Evonik expands silicone platform in Germany and China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik has strengthened its technology platform for specialty silicones with a global investment initiative, since demand for additives for the construction, textile, coating, furniture, and appliance industries is driving the global market growth for specialty silicones, reported the company on its site.

Overall, Evonik plans to invest a triple-digit-million-euro amount in the coming years and gradually increase the production volume of specialty silicones.

"Evonik is one of the world's leading manufacturers of specialty silicones. With our investment initiative we want to strengthen our position as a technology leader and reach new market opportunities" says Evonik Executive Board member and Chief Operating Officer Patrik Wohlhauser.

In Essen, the company is currently putting the expansion of a plant for the production of these special products into operation. The investment for this expansion is in the double-digit-million-euro range. Increasing the production in Germany Evonik accompanied the growth of its customers in the important European market. Within the global investment initiative for specialty silicones additional production expansions in Essen are planned.

The market for specialty silicones continued to grow in recent years. This development is mainly driven by the construction, textile, coating, furniture and appliance industries. Particularly strong was the demand in Asia. Evonik responds to this positive development by expanding its site in Shanghai (China) with a new production complex for specialty silicones.

As MRC informed previously, Essen-based Evonik Industries had invested in Nanocomp Oy Ltd. (Lehmo, Finland) and now holds a minority share in the company. It was made as part of an investment syndicate with Finnvera Venture Capital. The investment sum was not disclosed. Nanocomp is a leading developer and producer of micro- and nano-optical structures that are imprinted on polymer films. Their functionalities enable optical systems to achieve higher performance - and to become smaller at the same time.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2014 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around EUR12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about EUR1.9 billion.

Ukrainian PC market decreased by 20% in January-February 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polycarbonate (PC) granules to Ukraine decreased to 365 tonnes in January-February 2015, down 20% compared to the same period last year, according to a MRC DataScope report.

Ukraine has imposed additional import duties since 1, March. So, if earlier rate of duty on PC was 0%, now it is 5%. Traders said, buyers took imports duties calmly. This factor does not affect the operation of large-scale converters.
However, this will make additional difficulties for small companies and will reduce their demand for PC. Some plants are looking for polymeric analogues PC at more affordable prices.

Some market participants said that Ukrainian government restricts the supply of products (mainly injection moulding) made from PC to the Russian market, which is an important market for domestic converters.

Imports of extrusion PC is expected to be resumed in spring, along with slight increase in the demand for bottle grade PC. Despite the tendency of downtrend of PC and its feedstock prices in Europe, import prices for Ukraine remained steady.


Consumption of PC for sheet extrusion in Russia decreased by 27% in January-february 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) - Calculated consumption of polycarbonate (PC) granules for sheet extrusion in Russia decreased to 9,400 tonnes in January-February 2015, down 27% compared to the same period last year, according to a MRC DataScope report.

Russia's production of PC granules for this technology grew by 9% compared to the same period of last year to 8,700 tonnes. At the same time, imports of sheet extrusion PC were 695 tonnes in the reported period, down 87% year on year.

Demand for imported PC has shrank because of rouble devaluation and the poorer purchasing capacity of the population. Where possible, the market tends to import substitution.
Kazanorgsintez (KOS), the only Russian producer of PC granules in the CIS countries, has taken a decision to reduce exports of PC since the beginning of last year, and to switch to the domestic market. Its annual production capacity is about 6,000 tonnes.

However, in the months of seasonal demand (May and September), the actual material consumption may exceed 15,000 tonnes. Even provided the accumulation of stocks inventories from traders, there is no possibility to fully meet Russian market need for PC. At the same time, converters expect good demand for their products this spring. Client, anticipating a further price rise, are making necessary purchases as soon as possible.

Ineos and Solvay reach agreement for divestment of remedy business to ICIG

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay said it agreed to sell some assets to chemical holding company ICIG, as part of a deal with the European Commission to get its PVC joint venture with Switzerland-based INEOS cleared, said the companies in the statements.

Solvay said the sale included plants in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Britain but did not give any financial details.

The joint venture between Solvay and Ineos, with estimated sales of 4.3 billion euros (USD4.61 billion), will be the world's second-biggest PVC producer after Japan's Shin-Etsu.

The European Commission, which acts as the competition watchdog in the European Union, cleared the deal in May 2014, stipulating that the two groups had to divest certain assets to allay competition concerns.

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.

Ineos Group Limited is a privately owned multinational chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom. It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom.

Fluor selected for project management services on SOCAR petrochemical complex in Azerbaijan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Fluor has secured a contract from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) to provide project management contractor services on its USD17bn oil and gas processing and petrochemical complex (OGPC) near Baku, Azerbaijan, said the company in its press release.

Planned to be built 60km south-west of Baku, the proposed OGPC will feature multiple interfaces between process units, utilities and offsite facilities, as well as gas processing and petrochemical plants.

The complex will have a gas processing plant with annual capacity of around 12 billion cubic metres per annum, a refinery with up to nine million tonnes a year crude distillation capacity and petrochemical plant with annual capacity of 1.1 million tonnes.

"The complex will have a gas processing plant with annual capacity of around 12 billion cubic metres per annum."
Under the contract, Fluor will manage future contractors for the project, including engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and start-up of gas processing and petrochemical plants, including associated offsite facilities.

Fluor Europe, Africa and Middle East energy and chemicals president Taco de Haan said: "Fluor is proud to be selected by SOCAR as the project management contractor on this unique, world-scale project.
"Fluor has demonstrated expertise in managing downstream megaprojects that will allow us to deliver the project on schedule while meeting safety, quality and cost objectives."

The company's office in Farnborough, UK, will manage the work under the contract. In the UK, Fluor serves energy, chemicals, government, industrial, infrastructure, mining and power sectors.

As MRC informed before, SOCAR last year said the complex would not be completed until 2030 – four years later than originally planned – because of a lack of capital. The state-held group said it had requested a 10-year loan worth nearly USD1bn from the Azeri central bank to help get the construction of OGPC under way.

Building for the first phase of the project – which includes an 800,000 tonne/year polyethylene (PE) plant and a 300,000 tonnes/year polypropylene (PP) installation – was expected to start late this year, SOCAR said, with completion pencilled in for 2020.

Fluor Corporation is a global engineering and construction firm that designs and builds some of the world's most complex projects. The company creates and delivers innovative solutions for its clients in engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction, maintenance and project management on a global basis. For more than a century, Fluor has served clients in the energy, chemicals, government, industrial, infrastructure, mining and power market sectors. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Fluor ranks 109 on the FORTUNE 500 list. With 40,000 employees worldwide, the company's revenue for 2014 was USD21.5 billion.

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) is a wholly state-owned national oil company headquartered in Baku, Azerbaijan. It is one of the largest O&G corporations in the world. The company is involved in production of oil and natural gas from both onshore and offshore fields in the Azerbaijani section of the Caspian Sea.