Shell sells parts of Norwegian downstream business to Finland's ST1

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil major Shell said it had sold parts of its Norwegian downstream business to Finnish fuel firm ST1 for an undisclosed sum, further divesting parts of its downstream activities, reported Reuters.

ST1 will take over Shell's Norwegian retail, commercial fuels and supply and distribution businesses, while Shell's aviation business in Norway will become a 50-50 joint venture with ST1.

The deal is expected to close next year, pending regulatory approval.

The sale follows Shell's downstream divestments through refinery sales in Britain, Germany, France, Norway and the Czech Republic as the oil major seeks to cut costs in a weak oil price environment.

ST1 already operates Shell-branded petrol stations in Finland and Sweden. The deal announced on Thursday includes an agreement to continue operating Shell's Norwegian assets under its brand.

As MRC informed previously, last year, Royal Dutch Shell took a final investment decision tol increase production capacity at its Singapore petrochemical plant to meet demand for specialized materials used in the automotive and furniture industries. The upgrade will increase the plant's capacity to produce polyols - industrial chemicals used to make high-quality foams - by more than 100,000 metric tpy to 360,000 tpy. The project was expected to be completed in 2014.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

DuPont announces filing for Performance Chemicals spinoff

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DuPont announced today that the new public company created following completion of the pending separation of its Performance Chemicals segment will be named The Chemours Company ("Chemours"), said
the company in its press release.

In addition, DuPont disclosed Chemours' executive leadership team and announced the filing of the initial Form 10 registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). DuPont today also will file a Form 8-K/A with an update related to the company's redesign initiative.

"Today's announcements continue our solid progress to complete the separation of Performance Chemicals and create two strong, publicly traded companies with distinct value creation strategies," said DuPont Chair and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman. "DuPont and Chemours will each be global leaders, well positioned to pursue their respective objectives and strategies."

Following its separation from DuPont, Chemours will be a new, publicly traded global leader in titanium dioxide, fluoroproducts and chemical solutions. The name reflects a focus on the science of chemistry and the heritage of the du Pont family origins in Nemours, France.

As announced earlier this year, DuPont Executive Vice President Mark P. Vergnano will become President and Chief Executive Officer of Chemours. Mark E. Newman will serve as senior vice president and chief financial officer. BC Chong and Thierry F.J. Vanlancker will continue to lead the Titanium Technologies and the Fluoroproducts businesses, respectively.

DuPont is an American chemical company that was founded in July, 1802. The company manufactures a wide range of chemical products, leading extensive innovative research in this field. The company is the inventor of many unique plastics and other materials, including neoprene, nylon, Teflon, Kevlar, Mylar, Tyvek, etc. DuPont was the developer and main producer of Freon used in the production of refrigeration equipment.

Egyptian ethylene maker SIDPEC gets ISO certified

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ethylene maker Sidi Krir Petrochemicals Company (SIDPEC) has become the first Egyptian firm to obtain the ISO 50001 certification for industrial energy consumption management, said EMPS.

The company’s application of the energy management system helped, with low cost and simple measures, in saving 10% of the energy consumed in production.

The company’s success in obtaining the certificate was the byproduct of technical support SIDPEC received from a local project aiming at enhancing the industrial use of energy, said ESO chairman, Hassan Abdel Meguid.

SIDPEC’s CEO Ahmed Helmy said his company’s application of the energy management system helped, with low cost and simple measures, in saving ten percent of the energy consumed in production.

As MRC wrote before, the Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company (ETHYDCO), a newly-established subsidiary of Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Company (Sidpec), has received five offers for setting up a polyethylene plant. The company has sought an amount of US$ 1.25 billion in loans for the project, out of which the Government has already approved a bridge loan of US$ 240 million for construction of the new plant.

SIDPEC is an Egyptian ethylene producer and a main provider of the substance to the Egyptian Petrochemicals Company.

BASF inaugurated new beadmill inaugurated at Deeside, United Kingdom site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF’s Coatings division has started up a new Netzsch LMZ25 beadmill at its site in Deeside, UK, reported BASF on its site.

The modern mill will be used to manufacture intermediate pigment pastes in the PVC plastisol production process. The beadmill replaces a Cox triple-roll mill that was more than 50 years old.

The new mill has a closed grinding system, which prevents volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from escaping into the environment. A modern automatic process control system allows the mill to be run without an operator in attendance. "Our company is one of the top three in the coil coatings business. The new technology will help us do our work with even higher quality and efficiency," said Jan Baumgartner, head of BASF’s Industrial Coatings Europe business unit, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Deeside production site of BASF’s Coatings division mainly manufactures products for the coil coatings market. One of the major end users for the precoated steel and aluminum panels is the construction industry. These panels are also used for household appliances and in the automotive sector.

As MRC informed previously, in November 2014, BASF and Hemmelrath Technologies, a company that is specialized in modular facility concepts for the production of paint and coatings, have decided to cooperate in order to develop future-oriented concepts of pigment technology.

BASF’s Coatings division develops, produces and markets innovative automotive coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints. The company operate sites in Europe, North America and South America as well as Asia Pacific. In 2013, the Coatings division achieved global sales of EUR2.9 billion.

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. BASF had sales of about EUR74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year.

Clariant divests its Water Treatment Business in Latin America to Ecolab

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has signed an agreement to divest its Water Treatment business operating in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia to Ecolab Inc., as per the company's press release.

The transaction is subject to certain conditions precedent, as well as regulatory approvals. The Water Treatment business of Clariant in Latin America provides chemicals and services to a wide range of industries, including textile, food and beverage, chemical, pulp & paper, and personal & home care.

The divestment to Ecolab does not include Clariant’s Water Treatment activities related to the oil and gas industry in the Latin America region. This segment has been integrated into the Oil & Mining Business within the Natural Resources Business Area. Clariant has been providing products and services for the oil & gas sector for more than 30 years in Latin America, with production plants and laboratories to develop solutions to attend to present and future customer demands.

"The divestment of the Latin American Water Treatment business is a result of our continuous active portfolio management, based on Clariant‘s profitable growth strategy", said Michael Pronin, Region Head Latin America. "Our company will continue providing Water Treatment solutions to the oil & gas segment, as part of the package of services we offer to this important industry in our region".

As MRC reported earlier, in July 2014, Clariant closed the sale of its water treatment business in Africa to AECI, domiciled in South Africa. The total value of the divestment amounts to CHF 34 million in cash at closing. The transaction was subject to certain precedent conditions.

Ecolab is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services.

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.