PET imports to Russia dropped by 7%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into Russia dropped by 7% in 2013 and totalled about 172,000 tonnes. The reduced supplies have been registered for the second consecutive year and were caused by a general decline in PET chips consumption in the country, according to MRC Annual report.

The displacement of Korean and other producers' PET by Chinese material should be noted among the trends in the structure of imports. Despite the overall decline in imports, supplies of Chinese PET increased by 21,000 tonnes and totalled about 94,000 tonnes.

HY-W01 grades of Shanghai Hengyi Polyester (China) was the most popular imported grade last year. Its total imports almost doubled in 2013 and amounted to 22,800 tonnes. Imports of Chinese Zhejiang Wankai's WK801 grade also remained high (22,300 tonnes last year).

Polief (Ufa) will launch the second PET line in 2014. Thus, in line with the capacity expansion program "PETF-2010", the plant's capacity will increase by 90,000 tonnes this year to 210,000 tonnes, after which SIBUR will become the largest PET producer in Russia and the CIS markets (the company owns two PET plants - Polief and SIBUR-PETF).

Increased production capacity of Russian plants will promote competition among sellers in the domestic market and further displacement of foreign suppliers. Thoug, it will not be possible to completely displace imports, as large PET consumers in the country still adhere to the strategy of procurement diversification, thus eliminating the risks, which might be caused by possible force majeures.


Shell exits Wheatstone LNG after sale to Kuwait

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, will exit the Wheatstone LNG project in Australia after selling its interests for USD1.14 billion to state-run Kuwait Foreign Exploration Petroleum Co., according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Shell, which had been involved in seven liquefied natural gas projects in the country, will concentrate investment away from the Chevron Corp.-led venture in Western Australia, it said. It will sell its 8% stake in the Wheatstone-Iago fields and 6.4% in the LNG plant to Kufpec, as the state-run Kuwait company is known.

"Shell will remain a major player in Australia’s energy industry," Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said in the statement. "However, we are refocusing our investment to where we can add the most value with Shell’s capital and technology."

The Anglo-Dutch company, which planned to invest about USD50 billion in Australian LNG, has been reviewing projects worldwide after capital expenditure rose to record USD44 billion last year. Van Beurden, who took charge at the start of the year, may step up assets sales after Shell said Jan. 17 that fourth-quarter earnings will fall to the lowest since 2009.

The Hague-based company also said that it’s examining possible job cuts at its Australian Arrow Energy Ltd. unit. Shell together with its partner PetroChina Co., China’s biggest listed oil and gas producer, delayed an investment decision into the LNG project after costs in Australia surged.

As MRC reported before, Shell will build plants in Louisiana and Canada to produce liquefied natural gas as a fuel for heavy trucks and large ships. Shell, one of the largest gas producers in the US, will build the facilities in Geismar, Louisiana, along the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge, and in Sarnia, Ontario, on the southern shore of Lake Huron just east of Michigan. Each plant will be able to produce 250,000 tpy of LNG.

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.

CLH creates JV with Orpic for the construction a new logistics infrastructures in Oman

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Compania Logistica de Hidrocarburos CLH, S.A. has signed an agreement with the Omani company Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (ORPIC) for creating a joint venture that will invest 200 million dollars in the construction and operation of new logistics infrastructures in Oman, said Noodles.

The new company, in which CLH and ORPIC will hold a 40% and 60% stake, respectively, will be called Orpic Logistics Company (OLC) and it will be responsible for the construction and management of a storage plant in the vicinity of Muscat, the capital of Oman, and a multi-product pipeline network that will connect the new storage plant to the two refineries existing in the country and with Muscat International Airport.

The new pipeline network will have a total length of 290 kilometres and will make it possible for more than 5.4 million cubic metres to be transported. It will also be reversible, meaning that a highly flexible logistics system will be provided. The development and start-up of the infrastructures will be gradual. The first section of this pipeline network will consist of building the connection between the refinery in Muscat and the international airport, and is expected to become operational during the first half of 2016.

On the other hand, the new storage plant will have an operating capacity of more than 170,000 cubic metres and will be fitted with 18 loading racks for expediting supply to the various distribution companies operating in Oman, and is expected to become operational in the first half of 2017, as is the pipeline for connection with the Sohar refinery.

The building of these new infrastructures, in which CLH's broad experience in managing these types of logistics systems will be applied, will bring significant benefits to Oman, as it will permit increased security of oil product supplies and will reduce the use of tank trucks for transporting fuels by road. Besides this, it will mean that the costs of oil product transportation and distribution in the country can be optimised.
Compania Logistica de Hidrocarburos CLH is the leading company in the Spanish market for the transportation and storage of oil products, with a pipeline network more than 4,000 kilometres long, and 39 storage facilities, with a total capacity of 7.9 million cubic metres, in addition to 28 airport facilities.

ORPIC (Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company) is one of the leading companies in Oman and has two refineries in that country, in Sohar and Muscat. ORPIC is owned by the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and Oman Oil Company SAOC, the trading company created by the Government of the Sultanate of Oman for managing investments in the energy sector. We remind that in late 2012 Orpic announced that its production of world class high quality polypropylene homopolymer at Sohar plant has crossed 1 million tonnes. This was a significant milestone for the polypropylene (PP) plant in Sohar, which began production in October 2006.

DuPont announces Mark Vergnano CEO of new Performance Chemicals Company

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DuPont, the biggest US chemical maker by market value, has announced Executive Vice President Mark P. Vergnano will serve as CEO of the new, independent USD7 billion Performance Chemicals company after its separation from DuPont, which is expected to occur in second quarter 2015, according to the company's statement.

BC Chong and Thierry F.J. Vanlancker will continue to respectively lead the Titanium Technologies and Chemicals & Fluoroproducts businesses within Performance Chemicals.

"Establishing the core leadership of the new Performance Chemicals company is a key milestone in creating two strong yet distinct companies that deliver maximum value for our shareholders," said DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman.

Vergnano, 55, is currently Executive Vice President of DuPont and his responsibilities include oversight of the Performance Chemicals segment since 2009. With 33 years’ experience at DuPont, Vergnano has held a diverse range of business, manufacturing and technical leadership positions around the world – including leading several global businesses. He is a member of the board of directors of Johnson Controls, Inc. and the U.S. National Safety Council.

As MRC reported earlier, last year, DuPont announced its intention to separate its Performance Chemicals segment through a tax-free spin-off to shareholders, resulting in two standalone companies. After separation, Performance Chemicals will operate as an independent, publicly traded company. It will have world leading businesses in Titanium Technologies and Chemicals & Fluoroproducts, well-established positions in attractive markets, and strong cash flow generation. The Performance Chemicals segment generated about USD7 billion in 2012 revenues.

DuPont is an American chemical company that was founded in July, 1802. The company manufactures a wide range of chemical products, leading extensive innovative research in this field. The company is the inventor of many unique plastics and other materials, including neoprene, nylon, Teflon, Kevlar, Mylar, Tyvek, etc. DuPont was the developer and main producer of Freon used in the production of refrigeration equipment.

Formosa Petrochemical shareholders plan to raise up to USD340 mln from sale of shares

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Formosa Plastics, Nan Ya Plastics, and Formosa Chemicals & Fibre - Formosa Petrochemical Corp's three largest shareholders plan to raise up to USD340 miln from the sale of shares in Taiwan's top plastics conglomerate, as per Plastemart.

The three plan to sell 129.6 miln shares in an indicative range of TD77-79 each, added IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication. That would put the deal at TD10.24 bln (USD340 mln). The deal may grow to 154.8 million if underwriters exercise an option to sell additional shares to meet demand.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS AG were hired as joint bookrunners of the selldown.

As MRC reported earlier, Formosa Plastics Corp, the nation’s largest producer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), is considering building a factory to make 1.2 million tonnes of ethylene a year in the US state of Louisiana, using shale gas.

To utilize shale gas in the US, the company is planning to invest USD3 billion in Texas to set up a facility that would produce 2 million cubic meters of gas annually, 1.2 million tonnes of ethylene, 600,000 tonnes of propylene and 400,000 tonnes of high-density polyethylene, Lee said. He added that the project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

Formosa Petrochemical is involved primarily in the business of refining crude oil, selling refined petroleum products and producing and selling olefins (including ethylene, propylene, butadiene and BTX) from its naphtha cracking operations. Formosa Petrochemical is also the largest olefins producer in Taiwan and its olefins products are mostly sold to companies within the Formosa Group. Among the company's chemical products are paraxylene (PX), phenyl ethylene, acetone and pure terephthalic acid (PTA). The company"s plastic products include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resins, polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and panlite (PC).