White Martin signed a gas supply contract with Braskem

(Plastemart) -- Praxair Inc.'s Brazilian arm-White Martin, recently signed a gas supply contract with Braskem, the largest petrochemical company in the Americas and the world's largest biopolymers producer. The 15-year agreement requires White Martin to supply nitrogen and oxygen to Braskem's expanded polyvinyl chloride (PVC) unit in the state of Alagoas, in Brazil's northeast region. The company will construct a new cryogenic on-site air separation plant with a daily capacity of 200 tons.

The project, with an estimated value of USВ 635 mln, is Braskem's single largest investment in Brazil. Operations at the new industrial unit are likely to start by the H1-2012.


Foster Wheeler subsidiary inks MOU to form jointly-owned company with SOCAR

(Plastemart) -- Foster Wheeler AG subsidiary of its Global Engineering and Construction Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate to form a jointly-owned company with The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) in the Republic of Azerbaijan. The new jointly-owned company will focus on providing process, engineering, procurement, construction supervision and project management services associated with the development of the new oil, gas processing and petrochemical complex. The new entity will provide the same services for upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas projects developed by SOCAR both in the Republic of Azerbaijan and in other countries.

In line with the principles outlined in the MoU, Foster Wheeler and SOCAR will prepare a joint action plan for the establishment and incorporation of the new company, with its headquarters in Baku.


Sibur increased spending on personnel, safety and environmental protection in 2010

(SIBUR) -- Sibur published its social report for 2010 on the official company website.
The holding company's consolidated social spending amounted to more than RUB 1.95 billion, an increase of 14% on 2009. This included programme budgeting for voluntary medical insurance, covering more than 90% of the companies of the holding, and amounted to more than RUB 176 million. Payments made by Sibur to charitable causes exceeded RUB 513 million in 2010, of which RUB 293 million was directed through a regional partnership. Growth of average wages for the company as a whole amounted to 14%, with labour productivity rising by 16%.

Sibur's social report for 2010 is dedicated to a system of selecting, developing and motivating company personnel. Among the priorities of this personnel policy was to further increase labour productivity, build up competencies to a global level and to effectively motivate employees to achieve this result. Company spending on continuing training and staff-development programmes more than doubled, and exceeded RUB 230 million.

Sibur considers the most important part of its environmental mission to be the processing of associated petroleum gas (APG), which is formed during oil extraction. According to figures for 2010, Sibur allocated RUB 2.6 billion for the implementation of measures aimed at protecting the environment. That represents a 97% increase on 2009 figures. At the same time, the amount of spending required as a result of a negative environmental impact decreased by 14% in 2010, compared with the previous year. Emissions of pollutants into the air decreased in 2010 by 11%.


2011 investments in plastics processing industry reached last year's total

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Over the first five months of 2011, Russian companies invested in plastics processing equipment USD 175 mn, which equals to the total sum of investments over the last year period, according to MRC DataScope: Equipment.

"After rather slow expansion during the previous two years, this year the situation looks quite promising," commented Olga Sinelnikova, MRC analyst. "Total capacity growth for January-May 2011 made around 300 KTa," she added.

Investments in injection molding equipment reached USD 75.5 mn. USD 14 mn was invested in PET preform production. Foreign producers of electrical goods, such as LG Rus, Bosch und Siemens, Samsung Electronics RUS Kaluga, Beko, Vitek, continued to expand their capacities in Russia. Healthy investment activity was also observed among producers of packaging, automotive parts, and household goods.

In the pipe extrusion sector investments were USD 34 mn, which is twice as much as over two previous years. The largest capacity growth (+ 56 KTa) was achieved by producers of PE pipes, while last year PP pipes sector was holding a leading position. Tekhstroy and Polyplastik became this year's leaders in investments in pipe extrusion.

"Energy saving will be a key factor in the development of polymers market over the next decade," said Olga Sinelnikova. As an example, she cited investments in XPS panel production. In 2011, total sum of investments went far beyond the most optimistic expectations (USD 26 mln, as against USD 2.5 and USD 5 mln in 2009 and 2010, respectively). Tehnolog Group and Technonikol Group are heading the list of the largest investors.

A detailed analysis of capital expenditures on plastics processing equipment by technologies, sectors, end products, equipment suppliers and converters can be found in MRC DataScope: Equipment.

TOP-20 rating of investors in plastics processing industry is shown in Table 1. The rating of equipment suppliers is shown in Table 2.


Venezuela's proven reserves of crude oil surpassed those of Saudi Arabia in 2010

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Venezuela's proven reserves of crude oil surpassed those of Saudi Arabia in 2010, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its annual statistical bulletin, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report.

However, there are concerns over whether much of the sticky, extra-heavy crude proven in Venezuela will be economically viable, even at current high prices.

The bulletin also stated that Iran's oil-refining capacity increased 18 percent last year, the biggest gain among OPEC members, according to a report by the 12-member group. This dovetails with Tehran's ambition to be more self-sufficient on petroleum following the implementation of UN sanctions.