Lyondell plan confirmed, exit from US bankruptcy imminent

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A US bankruptcy court confirmed on Friday LyondellBasell's reorganisation plan, a development that could get the chemical major out of bankruptcy protection by 30 April and on the New York Stock Exchange by the third quarter of this year, the company said.

The court confirmation kicked off a series of events called for by the company's reorganisation plan, a blueprint for LyondellBasell's emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The plan incorporated several settlements with creditors and environmental regulators.

A key part of that plan was a court-approved equity offering, under which Lyondell would convert about $18bn (┬14bn) of senior and bridge-loan debt into class A shares in the company.

Upon exiting bankruptcy protection, Lyondell expected to have roughly $7.2bn of total consolidated debt, the company said. In addition, LyondellBasell should have about $2bn of cash and about $2.4bn of lending commitments.

The reorganisation also created a new parent holding company, LyondellBasell Industries, incorporated in the Netherlands. The company's corporate seat would be in Rotterdam, LyondellBasell said, with administrative offices in Rotterdam and Houston.

MRCMRC Reference

LyondellBasell. The share in the Russian market in 2008:
PE - 1.4% (including HDPE - 2.5%, LDPE - 0.3%);
PP - 4.1% (including block-copolymers - 9.5%).

Annual sales growth in Russia, during the recent 5 years:
PE - 27%;
PP - 88%.

The leader in the following polymers processing technologies:

pipe extrusion;

film extrusion;

injection molding.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim favours synthetic rubber expansion plan over ethylene production

(plastemart) -- Russian petrochemicals manufacturer Nizhnekamskneftekhim (NKNH) has favoured synthetic rubber expansion plan over ethylene production, to respond to international demand. The Russian major has postponed its project to build a one million tpa ethylene production complex in favour of a synthetic rubber expansion plan. As per original plans, NKNH planned to construct the ┬2.1 bln complex in Russia's Tatarstan semi autonomous republic as part of a five-year ┬3.2 bln investment program to 2015. As per this plan, current ethylene capacity of 600,000 tpa was planned to be doubled to 1.2 mln tpa by 2012. The complex is to have a 600,000 tpa PE capacity and one of 370,000 tpa for polypropylene.

MRCMRC Reference

PP-block - 34.7%,

PP-random - 22.1%);

polystyrene - 34.5%.

Leader in polymer processing technologies:


Borouge inaugurates its first compounding plant in China

(Plastics Today) -- Polyolefins supplier Borouge, a joint venture of Borealis and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC), has opened its first production plant in China, a 50,000-tonne/yr compounding facility destined to supply the country's fast-growing automotive and household appliances markets. Plans for the site first were announced in mid-2007, and it was officially opened this week.

The event drew a high-level crowd including, from the United Arab Emirates, the Minister of Foreign Trade, the Minister of the Economy, and ADNOC's CEO, while the Chinese delegation included the Fengxian Party Committee Secretary and the mayor of Fengxian. The new compounding plant has the capacity to supply up to 50,000 tonnes of compound annually and the potential to expand by 30,000 tonnes per year. The base resins for the plant are to be supplied from Borouge's new polypropylene plants in Abu Dhabi.

In another move to strength its Chinese supply chain, Borouge is opening a logistics hub capable of handling up to 600,000 tonnes of polyolefins per year, with that hub placed adjacent to the compounding plant.

MRCMRC Reference

Borealis. The share in the Russian market in 2008:

polyethylene - 4.1% (including HDPE - 4.7%, LLDPE - 8.7%);
polypropylene - 3.2% (PP-impact - 7.5%).

Annual sales growth in Russia over the last 5 years:
polyethylene - 11%;
polypropylene - 6%.

Leader in polymers processing technologies:
extrusion coating;
cable extrusion;
injection molding.

Demand for PVC improves in Russia

Moscow (MRC) - In the second half of April buying activity in the Russian PVC market improved. Forthcoming week-long May holidays and the beginning of high demand season were the factors to contribute to better demand - according to MRC Price report.The situation reminds last year's scenario, when the market faced shortage of the material at the beginning of the season. This year, however, the availability of the resin is much higher. In the first quarter of 2010 PVC production was 146.3 thousand tons, an increase of 19.4% from Q1 last year. A significant interest was seen in imported material. Import volumes for the first three months made up 28.9 thousand tons. There were some limitations on Chinese PVC but they are expected to be removed in May.

At the end of April some shortage of suspension PVC with K=65-67 was observed. Today this resin is of the highest interest of converters. The improvement in demand has led to higher offer levels. Now prices for carbide-based PVC at the level of 44,500 - 45,000 RUR/mt, FCA, VAT included, do not cause objections of buyers, though as early as the beginning of the month offers at 44,000 - 44,500 RUR/mt were unacceptable.


For more details on Russian PVC market please refer to MRC Price reports.

Braskem details sugar-cane PE plans

(Plastics Today) -- Braskem S.A. plans to have 200,000 tonnes/yr of production capacity for its sugar-cane based polyethylene (PE) online, with work on sugar-cane derived polypropylene (PP) and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber ongoing. Leonora Novaes, green polymers commercial leader at Braskem, laid out her company's progress in commercializing a PE based on sugar-cane generated ethanol at TAPPI's PLACE 2010 Conference (April 18-21, Albuquerque, NM), as well as pointing out the material's greenness relative to fossil-fuel based polymers and some biobased ones.

Instead of corn or sugar beets, Braskem is utilizing sugar cane to create ethanol, which is then sent through a "dehydration" plant. As the name would suggest, that operation removes water from the ethanol, leaving ethylene in its place. Novaes said that for every one unit of fossil fuel put into the sugar-cane process, you end up with 9.3 units of energy. This compares quite favorably to the 1.4 units of energy output from corn or 2.0 units from sugar beets. In addition, Novaes described sugar cane as a "carbon capture" crop, saying its density and size, with mature plants reaching 10 feet, coupled with the fact that it will return annually for anywhere from 6-10 years without replanting, give it a net-negative carbon footprint. Novaes said that from 1 kg of fossil-fuel based PE, you get 2.5 kg of carbon dioxide, while 1 kg of Braskem's green PE actually captures 2.5 kg of carbon dioxide. Utilizing all portions of the plant, 1 hectare of land produces three tonnes of PE, with Novaes saying that the country's industrial sugar-cane production, which also supports its aggressive liquid fuels program, is not encroaching on rain forests.

The PE facility will utilize LyondellBasell's Hostalen reactor technology to create bimodal high-density polyethylene suitable for bottles, with nameplate capacity of 140,000 tonnes/yr. In addition, LyondellBasell Spherilene reaction technology will support a 60,000 tonnes/yr linear low-density PE line.