Sunoco completes Weidenhammer buy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sonoco Products Co. has finalized the acquisition of Weidenhammer Packaging Group in a USD360 million deal, said Plasticsnews.

The purchase includes Weidenhammer Plastic Packaging with a plant in Zwenkau, Germany, near Leipzig, that includes production of cups, cans and containers with volumes of at least 100 milliliters. Buckets made there range from 1 to 11.4 liters.

Sonoco gains 13 locations, including five in Germany. There also are also sites in Kansas City, Mo., as well as Belgium, Chile, France, Greece, The Netherlands, Russia and United Kingdom, Sonoco has said.

Approximately 1,100 employees come to Hartsville, S.C.-based Sonoco in the deal.

Weidenhammer, a family owned business based in Hockenheim, expects sales of approximately USD327 million this year. That compares with Sonoco’s USD4.9 billion in annual sales. Weidenhammer markets the PermaSafe line of containers that the company touts as a plastic replacement for metal food cans and glass jars that is easier to handle, lighter and more cost effective.

As MRC wrote before, Sonoco commenced commercial production of rigid plastic containers for personal care products at its new USD15 million plant, located in the Beauty and Home Care campus in New Albany, Ohio.

Sonoco Plastics is a leading manufacturer of mono-layer and multi-layer blow-molded bottles and jars, thermoformed cups and trays and engineered molded and extruded containers, spools and trays. The Company has 25 plastics operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Netherlands and Germany. In addition to the Beauty Park facility, Sonoco Plastics operates a state-of-the-art food-grade, blow-molding and injection molding plant in Columbus, Ohio. The Company is currently reviewing plans for additional expansion of this facility as well.

Repsol declared FM on ethylene supplies from Spanish cracker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Repsol has declared a force majeure (FM) on ethylene supplies from a cracker in Spain, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Spain informed that the FM was declared early last week owing to a shutdown of the cracker on account of technical issues. The impact of the FM on the spot market as well as the restart date for the plant could not be ascertained.

Located in Tarragona, Spain, the cracker has a production capacity of 702,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed earlier, in June 2014, Mexico's national oil company Pemex announced that it would sell a 7.9% stake in Spanish oil firm Repsol, worth about 2.2 billion euros (USD3.0 billion). The sale ends a long relationship between Pemex and Repsol that had run into trouble in recent years over disagreements on policies ranging from top management to the handling of Repsol's investments in Argentina.

Through this sale, Pemex will divest nearly all of its holding in Repsol, where its 9% stake has made it one of the top three shareholders.

Repsol S.A is an integrated Spanish oil and gas company with operations in 28 countries. The bulk of its assets are located in Spain.

Evonik opens EUR500 million facility in Singapore

MOSCOW (MRC) -- German specialty chemicals company Evonik has opened its new methionine production complex in Jurong Island, its largest single investment to date at EUR500 million (SD806 million), said Todayonline.

With an annual capacity of 150,000 metric tons, the facility is Evonik’s fifth production plant for methionine - an essential amino acid for animal feed. This brings the company’s global annual capacity to 580,000 metric tons.

"Methionine is one of our core businesses and Asia is the fastest-growing methionine market in the world. This is why we decided to build here," executive board chairman of Evonik Industries Mr Klaus Engel.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the opening ceremony that Evonik’s decision to base its new plant here is testament to Singapore’s focus on growing the specialty chemicals sector.

In the last two years, Singapore has attracted more than SD2 billion dollars of fixed asset investment in this area, creating more than 1,000 skilled jobs that are mostly filled by Singaporeans.

As MRC wrote before, Evonik Industries AG (EVK) is exploring an acquisition of Dutch competitor Royal DSM NV as Germany’s second-biggest chemicals maker seeks a large European target. Evonik is talking to advisers about a potential deal with DSM, which would create a company with about 22 billion euros (USD28 billion) in sales, as well as analyzing other takeover options.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2013 more than 33,500 employees generated sales of around EUR12.7 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about EUR2.0 billion.

Japan Idemitsu restarts naphtha cracker after unplanned shutdown

MOSCOW (MRC) - Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co said it began restarting the 687,000-tonne-per-year naphtha cracker at its Tokuyama plant in western Japan, following an unplanned shutdown last week, said Reuters.

Last week's shutdown came during a start-up after scheduled maintenance. The company now expects to start producing the so-called "on-spec" products sometime this week, slightly delayed from its original plan for the beginning of November.

We remind that Idemitsu Kosan had restarted the plant on 24 October after completing a scheduled maintenance of about 45 days.

As MRC wrote previously, Idemitsu SM (Malaysia), an affiliate of Idemitsu Kosan, shut its styrene monomer (SM) plant for maintenance in August 2014. It was shut for around one month. Located at Pasir Gudang in Malaysia, the SM plant has a production capacity of 600,000 mt/year.

Idemitsu Kosan is a Japanese petroleum company. It owns and operates oil platforms, refineries and produces and sells petroleum, oils and petrochemical products. The company runs two petrochemical plants in Chiba and Tokuyama. The two naphtha crackers can produce up to 997,000 tonnes of ethylene per year.


Total to shut down permanently HDPE line in Belgium

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total, Europe’s third-largest oil company, is in plans to permanently shut its high density polyethylene (HDPE) line, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Belgium informed that the line is planned to be shut by this year-end. The plant will be shut permanently owing to weak margins which have arisen on account of cheap imports in the region.

Located at Antwerp in Belgium, the line has a production capacity of 70,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed earlier, 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 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.