Braskem CEO says Petrobras crisis threatens its production -paper

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Braskem SA, Latin America's largest petrochemical company, may halt production at most of its plants in March if it fails to extend a supply agreement with oil company and key shareholder Petrobras , Braskem's CEO said in a newspaper interview, reported Reuters.

Braskem's plants in Sao Paulo, Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul are dependent on naphtha supply and may need to interrupt production, said CEO Carlos Fadigas. The move would be a potentially heavy blow to Brazil's beleaguered economy at a time when it is being undermined in part by a corruption scandal at state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is formally known.

The Odebrecht Group, which controls Braskem, also supplies construction and engineering, shipping and other services to Petrobras. Executives from Odebrecht and other major construction and engineering firms have been caught up in the Petrobras corruption probe that has forced Petrobras to suspend payments as well as its work with some companies.

Petrobras owns 37% of Braskem and is Odebrecht's principal partner in the company.

Braskem's and Petrobras' naphtha supply agreement, worth about 9 billion reais (USD3.2 billion) a year, expires at the end of the month. Naphtha accounts for more than two-thirds of Braskem's costs, according to the O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

"I don't know what happens next. When we discussed renewing the contract in the past, Petrobras said it would not deliver any naphtha without an agreement," Fadigas told Estado in the interview.

Braskem already froze investments worth 1 billion reais due to the uncertain naphtha supply, Fadigas said. Long-term deals with potential clients have also been postponed.

As MRC informed before, Braskem plans to build a new polyethylene (PE) plant at its existing complex in La Porte, Texas. The new plant will manufacture ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), making it the first time for Braskem to produce UHMWPE outside of its home base in Brazil. Construction on the plant began in the third quarter of 2014, with completion expected in the first half of 2016.

Braskem is Brazilian main producer of polyethylene and polypropylene. In addition with ongoing plants located in both petrochemical complexes, in April 2008 Braskem opened a 300,000 metric ton polypropylene plant in the city of Paulinia (Sao Paulo).

BASF receives Leading Technology Award from Shanghai General Motors in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF offers its customers individual coatings solutions as the automotive industry focuses on sustainable manufacturing processes. Thus, the Coatings division has been awarded the "Excellent Supplier 2014: Leading Technology Award” by Shanghai General Motors Co., Ltd (SGM), reported BASF on its site.

As the only coatings supplier to win the annual award, BASF Shanghai Coatings Co., Ltd. stood out from around 4,000 SGM suppliers due to its excellent on-site service and leading technology.

"We appreciate our long-term partnership with BASF. We are impressed by BASF’s timely and efficient on-site service, which supports our business development and sustainability goal," said Adam Chang, Senior Manager Purchasing Department, Shanghai General Motors Company Ltd. "With BASF’s innovative coatings technology, we have reduced solvent use and volatile organic compound emissions in our painting lines, achieving a more sustainable car manufacturing process."

As MRC informed previously, in December 2014, BASF’s Coatings division became the sole supplier of automotive coatings for the new plant of the Chinese automaker Chery in Jacarei, Brazil, which started operations in August 2014.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF had sales of about EUR74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year.

Alpek gains most in three years as Alfa revenue beats outlook

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Alpek SAB rose the most in three years after the chemical company’s parent reported fourth-quarter revenue that beat analysts’ estimates, said Bloomberg.

Shares of Alpek rose 7.8% to 17.69 pesos at 2:12 p.m. in Mexico City, the most since at least April 2012. Its parent, Alfa SAB, rallied 5.2% to 30.49 pesos. The companies were the best performers on Mexico’s benchmark IPC index, which rose 0.3%.

Alfa, based in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico, reported fourth-quarter sales of 63.9 billion pesos (USD4.3 billion), beating the average estimate of 60.9 billion pesos from two analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Alfa was raised to the equivalent of buy at Corporativo GBM.

"The results were way more solid than many expected," Jean-Baptiste Bruny, an analyst at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, said of Alfa in a telephone interview.

The company cancelled a joint venture (JV) with Russia’s United Petrochemical Co (UPC) to build a purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant in Russia’s independent republic of Bashkortostan.

Alpek currently operates 17 plants in Mexico, USA and Argentina, including the largest expandable polystyrene (EPS) plant in the Americas.

"Crimean Titan" produced 101,000 tonnes of titanium dioxide in 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - "Crimean Titan", a subsiduary of Group DF, which belongs to Dmitry Firtash, in 2014 produced 101,000 tonnes of titanium dioxide, according to the press service of the Group DF.

The company managed to keep the production of titanium dioxide at the level of the previous year. A record high production was seen in the third quarter, when the company produced 27,100 tonnes of titanium dioxide.

"Given the general global recession in the chemical industry the company has kept steady the production of its key product - titanium dioxide. Despite the challenges we faced in 2014, we were able to keep the plant operational, and fully loaded our plant. The company has solved the problems with the production, delivery and sales. We fulfill all contracts conditions. We continue to systematically upgrade the our production equipment", - said chairman of the company Sergey Kosenko. He noted that the strategic direction of the enterprise is the realization of a unique, long-term and significant in all aspects the project "Titan-3 ".

The "Titan-3" - the construction of a third workshop for the production of titanium dioxide by the sulphate process. The output of the new workshop is presented as 80 + 40, of which 80,000 tonnes are completely new capacities, 40,000 tonnes - calcifications workshop "Titan -1 ", which will be processed into new brands. At the same time high quality and additional production volumes of the new product will expand the geography of sales, improving the company's position in the global market.

As MRC reported earlier, "Crimean Titan" facing closure due to lack of water. The plant is currently has switch into a saving mode.

Private Joint Stock Company "Crimean Titan" was founded August 31, 2004. 100% of the shares owned by Ostchem Germany GmbH, a member of the Group DF. The main activity of PJSC "Crimean Titan" - the production of titanium dioxide, which is used in paint, rubber industry, in the production of plastics and many other industries. Brands: "Crimean Titan", Crimea TITAN.

Nan Ya Plastics to shut down MEG plant in Taiwan for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nan Ya Plastics is in plans to shut its No.1 monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant for maintenance turnaround, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Taiwan informed that the plant is planned to be shut in June 2015. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month.

Located at Mailiao in Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of 360,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, Nan Ya Plastics shut down its No.4 MEG plant in Taiwan for maintenance turnaround on September 7, 2014. The plant remained shut for around one month. Located at Mailiao, Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of 720,000 mt/year.

We remind that Sinopec Hubei Chemical Fertilizer has started a new MEG plant on February 8, 2014. Initially the plant was scheduled to start commercial production in late 2013. Located at Zhejiang in Hubei province of China, the plant has a production capacity of 200,000 mt/year.

Another Chinese petrochemical producer Hubei Chemical Fertilizer started a new monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant in late 2013. Located in Hubei, China, the plant has a production capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year.