Sinopec/ENN say no price decision yet on China Gas bid

(Reuters) - China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) and ENN Energy Holdings Ltd said they had not made any decision on whether to raise their USD2.2 billion takeover offer for China Gas Holdings Ltd after local media said the firms had ruled out the possibility of sweetening the bid.

In a joint filing with the Hong Kong Stock exchange, Sinopec and ENN said they believed their current offer for the city gas distributor was in the best interests of China Gas and its shareholders. But they said no decision had yet been made on the possibility of improving the take-over bid.

ENN chairman Wang Yusuo said there were no plans to raise the offer price of HK USD3.50 a share. He also said that talks between the consortium and China Gas' representatives had reached an impasse: "We are stuck in the discussions."


Naphtha crackers to shut in Japan and Korea

(bloomberg) -- Several Japanese and South Korean ethylene producers will idle capacity for maintenance leading into Q2-2012. A list of planned maintenance shutdowns at naphtha crackers in Japan and Korea.

Tosoh plans to shut its 493,000 tpa naphtha cracker in Yokkaichi for scheduled maintenance on March 15, scheduled to last until April 15. Showa Denko KK has started reducing output by 200,000 tpa at its ethylene plant in Oita for scheduled maintenance. The 691,000 tpa unit was scheduled to return to full capacity on March 29. Asahi Kasei Corp. has shut its 504,000 tpa cracker in Mizushima for scheduled maintenance on March 5, and is scheduled to restart on April 16.

Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. plans to shut Kashima 1 343,000 tpa from May 10 to July 4. Maruzen Petrochemical Co. plans to shut 525,000 tpa Chiba cracker from mid-May to mid-June. In South Korea, Yeochun NCC Co. (YNCC) plans to shut its 578,000 tpa Yeocheon No. 2 plant for maintenance from March 20 to April 19, according to a company official who asked not to be named because the information was confidential.

Honam Petrochemical Corp. has shut its 750,000 tpa Yeocheon plant on March 1 for maintenance and to expand its capacity to 1 mln tpa, scheduled to last until April 10. Formosa Petrochemical Corp. plans to shut 700,000 tpa Cracker 1 at Mailiao for 40-45 days in August.


Styron announces price increases for polycarbonate and PC compounds and blends in Europe

(styron) -- Styron Europe GmbH and its affiliate companies in Europe announced price increases for all CALIBRE polycarbonate and EMERG polycarbonate compound & blends products. Effective April 1, or as existing contract terms allow, the price for these products will rise by EUR 250 .

This price increase - which comes as a result of the further escalating costs of key raw materials associated with the manufacturing of CALIBRE and EMERGE - follows a similar Styron announcement on January 24.

Styron is a leading global materials company, dedicated to innovate and deliver for its customers. Styron's unique and balanced product portfolio brings together plastics, rubber and latex businesses that share feedstocks, operations, customers and end users. The company benefits from global scale, a long-standing tradition of unrivaled customer relationships and a robust innovation pipeline.

Styron has approximately USD5 billion in revenue, with 20 manufacturing sites in all geographies. Styron's 2100 employees are committed to listen to customers' needs and provide them with innovative and sustainable solutions in markets such as appliances, automotive, building and construction, carpet, commercial transportation, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical and lighting, medical, packaging, paper and paperboard, rubber goods and tires.

Russia may raise April crude export tax up to 12% on Urals gains

(bloomberg) -- Russia, the world's biggest oil producer, may increase its export duty on most crude shipments by as much as 12 percent from April 1 after Urals prices reached its highest level since 2008.

The standard duty may rise to USD458.50 to USD461.70 a metric ton, or USD62.55 to USD62.99 a barrel, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Finance Ministry data. That compares with USD411.20 a ton in March.

The discounted rate on some Eastern Siberian and Caspian Sea oil may rise in April to within a range of USD239.90 to USD242.20 a ton, compared with USD204.40 this month.

Russia bases the export duties on the average Urals crude price from the 15th day of one month to the 14th of the next. Urals (RUOIEX%), Russia's benchmark export blend, may average USD123.03 to USD123.745 a barrel during this period, Alexander Sakovich, a Finance Ministry adviser, said by phone today. On March 1, Urals exceeded USD125 a barrel, the highest since July 2008. In the previous monitoring period, the crude price averaged USD112.22, according to the ministry.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin must sign off on the levies before they take effect. The government lowered the crude tax rate applying a coefficient of 60 percent, down from 65 percent, and unified the duty on most refined products at 66 percent of that levy since October.

The duty for middle distillates and heavy products may grow to within a range from USD302.60 to USD304.70 a ton next month, from USD271.40 in March.

A gasoline tax that Putin imposed from May to counter domestic shortages may be within a range from USD412.70 to USD415.50 a ton, from USD370.10 this month. That is 90 percent of the crude oil duty.


World's largest bottle-to-bottle plastic recycling plant to start in California

(carbonliterecycling) -- California based bottle-grade raw material producer Carbon LITE has opened the world's largest bottle-to-bottle plastic recycling plant in Riverside, California.

The company said that it specialises in processing used plastic bottles into bottle-grade PET pellets that can
then be used to manufacture new plastic beverage bottles, conserving virgin resources, reducing waste sent to
landfill and capitalising on the energy already invested in making existing plastic products.
According to carbonLITE, the 220,000 sq-ft (20,440 square metre) plant will recover more than two billion plastic
PET bottles annually from California's Kerbside and Redemption Value programs.

Most plastic bottles collected in California were previously exported to China and downcycled into polyester fibre.
By recycling two billion PET bottles (12 fl oz) every year, this cutting-edge facility is helping America save 48
million gallons of gas," commented Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for the Environmental Protection
Agency's Pacific Southwest."