Serbian HIP declares force majeure

(process-worldwid) -- Frost damages due to the extreme temperatures in Southern Europe have caused a loss of production for Serbian petrochemical company HIP Petrohemija. Now the firm announced a downtime at its Pancevo PE facility, due to force majeure.

A special meeting of HIP's Executive Board had previously decided to operate on technological minimum in all the plants of the company in Pancevo. Effects on the European commodity markets due to this polymer production loss are currently only regional.

A further problem for the industry in the Republic of Serbia is that the Danube, its main inland waterway, is frozen over and sipping traffic has stopped. With inland ports and terminals frozen, loading or unloading of vessels is currently not possible, HIP explained.

By the end of last week, HIP's production in its LDPE and Petroplast plants had been shut down due to electric power supply restrictions. Safety of production processes and of the employees wopuld not be affected by these measures, HIP speakers explained.


LyondellBasell reports Q4 net loss

(domain-b) -- Dutch Petrochemicals giant LyondellBasell Industries has reported a net loss of USD218 million, or USD0.38 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011, on the back of lower refining margins and charges related to the suspension of operations at its Berre refinery in France. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the October-December quarter of 2011 stood at USD536 million.

For the full year 2011, the company said its net income stood at USD2,140 million, or USD3.74 per share. LyondellBasell reported improved results across the majority of its portfolio, most notably in North American olefins and at the Houston refinery, both of which benefited from advantaged feedstocks for the year.The fourth-quarter and full-year results include the USD431 million impact of interest expense related to the company's refinancings and USD136 million of charges associated with the suspension of operations at the Berre refinery, LyondellBasell said.


Surteco to expand its market position in France

(plasteurope) -- In an asset deal dated 1 January 2012, the French business unit of German surface technology specialist Surteco (Buttenwiesen-Pfaffenhofen) acquired the plastics and veneer edges business of competitor Sodimo (Bohal / France). The takeover not only widens Surteco's existing customer base and product portfolio, it also strengthens its market position in France, Surteco holding company Dollken-Kunststoffverarbeitung (Gladbeck / Germany) announced.

Surteco France produces plastics and paper edges, veener strips and hotmelt adhesive systems, among others. Preparing for future growth, the company plans to expand its storage hall and administration in Beaucouze near Angers / France this year.


Wacker Polymers to raise prices for range of products

(wacker) -- The Germany-headquartered manufacturer Wacker Polymers exercised an increase of prices for a range of products. Wacker Polymers will increase its prices for VINNAPAS vinyl acetate-ethylene and ethylene-vinyl chloride-based copolymer dispersions in the Americas. Effective February 29, 2012 WACKER will implement a price increase of USD0.03 per wet pound, or as customer contracts allow. This measure has been necessitated by the continued increase in raw-material and distribution cost.

VINNAPAS dispersions are applied in a broad variety of industries, ranging from adhesives, nonwovens, paints and coatings to paper, building products, carpet and textiles.

Wacker Polymers is a leading producer of state-of-the-art binders and polymer additives in the form of dispersible polymer powders and dispersions, polyvinyl acetates, surface coating resins and polyvinyl alcohol solutions. These products are used by companies in the construction, automotive, paper and adhesives sectors, as well as by manufacturers of printing inks and surface coatings. Wacker Polymers has production sites in Germany, China, South Korea and the USA, as well as a global sales network and technology centers in all major regions.


VAM production unit of Sinopec Sichuan Vinylon to be closed for maintenance

(chemmonitor) -- A vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) production unit of the China-based manufacturer Sinopec Sichuan Vinylon Works will temporarily suspend activity on Monday. The facility will be offline for about 28 days.

The plant is situated in Chongqing. Its nameplate capacity is 200,000 tonnes per year. The company will conduct maintenance works at the manufacturing facility during the closure.

The firm owns one more VAM unit. It generates up to 300,000 tonnes per year. The plant may undergo maintenance this year, as well. It will be probably shut this month.