Eni in Kazakh block pact

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Italian giant Eni has forged a joint venture with state-owned KazMunaiGaz to exploit potential resources in a Caspian Sea block off Kazakhstan, said Upstreamonline.

The pair will each hold 50% stakes in exploration and production rights for the Isatay block in the northern Caspian under a strategic pact signed on Thursday by Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi and KMG executive chairman Sauat Mynbayev.

They will also participate in a joint operating company that is being set up to tap expected significant oil resource potential in the block.

In addition, the two companies have agreed under the pact to develop a new shipyard at Kuryk in the Mangystau region on the Caspian coastline that will be run by a project company to be formed by the pair, apparently in an effort to secure local content for future field development projects.

The deal raises Eni’s profile in Kazakhstan, where it is already a co-operator of the Karachaganak field and a partner in the giant Kashagan field at which production is presently halted due to technical issues.

As MRC wrote before, Kazakhstan plans to build a major petrochemical complex by 2016 to produce higher-value products from associated petroleum gas that is currently mainly flared, according to an official at state-run KazMunaiGaz. The complex will be built in the Atyrau region, where one of Kazakhstan's major oil fields, Tengiz, is located and which will become the key source for feedstock to the complex, she added, speaking at the CIS Oil and Gas summit in Paris. There is already an agreement in place with Tengiz's operator on the issue, she said, providing no further details on the deal.

Clariant Chemicals Ltd inaugurates new India headquarters at Navi Mumbai

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant Chemicals (India), India's leading speciality chemicals producer, announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art headquarters at Reliable Tech Park in Airoli, Navi Mumbai, said Indiatimes.

The inauguration of this facility at Navi Mumbai is in line with the company's plan for increased growth through greater focus on innovation and profitable growth, a company statement said here.

The new office reinforces Clariant's commitment to growth through focus on technology and greater efficiency. It will allow the company to expand its capacity, generate value and greater service satisfaction to its customers. The new headquarters have been designed to act as a catalyst for the envisioned growth of the company's operations in India.

"The future of ClariantBSE -2.58 % is in Asia - and India is a key market for Clariant globally. The new office will afford us the opportunity to broaden our customer base, deliver innovative solutions and create value that will benefit all our stakeholders.

"We intend to improve our market presence and generate additional growth through a sustained thrust on innovation," Clariant International CEO Hariolf Kottmann said.

"2014 is a year of transformation for Clariant in India. As we continue to grow, it is important that our facilities reflect and act as enablers for our commitment to innovation and fleet-footed customer services. It will be our endeavour to utilize this facility to its full potential and drive Clariant into a new era of prosperity and success," Clariant (India) Vice Chairman & Managing Director said Deepak Parikh said.

The new facility covers a total area of 140,000 sq ft will eventually house around 400 employees across the various service functions and the businesses of pigments, additives, industrial & consumer specialities, masterbatches, and also their technical service teams.

As MRC wrote before, Clariant Chemicals (India ) Ltd., an affiliate of Clariant AG, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has announced the successful closure of the acquisition of Plastichemix Industries.

Clariant Chemicals (India) Limited and custom color and additive products with production of more than 10,000 color matches which are completed each year. With more than 50 manufacturing plants around the world, Clariant
Masterbatches products, technology and service deliver competitive advantages that foster long-term customer relationships.


OMNOVA completes expansion of France manufacturing unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- OMNOVA Solutions announced the completion of a major capabilities expansion at its Le Havre, France manufacturing facility, which will enable the Company to increase its capacity to produce specialty acrylic resins for water-borne coatings, said the producer in its press release.

This multi-million euro expansion features semi-continuous polymerization and builds upon OMNOVA's existing capabilities for acrylic water-based chemistries in the United States in order to enhance regional service to customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

"We are seeing increased market demand for water-based coating solutions, particularly in Europe. This investment in new capabilities at our Le Havre site demonstrates our commitment to growing with our global customers with quality manufacturing and regional supply," said Jim Hohman, President of OMNOVA Solutions' Performance Chemicals division. "There is the added benefit of being close to our Villejust, France technology center, where much of our coatings development work is done."

As MRC wrote before, OMNOVA produces styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) that is used as carpet backing and paper coatings - far removed from food services.

OMNOVA Solutions is a technology-based company with 2013 sales of USD1 billion and a global workforce of approximately 2,300. OMNOVA is an innovator of emulsion polymers, specialty chemicals, and functional and decorative surfaces for a variety of commercial, industrial and residential end uses. The company is headquartered in Fairlawn, Ohio, USA, and serves a global marketplace from 10 chemical production facilities in Europe, Asia and the U.S. The regional headquarters for Europe is in Villejust, France. The business has representative offices in Europe, Asia and the Americas and an extensive network of distributors and agents strategically located around the world.

PC imports in Ukraine grew by 4% in January-April 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polycarbonate (PC) in Ukraine increased to 1,100 tonnes, up 4% compared with the same time in 2013, according to a MRC DataScope report.

Market players said despite the stagnation of the economy in Ukraine because of the political crisis and the devaluation of the national currency, business activity in the PC market remains almost the same as last year, and in some areas it even improved. Ukraine's consumption of blow moulding PC was 200 tonnes in January - April, up 5% year on year.

Company Tagol (Dnepropetrovsk) and Graif Ukraine (Kiev) produce bottles. Consumption of injection moulding PC over the reporting period increased by 12% to 600 tonnes.
One of the largest converters in this sector was Ukrainian company Eugene (Cherkasy). Extrusion moulding sector declined to 65 tonnes in January-April 2014, down 41% year on year.

Ukraine did not import PC in the first quarter of 2014 because of the sluggish demand for finished PC products. The only producer of cellular and solid PC sheets in Ukraine remains company Tagol (Dnipropetrovsk).

Injection moulding sector is the most developed in Ukraine and takes up almost half of the Ukrainian market. Injection moulding PC are used to produce automobile headlights, lampshades for streetlights, buildings for different lighting, separators for milk caps for electricity and water meters, small automotive components.


Ukrainian converters reduced PET purchases by almost a quarter in January-April 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to Ukraine decreased by 24% in January-April 2014, compared with the same period a year earlier, according to MRC DataScope report.

Total imports of PET chips to Ukraine were 51,400 tonnes in January-April 2014. Imports volumes reduced in line with a general decline in the consumption of finished products from the producers of water, beer and drinks.

Structure of supplies has also changed. Ukrainian converters gave more preference to Middle Eastern suppliers. Imports volumes from South Asia and the Middle East have increased.

At the same time, Ukrainian companies have reduced purchases of Chinese and Lithuanian PET. PET imports from India increased to 10,000 tonnes over the reported period, compared to 5,700 tonnes in January-April 2013. PET imports from Pakistan has tripled to 4,500 tonnes.

At the same time supplies of the Lithuanian PET fell twofold to 5,400 tonnes. Imports of Chinese PET reduced by 36% to 28,700 tonnes.
Converters' opinions about the situation in the market were mixed.

Traders of finished products in Central and Western Ukraine reported a steady demand for PET because of hot weather and seasonal activity of water and beverage producers. At the same time a substantial part of the companies noted a drop in sales in the current year.

The sales have strengthened because of a seasonal factor, but in general, in the reporting period there was a decline in preforms consumption. The loss of the Crimean market and instability in the eastern regions (Donetsk and Luhansk regions) contributed to this situation.