05 February 2007 08:00 [Source: ICB]
Green gong for Prince
Prince Charles has picked up an environment award, the Global Environmental Citizen Prize, handed out by Harvard Medical School's Center for Health and the Global Environment in New York, US. Al Gore, last year's winner, presented the prize to the Prince, who was described as a "champion of the natural world" by the centre's director. The Prince said: "Every passing year has seen further evidence emerge of the damage we are doing to this poor old planet. We have to take urgent steps now."
Iraq contract close
Iraq is in negotiations with Chevron and ExxonMobil to build a $3bn (€2.3bn) petrochemical complex in the country, according to reports. The Iraqi minister for industry and minerals, Fawzi Hariri, said that discussions were at an early stage and could lead to the signing of a memorandum of understanding by July. The contract will be awarded to only one of the companies, and security issues are a prominent feature of the talks.
2-eh inquiry dropped
China has cut short antidumping investigations on 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) imports from South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the EU and Indonesia. The case was launched in September 2005.
Guangxi plans 40 petrochem projects
The Guangxi provincial government in China has proposed to go ahead with more than 40 petrochemical projects, including a 1.2m tonnes/year cracker, in its medium to long-term plan. The government of the southern province aims to raise refining capacity at Qinzhou Industrial Park to 20m tonnes/year and to produce 1m tonnes/year of paraxylene (PX) by 2020. Other petrochemical facilities will produce polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), acetic acid, vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), vinyls and fertilizers.
MMA deals stable
The majority of European first-quarter methyl methacrylate (MMA) contracts have settled at a rollover. Prices were concluded stable from the previous quarter's values in a €1,480-1,600/tonne ($1,912-2,067/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) range. Producers had targeted increases of €70/tonne on the back of strong demand but were forced to compromise in the face of pressure from buyers.
Asian phenol high
Asian phenol spot prices hit a two-year high of $1,500/tonne CFR (cost and freight) as limited supplies saw producers hike prices in China. Northeast Asian cargoes of around 3,000 tonnes were sold to Chinese buyers at $1,500/tonne CFR China for February lifting.
For pricing analysis see page 54
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