Hanwha Group to acquire Samsung chemical, defense units

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korea's Samsung Group said it is selling stakes in four chemical and defence firms for 1.9 trillion won (USD1.72 billion) to Hanwha Group, the latest move in the massive task of restructuring the country's largest conglomerate, as per Reuters.

Samsung Group said in a statement Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , Samsung C&T Corp and other Samsung affiliates decided to sell a 32.4 percent stake in Samsung Techwin to Hanwha Corp for 840 billion won, and a 57.6 percent stake in Samsung General Chemicals Co Ltd to Hanwha Chemical Corp and Hanwha Energy Corp for 1.06 trillion won.

The control of Samsung Thales Co Ltd, a joint venture unit with French defence electronics firm Thales, and Samsung Total Petrochemicals Co Ltd, a joint venture unit with France's Total SA, is also being transferred to Hanwha units, Samsung Group said.

The sale is expected to be completed in the first half of next year.

As MRC informed before, in July 2014, Hanwha Chemical created a task force to manage the process of bidding for Dow Chemical's chlorine business. Hanwha retained Credit Suisse earlier this year to advise on the possible purchase, which involves about 40 production facilities at 11 sites, including Dow's chlor-alkali and chlor-vinyl units in Plaquemine, La., and Freeport, Texas, as well as DowпїЅs interest in the Dow Mitsui chlor-alkali joint venture in Freeport.

Hanwha Group, South Korea's 10th-largest conglomerate, said separately the acquisitions would boost its petrochemicals and defence-related businesses, and add around 12 trillion won in sales based on 2013 figures.


Arkema increases prices of the whole range of Forane HFC by 20% in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- French chemicals group Arkema has announced an immediate price increase of 20% in selling prices for packaged and bulk grades for all Forane HFC products in Europe, effective immediately or as contracts allow, reported the company on its site.

Over the last few years, the European HFC business has been heavily affected by a continuous price decrease trend which has led to an unsustainable level of profitability for the whole value chain.

The chemical industry has a compulsory need to restore profitability in order to keep investing in the development of lower GWP alternatives which must be available in time to comply with the latest environmental and regulatory requirements.

Arkema’s Fluorochemicals business unit produces and markets a range of fluorinated gases under the Forane brand in the following markets worldwide: refrigerant fluids for refrigeration and air-conditioning, including commercial and industrial refrigeration, construction, automotive and other applications; blowing agents for polymer foams, specifically polyurethane and polystyrene; fFeedstock for the production of fluoropolymers; degreasing, cleaning and drying solvents; aerosol sprays.

As MRC informed before, Arkema 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. This rights issue is part of the refinancing of the projected acquisition of Bostik.

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

Polyone helps Schneider Electric achieve sustainability goals

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PolyOne Corporation, a premier global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions, has announced that its advanced, eco-friendly solutions are helping Schneider Electric to engineer better product performance, improve efficiency and strengthen its globally recognized sustainability strategy, reported the company in its press release.

Two innovative materials from PolyOne are featured in Schneider Electric's Multifix Air home electrical installations. Airtight housings are designed with PolyOne's Maxxam FR and OnFlex non-halogenated, flame-retardant solutions.

The OnFlex TPE material serves as an impermeable elastic membrane, reducing air leakage between a building's interior and exterior by 95% compared to standard electrical installation boxes, leading to energy savings for Schneider Electric's customers. In addition to its non-halogen formulation, the regulatory-compliant Maxxam solution has a lower density than traditional materials, which reduces material consumption and housing weight for greater production efficiency.

As MRC informed earlier, in February 2014, PolyOne Corporation announced the addition of new capabilities to its OnColor HC Plus portfolio. These expanded offerings add medical-grade LDPE, nylon, PEBA, PS and PVC to the globally available palette of specialty healthcare colorants, and are pre-certified to meet or exceed biocompatibility requirements for ISO 10993 and/or USP Class VI protocols.

PolyOne Corporation, with 2013 revenues of USD3.8 billion, is a global provider of specialized polymer materials, services, and solutions. PolyOne is a provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions with operations in specialty polymer formulations, color and additive systems, polymer distribution and specialty vinyl resins.

ExxonMobil Chemical names new president as Pryor plans retirement

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Stephen D. Pryor, president of ExxonMobil Chemical and vice president of ExxonMobil, has elected to retire on January 1, 2015, after more than 44 years of service, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

ExxonMobil said it anticipated that its board of directors will appoint Neil A. Chapman as the new president of ExxonMobil Chemical and also elect him as a vice president of the corporation, effective January 1, 2015.

Chapman is currently senior vice president of polymers at ExxonMobil Chemical.

Pryor, 64, joined Mobil Corp. in 1971 and has held a number of financial and managerial positions in the US, Cyprus, the UK and New Zealand. In 1993, he was appointed vice president of Mobil Chemical Co. and general manager of the plastics division.

In 1996, he became president of Mobil Asia Pacific and in 1998, executive vice president responsible for Mobil’s international downstream business. Following the merger between Exxon and Mobil, he was appointed president of ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties Co., and in 2002 became executive vice president at ExxonMobil Chemical.

Pryor was appointed president of ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Co. in 2004 and president of ExxonMobil Chemical in 2008.

Pryor was born in New York, New York. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lafayette College and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University.

Chapman, meanwhile, joined ExxonMobil's fuels marketing division as head of ExxonMobil Aviation International in the UK before becoming vice president of industrial and wholesale fuels based in the US. Chapman became vice president of ExxonMobil Chemical's global polyethylene business in 2005 and was appointed executive assistant to the chairman of ExxonMobil in 2006. He became president of ExxonMobil Global Services Co. in 2007 and was appointed to his current role in 2011.

Chapman was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Surrey University, England.

As MRC wrote before, ExxonMobil Chemical will begin a sales allocation for some grades of polypropylene because of operational difficulties at its Baton Rouge, Louisiana, facility. 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.

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.

LyondellBasell restarts LDPE unit at La Porte PE unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell's Equistar plant at La Porte, Texas, reported emissions on 21 November as it restarted a low density polyethylene unit, according to Plastemart, citing a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

As the AB3 low density polyethylene unit was restarted, an atmospheric valve opened, releasing ethylene, polyethylene and vinyl acetate into the atmosphere, according to the filing. The valve was later closed. It was not clear whether there was any impact to production at the plant.

As MRC reported before, LyondellBasell had delayed the start-up of expanded production at its ethylene plant in La Porte, Tex., until later this year. A mechanical issue with a compressor at the plant was partially to blame for the extended turnaround at La Porte.

LyondellBasell Industries NV is a manufacturing company. The company produces chemicals, fuels, and polymers used for packaging, clean fuels, durable textiles, medical applications, construction materials, and automotive parts. LyondellBasell Industries operates globally and is headquartered in the Netherlands. LyondellBasell is also a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies. The more than 250 polyolefin process licenses granted by LyondellBasell are twice that of any other polyolefin technology licensor.