates further limits alternative supply options. US producers are unsure how long the elevated PVC pricing will last or if prices could rise even further in the weeks ahead. A few buyers are holding out on spot purchases with the expectation of prices falling as the summer progresses, however some volumes have been exported to Africa at a $800/t fas price equivalent, indicating that there is support for higher prices in the interim. By Rachel McGuire and Aaron May Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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