PSU Bharat Petroleum Corporation to further enhance capacity of Kochi Refinery

(Plastemart) -- PSU Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) plans to set apart Rs 20,000 crore to further enhance capacity of Kochi Refinery (KRL) to 15.5 mln tpa at Ambalamugal and for setting up a petrochemical complex. Talks are underway with the state government. Capacity expansion and modernisation project Phase II of the project at a total cost of Rs 4,000 crore is one of the largest capital investments in Kerala.

A Rs 4,000 crore expanded capacity and modernised facilities of the BPCL-KRL refinery has been unveiled. With the project's completion, the refining capacity has been enhanced to 9.5 mln tpa from 7.5 mln tpa.


BASF Hock Mining Chemical (China) received approval

(BASF) -- BASF and Ji'Ning Hock Mining & Engineering Equipment Company Limited (⌠Hock) have received approval from all relevant antitrust authorities in China for the formation of BASF Hock Mining Chemical (China) Company Limited. BASF takes a 75% majority stake in the new venture. The company will continue Hock's existing business activities in the field of chemical injection and cavity filling products for coal mining and other underground applications.

⌠With this investment BASF demonstrates its long term commitment to the underground construction and coal mining industry on a global basis. We will bring our best technologies to the industry in China and around the world, said Dr. Tilman Krauch, President Construction Chemicals at BASF. ⌠With its well-established market position and reputation in the coal mining industry, Hock provides both product expertise and a strong customer base. Combined with BASF's technology capabilities, expertise in environment, health, and safety as well as strength in innovation, the new venture is set to be an important partner to local as well as global mining experts. In 2010, Hock had sales of roughly ┬50 million.

While injection technology has been present in European markets such as Germany for the past 30 years, it was only introduced in China 10 years ago. Through chemical injection and cavity filling, substances such as polyurethanes or other construction chemicals can be introduced into fractured rock, sands, gravel or coal to avoid water or gas accumulation and stabilize cavities in tunnels.


JV between Formosa Petrochemical and Kraton Performance Polymers got approval

(Plastemart) -- The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a joint venture between Formosa Petrochemical Corp and Kraton Performance Polymers Inc. The joint venture will include the construction of a plant to produce hydrogenated styrenic block copolymer (HSBC). Located in Mailiao, the plant is expected to cost between US$165-200 mln and to be operational by H2-2013. Because Formosa Petrochemical has more than a 25% share of Taiwan's ethylene, propylene and gasoline markets, it had to seek permission from the FTC for the project to go ahead because of monopoly concerns.

As per an FTC statement, although Formosa Petrochemical is the leading provider of petrochemical ingredients, Taiwanese suppliers are still able to import such ingredients from abroad and the deal would therefore not limit their sourcing choices. Further, the joint venture will not lead to any dramatic change in market share and has therefore been approved.


PTT Global Chemical will invest aggressively in Asean

(Plastemart) -- PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) Plc will invest aggressively in Asean, mainly Indonesia, through all types of projects - green field, joint ventures and merger and acquisition. The new investment will focus on petro-based chemical and bio-based chemical businesses, under the investment plan until 2020. The investment plan was completed after the merger of PTT Chemical (PTTCH) and PTT Aromatics (PTTAR) and Refining. PTTGC was created from the merger.
As per CEO Veerasak Kositpaisal, "PTTGC is designed as a petrochemical business flagship of PTT Group. Our focus from now rests on the petrochemical business, not refining.

Indonesia is in the focus, mainly because of its large the population size. The Philippines and Vietnam are highlighted as the interesting markets for petrochemical exports, with a population of nearly 200 mln population. "PTTGC will earn more revenue from overseas business. Our new investment will be overseas and Asean is our main destination," Veerasak said.

Veerasak expects the upward cycle of the global petrochemical industry next year, with tight supply and demand. As no new output is expected until 2014, the price of petrochemical products as well as spread will be lucrative.


Subsea spend on ROV operations is expected to reach $1.7 billion in 2015

(Arabian oil and gas) -- Total annual expenditure on ROV support of underwater operations is expected to grow from $891 million in 2010 to $1,692 million in 2015. New research published by international energy business advisors Douglas-Westwood shows that the fundamental market drivers for the ROV business are in growth and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Douglas-Westwood's latest edition of the World ROV Market Forecast 2011-2015 details the market for the operation of work-class ROVs. Europe is the largest market by a small margin over Africa with its strong growth driven by deepwater oil & gas activity.

The world fleet of work-class ROVs consists of 641 units operated by 21 companies and Oceaneering is by far the largest player with 241 units, 32% of the global total. The Douglas-Westwood report shows the present industry structure is the result of a series of mergers and acquisitions over some 30 years and M&A activity still continues.