Pakistani textile industry to enhance exports to Russia

(yarnsandfibers) -- Pakistani textile manufacturers and exporters should explore markets in Russia and Central Asian Republics with the aim to enhance exports and to raise foreign exchange.

Russia's imports alone are worth about USD70 billion textile products a year and Pakistan's textile exports to Russia are extremely low, at just USD100 million dollars, said Farooq Afzal, a textile exporter and Chairman, Pak-Russia Business Council. Pakistan is one of the few champions of textile exports, but country's share in Russian markets was insignificant.

Besides focusing on markets in Europe and America, the textile producers and exporters should penetrate in Russian market that was spending USD70 billion a year on textile imports, he said. He also pointed out that Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine were also major markets for the exports of textile products.

"I firmly believe that Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan are the future Dubai and Qatar and Pakistani exporters must explore markets in these countries," he said. Farooq Afzal said that the government should disengage the Pakistani economic ministers and commercial counselors from the foreign missions and appoint their local experts having strong connections in their business community.



Shell's African fuels sale nears completion

(firstenercastfinancial) -- Royal Dutch Shell's deal to sell most of its African fuels businesses to oil trading giant Vitol Holding BV and Africa-focused private equity firm Helios Investment Partners is edging closer to full completion, the companies said Wednesday.

The near-USD1 billion transaction, announced early last year, is part of the Anglo-Dutch oil giant's strategic plan to trim those parts of its global portfolio seen as less essential to its future growth prospects.

The second phase of a sales process in which Vitol and Helios each took control of 40% of Shell's fuel and lubricants assets in 14 African countries has now concluded, Vitol said in a statement. The former Shell businesses have since been folded into a new entity, Vivo Energy, which will still produce Shell branded products.

A separate company, Vivo Lubricants, owned 50% by Shell and 50% by Vitol and Helios, will operate Shell's existing lubricants-blending plants in seven countries and market these products across the continent.

EU moves closer to realizing Trans-Caspian gas pipeline

(firstenercastfinancial) -- A pipeline carrying Turkmen natural gas across the Caspian Sea for delivery to Europe will move closer to realization, as the involved parties are preparing to sign agreements later this year, Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev said Wednesday.

The European Union is preparing two documents together with Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan that will allow Europe to take natural gas from Turkmenistan and other Central Asian countries, said Aliyev.

Securing gas supplies from Turkmenistan has become a priority for the EU, as it promotes what it calls the Southern Corridor for Caspian gas transit to Europe in an attempt to lower the union's dependence on Russian gas supplies.

The two documents--an inter-governmental agreement and a political document to support the Southern Corridor--will be ready for signing later this year, Aliyev said. The proposed pipeline, which has been discussed for over a decade, will stretch 300 kilometers from Turkmenistan across the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan.

Last September, the EU Council gave a mandate for negotiations between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to build the Trans-Caspian pipeline.

Yara to build Australia explosives plant with partners

(Reuters) - Norway-based fertiliser maker Yara has tentatively agreed to build an explosives plant on the Burrup peninsula in western Australia with joint-venture partners Orica and Apache, it said on Thursday.

"Yara has signed a heads of agreement with Orica and Apache via joint venture to build a 330,000-metric-tonnes ammonium nitrate plant on the Burrup peninsula and to distribute ammonium nitrate and other explosives products to mining customers in the Pilbara region," the Norwegian firm said.

It said Yara would operate the plant while explosives manufacturer Orica would manage sales and distribution. Each would have a 45-percent stake in the company while oil-and-gas group Apache would have 10 percent.

Final agreement is subject to further negotiation and board approvals, Yara said.


Dow Chemical loses elastomers patent lawsuit against LG Chem

(cen.acs) -- Dow Chemical has lost the patent lawsuit it filed in 2009 in Seoul, South Korea, against LG Chem. Dow claimed that the Korean firm had violated its intellectual property rights on metallocene catalyst technology for producing ethylene-based elastomers.

Dow is preparing to appeal the court's ruling that its claim has no legal basis. "Dow believes that the district court's decision is improper," a company statement says. Prior to this judgment, the statement adds, "Dow's patents were held valid by the Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Korean Intellectual Property Office."

LG Chem counters that it developed the technology on its own in 1999. The Korean firm opened a 90,000-metric-ton-per-year plant making use of the process in 2008.

Chemical companies have fought several legal battles over metallocene catalyst technology in recent years. Although the market for resins made with the catalysts is not yet huge, it is growing quickly, according to Juay Piu Nah, a polyolefins industry consultant at IHS Chemical in Singapore. "If you can hold on to your technology, you can be a player in the long run," he says.