Lanxess subsidiary Bond-Laminates successfully completes capacity expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lanxess subsidiary Bond-Laminates, that belongs to the business unit High Performance Materials, has completed capacity expansion at its site in Brilon, Germany, for the high-performance composite Tepex on schedule, reported Lanxess on its site.

The two new production plants were recently taken into operation.

Altogether, the company now has facilities with a total annual capacity of well over four million square meters Tepex. In addition to a new production hall, further storage areas and office space were also added.

"These investments come in response to the rapidly rising demand for Tepex, particularly in the automotive, sports equipment and consumer electronics industries," said Jochen Bauder, Managing Director of Bond-Laminates.

Tepex comprises continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites. Polyamide, polypropylene, thermoplastic polyurethane, polycarbonate or polyphenylene sulfide is used for the thermoplastic matrix. The continuous-fiber fabrics are made of glass, aramid or carbon fibers. The advantage of Tepex and its products is the high stiffness and strength alongside the very low weight, which means that it can be used in many applications as an alternative to heavier materials such as sheet metal.

As MRC wrote previously, last summer, German specialty chemicals company Lanxess celebrated the opening of its first production facility in Russia. In the new plant at the Lipetsk site, Lanxess subsidiary Rhein Chemie manufactures polymer-bound rubber additives for the markets in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), primarily for the automotive and tire industries. A production facility for the bladders used in tire production is to be added in 2016. The overall investment volume in euros amounts to a seven-digit figure and 40 new jobs will be created at the new plant in the medium term.

Lanxess is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.3 billion in 2013 and roughly 17,000 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of Lanxess is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.

Celanese Corporation completes unsecured senior notes offering

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese US Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company and a global leader in vinyl acetate ethylene (EVA) emulsions, has completed its registered offering of EUR300 million of 3.250% Senior Notes ("The Notes") due 2019, as per Celanese's press release.

The Notes are guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by the company and certain Celanese US domestic subsidiaries (the "Guarantors").

Celanese US has called for redemption its USD600 million, 6.625% Senior Notes due 2018. The sale of the Notes, plus cash on hand, will be used to pay, on October 15, 2014, the outstanding principal balance of the 6.625% Senior Notes, redemption premium and accrued interest.

In addition, the company, Celanese US and the Guarantors amended its existing senior secured credit facilities. As part of the amendment, all of the US dollar-denominated term loans and all but EUR28 million of the euro denominated term loans under the existing credit agreement were converted into, or refinanced by, term loans with an extended maturity of October 31, 2018. The non-extended portions of the term loans will continue to have a maturity date of October 31, 2016. Additionally, the maturity date of the company's revolving credit facility was extended to October 31, 2018 and the facility was increased by USD300 million to USD900 million.

As MRC reported earlier, in April 2014, Celanese Corporation developed new emulsion products for architectural paints. The company also expanded its product portfolio for the coatings and adhesives industries, including Celansese's solvents, vinyl acetate monomer, EVA polymers and emulsions.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Texas, Celanese employs approximately 7,400 employees worldwide and had 2013 net sales of USD6.5 billion.

Linde in new integrated supply agreement with Lima Refining Company

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Linde North America has executed a new integrated supply agreement with Lima Refining Company (LRC) for hydrogen and steam utilities to its refinery in Lima, Ohio, according to Plastemart.

LRC, a subsidiary of Husky Energy, is implementing a modernization project (crude oil flexibility, or COF) that will further strengthen the refinery and enable processing of a diverse set of crude oils to produce a range of product slates.

Linde already owns and operates two hydrogen plants, which supply hydrogen and steam to refining and petrochemicals facilities, including LRC, and other industrial gas production assets in this cluster. It is anticipated that the new hydrogen plant (Linde Lima 3) will be on-stream during the Q1-2016. Linde's hydrogen plants in Lima will be operated as a single facility capable of producing more than 60 mln standard cubic feet/day (MMSCFD) of hydrogen for the cluster companies.

"Linde has a strong presence in the Lima Industrial Cluster and we are very happy to expand our business with our customer LRC, one of the most historic refineries in the world, and an anchor company for this cluster," said Pat Murphy, president of Linde Americas. "LRC will use the additional hydrogen to hydrotreat product streams containing sulfur and other components," said Dr. Raghu Menon, vice president of Linde's tonnage business development for the Americas region. "To meet the overall demand, Linde will establish a new state-of-the-art SMR (Steam Methane Reforming) hydrogen plant, and invest in upgrades related to the existing facilities, to increase our cluster hydrogen production capacity and operational flexibility," he added. "Overall, Linde expects to invest approximately $100 million for the related enhancements in this cluster."

As MRC wrote before, SIBUR, a Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company, and Linde Group, a German Technology company, have signed agreements to build and operate new air separation units in Dzerzhinsk, the Nizhny Novgorod Region. On a long-term basis, SIBUR will provide Linde with a leased site and power supply while Linde, in its turn, will supply technical gases to SIBUR.

The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 62,000 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide.

PTTGC is likely to resume operations at its No.2 aromatics plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) is likely to resume operations at its No.2 aromatics plant, said Apic-online.

A source in Thailand informed that the plant is planned to be restarted in end-September or early October 2014. The plant was shut on September 15, 2014. The company is also expected to end a force majeure on supplies of benzene and paraxylene from the plant coinciding with its restart. The FM was declared on September 19, 2014.

Located at Rayong in Thailand, the plant has a PX capacity of 655,000 mt/year, benzene capacity of 355,000 mt/year and toluene capacity of 60,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, PTT Global Chemical awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to SK Engineering and Construction and PTT Maintenance and Engineering for a debottlenecking project that will increase aromatics capacity by 16% to about 1.2-million t/y at its Aromatics II complex in Rayong, Thailand. The approximately USD128.8-million project will increase paraxylene capacity to 770,000 t/y from 655,000 t/y, benzene capacity to 390,000 t/y from 355,000 t/y and will add 20,000 t/y of orthoxylene capacity.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year. PTTGC is 49% owned by state-controlled parent PTT Pcl, and uses ethane and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from the gas plant as feedstock for its I4-2 olefins plant.

Saudi Aramco growing its presence in the chemicals market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco is now rapidly leveraging its feedstock cost advantages and a favourable geographical portfolio to become a growing global competitor in chemical production, said Energyglobal.

The company’s portfolio ranges from oil and gas exploration, development and production, to refining and chemicals. Headquartered in Dhahran, in the kingdom’s eastern province, the company employs more than 57 000 employees in 77 countries.

Similar to the chemicals businesses of other oil and gas majors, Saudi Aramco’s product focus is comparatively narrow. The company produces commodity chemicals and polymers, including olefins and derivatives and aromatics. At present, Saudi Aramco’s chemical business accounts for approximately 10% of the corporation’s revenues and earnings, and is managed by the company.

Sanjay Sharma, vice president, Middle East and India at IHS Chemical said that despite their newness to the space, the company has driven continuous improvements in its domestic and international projects, mainly China, South Korea, Japan and the US.

According to a recent IHS report, Saudi Aramco has a number of other joint ventures, both in the region and elsewhere, including in South Korea, China, Japan, and the US where it holds a 50% share in Motiva Enterprises LLC. Motiva has three US locations – two in Louisiana, and one in Texas.

Saudi Aramco’s strategic projects located mainly in the Middle East and Northeast Asia cover the most demand thirsty markets in the world. Most of the plants, which are co-owned by Saudi Aramco, are new so there are almost no facilities that need to be revamped.

As MRC wrote before, Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical will transfer ownership of a planned 32 billion riyal (USD8.5 bln) petrochemical facility to their joint venture PetroRabigh. The new facility, known as Rabigh II, is to be built as an expansion of PetroRabigh's existing petrochemical plant, increasing output and introducing higher-margin products. Rabigh II will produce ethylene propylene rubber, thermoplastic polyolefin, methyl methacrylate monomer and polymethyl methacrylate among other products.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco's value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world's most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.