BP to upgrade US and Belgian PTA chemical plants

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP has planned to invest over USD200 million to upgrade its purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plants at Cooper River, South Carolina and Geel, Belgium, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The investments will position these assets amongst the most efficient PTA manufacturing facilities in the world.

"This allows us to apply our latest proprietary technology and process know-how to existing assets, significantly improving their cost competitiveness and reducing their environmental footprint," said Luis Sierra, president of BP Aromatics - Americas, Europe and Middle East. "It enables Cooper River and Geel to remain the leading PTA manufacturing complexes in the Americas and Europe respectively."

By applying the latest PTA technology to these world-scale production facilities, BP expects to greatly improve feedstock and energy efficiency, thus reducing both variable and fixed cost and greenhouse gas emissions.

PTA is the raw material used to make polyester which is found in a wide range of consumer goods ranging from fabrics to food and beverage containers. The BP Cooper River site is the largest PTA producer in the Americas and BP Geel is the largest in Europe.

Cooper River's PTA1 unit, one of two units at the facility, is expected to be upgraded by middle of 2016. The project expects to create around 200 construction jobs at its peak and indirectly support many more jobs in the region. When the project is completed, the reduction in annual greenhouse gas reductions should equate to eliminating the electricity and heating emissions of about 2,000 typical US households.

The Geel upgrade is expected to create around 100 construction jobs at its peak and will also indirectly benefit other businesses in the area. Geel's PTA3 unit is expected to be upgraded by the end of 2015 with PTA2 following in 2016. The annual greenhouse gas reductions should equate to eliminating the electricity and heating emissions of 1,500 typical Belgium households.

As MRC informed previously, BP Zhuhai is in plans to start a new PTA plant in China. The plant is likely to start in Q4, 2014. The exact start-up schedule of the plant could not be ascertained. To be located in Zhuhai province, China, the plant will have a production capacity of 1.25 million mt/year.

BP is one of the world's leading international oil and gas companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items.

Arkema launches a rights issue with preferential subscription rights of around EUR350 million

MOSCOW (MRC) -- French chemicals group Arkema has announced the launch of a share capital increase with preferential subscription rights of shareholders for an amount of around EUR350 million, whose principle had initially been announced on 19 September 2014, reported the company in its press release.

This rights issue is part of the refinancing of the projected acquisition of Bostik.

This rights issue is the second step of the refinancing of this project after the successful issuance of perpetual hybrid bonds on 23 October 2014. The balance will be financed by a forthcoming senior bond issuance.

As MRC informed previously, in September 2014, Arkema offered to buy oil major Total's adhesives business Bostik, which makes Blu-Tack, for EUR1.74 billion (USD2.24 billion).

Total, under pressure from shareholders to improve its cash flow and raise dividends, has embarked on a major divestment program. A sale of Bostik at that price would increase its announced disposals this year to near USD20 billion - at the top of its target range of USD15-USD20 billion.

Arkema is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.

Supervisory Board of Anwil appoints new CEO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Anwil’s Supervisory Board appointed Mr Jacek Podgorski as CEO of the company on 17 November 2014, reported the company on its site.

Mr Piotr Chelminski, member of the Management Board of PKN Orlen overseeing development and power generation who has been delegated to act as the company’s CEO will continue to be President of Anwil’s Supervisory Board.

The present composition of the Management Board of Anwil is the following:

Mr Jacek Podgorski - CEO and General Manager;
Mr Arkadiusz Banaszek - Member of the Management Board, COO;
Mr Krzysztof Dzuba - Member of the Management Board, CFO;
Mr Miroslaw Kwiatkowski - Member of the Management Board, CSO.

Mr Jacek Podgorski has many years of experience in management, acquired during his career at companies from various sectors. He started his career in banking in Petrobank (presently Nordea Bank Polska). In 1997–2004 he worked for Pekao S.A. Group as Vice-President for Finance at Pekao Development and Pekao Leasing. In both companies he was responsible for introducing systemic changes with the aim of increasing effectiveness of the company’s business. He started his career at PKN Orlen Group by joining Orlen Asfalt. Since 2007 he was Member of the Management Board at Basell Orlen Polyolefins, where he managed finance, accounting and IT departments.

Mr Jacek Podgorski is an economy graduate from the University of Lodz and a management graduate from the University of Warsaw. Mr Podgorski is a licensed stockbroker. He has completed numerous courses in finance and management.

As MRC wrote before, on 17 October 2014, Anwil resumed production at its monomer vynil chrolide plant in Wloclawek, Poland, after maintenance works. The company's polyvynil chloride (PVC) plant started its operations already on 15 October.

Anwil, founded in 1966, is the Polish producer of petrochemical products and fertilizers. In October 1989 PVC compounds plant construction was started and so completed with the start-up in June 1992. In the years 1999-2003 the vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride plants were modernized and enlarged increasing their production capacity to 300,000 tons per year each. In May 2002, Anwill signed joint-venture agreement with South-Korean companies SK Global and SK Chemicals to build a PET bottle-chip plant with the capacity of 120,000 tons per year. Since 2008 Anwil has owned 100% of shares of the Czech company Spolana.

Global flexible packaging market to grow at CAGR of 4.4% till 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) -- By 2019, global demand for flexible packaging will be valued at USD99.10 billion, registering a 4.4% CAGR from 2013 through 2019, said Plastemart, citing Transparency Market Research.

By value, the global demand for flexible packaging in 2012 was pegged at USD73.56 billion. The report also estimates the market in terms of value, stating that the demand will go from 18,666.0 kilo tons in 2012 to 24,728.7 kilo tons in 2019, charting a CAGR of 4.1% through 2019.

The convenience offered by plastics in packaging is unparalleled, making it the dominant segment in the market (70% market share as of 2012). However, the market is beginning to turn in favor of cellulose-based flexible packaging over the next five years, as environmental consciousness heightens. Nanotechnology could potentially create path-breaking developments in the global flexible packaging market as intensive R&D activities are being reported in this domain.

Flexible packaging for the pharmaceuticals market will be an area to watch out for as new tamper-proof packaging mandates have opened up opportunities here. The report also states that the Asia Pacific region will present the highest scope for growth through 2020.

Packaging is essential to preserve the quality of the product and it also prevents it from chemical reactions endangering the consumer’s health. Rise in the consumption of packaged products offers a strong customer base for the global flexible packaging market. Hence, an efficient and suitable packaging is imperative for every product.

The important materials used in flexible packaging market are polyethylene, polypropylene, BOPET, EVOH, polyamide, paper, aluminum, cellulosic, and PVC. This raw material is converted into films that are further converted into pouch, sachet, and bags in which the products are packaged.

Food dominated the flexible packaging market and pharmaceutical segment promises a healthy and fast growth in the market. Asia-Pacific has the highest market share and is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 7.1% during the period under review.

Europe is growing with a CAGR of 3.9%, and is driven mainly by the East European markets. The CAGR for ROW is 6.0% from 2013 to 2018. The four most potential nations for flexible packaging market are India, China, Russia, and Brazil which are poised to exhibit the fastest growing trend.

HDPE imports in Ukraine decreased by 28% in January - October 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Total imports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) in Ukraine has decreased by 28% in the first ten months of the current year. The smallest decline in deliveries occurred for injection moulding HDPE, according to MRC DataScope.

October HDPE imports in the country decreased slightly to 10,100 tonnes, compared with the September level of 10,600 tonnes. Total HDPE imports in Ukraine decreased to 83,400 tonnes in January - October of this year, compared with 115,400 tonnes year on year.

Demand for HDPE decreased in all sectors, with the smallest reduction occurred for the injection moulding HDPE - down 8%. Structure of HDPE imports over the reported period was as follows.

Ukraine's HDPE imports dropped to 4,500 tonnes in October, compared with 4,900 tonnes in September. Ukraine's imports of film HDPE totalled 33,700 tonnes in the first ten months of the current year, down 28% year on year. Main import volumes occurred for the material from Europe and the Middle East.

October imports of pipe HDPE decreased almost twice compared with the September level to 1,100 tonnes. Ukraine's imports of pipe HDPE decreased to 15,300 tonnes in January - October 2014, compared with 24,000 tonnes year on year.

October imports of blow moulding HDPE in Ukraine rose to 2,100 tonnes, compared with 1,700 tonnes in September. Total imports of blow moulding HDPE in the country were 15,000 tonnes in the first ten months of the year, compared with 21,000 tonnes year on year.

October imports of injection moulding HDPE in the country practically remained at the level of September at 1,600 tonnes. Total imports of injection moulding HDPE in Ukraine decreased to 15,000 tonnes in January - October 2014, down 8% year on year.

Total imports of HDPE in other consumption sectors for the reported period were 3,500 tonnes, compared to 7,200 tonnes year on year.