Mitsubishi Gas quitting PTA business in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co. has told "PetroChemical News" (PCN) that it has decided to discontinue its purified terephthalic acid (PTA) business, reported GV.

Mitsubishi currently operates a 260,000-t/y PTA plant at Mizushima, Japan, through its Mizushima Aroma joint venture with Toyobo Co.

A spokesperson at Mitsubishi, when asked for the reason behind its decision to quit the PTA business, said "we cannot anticipate improvement of the profit without global oversupply." The company is "now examining" when to exit the business, he added.

We remind that, as MRC informed earlier, in April 2013, Mitsubishi Chemical has purchased all of the assets related to Comtrex's compounding business. The acquisition of the Comtrex business is expected to help MCC speed up the expansion of its performance polymers business through its networks across the world. Having been engaged in the PVC compounding business for more than 30 years, Comtrex started developing a line of vulcanized thermoplastic elastomers (TPV) in 2000 and selling the product in 2002.

Mitsubishi Chemical with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, is a diversified chemical company involved in petrochemicals, polymers, agrochemicals, speciality chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The company's main focus is on three business pillars: petrochemicals, performance and functional products, and health care.

Clariant announces investment for personal care and home care segments in Asia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, will build a new production facility at its Tangerang site in Indonesia to support regional demands in the personal and home care industry, said Noodls.

The overall investment of approx. CHF 17 Mio in combined esterquat and methylquat production will add 12kt collective capacity for liquid and solid products used as key ingredients in consumer care products such as fabric softeners or hair conditioners. Start-up for the new facility is expected in 2015. Clariant is a well-established supplier to the global personal care and industrial home care markets. The new facility at Tangerang, Indonesia, will establish highly flexible, local manufacturing capabilities to support the region's increasing preference for sustainable and safer ingredients. Clariant has been manufacturing a range of products for home care and personal care applications at Tangerang since 1990.

Guido Appl, Head of Sales & Application APAC - Personal Care / Industrial & Home Care, comments: "Supporting the sustainability of our customers is a key priority for Clariant. The installation of this new production facility at Tangerang will enhance Clariant's ability to share its latest innovations with Asia's personal care and home care markets, based on a highly-competitive platform through close proximity to raw materials and customers in South-East-Asia."

As MRC reported earlier, in late July 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.

Solvay restates financial information and confirms 2014 outlook

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay publishes quarterly unaudited restated financial information for the first six months ended on June 30, 2014 and for the full year 2013, taking into account the upcoming sale of its U.S-based Eco Services business, said the company in its press-release.

On July 31, 2014 Solvay announced an agreement to sell its Eco Services` sulfuric acid virgin production and regeneration business to affiliates of CCMP Capital Advisors, LLC. The transaction should be completed in the fourth quarter of the year, with most closing conditions having been met at this stage. As a consequence, Solvay will report Eco as "Assets held for sale" and "Discontinued operations" as of the third quarter of this year.

Based on these changes, Solvay`s consolidated REBITDA for 2013 and for the first six months of 2014 is restated at respectively EUR 1,611 million and EUR 911 million, compared to EUR 1,704 million and EUR 953 million reported before the discontinuation of Eco Services.

Following portfolio changes over the past two years, Solvay is also restating the segment information by updating the allocation of the shared Functions` services costs in its Corporate & Business Services ("CBS") unit to the Global Business Units. That reallocation primarily concerns unallocated residual costs that arise when the Group divests businesses, less savings that have been delivered. Cost reductions programs will continue to feature prominently in Solvay`s excellence programs.

Growth outlook for 2014 confirmed.

Solvay reiterates its confidence that 2014 should show good operating performance, in line with its mid-term growth objectives. The Group confirms its guidance and expects high single-digit year-on-year REBITDA growth in 2014 at prevailing foreign exchange rates, based on the restated 2013 and 2014 reference periods.

As MRC wrote, Solvay will bolster competitiveness of its world class soda ash factory in Devnya, Bulgaria, by improving its energy efficiency. The measure is part of the competitiveness breakthrough plan that Solvay’s Global Business Unit Soda Ash & Derivatives launched last year and which is on track to deliver its EUR100 million cost-improvement target already by the end of 2015.

Solvay S.A. is a Belgian chemical company founded in 1863, with its head office in Neder-Over-Heembeek, Brussels, Belgium. The company has diversified into two major sectors of activity: chemicals and plastics. Solvay supplies over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers – fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds.

Russian SPVC producers reduce October contract prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian producers of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) were forced to reduce contract prices in October. Scheduled outages for maintenance at the Volgograd and Sterlitamac plants did not help to maintain high price, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Negotiations over contract prices of Russian polyvinyl chloride (PVC) started in the last week of September. Negotiations had been mostly completed by the beginning of this week. Many converters managed to reduce contract prices. Scheduled maintenance works at Kaustik (Volgograd) and Bashkir Soda Company did not allow Russian producers to roll over September prices.

Contracts for October shipments of Russian SPVC were concluded in most cases in the range of Rb50,000-52,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. Supply of resin by Russian producers was sufficient. At the same time, some converters reduced their purchasing, citing expectations for weaker demand for finished products from PVC and the reluctance to enter the "off-season" period with expensive inventories of material and finished products.

As reported earlier, Kaustik (Volgograd) shut down its production for a scheduled turnaround from 3 to 25 October. The Volgograd plant's annual capacity is 90,000 tonnes of PVC per year. Bashkir Soda Company (formerly Kaustik, Sterlitamak) shut down its PVC production from 5 to 20 October, the plant's annual production capacity is 210,000 tonnes.

Iranian NPC boosts investments in petrochemical projects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iran’s National Petrochemical Co. (NPC) plans to increase its investments in the country’s petrochemical projects in order to accelerate their progress, reported GV with reference to Fars News Agency, quoting NPC Deputy Head Mohammad Hassan Peyvandi.

The company is legally permitted to have a 20% share in petrochemical investments, but this can increase to 49% in under developed regions.

NPC is prioritizing funding for projects that are at least 60% complete, he said. These include the Takht-Jamshid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) unit, the second phases of the Kavian and Karoun petrochemical plants, the West Ethylene Pipeline and petrochemical projects in the provinces of Lorestan, Kurdistan, Illam, Mahabad and Hamedan.

As MRC reported previously, Iran's petrochemical industries earned approximately USD9.19bln from exporting petrochemical products to the international markets in the first 10 months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2013-January 20, 2014).