LyondellBasell Board authorizes interim dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell has announced that its Supervisory Board has authorized the company's Management Board to declare an interim dividend of USD0.70 per share, reported the company on its site.

The interim dividend will be paid 8 September, 2014 to shareholders of record 25 August, 2014, with an ex-dividend date of 21 August, 2014.

As MRC informed earlier, LyondellBasell on Monday announced plans to build a world scale PO/TBA plant on the US Gulf Coast with capacity of 900 million lb/year of propylene oxide (PO) and 2 billion lb/year of tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) and its derivatives. The preliminary timetable is to have the plant operational in 2019. The plant is expected to sell PO in the global marketplace to meet growing demand for polyurethanes, which are used primarily for the manufacture of bedding, furniture, carpets and car seats.

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.

Clariant to offer certified sustainable palm-based materials

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has announced Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Mass Balance supply chain certification for its plant in Gendorf, Germany, in order to meet the increasing demand for sustainable certified palm-based ingredients from customers in the personal care and home care sectors, as per the company's press release.

Gendorf is the first of Clariant’s plants to be RSPO certified and progresses its target to continuously increase the offer of certified palm based products and to have all relevant production sites certified by 2016.

"The use of certified renewable raw materials like palm-based oleochemicals in our products and processes is an important element in integrating sustainability into our operations and attaining our goals of sustainability leadership and value creation for our customers," said Hariolf Kottmann, CEO Clariant. "Sustainability and innovation are pillars of Clariant’s business strategy and sustainable raw materials are significant for the development of innovative, future-oriented products."

Palm oil and palm kernel oil derivatives are increasingly used renewable raw materials in personal care and home care applications. The RSPO’s supply chain certification schemes are a cornerstone to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products. A member of RSPO since 2011, Clariant has set clear targets to certify all relevant Business Unit Industrial & Consumer Specialities’ plants using palm-based oleochemicals under the RSPO Mass Balance scheme by 2016. It is an important step in proactively working toward its commitment to achieve 100% segregated supply chain certification by 2020. While Mass Balance allows for mixing of certified and non certified material along the supply chain, segregation is a guarantee that only certified material has entered the supply chain.

Clariant uses olechemicals derived from palm-based oils in its surfactants, emulsifiers and preservatives for personal care and home care products.

As MRC informed before, in June 2014, CB&I and Clariant announced that their new Ziegler-Natta (ZN) polypropylene catalyst plant in Louisville, Kentucky, is on schedule to begin production in 2015. The plant is part of a long-term strategic partnership between Clariant’s catalysts business and CB&I’s Lummus Novolen Technology business. Based at Clariant’s largest US production hub, the new facility will combine innovative catalysts jointly developed by both companies with high-capacity output.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical to restart PP line in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical is likely to restart a polypropylene (PP) line, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the line is likely to restart in end-August 2014. It was shut on July 29 for maintenance turnaround.

Located in Nanjing, China, the line has a production capacity of 200,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, Daqing Refining & Chemical is in plans to restart its PP plant following maintenance turnaround in mid-September 2014. It was shut on August 4, 2014. Located in Heilongjiang province, China, the plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

We remind that, in July 2014, LyondellBasell announced that CNOOC Oil and Petrochemicals Co., had selected the LyondellBasell Spherizone technology for a 400,000 tons per year PP plant planned to be built at Huizhou, China.

Sinopec sees widening refining margins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Top Asian refiner China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) has posted a better-than-expected 7.5% increase in first-half profit as refining margin at Asia’s biggest refiner widened and production climbed, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Net income was 32.5 billion yuan (USD5.3 billion), or 0.28 yuan a share, in the six months ended June 30 from 30.3 billion yuan, or 0.25 yuan, a year earlier, the Beijing-based company, known as Sinopec, said Friday in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange. The average of six analyst estimates, compiled by Bloomberg, was a profit of 30 billion yuan.

Sinopec is at the forefront of a China government push to restructure state-controlled companies and allow markets a bigger role in the allocation of resources. The company is seeking to raise 100 billion yuan selling about a third of its retail unit.

"China’s slower economic growth had a negative impact on Sinopec’s fuel-retailing business and it somehow managed to balance the loss by achieving higher margins in refining," said Shi Yan, an analyst at UOB Kay Hian in Shanghai. "Profit should stay flat in the second half unless Sinopec can register major production increase in its shale gas unit."

Operating profit for the refining business rose almost 46 times to 9.7 billion yuan in the period from a year earlier, according to an English earnings statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Shale gas production reached 3.2 million cubic meters a day at Fuling, China’s biggest shale-producing project, in Southwest China’s Chongqing, it said.

As MRC informed before, in November 2013, Sinopec won initial approval last month from China's top economic planner for a plan to build a USD10-billion refinery and petrochemical complex in Shanghai. China, the world's largest net importer of oil, is likely to add 3 million barrels per day, or a quarter of new refining capacity, between 2013 and 2015 to fuel economic growth, industry officials and Chinese media estimate.

Sinopec Corp. is one of the largest scale integrated energy and chemical companies with upstream, midstream and downstream operations. Its refining and ethylene capacity ranks No.2 and No.4 globally. The Company has 30,000 sales and distribution networks of oil products and chemical products, its service stations are now ranked third largest in the world.

Output of ethylene and benzene dropped in Russia by 12.4% and 6.7%, respectively, from January to July 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Production of ethylene and benzene in Russia decreased over the first seven months of 2014 by 12.4% and 6.7%, respectively, year on year, reported MRC analysts.

According to the data published by the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, the July output of ethylene and benzene by Russian petrochemical plants totalled 165,000 tonnes and 82,500 tonnes, down by 11.5% and 4.2%, respectively, from June.

The overall prodcution of these petrochemical products in Russia fell from January to July 2014 to 1.4 million tonnes and 660,900 tonnes, respectively, while these figures were 1.582 million tonnes and 708,300 tonnes, respectively, over the same period of 2013.

The main reason for the reduced output of these basic products for the production of polymers was an outage at Stavrolen (an accident at its ethylene production on 26 February, 2014) and a long-term overhaul at SIBUR-Kstovo's ethylene production along with the expansion of the plant's capacitites.

As reported earlier, according to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, the production figure of basic chemicals was 100.6% from January to July 2014 compared to the previous year. In July, this figure dropped to 97.3%.