Huntsman completes acquisition of Rockwood Performance Additives and TiO2 businesses

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Huntsman Corporation has announced that it has completed the acquisition of the Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) businesses of Rockwood Holdings, Inc., reported the company on its site.

Peter R. Huntsman, President and CEO of Huntsman Corporation, commented: "The successful completion of this acquisition better positions our company. It will be immediately accretive to our earnings before synergies of USD130 million and provides further optionality for our pigments business. The addition of specialty titanium dioxide and performance additives will broaden our product offering and further enable our ability to build the most competitive and successful pigments and additives business in the world. The majority of earnings over the past 12 months have come from their specialty and niche TiO2 businesses, demonstrating the diversity and breadth of the business we are acquiring".

Huntsman paid approximately USD1 billion in cash and assumed certain unfunded European pension liabilities.

As MRC wrote previously, in September 2014, Huntsman Corporation received final clearance and approval from the European Commission to acquire the Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide businesses of Rockwood Holdings. The deal will make Huntsman the largest processor of sulfate ores, a key raw material which is also a cheaper alternative to chloride ores, and the number two player in titanium dioxide, behind DuPont.

Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals with 2013 revenues of over USD11 billion. Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. The company's operating companies manufacture 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.

Distributing Sibur PP and PE in select western European countries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Distributing Sibur's PP and PE in select western European countries
German distributor frupack-plastic (Hamburg) recently reported that on 1 January 2014 it began distributing Sibur International’s (Vienna / Austria) PP and PE in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Benelux states, said Plasteurope.

The Hamburg-based company said that as a fully integrated polyolefin producer, Sibur (Moscow / Russia) is increasingly becoming a competitive supplier in western Europe. The Russian group recently commissioned its new 500,000 t/y PP plant in Tobolsk in October 2013, which will further support its ambitious expansion plans.

As MRC wrote before, Sibur said that following the completion of the front-end engineering design (FEED) contracts and assessment of the design documentation, it is proceeding with the previously announced mega ZapSibNeftekhim project at Tobolsk, Russia. ZapSibNeftekhim's project is designed to operate a steam cracker (by Linde AG, Germany) with a capacity of 1.5 mtpa of ethylene, around 500 ktpa of propylene and 100 ktpa of butane-butylene fraction (BBF), along with units with a total capacity to produce 1.5 mtpa of various grades of polyethylene (by INEOS, UK) and a polypropylene unit of 500 ktpa (by LyondellBasell, Netherlands).

Sibur is a vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemicals company, which operate Russia’s largest gas processing business in terms of associated petroleum gas processing volumes and are the leader in the Russian petrochemicals industry.

Victory petrochemical and oil refinery approved by coastal province

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The feasibility study of the Victory petrochemical and oil refinery project has been approved, said Plastemart.

The refinery is to be located in Binh Dinh's Nhon Hoi Economic Zone. The USD22 bln Victory project, is a joint proposal by the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) and its strategic partner, the Saudi Arabian oil company Saudi Aramco.

The project includes an olefins and aromatic petrochemical plants with combined capacity of 5mn tonnes a year.

As MRC wrote before, it is expected to take six to seven years before the complex is fully operational.

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.

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.

Celanese raises November prices of EVA emulsions in the Americas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company and a global leader in EVA emulsions, has announced that it will increase the price of vinyl acetate-based emulsions sold in the Americas, reported the company on its site.

Thus, PVAc homopolymer, vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE) and vinyl acrylic emulsions will increase by up to USD0.05/wet pound effective November 1, 2014, or as contracts allow.

This increase is attributed to the continued pressures on raw materials, notably vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), and freight.

This price increase affects all applications including, but not limited to, adhesives, paints and coatings, building products, nonwovens, glass fiber, carpet, paper and textiles.

As MRC informed previously, Celanese Corporation last announced in June 2014 that it would increase the price of EVA emulsions sold in the Americas, as follows: PVAc homopolymer, EVA and vinyl acrylic emulsions - by up to USD0.04/wet pound (USD90/tonne) effective June 16, 2014, or as contracts allow. The price rise was due to market conditions, including the global supply unavailability of vinyl acetate monomer.

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.

ExxonMobil to begin sales allocation for PP from Baton Rouge plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Chemical will begin a sales allocation for some grades of polypropylene because of operational difficulties at its Baton Rouge, Louisiana, facility, as per Plastemart.

"Presently, we are assessing the full impact to our polypropylene supply capability at this site," according to the letter, which was sent to customers Tuesday. The letter added that that allocation levels would be communicated to customers as soon as possible, if applicable.

It was unclear what the nature of the operational difficulties were at the Baton Rouge Polyolefins Plant, or which specific grades would be impacted. No timeframe for the allocation was provided in the letter. ExxonMobil Chemical could not be immediately reached for comment.

As MRC wrote before, Mexico's state oil company Pemex and Exxon Mobil Corp signed a non-commercial agreement on Thursday to jointly explore potential upstream and downstream business opportunities. The agreement comes against the backdrop of the landmark constitutional reform, signed into law under Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto last year, that ended Pemex's 75-year-old oil and gas monopoly.

Exxon Mobil is the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, and produces in nonconventional areas like the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico on the U.S. side. Pemex is just starting exploration in the deep waters of the Mexican side of the Gulf.