EPS producers in North America announced price increases

(ICIS) -- North American expandable polystyrene (EPS) producers have announced price increases of between 4-6 cents/lb (USD88-132/tonne, EUR68-102/tonne) for mid-January, based on higher feedstock prices and other costs, sources said on Tuesday.

Current US EPS prices are in the range of 84-92 cents/lb for block and package material. Current Mexican EPS prices are in the range of 103-105 cents/lb for block material and 101-103 cents/lb for package material, as assessed by ICIS.

NOVA Chemicals announced a price increase of 4 cents/lb for non-modified EPS grades that don't include a flame retardant and 6 cents/lb for modified EPS grades that use a flame retardant, with both increases effective on 15 January, sources said.

Mexico EPS producer Polioles, which on Monday announced a 2 cent/lb increase in the differential between modified and non-modified EPS, on Tuesday came out with an additional announcement of a 4 cent/lb increase for all grades effective on 16 January, according to a customer letter obtained by ICIS.
Other North American producers were expected to follow with similar price increase announcements.

The increase for non-modified EPS is related to recent higher prices for feedstock benzene. While contract benzene settled down by 15 cents/gal to USD3/gal in December, spot benzene price discussions for January rose as high as USD3.66/gal on Monday. The increase for modified EPS is based on higher costs for the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD).

Major North American EPS producers are BASF, NOVA Chemicals, Flint Hills Resources, Styrochem, Nexkemia, Idesa and Polioles.


SIBUR concluded sale of 100% of OJSC SIBUR-Fertilizers

(SIBUR) -- CJSC ⌠SIBUR Holding and CJSC ⌠Holding Company ⌠Siberian Business Union have signed an agreement for the sale of a 100% stake in OJSC ⌠SIBUR- Fertilizers. The deal is to be approved during the nearest CJSC ⌠SIBUR Holding Board of directors meeting.

At the time of the transaction, OJSC ⌠SIBUR- Fertilizers included the following companies: OJSC ⌠Azot (Kemerovo), ⌠Angarsk Nitrogen Fertilizer Plant LLC, and ⌠Biysk Railcar Repair Enterprise LLC. OJSC ⌠Mineral Fertilizers (Perm) is not included in this transaction.


Russia's chemical sector to remain stable over the next 12-18 months

(ICIS) -- Russia's chemical sector will remain stable over the next 12-18 months as strong demand from Asia and Latin America offsets a slowdown in Europe, ratings agency Moody's said on Wednesday. "While we expect demand from Europe to slow due to ongoing economic uncertainty, demand in Asia - particularly China and India - and Latin America remains robust," said senior analyst Julia Pribytkova.

Russian chemical producers will also benefit from planned increases in polymer production, supported by strong growth in Russia's retail and construction sectors, the ratings agency said.

Demand for fertilizers will remain strong, with support from emerging and domestic markets outweighing slowing demand in Europe.

There are risks in this sector, however, from cheap North American feedstocks, increasing production of nitrogen-based fertilizers in the Middle East and a rise in Chinese domestic production, Moody's said in its ⌠special comment report.


RusVinyl Project Finance is announced Deal of 2011

(Sibur) -- The RusVinyl project finance deal between RusVinyl, SIBUR, SolVin and a group of international banks was recognised as the stand-out European deal in the petrochemical sector of 2011, according to the renowned British finance publication Project Finance International.
In June of 2011, RusVinyl signed a credit agreement for the provision of project finance to the order of 750 million Euro for a period of 12.5 years for the construction of Russia's largest integrated polyvinylchloride (PVC) production plant with the capacity to produce 330,000 tonnes a year. Financing is provided by a group of banks representing the largest global financial institutions, including Sberbank of Russia, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, BNP Paribas, ING Bank N.V. and HSBC.

As part of the signed agreement, 150 million Euro has been made available by Sberbank of Russia and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development each, 450 million Euro by BNP Paribas, ING Bank N.V. and HSBC, against the security of COFACE and ONDD, the French and Belgian export credit agencies. The insurance provided by these export agencies ensures the supply of equipment, licences and the services of OSJC RusVinyl's French and Belgian partners.

RusVinyl LLC is a joint enterprise established on the basis of a partnership between CJSC SIBUR holding and SolVin for the purposes of the construction of a polyvinylchloride (PVC) production plant in Kstovsky area, Nizhny Novgorod region, with the capacity to produce 330,000 tonnes a year.


Dow and Aksa Akrilik to form a joint venture

(BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Dow Chemical Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Dow Europe GmbH, and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.S signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture to manufacture and commercialize carbon fiber and derivatives.

The joint venture will develop and globally market a broad range of products and technical service support in the rapidly expanding carbon-fiber based composites industry. Very strong and lightweight, carbon-fiber based materials are used in a variety of applications in growth industries such as wind energy, construction, transportation, and infrastructure, where weight savings, emissions reduction, durability and energy efficiency are key performance factors.

Under terms of the agreement, Dow and Aksa will each hold a 50 percent stake in the joint venture. Following initial equity investments from the two companies, the JV will finance its growth through cash flow from operations and financial institutions. Total investment in the project, including third party investments, is expected to reach USD1 billion U.S. dollars in five years and create up to 1,000 employment opportunities.

The JV will expand on Aksa's existing carbon fiber production assets in Yalova, Turkey, and will capture growth by creating a large-scale, integrated production capability for the manufacture and supply of advanced carbon fiber technologies. The venture will have a particular focus on bringing solutions to market that reduce overall costs, thereby enhancing economics and driving adoption in a broader array of markets.