Prices of PS and styrene plastics rose in Ukraine

MOSCOW (MRC) -- February spot polystyrene (PS) prices grew in the Ukrainian domestic market, following the next depreciation of the national currency, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

On 5 February, The National Bank of Ukraine once again refused from holding the fixed indicative rate, and, therefore, the hryvnya exchange rate against the US dollar dropped from UAH17.99 to UAH25.92 from 5 February to 13 February. Traders raised their PS prices, following the fall in the national currency.

Prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's high impact polystyrene (HIPS) increased to UAH34,000-34,500/tonne CPT Kiev, including. Prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) went up to UAH33,000-33,500/tonne CPT Kiev, including VAT. Prices of Russian material grew to UAH53,000-55,000/tonne CPT Kiev, including VAT, in the expandable polystyrene (EPS) market (at the same time, prices in dollar were reduced). Offer prices of Asian PS grades rose to UAH53,000-54,000/tonne CPT Kiev, including VAT.

Concern "Stirol" (Gorlovka, Donetsk region) is the only Ukrainian PS producer. The plant's nominal production capacity of HIPS and GPPS are 25,000 tonnes per year, whereas its EPS production capacity is 50,000 tonnes per year. "Stirol" has not produced PS since March 2014. The needs of the Ukrainian market have been fully met by imports, mainly, from Russia, for a year.

Dutch AkzoNobel Q4 net profit falls 86%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dutch paints maker Akzo Nobel NV reported that its fourth-quarter net income attributable to shareholders fell to 7 million euros from 51 million euros in the prior year, said the company in its press release.

Operating income, excluding incidentals, was 169 million euros up from last year's 55 million euros, due to improved operational performance and lower restructuring charges.

Adjusted earnings per share were 0.33 euros, compared to 0.01 euros in the prior year.

Revenue for the quarter grew to 3.517 billion euros from 3.482 billion euros in the previous year. Revenue was up 1 percent, with 2 percent favorable currency effects offset by 1 percent lower volumes.

The company anticipates that significant developments in raw material prices, combined with relevant exchange rate movements and lower growth rates in high growth economies, will principally determine the dynamics of 2015.

AkzoNobel said it remains on track to achieve its targets for 2015.

As MRC wrote before, Daimler AG has signed an agreement with AkzoNobel Performance Coatings making the company one of the approved suppliers of vehicle refinishes to Daimler dealerships and approved bodyshops worldwide.

Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, active in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 55,000 people.

AkzoNobel Performance Coatings adds capacity in Indonesia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel Performance Coatings has announced plans to invest EUR2.5 million to expand its plant in Cikarang, Indonesia, as per the company's press release.

The investment will add capacity to help meet growing demand for the company’s International brand products, which are supplied by the Protective Coatings and Marine Coatings businesses. The project is expected to be completed by April 2015.

"The local market has been expanding over the last three years," explained Mauricio Bannwart, Managing Director of AkzoNobel's Protective Coatings business. "Further growth is now anticipated as Indonesia seeks to improve its position in the petrochemical and power sectors, while an improvement in marine new build is also anticipated."

News of the expansion comes after AkzoNobel recently invested a total of EUR5 million to add capacity for both its Marine Coatings and Protective Coatings businesses in Singapore and Sunshine, Australia.

Commenting on the new projects, Conrad Keijzer, the company's Executive Committee member responsible for Performance Coatings, said: "Our business in Asia has experienced double-digit annual growth during the last five years. These expansions will ensure that we are well positioned to meet customer demand going forward. By focusing our investment at key sites we are achieving economies of scale, allowing us to continuously improve our operational productivity."

As MRC wrote before, in September 2014, AkzoNobel announced that it would establish a new organization for its Performance Coatings Business Area in order to drive leading performance. The simplified new structure, which became fully operational in January 2015, reduces the number of global management layers. As a result, Performance Coatings is managed through seven Strategic Market Units under the leadership of Executive Committee Member Conrad Keijzer. The seven units are focus on specific customer segments and technologies. They will be: Marine Coatings, Metal Coatings, Powder Coatings, Protective Coatings, Specialty Coatings, Vehicle Refinishes and Wood Coatings.

Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, active in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 55,000 people.

Kuwait Styrene realizes USD 126 mln net profit in 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Kuwait Styrene Company (TKSC) announced realizing a net profit of USD 126 million for the fiscal year ending 31 December 2014, in comparison to net profits of USD 180 million during 2013, said Albawaba.

On this occasion, TKSC Board Chairman Hadi Abul said, "As the only Kuwaiti producer and exporter of Styrene Monomer (SM), the company has continued realizing notable net profits despite a number of challenges, mainly decreasing oil prices and the hike in feedstock costs. On the other hand, the company maintained this overall success through its human resources especially nationals, strategic planning, operational excellence, and increasing global SM demand which has reached 27 million metric tons (MT) during 2014."

Abul expressed, "Utmost appreciation and gratitude to all contributors to this success, especially TKSC Board Members, executive management, EQUATE Petrochemical Company, Kuwait Paraxylene Production Company (KPPC), The Kuwait Olefins Company (TKOC), as well as various government and private bodies for their continuous support of TKSC."

On his part, TKSC CEO Adel Al-Munifi said, "During 2014, the company has realized a number of distinguished achievements that included producing 526,000 MT which is a new record since our plant’s capacity is 450,000 MT annually. Our sales in terms of volume have increased and the sales value was USD 807 million in comparison to USD 915 during 2013. The year 2015 is expected to witness more challenges in light of fluctuating oil prices which might be lower than 2014, and this matter will have an impact of petrochemical markets as a whole and demand for petrochemicals, as well as instability in prices."

As MRC wrote before, Dow will reconfigure and reduce its equity base in the MEGlobal and Greater EQUATE joint ventures, including The Kuwait Olefins Company (TKOC) and The Kuwait Styrene Company (TKSC), through a divestment of a portion of the company’s interests in these ventures.

As Kuwait’s first and only producer of Styrene Monomer, The Kuwait Styrene Company (TKSC) was established in 2004 as an international joint venture between Kuwait Aromatics Company (KARO) and The Dow Chemical Company (Dow). EQUATE Petrochemical Company is the single operator of Greater EQUATE, which includes The Kuwait Styrene Company (TKSC), Kuwait Paraxylene Production Company (KPPC) and The Kuwait Olefins Company (TKOC) under one fully integrated operational umbrella at Kuwait’s Shuaiba Industrial Area.


Idemitsu Kosan to shut down SM plant in Japan for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Idemitsu Kosan, one of Japan’s largest refining and petrochemical companies, is likely to shut its styrene monomer (SM) plant for a maintenance turnaround, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Japan informed that the SM plant is planned to be shut in April 2015. It is expected to remain off-stream for around three months.

Located at Chiba in Japan, the SM plant has a production capacity of 210,000 mt/yr.

As MRC informed before, Idemitsu Kosan also will be shutting its refinery in Japan for maintenance turnaround in April 2015. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month. Located at Chiba in Japan, the refinery has a crude processing capacity of 220,000 bpd.

Idemitsu Kosan is a Japanese petroleum company. It owns and operates oil platforms, refineries and produces and sells petroleum, oils and petrochemical products. The company runs two petrochemical plants in Chiba and Tokuyama. The two naphtha crackers can produce up to 997,000 tonnes of ethylene per year.