Repsol commercialized phthalate-free PP block copolymers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Repsol has commercialized phthalate-free polypropylene (PP) block copolymers, according to Packaging Europe.

With this, Repsol offers the possibility of covering customers’ applications in such demanding segments as: injection (buckets, cases, household goods, food preservation and technical parts, among others); extrusion (film and sheet, among others) and non-woven for hygiene applications.

Repsol now offers customers its new line of phthalate-free block copolymers which completes the commercial range of polypropylene grades based on this technology, which was first commercialized in 2009.

As a result of collaboration with leading customers in the "personal care" sector, in 2009 Repsol began the regular commercialization of phthalate-free homopolymer grades for the non-woven hygiene sector, manufactured in its Tarragona plant.

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.

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.

PVC imports to Belarus dropped by 10.2% from January to November 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into Belarus decreased by 10.2% over the eleven months of 2014 and totalled 36,600 tonnes, according to MRC DataScope.

November PVC imports to Belarus fell by more than half from October under pressure of seasonal factors and totalled 2,100 tonnes (4,800 tonnes in October). Overall, demand for PVC from local converters dropped to 36,600 tonnes from January to November 2014 versus 40,700 tonnes a year earlier.

Weaker demand for PVC was caused by lower sales of finished products from PVC both in the domestic and foreign markets. Only 23,600 tonnes of shaped and linear articles from PVC were exported during the said period, whereas a year ago this figure was 27,200 tonnes.

German producers with a share of over 50% are the key PVC suppliers to the Belarusian market. However, Russian producers have been recently pushing them actively. In November alone, imports from Russia exceeded 1,500 tonnes. The overall shipments of Russian resin approached 4,000 tonnes.

Anwil, a Polish producers, also accounts for a significant share of the Belarusian market. PVC imports from Poland exceeded 8,400 tonnes over the stated period.

Al Waha Petrochemicals secures loan locally to refinance an existing Islam

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia's Sahara Petrochemical Co said its subsidiary Al Waha Petrochemicals Co had secured 1.96 billion riyals (USD522 million) from two local lenders to refinance an existing Islamic loan, said Reuters.

The previous loan amount wasn't given but the firm said the deal had been signed in 2006 with a number of commercial lenders and two government funds -- the Public Investment Fund and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund -- during the project phase.

The new loan had more favourable pricing and conditions than the existing deal. The facility was provided by Saudi British Bank and Banque Saudi Fransi and lasts until the end of 2026, Sahara said in the statement.

The company also signed a revolving Murabaha-structured facility worth 375 million riyals from Saudi British Bank for one year, which can be renewed yearly to support the working capital and the company's general operations, it said.

Murabaha is a cost-plus sale arrangement which is commonly used in many parts of the Islamic world.

As MRC wrote before, Sahara Petrochemical Co., the Saudi Arabia-based firm which last month announced plans to merge with Saudi International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem) in the first half of this year, has earned net profit of SR578.7 million in 2013, registering a growth of 183% compared to net profit of SR204.4 million in 2012.

Sahara Petrochemical Co SJSC is a Saudi Arabia-based joint stock company engaged in the chemicals and petrochemicals industry sector. The Company, through its subsidiary, invests in industrial projects in the petrochemical and chemical fields, and owns and implements projects necessary to supply raw materials and utilities. The Company also focuses on the production of propylene, polypropylene, ethylene, polyethylene and other petrochemical and hydrocarbon based products. The Company’s industrial facilities are located at Jubail Industrial City, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Company has one subsidiary, Al Waha Petrochemicals Company (Al Waha). The Company also has investment in its associates, including Sahara and Maaden Petrochemicals Company, Saudi Acrylic Acid Company and Tasnee and Sahara Olefins Company.

Hyundai Mobis investing USD24 million to expand in Slovakia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korean auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis has unveiled plans to invest about 21 million euros (USD24.1 million) to modernize and expand the output capacity of its production facility in Gbelany, in Slovakia’s northern part, said Plasticsnews.

This comes a year after Hyundai Mobis invested 13 million euros (USD14.9 million) at its plant, the state-run Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) said in a news release.

As part of the planned investment, the South Korean firm is aiming to take on some 200 new workers at the factory.
In 2014, Hyundai Mobis posted revenues of about 1.4 billion euros (USD1.6 billion) in the local market. With the planned investment, the producer is aiming to expand its revenues by more than 14 percent to some 1.6 billion euros (USD1.8 billion), according to data obtained by the SARIO.

Hyundai Mobis produces car components with the use of plastics and other materials. The company says that its entirely automated injection molding system enables it to produce a wide range of bumpers, carriers, panels and other automotive parts.

Since 2006, the Slovak plant has supplied Kia Motors Slovakia. The South Korean car maker operates a plant in Teplicka nad Vahom, Slovakia, which is located about 4 kilometers from the production facility of Hyundai Mobis.

As MRC wrote before, Hyundai Oilbank and Lotte Chemical Corp. established Hyundai Chemical as a new venture in the oil refining and synthetic fiber materials business. The venture, owned 60 % by Hyundai and 40 % by Lotte, will invest up to 1.2-trillion won, with production targeted to begin in the second half of 2016 at Hyundai’s Daesan plant in South Chungcheong province.

Sinopec 2014 refinery runs up 1.5%, ethylene output rose 7.2%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest refiner, said it processed 1.48% more crude oil in 2014 than a year earlier, but diesel production fell over 4% as a slowing economy hit demand for the fuel used for transport and construction, as per Reuters.

While it recorded a healthy 7.2% growth in ethylene output, the company said synthetic fibre - largely used to make textiles - fell 5.5%, an evidence of a weak textile market.

Sinopec, also China's second-largest oil and gas producer, recorded an 8.5% growth in total oil and gas productions last year, with overseas operations contributing most of the crude oil growth, the company said in a filing to the stock exchange on Tuesday.

The operational data was unaudited.

Refinery throughput at 235.38 million tonnes was equivalent to 4.74 million barrels per day, or 47% of the country's total.

As MRC wrote before, in August 2013, Sinopec Wuhan Company’s ethylene project with a capacity of 800,000 tonnes per year produced first batch of qualified products, marking its successful commissioning and startup. The project is a pivotal project of Sinopec in the 11th five-year-plan period and the most important project in Hubei province. The project, including 11 greenfield major production units with public utilities and supporting facilities, was built in three years with an total investment of 16.563 billion yuan.

Sinopec Corp. is one of the largest scale integrated energy and chemical companies with upstream, midstream and downstream operations. Its refining and ethylene capacity ranks No.2 and No.4 globally. The Company has 30,000 sales and distribution networks of oil products and chemical products, its service stations are now ranked third largest in the world.