DSM reports fire in utilities building in Sisseln, Switzerland

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, today reports a fire at a utilities building of one of its intermediates production plants in Sisseln, Switzerland, which occurred about a week ago, reported the company on its site.

There was only equipment damage; at no time has there been any impact on personal safety, the environment or public health. The production of a few intermediates, mainly for Animal Nutrition & Health, has been interrupted. Impact to customers is expected to be minimal.

The majority of the estimated impact of EUR20-25 million is covered by insurance. An amount of EUR15 million will be covered by DSM Insurances’ captive insurance and will be recognized as part of Corporate Activities in DSM’s Q2 results due to be published on 5 August 2014.

As MRC wrote previously, last October, Royal DSM signed a partnership agreement with long fibre thermoplastic (LFT) specialist Plasticomp (Winona, Minnesota, USA) to develop bio-based LFT composite materials based on DSM’s "EcoPaXX" polyamide 4.10. The lightweight materials, which include compounds reinforced with glass fiber as well as carbon fiber, will be targeted at automotive and other performance-driven markets.

Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials.

Russian producers raise July PP prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR and Ufaorgsintez have announced price increases of polypropylene (PP) from 1 July 2014, according ICIS-MRC Price report.

Russian producers have begun to announce this week their PP prices for July shipments. SIBUR announced its new higher prices on 1 July (the company manages Tobolsk-Polymer, Tomskneftekhim, Polyom and Neftekhimia), as well as Ufaorgsintez. PP prices rose by Rb400-2,000/tonne from mid-June, depending on the grade.

SIBUR announced a price increase of homopolymer of propylene (homopolymer PP). Prices of raffia grade of homopolymer PP increased by Rb2,000/tonne, prices of injection moulding homopolymer PP grew by Rb1,000/tonne. Ufaorgsinteh raised its prices of raffia grade of homopolymer PP and injection moulding homopolymer PP by Rb1,300/tonne and Rb1,700/tonne, respectively. Prices of Ufaorgsintez's statistical copolymer of propylene (PP-random) rose by Rb400/tonne.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim did not announced officially as of Tuesday morning (1 July 2014) its decision regarding its July PP prices.

Russian producers said higher PP prices were caused by rising feedstocks prices, strong seasonal demand and upcoming scheduled outages for maintenance works.

PP imports in Ukraine decreased by 27% in January - May 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Total imports of polypropylene (PP) in Ukraine decreased by 27% in the first five months of this year on the back of economic recession and currency devaluation, according to MRC DataScope.

Ukraine's PP imports in May were about 8,700 tonnes, almost at the April level. In general, total PP imports in the Ukrainian market declined to 40,800 tonnes in January - May 2014, compared with 56,000 tonnes year on year. Economic recession, shutdowns of some major buyers and hryvnya devaluation continue to limit demand for PP in the local market.

Structure of PP imports over the reported period was as follows. May imports of homopolymer PP in the country were about 6,900 tonnes, compared with 6,400 tonnes in April. Ukraine's imports of homopolymer PP decreased to 31,400 tonnes in the first five months of this year, down 27% year on year. The biggest drop in the demand occurred for the sector of injection moulding - about 60% over the period. Key suppliers of homopolymer PP in the local market were producers from Saudi Arabia and Russia.

May imports of PP block copolymers in Ukraine dropped below 1000 tonnes, when in April it was 1,200 tonnes. Imports of PP block copolymers in Ukraine in the first five months of the year dropped to 4,700 tonnes, compared with 6,200 tonnes year on year. The main drop in demand occurred for extrusion grade copolymers for the production of pipes and sheets. The main suppliers remained producers from Europe.

May imports of PP random copolymers in Ukraine declined to 600 tonnes, compared to 774 tonnes in April. Total imports of PP random copolymers in Ukraine were about 3,500 tonnes in January - May 2014, compared with 4,600 tonnes year on year. The main reduction in supply occurred for the producers of pressure PP pipes.

Total imports of other propylene copolymers in the reporting period were about 1,200 tonnes, compared with 2,000 tonnes year on year.


LyondellBasell grants Spherizone license to CNOOC for PP plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell has announced that CNOOC Oil and Petrochemicals Co., has selected the LyondellBasell Spherizone technology for a 400,000 tons per year polypropylene (PP) plant planned to be built at Huizhou, China, reported the company on its site.

"LyondellBasell Spherizone technology can deliver a wide range of high-quality PP products with low resource and energy consumption and we are pleased that CNOOC has again selected our technology for their new facility," said Bob Patel, LyondellBasell Senior Vice President, Olefins and Polyolefins for Europe, Asia, International, and Technology. "This is the fourth polyolefins process technology we have licensed to CNOOC and its joint venture, building on a relationship that spans more than 10 years."

Spherizone offers a multi-zone circulating reactor process providing an economical and efficient method of manufacturing a wide range of high-quality polypropylene and novel polyolefins resins all on a single-line with capacities of up to 500 KT per year. Low manufacturing and investment cost make Spherizone very attractive in the marketplace. Since the launch of the Spherizone process in 2004, more than 3.5 million tons of capacities have been licensed.

As MRC informed previously, in May 2014, LyondellBasell received a key permit required in the company's multi-plant ethylene expansion program which, when fully operational, is expected to increase annual ethylene capacity by an estimated USD3.12 billion, for a total estimated capacity of USD19.9 billion in North America. The ethylene expansion program began in 2013 and represents a total investment of approximately USD1.3 billion in the company's Channelview, La Porte and Corpus Christi, Texas plants which benefit from shale gas production.

LyondellBasell Industries NV is a manufacturing company. The company produces chemicals, fuels, and polymers used for packaging, clean fuels, durable textiles, medical applications, construction materials, and automotive parts. LyondellBasell Industries operates globally and is headquartered in the Netherlands. LyondellBasell is also a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies. The more than 250 polyolefin process licenses granted by LyondellBasell are twice that of any other polyolefin technology licensor.

Evonik plans to reorganize the group structure

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG, a leading specialty chemicals manufacturer, has presented its plans to reorganize the group structure to the Supervisory Board, as per the company's statement.

The Executive Board wants to concentrate more on Evonik's strategic development within a management holding structure. The plan is for the three operating segments, Consumer, Health & Nutrition, Resource Efficiency, and Specialty Materials, to become three fully functional legal entities operating as limited liability companies (German legal status: GmbH). This would give them far greater entrepreneurial independence, allowing more targeted management of their respective businesses, position them even closer to their markets and customers, and bring a further improvement in efficiency. In the future, Evonik also intends to operate the present Site Services as a limited liability company (GmbH) with the involvement of the three operating segments. Further details of the planned new corporate structure will be worked out in the course of this year.

Klaus Engel, Chairman of Evonik's Executive Board, explained: "Through the planned reorganization of the management and portfolio structure we want to create a better basis for more differentiated management of our various businesses close to the markets and for more focused development. That will increase our strategic flexibility and strengthen our leading competitive positions in the different markets."

The demands made on managing and running the three segments already differ considerably in line with their respective market requirements.

As MRC reported earlier, Evonik Industries is paving the way for a new technology whose applications include automotive finishes that are more scratch-resistant than ever before. The specialty chemicals company has recently developed an industrial-scale method for producing silane-modified binders for automotive finishes. The advantage of these silane-modified binders: silane groups increase crosslinking density, making it possible to create automotive finishes that are flexible yet harder, leading to improved scratch resistance.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2013 more than 33,500 employees generated sales of around EUR12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about EUR2.0 billion.