Total announces its interim dividend for the Q3 2013

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Board of Directors of Total, Europe’s third-largest oil company, has approved a third quarter 2013 interim dividend of EUR0.59 per share, reported the company on its site.

The Q3 dividend is unchanged versus the previous quarter, and payable in euros according to the following timetable: ex-dividend date March 24, 2014; record date March 26, 2014; payment date March 27, 2014.

American Depositary Receipts will receive the third quarter 2013 interim dividend in dollars based on the then-prevailing exchange rate according to the following timetable: ex-dividend date March 19, 2014; record date March 21, 2014; payment date April 11, 2014.

As MRC informed earlier, Total intends to invest EUR160m before 2016 to adapt its petrochemical platform in Carling, in the Lorraine region of eastern France, and to restore its competitiveness. Total plans indeed to develop new activities on the platform in the growing markets for hydrocarbon resins (Cray Valley) and for polymers, while shutting down the acutely loss-making steam cracker in the second half of 2015.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

LDPE shortage spurred the prices in Ukrainian market

MOSCOW (MRC) - Tight supply of low density polyethylene (LDPE) in the CIS countries continues supported the shortage of the material in the Ukrainian market, despite the weak demand. Rising prices in the foreign markets also put pressure on the Ukrainian market, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report.

The acute shortage of PE films for general purpose has been felt in the Ukrainian LDPE market since October.
Limited supplies of Belarusian LDPE (scheduled maintenance on one of the producer's line), and Russian LDPE (because of the shortage in the domestic market) were the main reasons of the deficit in the Ukrainian market, in particular, of 158 LDPE.

Tight supply and rising prices in the foreign markets led to a serious increase in the price in the Ukrainian market. Price offers for Russian 158 LDPE grew to UAH16,100-16,300/tonne FCA, including VAT in early November. Small volumes of Azerbaijani PE were offered on average at UAH16,000-16,100/tonne FCA, including VAT. Many suppliers said they have already sold all November volumes of LDPE.

Prices for shrinkable LDPE films, which are often more expensive than 158 LDPE, are, on the contrary, lower because of the weak seasonal demand and sufficient supply. Deals were done in the range of UAH15,600-15,800/tonne CPT Kiev, including VAT.

Many market participants do not rule out prices of general purpose films price to rise further on the back of price increase at the main producers from Russia and Belarus. Tomskneftekhim (SIBUR) has already announced LDPE price increase of USD30/tonne for November delivery. The representative of the company said it is more profitable to export LDPE to the Chinese market, where the price reaches the level of USD1,680/tonne CFR China.

There was an action on 4 November in Novopolotsk, where Ukrainian companies were able to contract the Belarusian LDPE by Polymir production. But the prices are hardly expected to be low, because the volumes of 158 LDPE will be small on the back of long-term maintenance works at the plant. Taking into account the current shortage in Ukraine purchasing prices can be substantially higher than the starting prices.

Hyosung develops 'dream' material

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hyosung Group said that it has developed high-performance thermoplastic polymers called polyketones, which will be used in various types of value-added industrial products, said Koreantimes.

The firm claimed the company is the first in the world to commercialize the material, saying it is one of the greatest achievements in the materials industry, tantamount to the development of nylon by American chemical giant DuPont more than seven decades ago.

Since 2004, Hyosung has spent over 50 billion won on developing the material. Unlike many other engineering plastics, polyketones are relatively easy to synthesize and could be derived from inexpensive monomers.
Meanwhile, the material reduces the level of harmful gases in the atmosphere while engineering high-performance products.

Shell of the United States originally launched the project in 1996, however, the oil firm discontinued it in 2000.

In a press release, Hyosung said the development will bring about some 10 trillion won in economic effects in the long term. Polyketones will be used in manufacturing various industrial products, including vehicles, pipes, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), cable ties and tire cords.

The firm said it has completed a polyketone factory with an annual production capacity of 1,000 tons in the southeastern industrial city of Ulsan, last year. It plans to expand the annual capacity to 50,000 tons by 2015 to preempt the very-lucrative and highly-promising market. The total market value is estimated at 66 trillion won in 2015.

“We’ve already started shipping samples to 100 set-makers including Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. We are receiving positive reviews from clients for the material. But higher price and low production yields are the biggest challenging factors that should be addressed. With more calls, those issues will be effectively handled,” said Woo of Hyosung.

In October 2013 the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) was looking into suspicions that Hyosung Group Chairman Cho Suk-rae and his family took out loans worth billions of won from the company through accounts made under false identities. The FSS, which is expected to begin the investigation in November, will look into whether Cho’s family appropriated the borrowed money for personal use.

Hyosung Corporation is a Korean industrial conglomerate, founded in 1957. It operates in various fields, including the chemical industry, industrial machinery, IT, trade, and construction.

Celanese, CNPC fuel ethanol project in feasibility study

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation CE revealed that it is teaming up with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in progressing a synthetic fuel ethanol project. Feasibility study is being carried out by teams respectively formed, said Menafn.

On August 22, both parties inked a memo, according to which they will make full use of ethanol technology from Celanese to jointly progress a synthetic fuel ethanol project. Vice president of Celanese in charge of strategic development in Asia Pacific told reporters that an ethanol device was built up in its production base situated in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, east China in mid 2013, producing industrial alcohol with coals as raw materials.

The vice president pointed out that cooperation form with CNPC has not been nailed down. Any form will be considered no matter JV production or technology license. Currently, their cooperative ethanol project mainly supplies motor ethanol gasoline mixed by fuel ethanol and gasoline.

As MRC wrote before, Celanese is attempting to sell its vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) unit in Tarragona, Spain. The capacity of the VAM unit is 200,000 tpy, according to the company. Celanese said it is committed to taking the appropriate time to find a "credible buyer" for the unit, with primary focus on industrial candidates.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications.

Krauss Maffei Berstorff and Zeppelin Systems form a strategic partnership

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Krauss Maffei Berstorff and Zeppelin Systems form a strategic partnership to build turn-key compounding plants for the production of technical plastics, to complete plants from one single source, said Process-worldonline.

Friedrichshafen, Hanover (Germany – Krauss Maffei Berstorff (Hanover) and Zeppelin Systems (Friedrichshafen) will further enhance their cooperation to enter the field of technical plastics compounding as one entity.

This collaboration is specifically designed to accommodate the global changes in plant engineering for compounding plants. By joining their expertise in details and processes, Krauss Maffei Berstorff and Zeppelin are able to provide turn-key plants for the production of bulk material such as polyolefins to international chemical companies and plastic producers.

In addition to compounding extruders and their devices for storage, dosage and packing, the plant planning also includes approval planning, power and media supply as well as integration into existing plants. The two companies will act as a consortium – nearly as one company – in the field of technical plastics compounding.

The producers of technical plastics will also benefit from this partnership: the overall responsibility of building a turn-key compounding plant will be in the hands of an experienced team in the fields of plant engineering and compounding processes.

As MRC wrote before, two leading pipe manufacturers from Russia have recently chosen KraussMaffei Berstorff as a systems supplier for premium-quality technology and invested in PO pipe extrusion systems. Isoljazionny Trubny Zawod (ITZ) is seeking to enter into a long-term partnership with KraussMaffei Berstorff. Polyplastic Group is already a satisfied KraussMaffei Berstorff customer and, consequently, has placed a follow-up order.