Borealis increases activity South America with the expansion of Itatiba plant in Brazil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The South American operations of global automotive manufacturers and OEMs are being even better served thanks to increased Borealis activity in the region, principally through the expansion of the plant in Itatiba, near Sao Paulo, Brazil, reported the company on its site.

This EUR45 mln project involves the construction of an additional production building, two state-of-the-art PP compounding extruders, blending and raw material silos, warehouse facilities and a bagging line.

In addition, extensive upgrading of utility and water systems is being carried out. With nearly 80% of the construction project concluded, the commissioning and start-up plan has already commenced.

The improved plant is scheduled to go 100% on stream during the fourth quarter of 2014 and its output will significantly augment current annual production in Brazil of high-performance, high-quality PP compounds.

Consequently, Borealis will be able to better serve growing regional market demand and pursue new opportunities in pioneering applications in the automotive industry and beyond.

"Our Itatiba expansion is a clear indication of Borealis’ commitment to becoming the leading supplier to the South American automotive industry," explains Jost Eric Laumeyer, Borealis Global Marketing Manager Engineering Applications. "As we grow our asset footprint in South America, our expansion efforts will help solidify our current partnerships whilst at the same time enabling us to seek out additional opportunities in cooperation with new global partners."

As MRC informed previously, Borealis AG is buying out DuPont Co.’s two-thirds share in their Specialty Polymers Antwerp NV joint venture. No purchase price was disclosedl. Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont will continue to sell ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and acrylate compolymers made at the JV’s plant, which is in Zwijndrecht, Belgium.

Vienna-based Borealis is a leading producer of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. The firm posted sales of more than USD10 billion in 2013. Borealis is majority-owned by state-owned International Petroleum Investment Co. of Abu Dhabi. IPIC also owns North American ethylene and polyethylene producer Nova Chemicals and Middle Eastern petrochemicals firm Borouge.

Exports of PA 6 from Russia increased by 22% in January-August 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Russia's exports of polyamide 6 (PA 6) were 66,800 tonnes in the first eight months of the year, up 22% year on year, according to MRC DataScope report .

The deliveries of pure unfilled PA 6 occurred for 99% from the total exports over the reported period. The main producer of PA 6 in Russia, Kuibyshev Azot, produces PA for processing in the textile industry, as well as compounding.
The main consumers of Russian polyamide remained such countries as: China (40% of exports), India (20%), Turkey (15%) and Germany (10%). The main share of deliveries occurred for the consumption in the textile industry: 66%.

Russian textile industry is characterized by a significantly higher cost than in such countries as China, India, Turkey. It is profitable to import finished products from these countries. Because of this demand from the textile industry for Russian PA is not high compared to the production volumes.

Huntsman announces Q3 2014 common dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Huntsman Corporation has announced that the company’s board of directors has declared a USD0.125 per share cash dividend on its common stock, as per the company's press release.

The dividend is payable on September 30, 2014, to stockholders of record as of September 22, 2014.

As MRC reported before, this year, the performance products division of Huntsman expanded its global polyetheramines (PEA) capacity by a minimum of 15% as a result of debottlenecking three of its PEA manufacturing plants globally. Expansion was done in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The company's projects at its Conroe, Texas (US), Llanelli, Wales (UK) and Singapore sites had been fully operational by May 2014.

Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals with 2013 revenues of over USD11 billion. The company manufactures products for a variety of global industries, including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging. Huntsman operates more than 80 manufacturing and R&D facilities in 30 countries and employ approximately 12,000 associates within the company's 5 business divisions.

Tongkun to start a new PTA plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's polyester maker Tongkun is in plans to start a new purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the plant is planned to be started in 2017.

To be located at Zhapu in Zhejiang province, China, the plant will have a production capacity of 1.5 million mt/year.

As MR informed before, Tongkun has shut its No.1 PTA on August 5, 2014 on account of feedstock shortage and technical issues. It remained off-stream for around 10 days. Located at Zhapu in China, the plant has a production capacity of 1.5 million mt/year.

We remind that Tongkun Group said its net profit for 2013 slumped by 72.1% year on year to yuan (CNY) 72m (USD11.6m), amid the sluggish domestic chemical fibre market. In 2013, the chemical fibre industry developed weakly, as well as oversupply in some regions which made the industry into the predicament, the company said.

Total to sell off more assets, cuts oil output target

MOSCOW (MRC) - French oil company Total is to step up plans to sell off assets, cut investments and reduce operating costs to deliver on a promise to generate USD15 billion in free cash flow in 2017, Reuters.

The oil group, which has struggled with production outages in Libya, Kazakhstan and Nigeria, said on Monday it had reduced its 2017 output goal to 2.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day from a previous 3 million.

"We have more than 15 major projects to fuel the future growth ... Two thirds of those projects are operated by us so that gives us confidence we will achieve the targets," chief financial officer Patrick de La Chevardiere said at a presentation to investors.

De La Chevardiere declined to comment on what assets the company could sell, adding that during the previous asset sale plan it had sold both upstream and downstream businesses.

Total, like other big oil companies, has been under pressure from shareholders to cut costs and raise dividends. It has been selling off businesses, such as its adhesives division Bostik, which French chemicals group Arkema has offered to buy for 1.74 billion euros (2.24 billion US dollar).

Total said it now planned to sell USD10 billion worth of assets in 2015-17, having achieved a target of USD15-20 billion of sales in 2012-2014.

France's biggest company by market value and the West's fourth biggest oil and gas company said last year it would engage in what Chief Executive Christophe De Margerie called a "soft-landing" in capital investments.

Organic investments would fall to USD25 billion in 2017 from a peak of USD28 billion in 2013 while operating expenses would fall by USD2 billion per year by 2017.

The company reiterated an earlier target to generate free cash flows of USD15 billion in 2017 but cut the target for next year to USD7 billion from a previous USD10 billion. It had free cash flows of USD2.6 billion in 2013.

As MRC wrote before, Total, Europe’s third-largest oil company, 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.