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Italian plastics machinery makers given permission to keep operating during COVID-19 pandemic

March 24/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Italy, which has become a major hotspot in the COVID-19 pandemic, has given its plastics machinery making sector the green light to continue building machines, said Canplastics.

A decree of the Italian President of the Council of Ministers (DPCM) issued on March 22 gives all Italian manufacturers of plastics and rubber machinery permission to continue their activity, since they belong to a production chain defined as necessary.

But as noted by the Italian trade association Amaplast, such factories will have to comply with a protocol signed on March 24 both by Government and social parties that lists all the measures that hinder and limit the spread of COVID-19 infection inside and outside the work sites and keeping the safety and the health of people involved in the production cycle as a priority.

 Moreover, companies are asked to give a sign of discontinuity as compared to the past, thus limiting production activity only to those units which activity is really essential, Amaplast said in a March 23 statement. As a consequence, workshifts will also have to be re-scheduled, based on real necessities."

"As for the supply of materials and components, a few delays are now being registered but at the moment they are not affecting the the standard execution of production, Amaplast said. Similarly, deliveries of machinery and customers assistance are going on as usual."

As of March 23, Italy has reported a total of 6,077 deaths from the coronavirus, with a total of 63,928 cases of infection reported across the country.

As MRC informed earlier, the COVID-19 outbreak has led Shell Chemical to temporarily suspend construction on the massive plastics and petrochemicals site it's building in Monaca, Pa.

As MRC informed earlier, in mid-February 2020, Shell confirmed coronavirus case at its Singapore refining site. Namely, a contractor working at Shell's Pulau Bukom manufacturing site in Singapore contracted the new coronavirus.

We also remind that Shell Singapore restarted its naphtha cracker in Bukom Island in early December, 2019, following a two months maintenance shutdown since the beginning of October 2019. Thus, this cracker was taken off-stream for the turnaround on 1 October 2019. The cracker is able to produce 960,000 tons/year of ethylene and 550,000 tons/year of propylene.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 215,390 tonnes in the first month of 2020, up by 23% year on year. Shipments of all grades of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) increased due to higher capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 127,240 tonnes in January 2020, up by 33% year on year. ZapSibNeftekhim's homopolymer PP accounted for the main increase in shipments.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, petrochemistry.
Category:General News
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