Solvay Specialty Polymers launches PEEK polymer expansion in US

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay Specialty Polymers USA LLC has launched an expansion project at its Augusta manufacturing site to install the first world-scale polyether-etherketone (PEEK) resin production unit in the United States and meet growing demand for Solvay’s KetaSpire and AvaSpire ultra-polymers, as per BusinessWire.

PEEK is a high-temperature, high-strength, and high-purity plastic resin that Solvay uses as a key building block to make its KetaSpire PEEK and AvaSpire PAEK products. These two ultra-polymers are used in a broad range of performance-critical applications such as helping to make airplanes lighter and safer, improving the fuel efficiency of automotive drive trains, and enabling innovations in medical devices.

Roger Kearns, a member of the Solvay Group’s worldwide executive committee, voiced optimism about the company’s expansion in Augusta. "Solvay Specialty Polymers is one of the Group’s growth engines," he said. "Expansion of our KetaSpire and AvaSpire production capabilities plays an important role in Solvay’s continued worldwide leadership in producing innovative high-performance materials that provide sustainable solutions."

Kearns added, "This Augusta expansion is testimony to our researchers, to our plant workers and to the Georgia business environment which welcomes and encourages manufacturing and innovation."

Solvay’s Augusta Plant Manager Alain De Greef echoed Kearns remarks. "Augusta’s workforce is proud of our record of safety, productivity and reliability of supply and we look forward to growing our service to customers and our contributions to Solvay," he said.

The first new structure is expected to rise in mid-summer with completion expected in mid-2016. Solvay currently employs about 200 workers and about 55 contract workers in Augusta.

As MRC informed before, in late 2014, Solvay announced that it had been acquiring Dhaymers, a Brazilian manufacturer of specialty esters, entering the skin care market and expanding its presence in industrial lubricants and mining industries in Latin America.

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.

US Honeywell Q1 chems segment profit rises 6%

MOSCOW (MRC) - Diversified U.S. manufacturer Honeywell International Inc reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, hurt by the sale of its friction materials business and a strong dollar, said Reuters.

The company also cut its full-year revenue forecast to USD39 billion-USD39.6 billion from USD40.5-USD41.1 billion earlier, below the average analyst estimate of USD40.52 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Honeywell's shares were down nearly 1 percent at USD103 in premarket trading on Friday. Sales in the company's aerospace business — its largest — fell 6 percent to USD3.61 billion, while sales at its automation and controls business fell 3 percent.

The Morristown, New Jersey-based company makes aircraft engines, cockpit electronics and climate control systems. Honeywell sold its friction materials business to Federal Mogul last year for about USD155 million.

Revenue for the first quarter fell nearly 5 percent to USD9.21 billion, missing the average analysts estimate of USD9.48 billion.

Net income attributable to Honeywell rose to USD1.12 billion, or USD1.41 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from USD1.02 billion, or USD1.28 per share, a year earlier. Up to Thursday's close, the company's shares had risen 4 percent this year.

As MRC informed earlier, OOO Kirishinefteorgsintez selected Honeywell to supply its experion process knowledge system (PKS) and advanced alarm manager system at the company"s refinery in Kirishi, in the Leningrad region of Russia.

Honeywell's UOP C(3) Oleflex process is a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) process to convert propane to propylene. The majority of the operating and licensed PDH units in the world utilize the Oleflex process.

LG Chem Q1 net profit falls 14%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LG Chem said Friday that its operating profit jumped 56 percent from a quarter earlier to 361 billion won in the first quarter of the year, said Koreatimes.

It said it benefited from declines in key raw materials for chemical products, increased sales of its premium products and favorable currency moves. In a filing to the Korea Exchange (KRX), the nation's biggest chemical company reported 246 billion won in net profit, up 125 percent from the fourth quarter.

However, its sales fell 8.5 percent to 4.91 trillion won. It announced the quarterly results after the stock market closed. Operating profit dropped 0.1 percent from a year earlier, with sales down 13.4 percent and net profit down 14 percent.

The company was positive about its earnings outlook in the coming quarters. "Increased sales of our premium products and a decline in raw material price benefited us, offsetting impacts of increased maintenance costs and lengthy holidays in China," said C.S. Song, head of the company's public relations office.

Its electric materials division helped the company strengthen the bottom line thanks to solid demand for its film patterned retarder (FPR) products to be used in 3D televisions and other electronic applications.

Also, the company's battery division generated more profits as it received stronger demand for small-sized batteries for high-end smartphones and tablets by leading Chinese phone makers. But the company said high rise in spending for car batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems limited its profit curve.

The company expects to report better profits in the second quarter as its business divisions will benefit the most because of seasonal factors. Usually, chemical and technology companies report their best quarterly report during the April-June period of each year as client order more ahead of big shopping seasons in fall and winter.

As MRC informed earlier, LG Chem Ltd said it had signed a memorandum of understanding to build a factory for electric vehicle batteries in China by 2015, betting on growing demand in the world's top car market. The factory in Nanjing will break ground in September and will cater to Chinese automakers like SAIC Motor Corp and global firms such as General Motors,

LG Chem Ltd., often referred to as LG Chemical, is the largest Korean chemical company and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. According to ICIS report, it is 15th biggest chemical company in the world in 2011. It has eight domestic factories and global network of 29 business locations in 15 countries. LG Chem is a manufacturer, supplier, and exporter of petrochemical goods, IT&E Materials and Energy Solutions.


Reliance Industries Q1 net profit up 11%

MOSCOW (MRC) --Oil & gas major Reliance Industries (RIL) has posted an 8.5 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 6,381 crore (over USD1 billion) for the quarter ended March 2015 as against Rs 5,881 crore profit a year ago, aided by the good performance in its core refining business, which posted its strongest margins in eight quarters, said Indianexpress.

Despite a 33.3 per cent fall in revenue, it reported the highest quarterly profit since it clocked Rs 8,079 crore net profit in Q3 of 2007-08. The firm’s gross refining margin rose to USD10.1 per barrel for the quarter ended March from USD9.3 per barrel a year ago. The refining segment recorded the highest ever quarterly pre-tax profit (EBIT) of Rs 4,902 crore, up 23.7 per year-on-year.

This helped offset a 6.8 per cent decline in EBIT in petrochemical business to Rs 2,003 crore and a 35.8 per cent slump in the same from oil and gas business to Rs 489 crore.

For the quarter ended March 2015, RIL achieved a turnover of Rs 70,863 crore, a decrease of 33.3 per cent, as compared with Rs 1,06,208 crore a year ago. The sharp fall in benchmark oil price of around 50 per cent was the key factor for the decline in revenue. RIL’s standalone net profit was up 10.8 per cent at Rs 6,243 crore.
RIL’s US shale gas business also saw a 23.1 per cent drop in EBIT to Rs 336 crore but the booming retail business saw per-tax profits jumping from Rs 24 crore in January-March 2014 to Rs 104 crore in the fourth quarter of 2014-15. Strong operating performance from the refining business and stable petrochemicals business performance led higher operating profits, RIL said.

As MRC informed earlier, Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) has successfully put into operation two plants in Dahej, Gujarat, India. The first is a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin plant, which consists of two lines with a combined manufacturing capacity of 650 KTA. The plant has been built with Invista technology for continuous polymerization and Buhler AG technology for solid state polymerization.

Reliance Industries is one of the world's largest producers of polymers. The company's polymer production in 2010-11 (polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride) made 4,094 kilo tonnes.

Rosneft, Pirelli and Synthos to perform feasibility study with regard to production of synthetic rubber in Nakhodka

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Rosneft, Pirelli S.p.A. and Synthos S.A. signed a Memorandum of Understanding with regard to performing a feasibility study in the area of R&D, production and supply of synthetic rubber in the city of Nakhodka within the framework of the FEPCO (Far East Petrochemical Company) petrochemical cluster, said Yourpetrochemicalnews.

The document envisages the performance of the feasibility study for the project, which will include plant engineering designs and operational requirements, market studies, capital investments and operating costs estimates. Moreover the parties express their intentions of using FEPCO petrochemical cluster, which is situated in Nakhodka, for synthetic rubber production for the purpose, among other things, of supplies to Pirelli’s own tire production facilities in Asia-Pacific region. Above all, Rosneft, Synthos and Pirelli show intention to develop experimental projects in this area.

Synthetic rubber, which is supposed to be produced there, is an environmentally-friendly material, which is used in production of so called "green tires". It improves adherence on both wet and dry road and helps to reduce fuel consumption.

Prague-based investment bank WOOD & Company said it believed that for Synthos the project might be an alternative to constructing its planned 80,000 tonne/year neodymium polybutadiene (Nd-PBR) rubber plant at the Triunfo Petrochemical Complex in the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Synthos has been unable to secure the BD because the planned producer of the raw material, Braskem, has been unable to contract enough naphtha supplies from fellow Brazilian company Petrobras. Braskem needs that naphtha to produce BD. No update on the Triunfo investment was available from Synthos.

As MRC informed earlier, capacity of the LNG project to be located on Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East is expected to be 5 million tpy, subject to further expansion. The liquefaction plant, the launch of which is scheduled for 2018, will receive natural gas from Rosneft’s reserves in the Far East and other Sakhalin gas reserves.

Rosneft is currently buying competitor TNK-BP in deals worth USD55 billion that will create the largest listed oil producer in the world and will hand BP a 19.8% stake in the oil giant.