The last remained PVC plant was closed in Italy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Ministry of Economic Development of Italy has closed the remained plant of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the country, thus, giving the green light to sales of "Vinyls Italia's facilities, the only Italian PVC producer, reports La Voce di Venezia.

Vinyls Italia's plants for PVC production were stopped back in 2009. In May 2010, the Qatari company Ramco reported to the Government of Italy the termination of long negotiations on purchase of the production assets of Vinyls Italia, which was on the verge of bankruptcy. The failure of negotiations was related to the lack of compromise in a purchasing price (as indicated in the tender documents) and lack of access to the port in the petrochemical industrial park of Porto Marghera.

On 29 July, three authorized commissioners of Vinyls Italia presented to the Minister of Economic Development of Italy a new international tender, which was to generate interest in buying the company and all of its chlorine complex, as MRC informed previously. However, the committee members were not able to find an investor who would have resumed production of PVC at the plants.

As a result of the closure, the PVC units of Vinyls Italia in Porto Marghera and Porto Torres will be sold to an American company that had won the tender. It is planned that the production capacity will be desmantled within three months. Factory workers will be paid arrears for six months in addition to the bonus and a severance pay, but their fate is yet uncertain.

The secretary of the Italian Confederation of Workers Trade Unions (CISL) commented on the event, saying that "Italy must import PVC, and will become, at least, in this respect China-dependent."

KBR to perform turnaround services for BP Decatur site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR has been selected to provide the BP Decatur site with specialty turnaround management and turnaround mechanical execution services for one of the six on-site production units at the Western Hemisphere aromatics petrochemical site in Decatur, Ala, said Plastemart.

This plant utilizes paraxylene to manufacture plastic bottles, polyester material and new generation polyesters and resins.

The contract award is valued at USD3.5 mln and underscores KBR’s ability to mobilize skilled resources and execute highly complex, time-sensitive projects.

"KBR has extensive experience serving the petrochemical industry by providing specialized turnaround management, project controls, and direct hire execution services," said Ivor Harrington, Group President, KBR Services.

"KBR has provided supplemental maintenance, annual shutdowns and small capital projects to the site since 1998. We are pleased to have been selected by this valued client and look forward to building on our long-standing relationship as we work toward the successful completion of this project" - added he.

As MRC wrote earlier, KBR was awarded to design and construct an ethylene furnace for INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA (INEOS) that upon commissioning would provide the highest achievable ethylene yields in the industry.

KBR is a global engineering, construction and services company supporting the energy, hydrocarbon, government services, minerals, civil infrastructure, power, industrial, and commercial markets.


Dow Chemical highlights role of petrochemicals industry in Middle East

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Senior executives from Dow Chemical Company (Dow) highlighted the positive impacts of downstream manufacturing, the role of the 'Value Park' model, and the Company's commitment to the region at the 7th MIT Pan-Arab Conference, said Ameinfo.

Jim McIlvenny, senior vice president and chairman of the Dow Sadara Project Office outlined emerging fundamental shifts in the global competitive landscape that are challenging the Middle East's historical feedstock advantage.

He emphasized the need to leverage the region's strong base of petrochemical knowledge to build downstream facilities, supply value-added products and create manufacturing jobs that, in turn, generate more jobs and propel continued growth. McIlvenny also highlighted the importance of collaboration across companies and countries in a globalized world.

"At Dow, we firmly believe in the potential that the Middle East has to offer, as is evident from our growing manufacturing and business footprint. We welcome opportunities, such as this conference, to facilitate dialogue and brainstorm solutions to the rising economic and employment issues facing the Middle East," he added.

As MRC wrote earlier,Dow Chemical would construct a new world-scale ethylene production plant at Dow Texas Operations in Freeport, Texas, as part of Dow"s previously announced comprehensive plan to further connect its U.S. operations with cost-advantaged feedstocks available from increasing supplies of U.S. shale gas.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene (PS), polyurethane, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and synthetic rubber.


Cash-rich Gulf companies investing in petrochemicals in South East Asia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arabian Gulf investors are pouring billions of dollars into petrochemicals in South East Asia as they chase new consumers outside a flagging China, said Thenational.

Thanks to bumper years of high oil prices that buoyed oil and petrochemical revenues, companies from Abu Dhabi to Qatar have a pile of cash to spend in countries with growing populations and low labour costs.

This week Qatar Holding announced it would invest up to USD5 billion (Dh18.36bn) in a Malaysian petrochemicals complex to rival Singapore's in scope, and Dubai's Drydocks World agreed to build a USD2.5bn maritime complex catering to the industry in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco is evaluating a refining and petrochemical complex in the Indonesian province of East Java, Qatar Petroleum (QP) is taking a stake in a USD4bn Vietnamese petrochemical complex and Abu Dhabi's Borouge is opening plastics sales offices throughout the region.

The migration of Gulf dollars to South East Asia follows a period of blossoming deals in China.

Sinopec, Saudi Aramco and ExxonMobil agreed in 2007 to invest USD5bn into upgrading a petrochemical complex and build 750 filling stations. A year later Sinopec signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic). Borouge, which is owned by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Austria's Borealis, opened its first resin plant in China in 2010 and decided to build a second the same year.

South East Asian petrochemical manufacturing is fuelled by a growing hydrocarbon industry, with investors including Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Petroleum and Kuwait Petroleum. The promise of fresh feedstock is an enticement for Gulf manufacturers who have enjoyed expansive supplies of cheap natural gas in their home countries, but are now facing tighter supplies as governments redirect gas to power generation and producers look to more technically challenging sour gasfields.

"It's not like you could build another 10 petrochemical complexes here, because the feedstock isn't there," said Mr Potter. "Wherever there is interesting feedstock, people are having a look."

American companies that invested in Chinese complexes are also re-evaluating investments, but for another reason. As MRC wrote earlier, a rush of cheap gas unlocked from American shale has ignited a boom in industrial investment in the US, the world's biggest market for petrochemicals above China and Europe.

"All the major US companies who invested in China building their facilities, now with the access to cheap supply of natural gas they are reconsidering their plans for expansion in China," said Mr Al Sadoun. "Because the market is there."


Shell Q4 earnings rise after production climbs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s biggest energy company, reported an increase in fourth-quarter profit after oil and gas production rose, said Bloomberg.

Excluding one-time items and inventory changes, profit was USD5.6 billion, up from USD4.8 billion a year earlier. Net income rose 3 % to USD6.7 billion.

Shell is the first of the world’s biggest oil companies to report fourth-quarter earnings.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser has lifted output as the company last year started selling more gas than oil for the first time. Shell is expanding liquefied natural gas projects in Asia, where demand for energy is booming, and has raised production at its USD19 billion Pearl gas-to-liquids plant in Qatar, the biggest in the world.

Shell is the first of the world’s biggest oil companies to report fourth-quarter earnings. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. give their results tomorrow.

As MRC wrote earlier, Ukraine chose Shell last May as a partner to develop the Yuzivska field in the east of the country and regional councils there approved the production-sharing deal last week. Ukrainian government cut 99% of fees for the shale gas deals for the world's largest oil producer Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil.

Royal Dutch Shell, commonly known as Shell, is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom.

It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is also one of the world's most valuable companies.

As of January, 2013 the largest shareholder is Capital Research Global Investors with 9.85% ahead of BlackRock in second with 6.89%. Shell topped the list of largest companies in the world.