Technip was awarded by BASF a contract for chemical and petrochemical projects

(Plastemart) -- Technip has been awarded by BASF an Engineering Partner Umbrella Service Contract for chemical and petrochemical projects. The scope of work encompasses various kinds of services from studies, basic & detail engineering up to project implementation services. Both companies are contemplating a long-term partnership which will provide BASF access to the extensive engineering resources of Technip for its capital investments notably in Europe, but also in other regions.


Japan slipped back into a technical recession

(ICIS) -- Japan slipped back into a technical recession as the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March significantly dented production and exports of the world's third largest economy. Its economic output fell by 0.9% quarter on quarter, with the annualised rate of decline at 3.7%, according to data from Japan's Cabinet Office released on Thursday. Most economists had been expecting a 2% year-on-year GDP contraction for the March quarter. A technical recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of shrinking economic output.

With its industries still trying to cope with a power shortage more than two months since the disasters that shoved the country into a nuclear crisis, Japan's economic performance this quarter may be worse than the first quarter's.

The crisis at the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is regarded to be on par with the worst nuclear disaster on record at Chernobyl, which occurred 25 years ago.

Among the biggest casualties of the power shortage is the automotive sector, which is a major end-market for petrochemicals.


US-based Momentive to sell wood resin business

(ICIS) -- US-based specialty chemicals and materials company Momentive Performance Materials has put its forest products resins business and its acrylic monomers unit on the selling block, sources in the financial community said on Wednesday.

US-based investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are handling the sale of the forest products resins business, while The PrinceRidge Group is selling the acrylic monomers unit, sources said.

Momentive's forest products resins business, which produces urea-formaldehyde resins, posted sales of USD 448m (EUR 314m) in the first quarter, and USD 45m in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

In 2010, the forest products resins unit had sales of USD 1.61bn and EBITDA of USD 177m.

The company's acrylic monomers business is a part of its epoxy, phenolic and coatings resins segment, but one source estimated annual revenues of about USD 500m for the acrylic business.


Russia identified six locations for cracker-based petrochemicals clusters

(ICIS) -- Russia has identified six locations for cracker-based petrochemicals clusters over the next 10 years as part of plans to develop this sector in the country, an executive at Sibur said on Thursday. ⌠The government has set ambitious plans for the development of the petrochemicals industry by building six clusters of world-class ethylene capacities in the next 10 years, Maxim Savchenko, head of strategic development at the Russian producer said.

⌠Russia holds leading positions in oil and gas production but lags in petrochemicals, he told delegates at the Global Petrochemicals annual meeting, organised by the World Refining Association (WRA).

The clusters will be located at two "brownfield" sites and four "greenfield" sites, he told ICIS on the sidelines of the meeting.

They will be developed in phases, with the two brownfield sites - in western Siberia and in the Volga region - included in phase one.

Sibur already has gas fractionation and petrochemicals activities in Tobolsk, and is planning a new cracker project at the site. There is also already some petrochemicals production, including crackers, in Volga, he added.

Phase two of Russia's petrochemicals cluster plan involves developing a cluster in the Caspian region, he said. Phase three will involve developing clusters in the northwest region and eastern Siberia, and the final phase will involve a cluster in the far east of Russia, Savchenko added.


Petrochemical complex owned by Saudi-based PetroRabigh to expand

(Plastemart) -- Expansion work on a petrochemical complex owned by Saudi-based PetroRabigh is on track and contractors have been invited to bid for the project, as per Reuters. A second phase of development will add 17 plants though will not expand refinery capacity.

A joint venture between Japan's Sumitomo Chemical and Saudi Aramco, the company currently produces an annual 18 mln tons of refined products and 2.4 mln tons of petrochemicals.
Japan's JGC Corp. is carrying out the front-end engineering and design (FEED) of the second phase of expansion.