Axiall profit Q3 profit rises

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Axiall Corp, a maker of chemicals and building products, reported third-quarter net income of USD44.5 million, higher than USD39.0 million in the prior-year quarter, said Nasdaq.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were USD0.72 per share, compared to USD0.97 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue for the quarter grew to USD1.27 billion from USD1.20 billion in the same quarter last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters projected earnings of $0.60 per share on revenue of USD1.19 billion for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

As MRC wrote before, Axiall Corp. considered building a USD3 billion ethane cracker and chemical plant somewhere in Louisiana. Axiall would invest USD1 billion of its own money, while an unnamed partner would put in USD2 billion. The plant could open in 2018, creating 225 permanent jobs.

Axiall Corporation is a leading integrated chemicals and building products company. It is an international manufacturer of chlor-alkali and derivatives, chlorovinyls and aromatics products including chlorine, caustic soda, vinyl chloride monomer, chlorinated solvents, calcium hypochlorite, ethylene dichloride, muriatic acid, phosgene derivatives, polyvinyl chloride, vinyl compounds, acetone, cumene and phenol. It also manufactures vinyl-based building and home improvement products, including window and door profiles, mouldings, siding, pipe and pipe fittings, and decking. Axiall, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, has manufacturing facilities located throughout North America and in Asia to provide industry-leading materials and services to customers.

GAIL signs MoU with SOCAR

MOSCOW (MRC) -- GAIL (India) Limited has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with State Oil Company of Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), reported the company on its site.

Under the MoU, GAIL and SOCAR intend to jointly pursue LNG opportunities through capacity booking, LNG procurement and promotion of LNG projects globally.

Both companies shall also cooperate in optimization of LNG marketing, sourcing and shipping requirements. In addition, GAIL and SOCAR will pursue business opportunities in upstream assets across the world and joint investment in petrochemical projects.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr B C Tripathi, Chairman and Managing Director, GAIL said "We are happy to enter into this strategic relationship with SOCAR. Skills and strengths of both the parties would be leveraged to explore business opportunities jointly in natural gas and LNG business including new business developments across the gas value chain."

As MRC wrote previously, in April 2014, SOCAR's Azerkimya production association commissioned new storage facilities for the nitrogen-oxygen complex at the ethylene-polyethylene plant. The new facilities consist of 16 storage tanks. In case of ceasing the nitrogen-oxygen unit's activity, it will provide ethylene production by high and low pressure nitrogen within 20-28 hours. Commissioning of new storage facilities will ensure rational, stable and reliable operation of EP- 300 and Polimir- 120 facilities.

GAIL is India’s leading natural gas company with a presence along the entire hydrocarbon value chain spanning E&P, LNG, pipelines, LPG, petrochemicals, city gas distribution, etc.

SOCAR includes Azneft (production association of enterprises producing oil and gas onshore and offshore) and Azerkimya (production association of chemical industry enterprises) and Azerigaz (production association dealing with gas distribution). The company also includes a number of processing enterprises, service enterprises and institutions dealing with geophysical and drilling operations. SOCAR also has assets in Europe and Turkey (Petkim). Petkim is the leading petrochemical company of Turkey. Specializing in petrochemical manufacturing, the company produces ethylene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene and other chemical building blocks for use in the manufacture of plastics, textiles, and other consumer and industrial products.

DSM reports Q3 2014 results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal DSM N.V., a Dutch Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, reported a sharp decline in third-quarter net profit, despite strong performance in all segments, said the company in its press release.

Looking ahead, the company said its full-year 2014 outlook is in line with current market expectations. For the third quarter, net profit decreased 21% to 93 million euros from 117 million euros last year. Net earnings per share was 0.51 euros, down from 0.65 euros in the previous year.

The company noted that the prior year figures were restated for the impact of the termination of proportional consolidation for joint ventures as from 1 Jan 2014 onward. Net profit from continuing operations dropped 10% to 121 million euros or 0.69 euro per share, while core net profit, which excluded certain items, dropped 3% to 141 million euros or 0.81 euro per share.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization or EBITDA from continuing operations, before exceptional items, was 315 million euros, 5% lower than 331 million euros last year.

Net sales for the quarter declined 1% to 2.323 billion euros from 2.354 billion euros last year, on the absence of last year's sales from discontinued operations. On an organic basis, sales grew 5% from last year with improved results in all segments.

As MRC wrote before, Royal DSM signed a partnership agreement with long fibre thermoplastic (LFT) specialist Plasticomp (Winona, Minnesota / USA) to develop bio-based LFT composite materials based on DSM’s "EcoPaXX" polyamide 4.10. The lightweight materials, which include compounds reinforced with glass fiber as well as carbon fiber, will be targeted at automotive and other performance-driven markets.

Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials.

West Virginia ethane cracker design contract goes to Technip

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Technip announced that it has entered into a contract to supply its proprietary ethylene technology and process design package (PDP) for a world-class grassroots ethane cracker for the proposed ASCENT (Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise) petrochemical complex currently being evaluated by Odebrecht and Braskem in Parkersburg, West Virginia, USA, said Downstreamtoday.

Using ethane from shale gas, this cracker will produce ethylene to be used in polyethylene plants. Technip’s operating centers in Houston, Texas and Claremont, California, USA, and Rome, Italy, will execute this initial project phase.

Stan Knez, Senior Vice President of Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology, commented: "We are pleased to reinforce our long-term relationship with Odebrecht and Braskem by providing a leading technology and PDP for this world-scale cracker. As the largest ethylene licensor and contractor, Technip looks forward to bringing its experience to this important project in the Appalachian region."

Technip, in a joint venture with Odebrecht and ICA Fluor, is also providing engineering, procurement and construction services for the Etileno XXI petrochemical complex in Mexico, which is being built by Braskem-IDESA and is expected to be commissioned in 2015. The complex will include an ethane cracker with annual production capacity of 1.05 Mt of ethylene that will be used to produce two grades of polyethylene (PE), with two high-density polyethylene (HDPE) lines totaling 750,000 tpa and one conventional low-density (LDPE) line of 300,000 tpa.

Technip is leveraging a wide portfolio of market-leading onshore technologies.

Braskem is the leading producer of thermoplastic resins in Latin America and the US, following its purchase of polypropylene assets of Dow Chemical. The company serves 70% of Brazilian demand in PP, PE and PVC resins, but foreign resin imports have gained Brazilian market share in recent years. Brazil's annual consumption of PP is estimated at 1.4 million tons this year.


Ineos commissions two more ethane ships to bring US ethane to its sites in Scotland and Norway

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe has confirmed that it has reached an agreement with Evergas to order an additional two state-of-the-art ethane vessels, known as "Dragon Class" ships, to bring US ethane from shale gas to its manufacturing plants in Scotland and Norway, said the producer on its site.

The increased order raises the Ineos fleet to 8 Dragon Ships. This comes as construction of an ethane terminal starts at Grangemouth (Scotland) and another nears completion at Rafnes (Norway).

At Grangemouth construction of a new ethane import terminal and storage tank and infrastructure is well under way and should be completed in 2016. At Rafnes in Norway, both a new ethane storage tank and terminal, are approaching completion in time to be fully operational in 2015.

Thus, the increased order for new ethane carriers will satisfy the demand from Ineos crackers at Grangemouth and Rafnes.

David Thompson, Chief Operating Office Ineos Trading & Shipping says: "This exciting news is another important milestone in our plan to bring the benefits of US shale economics to our European sites. The ethane that we are bringing to our sites from the US is essential to these plants. As the most competitive feedstock in Europe and will be transformational for our operations. The two additional “Dragon Ships” mean we can transport sufficient volumes of ethane to meet the demands of our manufacturing sites and continue to take advantage of significant cost benefits."

As MRC reported earlier, in early 2013, Ineos Europe entered into 15-years shipping agreements with Evergas for the transportation of ethane into Europe from the US Mariner East project. Investment in a supply of US ethane is vital to secure the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of gas crackers that so far have relied on declining and expensive volumes from the North Sea.

Ineos Group Limited is a privately owned multinational chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom. It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom.