Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pequiven new investments. Petrocasas

Image source

The latest months have been very quiet. The shadow of a new economic crisis is covering most of the developed economies, and serious doubts about China continuous growth model are arising.

The latests news show that most of the investment (financed by Chinese development fund) are still half way. And no mention to petrochemical plants.

For the Petrocasas proyect, the promise is 20.000 new houses will be available for new year. I will be quite suspicious with this figure, given that the original project target was up to 15.000 houses. Even more, to produce 20.000 houses will require more than 30% of all national PVC production!

Finally to conclude, there are some news about Pequiven expanding its resins production capacity from around 500kta to 2000kta. The catch: new production will be in line in 2016. That is 2 years more than reported 10 months ago...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Polinter 1000 kta Ethylene Plant

I was checking Pequiven's website to get some reference about the new projects to be done in the 2007-2013 period. From the website it states the construction of a 1000 kta Ethylene Plant, but no more information about it.

Doing some research I found out that Linde Group is in charge of buidling the Ethylene Plant, and it has a very nice graph about it.

Remarkably, it set the completion date in 2015. So it is good news! we have a date!. Moreover, in the same presentation there is a sheet of typical cost of a Ethylene plant, very useful information for quick comparison and calculations.

This information was given in Linde's Olefin Academy presentation

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Caracas Chronicles Effect

The other day I was quite happy to be mentioned in one of my favorites blogs "Caracas Chronicles", mostly because I started this blog after being an avid reader of their own.

However, as the Dutch saying "Meten is weten" (To measure is to know), I want to show the impact of being referenced in Caracas Chronicles in my normal traffic.

As you can see in the graph above, it increased 20-fold the amount of people who get into my blog, having 60 visitors in one day! Hehe still way to go, but it is a very good motivation to keep working, and keep organizing the information available about petrochemical activities in Venezuela.

More posts to come!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Venezuela shortage of plastic resins

In 2007, before this blog was started, Venezuela's Pequiven had many plans to increase its production of plastic resins, in my opinion to serve international markets.

The reality has been that the internal market in Venezuela has hugely grown. Even by 2008 firms such as Procter and Gamble were struggling to keep up with the demand increase for their products.

However, the plans to increase the polyolefins production never materialize, but they have been delayed to 2014, as can be seen in previous posts.

The demand of plastic resins in Venezuela have grown so much, that actually we are experiencing a shortage of plastic resins. (link in spanish).

They are even some news about Venezuela no longer exporting PVC, in order to dedicate 100% of its production for the internal market. This will mean that Venezuela is switching from being a net exporter to a net importer of plastic resins, at least until 2014.

The good part of this, is that there are all possible incentives to focus on the construction of the new plants, and a great effort on production and also in development should be paid to adapt the resins produced to the Venezuelan market.

Better times are coming, for sure. But the lack of vision of the Pequiven´s directors board should have taken us to a better position already at this point.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Acetic acid production in Venezuela

Image source

The first elemnent that caught my attention from the list of all projects that are being built in Venezuela, is the acetic acid production.

It caught my attention simply because I have never worked with it. It is a simple carboxilic acid (COOH), and their main uses are the production of vinyl acetate monomer, and the production of purified terephthalate acid (PTA), to produce Polyethylene terephthalate.

Its production is bound to the synthesis gas, and follows the following scheme:

In most of the world its production follows the GDP numbers, and in Europe there no more plants being planned. The new developments are planned mainly in China.

In latinamerica, Acetic acid is still growing at a rate of 6% to 7%, and is bounded to the capacity addition of the region, that is exactly where Pequiven is looking for, there is a growing demand in all the areas of consumption and derivatives of acetic acid, and therefore its market is assured.

The profits of acetic acid production are maybe not staggering. But that is not the idea of a petrochemical business in Venezuela, in my opinion, the main goal is to add more value through the chain of derivatives.

The sources for this post are this and this one.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Paraguana Petrochemical Complex

It has been some months without posting, but surely the petrochemical news have been really interesting, so I expect to write more often from now on.

To get into shape for further posting, I will start by reviewing the current developments being done in the western part of Venezuela, specifically in Paraguana. Originally planned to be built in the east, the whole petrochemical complex was switched next to the biggest refinery in Venezuela (and biggest of the world until not so long).

The petrochemical complex will have the following plants:

- 800 kta of Polyethylene Terephtalate (PET)
- 600 kta of PTA (monomer for PET production)
- 600 kta of Styrene monomer
- 200 kta Acetic Acid
- 350 kta Monoethylene Glycol (MEG)
- 400 kta Polypropylene (several?)
- 250 kta Polyethylene (several?)

At first sight Pequiven's strategy is to take advantage of the availability of raw materials as well as the cost advantage of them.
As expected the developments are thought in the as close as the oil business as possible.

In following posts I will discuss how much of these developments will serve international and internal markets.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cyclic petrochemical markets and Pequiven strategy

The last message given by the SABIC Europe's CEO before the unification of all the SABIC organization was very clear:

"Although everybody knows that petrochemicals is a cyclical market, it still strike me the fact that we keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, building a plant during high poliolefins prices, and commisioning the plant when prices are low".

For me, that sentence describes exactly Pequiven's strategy. But first let's take a look of a typical cyclical behavior, and some advise of investment:

If you change the x-axis by years, you can easily spot where you should have invested, how much time you should spent building your plant to take maximum profit of your investment (risk is present, but under control).

Now lets take a look of Pequiven's strategy:

All investments were made when the oil (and therefore immediate intermediates) were over the 100 USD line, just at the top of the hill. Then, not surprisingly, prices tumbled and all investments stopped. And now, when oil prices are recovering, the Pequiven's investments are being resumed, as commented on the previous post.

This information is not at all a secret, and still many companies make this error, and regrettably Pequiven is among them.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pequiven's lost years

Image from previous post

Happy new year 2011!

As a good exercise for this new year, I was reviewing the status of Venezuelan investment.
More than a year ago I've published this table of coming investments in Venezuela, where it shows a 300kta worldclass LDPE plant to be built in Venezuela.
Basic engineering and procurement for this investments were given to the italian company Tecnimont, where it says that commisioning will occur this year 2011.
However no more information of this plant has appeared any more. Not even in Polinter webpage is any clue of this construction, in fact it says that it will be finish in 2014.
The latest news are that Pequiven is still interested in investing in Paraguana refinery complex, again to be due in 2014.
It is a pity that such a good plan for investment launched in the year 2007 will not materialize this year.