New Indian butyl rubber production could overcome the country's import dependency

(process-worldwide) -- Indian oil and Russian technology could become the recipe for India's independence from foreign rubber imports: Sibur and Reliance Industries, two rising players in the global oil and petrochemical business, now join forces to build the world's fourth biggest butyl rubber production at Jamnagar, India.

Mumbai/India - India's largest private refiner Reliance Industries teams up with Russia's number one petrochemical company Sibur for a common produce butyl rubber project. Both companies agreed to form a the joint venture company Reliance Sibur Elastomers Private to produce 100,000 tons of butyl rubber per year in Jamnagar, India. This project marks the first butyl rubber production in the country and could well become the world's fourth biggest producers of the polymer when running at full capacity.


Univar establishes operations in Romania

(univar) -- Univar Inc., a leading global chemical distributor, announced today that its legal entity in Romania is fully operational. The business trades under the name Univar South-East Europe Srl. from its newly opened office in Bucharest.

Univar has been expanding its strategic network throughout Central and Eastern Europe in recent years. Romania has experienced good GDP growth, driven by both a rise in consumer spending and industrial production over the last decade with forecasts to achieve 4 percent GDP growth in 2012 . This creates a promising opportunity for Univar to engage its global network with local expertise, especially in the coatings market where only 65 percent of the customers are served by local producers.

"Romania is a country with enormous growth opportunities for our business. Industry and agriculture contribute nearly half the country's GDP, which plays very well into Univar's portfolio," explains Balazs Kiss, Univar's Country Manager - Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. "Also, the domestic chemicals market is currently quite fragmented, so customers will benefit from Univar's presence, can trust in our global supply reliability, and depend on our market insight so that they have the benefit of a global network with local level expertise."


Oxea reports record earnings for FY 2011

(european-coatings) -- Oxea, announced on 27 February results for FY 2011. Net sales of EUR 1,479 million were up by 8 % and Adjusted EBITDA amounted to EUR 206 million reflecting an increase of 16 % from the corresponding period of the prior year. Strong cash generation during the year significantly improved Oxea's financial profile and further reduced net debt to ca. 1.7x Adjusted EBITDA from 2.2x in FY 2010.

After a very strong first half year of 2011 and a robust third quarter, Oxea's fourth quarter performance was affected by the continued softening of the world economy and destocking activities along the value chain in the entire industry. In a challenging macroeconomic environment, Oxea's fourth quarter revenues of EUR 328 million decreased moderately by 6.5 % compared to a strong Q4 2010. Adjusted EBITDA in Q4 was EUR 36 million compared to EUR 45 million in the prior year period.

Sales for the three months ended 31 December 2011 were EUR 328.4 million, a decrease of 6.5 % compared with the corresponding period of the prior year. Overall, volumes were 6.4 % lower than in the corresponding period of the prior year. Oxo Intermediates volumes and Oxo Derivatives were 7.1 % and 4.2 % lower respectively than the corresponding period of the prior year. Of our revenues for the three months ended 31 December 2011, EUR 141 million resulted from sales in Europe, EUR 109 million in North America and EUR 78 million in the rest of the world compared to EUR 183 million, EUR 103 million and EUR 65 million respectively in the prior year period.


Formosa to expand Texas site with olefins cracker, PDH and LDPE units

(hydrocarbonprocessing) -- Formosa Plastics will build a new, grass-roots 800,000 tpy olefins cracker, an associated 600,000 tpy propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit and a 300,000 tpy low density polyethylene (LDPE) resin plant at its site in Point Comfort, Texas. Details on technologies, costs, start-up dates and contractors were not released.

Formosa Plastics will build a new, grass-roots 800,000 tpy olefins cracker, an associated 600,000 tpy propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit and a new 300,000 tpy low density polyethylene (LDPE) resin plant at its site in Point Comfort, Texas, the company said on Monday.

The moves - part of USD1.7 billion in capital investments - are largely based on affordable US natural gas costs for use as feedstock, the company said. They will create an estimated 1,800 construction jobs and, once completed, an additional 225 long-term operating and maintenance jobs.

The olefins cracker will take advantage of the increasingly reliable and low-cost domestic natural gas and supply feedstock both to existing production units and the new LDPE unit, Formosa said.The PDH unit will produce additional propylene, increasing operational flexibility.

Meanwhile, the addition of a LDPE resin plant will complement the company's existing product line of Formolene polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) and Formolon polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and specialty PVC.

Shell to buy Cove Energy

(forbes) -- Royal Dutch Shell is making a bet on liquefied natural gas (LNG) in East Africa, bidding to buy Cove Energy for about USD1.56 billion in cash. The bid, expected to be approved by Cove's board, would grant Shell access to the Rovuma Offshore field off Mozambique's coast, which could hold more than 30 trillion cubic feet of LNG.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Shell is looking to strengthen its position as one of the world's largest LNG producers, and thus offered 195 pence per share, a 73.3% premium over Cove's closing price on January 4, the last day before the bid was announced, to buy the totality of shares outstanding.

Shell is looking to tap Cove's 8.5% participating interest in Mozambique's Rovuma Offshore field. While Cove's board has preliminarily said it would recommend the offer to its shareholders, Shell noted it requires written consent by Mozambique's Ministry of Mineral Resources.