Solvay Q4 profit slips on weak European vinyl sales

(Reuters) - Belgian chemicals and plastics maker Solvay said on Thursday that a poor performance at its vinyls division in Europe contributed to it missing profit expectations for the fourth quarter.

Solvay said sluggish conditions in Europe, where the sovereign debt crisis is starting to filter through to the real economy, made customers cautious about the amount of stock they held of vinyls, a plastic used in building and consumer goods, knocking 10 percent off quarterly sales of the product in the region.

Solvay's fourth-quarter recurring core profit fell 23 percent to 355 million euros (USD464 million), including results from French specialty chemicals group Rhodia for the first time. Analysts in a Reuters poll had on average expected 411 million euros.

The results pushed Solvay shares down as much as 5 percent in early trade, though they had recovered most of the losses to stand down 1.2 percent at 77.46 euros at 0842 GMT.

"Europe is still weak, and Europe is really key for their PVC business as well, so ... it shows the vulnerability of the portfolio," said a London-based analyst. "It will be challenging this year."

Dutch peer AkzoNobel NV also reported a fall in fourth-quarter figures on Thursday, hit by materials cost rises, and warned about the impact of a shaky global economic environment, while Belgian chemicals and plastics group Tessenderlo swung to a surprise loss on tough conditions in southern Europe.

Solvay said that while conditions in Europe were uncertain, it expected a gradual recovery globally.

Its buy-out of Rhodia last year lifted its exposure to faster growing markets such as China and Brazil to 40 percent, and allowed it to further tap into higher-margin specialty chemicals.


Takreer selects wet air oxidation system by Siemens for refinery spent caustic treatment

(process-worldwide) -- Siemens Industry Automation Division is providing Takreer (Abu Dhabi Oil Refining) with a Zimpro wet air oxidation (WAO) system to treat refinery spent caustic as part of the company's expansion of its refinery in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, UAE. The expansion project is scheduled to be complete by late 2013.

The refinery expansion project will increase crude oil refining capacity by 417,000 barrels per day using the latest advanced technology for downstream processing units to produce higher quality products and to comply with UAE and international environmental standards.

One of the advanced technologies that will help Takreer meet environmental regulations, the WAO system will treat odorous sulfides and produce biodegradable effluent for discharge to the facility's effluent treatment plant.

Wet oxidation is the oxidation of soluble or suspended components in an aqueous environment, using oxygen as the oxidizing agent. When air is used as the source of oxygen, the process is referred to as wet air oxidation (WAO). The process will oxidize odorous reduced sulfur species such as sulfides and mercaptides. WAO can pretreat difficult wastewater streams like refinery spent caustic, making them amenable for discharge to a conventional biological treatment plant for polishing.


Perstorp increases prices for polyols and 2-EHA

(perstorp) -- Leading specialty chemicals company Perstorp will increase price for Trimethylolpropane (TMP) and Neopentyl Glycol (Neo) with effect from 1 March 2012 or as existing contracts permit.

Effective March 1st, 2012 or as existing contracts permit Perstorp will increase the price for Trimethylolpropane (TMP) and Neopentyl Glycol (Neo) by EUR 150/MT in Europe and by USD 200/MT on all other markets.Prices are being increased due to higher cost of operation related to raw material, energy and logistics.

Perstorp increases price for Specialty chemicals company Perstorp will increase price for 2-Ethylhexanoic Acid (2-EHA) 1 March, 2012, or as existing contracts permit.

Effective March 1, 2012, or as existing contracts permit, Perstorp will also increase the price for 2-Ethylhexanoic Acid in Europe by 120 EUR/MT in the USA, Canada & Mexico by USD0.07/lb, in South & Central America USD150/MT, in Asia, Africa & Middle East USD150/MT.

Price increase is driven by increased prices on raw materials.


Perstorp to extend its distribution

(plasteurope) -- Specialty chemicals manufacturer Perstorp, Sweden has extended its distribution agreement with Nordmann, Rassmann (NRC, Hamburg / Germany) to cover a wider range of products including polyalcohols, caprolactones, specialty polymers and coalescing agents. Alongside plastics and thermoplastic elastomers (TPUs), the products are sold to the adhesives, resins and coatings sectors.

At the same time, the Swedish company has extended its long-standing distribution pact with Hamburg-based Worlee-Chemie for aliphatic isocyanates used by the coatings, construction and adhesives industries.


Dutch AkzoNobel swings to EUR68mln loss in Q4

( -- Akzo Nobel NV, the world's largest maker of paints and coatings, has reported EUR68 million (USD89 million) loss for the fourth quarter due to rising commodity costs and a one-time charge.

The loss compares to profit of euro162 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. Sales rose 4.7 percent to EUR3.79 billion.
Akzo Nobel's paint arm, which supplies Walmart, was badly hit by rising costs of titanium dioxide, a key paint pigment. The company's coatings and chemicals arms saw relatively mild declines in operating profit, also due to rising raw materials costs.

The company also bought back more than half a billion euros of its own bond debt to refinance at lower interest rates, taking a charge of EUR67 million.