Repsol invests EUR60m at Puertollano plastics plants

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Spanish oil and chemicals group Repsol has launched a major EUR60m plant upgrade and modernisation programme at its Puertollano Industrial complex in central southern Spain, said Europeanplasticsnews.

Projects, aimed at improving competitiveness and manufacturing efficiency, include adapting the production capacity of the olefins plant, increasing the output of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) resins and investment to raise propylene processing at the polypropylene unit.

Repsol intends to adjust monomer output at the olefins unit to meet the demand for added value products in a sustainable and efficient way. Investments will be made to improve energy efficiency in all the chemical plants.

The vast majority of the maintenance and modification work during the two month shutdown which began on 1 February will be carried out by Repsol group’s own subsidiaries.

EVA resin represents a specialised and key value added product area for Repsol which it only manufactures at the Puertollano complex. Work there, part of the group’s wider chemicals competitiveness plan, will see EVA production increase by 7%, it said.

Repsol originally announced it planned to increase its capacity of EVA copolymers including the upgrade of the five production units at the Puertollano complex. The main aim of the investment was to raise output of EVA copolymers with a high vinyl acetate content for hot melt adhesive applications.

As MRC wrote before, Repsol commercialized phthalate-free polypropylene (PP) block copolymers. 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.

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.

Solvay targets hike in PEEK capacity and polyamide compound market in India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay plans to tap emerging opportunities in the growing Indian market to give a big boost to its global businesses, said the company in its press release.

The company is targeting 1,000 tons production of polyetheretherketone (PEEK) in Q3-2015 and aims to capture 15% of the Indian polyamide compound market by 2016.

In particular, the global Specialty Polymers and Engineering Plastics business units of Solvay, which participated in the recently concluded Plastindia 2015, have been taking a lead in the developments of new and expanded polymer chemistries for customer applications in advanced transportation and automotive, healthcare, electrical and electronics, building and construction, energy and consumer goods industries. Both these units are located in Panoli (Gujarat).

The acquisition of PI Polymer, the engineering plastics business of Indian company PI Industries Ltd, in 2011 further strengthened Solvay’s presence in India. In addition to a manufacturing facility, research and development capabilities, as well as a customer base and a logistics network were acquired. "Until then, we were importing Technyl polyamide engineering plastics. However, we rapidly expanded the activity and today we have almost doubled capacity and are on target to capture 15 percent of the Indian polyamide compound market by 2016," said Jitender Bharihoke, commercial director, Solvay Engineering Plastics.

As MRC informed before, Solvay will build a new manufacturing and filling facility in the Netherlands to produce Hydrogen Peroxide grades that are used as disinfection and decontamination agents to meet growing demand from the pharmaceutical industry.

Solvay S.A. is a Belgian chemical company founded in 1863, with its head office in Neder-Over-Heembeek, Brussels, Belgium. The company has diversified into two major sectors of activity: chemicals and plastics. Solvay supplies over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers – fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds.

Gazprom Salavat neftekhim suspended HDPE production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bashkir company Gazprom neftekhim Salavat, one of the largest Russian petrochemical producers, yesterday, on 19 February, temporarily suspended production of high density polyethylene (HDPE), reported the company's customers.

They said Gazprom neftekhim Salavat had to temporarily shut down its HDPE production yesterday because of technical issues. There were no reports of any major problems, therefore, production is going to be resumed in the next few days.

The plant's annual production capacity is 120,000 tonnes, the plant's technology is that of LyondellBasell. Gazprom neftekhim Salavat produced about 93,000 tonnes of HDPE in 2014.

JSC "Gazprom neftekhim Salavat" (formerly JSC "Salavatnefteorgsintez") is one of Russia's major petrochemical complexes. The company was integrated into JSC "Gazprom" system. The concentration of the full cycle of hydrocarbon processing, petrochemistry and mineral fertilizer production on the one site is the main advantage of GNS. The company comprises oil refinery, chemical plant, gas&chemical plant and monomer plant. The list of manufactured commodity products now includes more than 140 items, including 76 items of the main products: motor gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, fuel oil, toluene, solvent, liquefied gases, benzene, styrene, ethylbenzene, butyl alcohols, phthalic anhydride and plasticizers, polyethylene, polystyrene, silica gel and zeolite catalysts, corrosion inhibitors, elemental sulfur, ammonia and urea, glycols, and amines, a wide range of plastic consumer goods, surfactants and others.

Axiall posts Q4 net loss on cost increases

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Axiall Corporation (AXLL) announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2014, said the company in its press release.

The company reported net sales of USD4.6 billion for the full year 2014, compared to net sales of USD4.7 billion reported for the full year 2013. The company reported net income attributable to Axiall of USD46.3 million, or USD0.65 per diluted share, for 2014, compared to net income attributable to Axiall of USD165.3 million, or USD2.44 per diluted share, for 2013. The company reported Adjusted Net Income of USD93.4 million and Adjusted Earnings per Share of USD1.32 for 2014, compared to Adjusted Net Income of USD266.1 million and Adjusted Earnings per Share of USD3.93 for 2013. The company reported Adjusted EBITDA of USD436.3 million for 2014, compared to Adjusted EBITDA of USD672.0 million for the prior year.

Axiall reported net sales of USD1.1 billion for both the fourth quarters of 2014 and 2013. The company reported net loss attributable to Axiall of USD13.8 million, or USD0.20 loss per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to net income attributable to Axiall of USD57.0 million, or USD0.81 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2013. The company reported Adjusted Net Income of USD13.6 million and Adjusted Earnings per Share of USD0.19 for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to Adjusted Net Income of USD62.3 million, and Adjusted Earnings per Share of USD0.88, for the fourth quarter of 2013. The company reported Adjusted EBITDA of USD101.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to Adjusted EBITDA of USD165.7 million for the same quarter in the prior year. Fourth quarter 2014 Adjusted EBITDA includes a USD20.9 million negative impact from inventory holding losses and lower of cost or market adjustments in Aromatics, partially offset by a USD17.7 million insurance recovery for claims related to our unplanned outage at our PHH facility in the first half of the year.

As MRC wrote before, Axiall Corp. says it is considering building a USD3 billion ethane cracker and chemical plant somewhere in Louisiana. The Atlanta-based chemical manufacturer says it could make a decision sometime early next year. Axiall would invest USD1 billion of its own money, while an unnamed partner would put in USD2 billion. The plant could open in 2018, creating 225 permanent jobs.

Axiall is a chemical company formed in 2012 from the chemical assets of PPG and Georgia Gulf. The PPG products are primarily chlor-alkali. The combined companies will be the third largest producer of chlor-alkali in the US after Dow Chemical and Occidental. PPG will own 50.5% of the combined companies. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. MRC

LyondellBasell announces appointment of new Chief Legal Officer

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell,the world’s biggest maker of polypropylene plastic, has announced that Jeffrey A. Kaplan has been appointed executive vice president and chief legal officer, effective 1 March 2015, said the producer in its press release.

Kaplan succeeds Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Craig B. Glidden, who will leave the company later this month to become executive vice president and general counsel of the General Motors Company.

In making the announcement, Chief Executive Officer Bob Patel said: "Jeff's experience in managing the legal aspects of nearly all facets of complex global organizations and his deep understanding of the petrochemical industry make him the obvious choice to join our management team. I have worked closely with Jeff for many years and have great confidence in him."

Patel also announced that the company's Supervisory Board has nominated Kaplan for appointment to the Management Board. The company's shareholders will be asked to elect Kaplan to the Management Board at its 2015 Annual General Meeting. In addition to leading the legal department, Kaplan will have management responsibility for the company's government affairs and corporate communications.

"We are grateful to Craig for his many contributions to LyondellBasell over the past five-and-a-half years," Patel said. "He was one of the key leaders contributing to the transformation of the Company and the success we have achieved."

Kaplan, 46, has been deputy general counsel since joining LyondellBasell in December 2009. From 2001 to 2009 he served in a variety of leadership roles at Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, including deputy general counsel. From 1992 to 2001 he was in private law practice in Houston.

As MRC informed before, in December 2014, LyondellBasell announced that the Supervisory Board had appointed Bhavesh V. "Bob" Patel chief executive officer, effective January 12, 2015. Patel succeeds James L. Gallogly, who previously announced his plan to retire.

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.