BPCL receives approval from Environment Ministry for petrochemical expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- State run Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has received Environment Ministry approval for a Rs 4,588 crore expansion at its refinery facility at Kochi, as per Plastemart.

Theoil and petrochem major can now plan to produce some niche petrochemicals that are mostly imported. The proposed Propylene Derivatives Petrochemical Project (PDPP) consists of three major process units - acrylic acid, oxo-alcohol and acrylates.

Land has been acquired for the project. The project is expected to achieve mechanical completion in Q1-2018.

"About 329 KTPA of products will be manufactured from 250 KTPA of propylene feed stock in the PDPP complex. Matching Utilities and off-site facilities are also envisaged as part of the project," the company said.

PDPP complex will be set up close to the refinery to achieve integration of feedstock supply, utilities, offsites and other facilities.

As MRC wrote before, Technip has been awarded a contract by Air Products for a new industrial gas complex in Kochi, India. The contract covers project management, as well as engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services for the new industrial gas complex for Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited – Kochi Refinery (BPCL-KR) located in the state of Kerala.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) is an Indian state-controlled oil and gas company headquartered in Mumbai, India. Bharat Petroleum owns refineries at Mumbai, Maharashtra and Kochi, Kerala (Kochi Refineries) with a capacity of 12 and 9.5 million metric tonnes per year.

Trinseo reports record Q1 2015 financial results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and synthetic rubber, has reported its first quarter 2015 financial results with revenue of USD1,018 million and Adjusted EBITDA excluding inventory revaluation of USD151 million, as per the company's report.

Effective January 1, 2015, Trinseo reorganized its business under two new divisions called Performance Materials and Basic Plastics & Feedstocks. The Performance Materials division now includes the following reporting segments: Synthetic Rubber, Latex, and Performance Plastics. The Basic Plastics & Feedstocks division represents a separate segment for financial reporting purposes and includes styrenic polymers, polycarbonate, and styrene monomer. In addition, the Basic Plastics & Feedstocks division includes the results of our two 50%-owned joint ventures, Americas Styrenics LLC, or Americas Styrenics, and Sumika Styron Polycarbonate Limited.

The compnany believes that this new organizational structure better reflects the nature of Trinseo by grouping together segments with similar strategies, business drivers and operating characteristics.

Commenting on the company’s performance, Chris Pappas, Trinseo President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We had a great start to 2015 with a very strong first quarter. We had record Adjusted EBITDA excluding inventory revaluation at the consolidated level, and in our Basic Plastics & Feedstocks division. In addition, we had record Adjusted EBITDA in the Performance Plastics segment. We are now seeing the strength of our consistent EBITDA in the Performance Materials division coupled with the cyclical lift in the Basic Plastics & Feedstocks division."

Pappas continued, "We recently refinanced our debt, creating a new capital structure that is consistent with our public company peers and which provides us with increased liquidity, a natural hedge against our euro-denominated EBITDA, and a much lower cost of borrowing, which will positively contribute to our earnings and free cash flow. At current interest rates, the transaction will reduce our cash interest by approximately USD37 million per year, which equals approximately sixty-five cents of earnings per diluted share."

Revenue in the first quarter decreased 25% versus prior year and 9% versus prior quarter due to the pass through of lower raw material cost, with the significant decline in the overall energy complex, and currency, as the euro weakened in comparison to the U.S. dollar. These impacts were partially offset by an increase in sales volume across all of our segments, which was aided by customer restocking in the current quarter after a period of destocking in the latter part of 2014.

First quarter Adjusted EBITDA of USD109 million included a USD42 million unfavorable impact from inventory revaluation. Adjusted EBITDA excluding inventory revaluation of USD151 million was USD68 million higher than prior year and USD47 million higher than prior quarter. These increases were due mainly to higher margins in polycarbonate, from the company's restructuring efforts and market improvement, higher margins in Performance Plastics, due to declining raw material costs during the quarter, and improved performance in styrene monomer, styrenic polymers, and at Americas Styrenics driven by first quarter industry restocking and overall stronger market conditions ahead of planned outages.

Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo has completed the name change process for most legal entities around the world. Some Styron companies are still completing this process and will continue to do business as Styron until their respective name changes are complete.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo’s technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015.

Sumitomo Chemical announces financial results for FY14

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The business environment surrounding the Sumitomo Chemical Group was good during the twelve months ended 31 March 2015 (FY14), although there were areas with sluggish market conditions and weak shipment volumes, said the company.

Under these circumstances, the Sumitomo Chemical Group undertook group wide efforts to improve business performance by increasing selling prices and expanding sales volumes, as well as by cutting costs through thorough streamlining. As a result, the group’s sales for FY14 increased by JPY132.9 billion compared with the previous fiscal year, to JPY2,376.7 billion. The group posted operating income of JPY127.3 billion, ordinary income of JPY157.4 billion and net income of JPY52.2 billion, all representing increases from the previous fiscal year.

Market prices for petrochemical products dropped due to lower feedstock prices in the second half of FY14. Market prices for synthetic resins also fell, but shipments from Singapore and Japan increased. The weaker yen had a positive effect on sales from overseas subsidiaries in yen terms. As a result, the segment’s sales increased by JPY14.1 billion compared with the previous fiscal year, to JPY806.2 billion, and operating income grew by JPY16.3 billion, to JPY21.2 billion.

The company decided to pay a year end dividend of JPY3 per share. As a result, the company’s annual dividend for fiscal 2014 was JPY9 per share, including an interim dividend of JPY6 per share, unchanged from the previous fiscal year.

Operating cash flow in FY14 increased by JPY66.5 billion compared with the previous fiscal year, to JPY260.9 billion, due to an increase in income before income taxes and collection of money advanced relating to Petro Rabigh's Rabigh Phase II Project. Cash flow from investing activities was negative JPY56.6 billion, a decrease in cash outflows of JPY78.5 billion compared to the previous fiscal year, due to a decrease in payments for purchase of fixed asset. This resulted in free cash flow of JPY204.2 billion for FY14, compared with JPY59.2 billion for the previous fiscal year. Cash flow from financing activities was negative JPY151.5 billion. The balance of cash and cash equivalents at the end of the fiscal year increased by JPY69.7 billion over the previous year, to JPY202.0 billion.

For FY15, the company forecasts that sales will decrease by 5.3%, to JPY2,250.0 billion, while operating income and ordinary income are projected to be JPY145.0 billion and JPY160.0 billion respectively and net income to be JPY80.0 billion, assuming an exchange rate of JPY115.0/US$ and a naphtha price of JPY47 000/kl.

As MRC informed earlier, Sumitomo Chemical will permanently wind up the operations of an ethylene plant at its Chiba Works in Ichihara, Chiba, in or before September 2015, following a decline in domestic demand for ethylene derivative.

Sumitomo Chemical is a Japanese based manufacturer of a diverse range of products, including basic chemicals, petrochemicals and plastics, fine chemicals, agricultural chemicals, IT-related chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

DuPont defeats breakup proposal from activist investor

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DuPont Co.’s army of retail shareholders proved decisive in the defeat of veteran activist investor Nelson Peltz’s attempt to get on the board and split up the 212-year-old chemical company, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

All DuPont’s director nominees were elected, it said Wednesday at its annual meeting in Wilmington, Delaware. Peltz’s Trian Fund Management, which had sought four board seats, said the vote was "close." The final count hasn’t been disclosed. DuPont shares fell as much as 7%.

The outcome is a decisive victory for DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman following a five-month-long proxy fight. Both tried to muster votes via advertisements in local and national media. About one-third of DuPont shareholders are private individuals such as retired former employees, compared with about 10% at most other companies, the company said last month.

"We got retail investors’ attention this time," Kullman told reporters at DuPont’s Chestnut Run Plaza office complex after Wednesday’s meeting was adjourned. While such shareholders rarely vote, when they do they’re usually supportive of incumbent management, she said.

Peltz, 72, told reporters separately that Trian had support from some institutional investors but it could have done better with retail shareholders and index funds.

DuPont "clearly did a better job with the retail shareholder who clearly doesn’t understand the issues," he said. "They did a better job scaring people."

Trian had spent much of the past two years criticizing DuPont’s financial performance, arguing that the company was too complex and bureaucratic and would be better off split into two. The failure of its DuPont campaign is the first since Peltz’s firm was established a decade ago.

As MRC informed earlier, DuPont Co. said first-quarter profit declined from the previous year, as revenues dropped amid adverse currency and decreased volumes. The company now expects higher-than-previously estimated negative currency impact in 2015, and as a result sees full year earnings at the low end of its prior outlook.

DuPont is an American chemical company that was founded in July, 1802. The company manufactures a wide range of chemical products, leading extensive innovative research in this field. The company is the inventor of many unique plastics and other materials, including neoprene, nylon, Teflon, Kevlar, Mylar, Tyvek, etc. DuPont was the developer and main producer of Freon used in the production of refrigeration equipment.

PTT Q1 net profit falls 21% on low oil prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTT PCL, Thailand's largest energy firm, said its first-quarter net profit fell 21 percent year-on-year, but rebounded from a loss in the previous quarter due to the improved performance of its refinery business, said Reuters.

State-controlled PTT posted a net profit of 22.6 billion baht (USD670 million), higher than the average 20.8 billion forecast by 11 analysts polled by Reuters.

The result compared with a net profit of 28.5 billion baht a year earlier and a loss of 26.6 billion in the previous quarter.

First-quarter sales revenue dropped 25 percent on year to 515 billion baht, hit by lower average selling prices after declines in global crude oil prices, it said in a statement.

PTT booked a gain of 1.9 billion baht on its investments in petrochemical and refinery affiliates, up from 1.2 billion baht a year earlier, thanks to a better performance of in refining and a higher run rate, it said.

Declines in global oil prices prompted PTT to reduce its five-year investment plan to 299 billion baht from 327 billion baht to reflect global economic uncertainty.

As MRC informed earlier, PTT Global Chemical PCL is studying several options for supplying sufficient raw material to its petrochemical plants, including imports of oil feedstocks after declines in global crude prices. The move is part of a plan to cope with a potential drop in domestic natural gas supply after Thailand's government put bidding for new oil and gas concessions on hold.

PTT Global Chemical is the flagship petrochemical company of the PTT Group. PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.