Hungary's MOL plans cost cuts after Q1 profit fall

(Reuters) -- Hungarian oil and gas group MOL launched a cost cutting drive aimed at boosting profitability, as the suspension of production in Syria drove a year-on-year fall in first-quarter profits.

MOL said it aimed to boost earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at its downstream business by USD500-550 million by 2014, with about 60 percent of that improvement coming from cost cuts.

Among a broad range of initiatives, the group said it planned to make efficiency improvements at five refineries and two petrochemical units.

An improved performance from the downstream business helped MOL to report a smaller-than-expected fall in first-quarter net profit to 73.7 billion forints (USD324 million). That was down from 92.7 billion forints in the same period of 2011.

"2012 is expected to be a challenging year especially when considering the announced 'force majeure' in Syria or the tough refinery and petrochemical environment," MOL's Chairman and Chief Executive Zsolt Hernadi said in a statement.


PolyOne and Xenia sign cooperation and supply agreement

(plasticstoday) -- Specialized polymer materials supplier PolyOne Corp. announced a cooperation and supply agreement with Xenia Unipersonale, Italy-based specialist in the development and production of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer compounds.

Customers of both companies will reportedly benefit, with the firms noting that the cooperation leverages the strengths of each company in the field of advanced materials for metal and thermoset replacement. As part of this cooperation, PolyOne will offer customers design and prototyping assistance to speed their projects to market.

PolyOne is an expert in developing and manufacturing long fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resins, has global market reach, and utilizes a collaborative approach to innovating with customers on metal and thermoset replacement projects. Xenia brings to bear its expertise in developing thermoplastics with short carbon-fiber reinforcement, combined with finite element analysis (FEA) capabilities to develop designs for parts made from these advanced materials.

Swedish Rosti establishes subsidiary in Malaysia

(plasteurope) -- Global plastics injection moulder Rosti (Malmo / Sweden) is set to open a new subsidiary, Rosti Integrated Manufacturing Solutions, in Senai, Johor Bahru / Malaysia in July 2012. The 5,000 m2 factory, where 150 people are to be employed by the end of this year, will initially focus on producing complete modules for business machines, although output eventually will cater to the group?s core E&E, packaging, medical and automotive end customer markets.

Rosti said it would invest EUR 3mln in machinery for the site over the next 12 months, by the end of which the facility will boast a full range of Sumitomo Demag injection moulding machines.

The decision to open a new facility in South East Asia was driven by customer demand, Rosti said, adding that Johor Bahru not only affords the group close access to clients, but also to neighbouring Singapore, where many global players have set up their regional HQ.

Rosti is already represented in Asia, through subsidiaries in China and India.

Styron confirms contract pricing settlement for PS

(styron) -- Styron Europe GmbH announced that it has been able to settle prices for 90% of its PS EMEA monthly negotiated business within the first 10 days following its recent proposal for changing pricing settlement.

This will bring the European Polystyrene pricing process in line with other regions and polymers.

"Following our proposal for an improved pricing process for polystyrene, we are pleased to see that 90% of our PS EMEA negotiations for the month of May has already been settled. In addition, it is encouraging that most of our customers saw the benefits of this early month settlement and have made the necessary efforts to align to this accordingly", said Paul Moyer, Styron's Vice President and General Manager for Plastics. "We obviously recognize that the new practice is not fully operational and that it will take time for the industry to adopt this progressively but this result brings us one step closer to our goal of bringing more clarity and consistency on polystyrene pricing in the future."

Styron is committed to the proposed change for pricing settlement because it will provide improved visibility and timely information to facilitate decision making for both buyers and sellers during the month of delivery, particularly when it comes to managing volumes, financials and production.


Saudi Kayan Petchem resumes operations at plants

(joboord) -- Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co., an affiliate of Saudi Basic Industries Co., or Sabic, said Saturday its plants resumed operations Thursday after a temporary halt of most of its factories earlier in the week.

The halt was caused by a technical breakdown in a unit that produces the steam used in the companys manufacturing operations, the petrochemical producer said in a statement posted on the Saudi bourse website.

The plants are now operating at their usual capacity, Kayan said, adding that its difficult to assess the financial impact at present but it will be very limited because the plants were stopped for a short period of time.

Among the plants that were taken off line are those producing high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP) and ethylene glycol (EG), the company said.

Saudi Kayan has a 400,000 tonne/year HDPE plant, a 350,000 tonne/year PP plant in Al-Jubail and a 650,000 tonne/year EG plant at the site.

The company also has an ethylene capacity of 1.48m tonnes/year at the site.
Saudi Kayan is 35%-owned by Saudi petrochemical giant SABIC.