PC imports into Russia decreased twofold in January-April 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of unblended polycarbonate (PC) to the Russian market decreased to 6,000 tonnes in January-April 2015, down 50% compared to the same period last year, according to a MRC DataScope report.

April PC imports into the country grew to its usual level on the back of the rouble strengthening. Taking into account the seasonal increase in demand and the needs of the market, most of the deliveries occurred for PC for sheet extrusion (4,300 tonnes).

Demand for PC imports was very low because of the volatility of the exchange rate. Converters tried to find an alternative among the Russian PC. However, the only Russian PC producer, Kazanorgsintez, with capacity of 65,000 tonnes/year, is unable to fully meet the demand, especially in the season.

The first deliveries of Iranian PC into the Russian market were made in April. Khouzestan Petrochemical Company (KHPC), a subsidiary of Iranian company Sirjangostar Global Group, shipped 45 tons of extrusion PC granules. The producer aims to work with only a segment of sheet extrusion and to cooperate with the major traders and converter on a long term basis. The company plans to ship monthly about 500-1000 tonnes into the Russian Federation.

The cost of the Iranian material is competitive with European and even the Russian PC. In case of further appreciation of the rouble, imports, both European and Asian PC should be back to their usual volume. Despite the fact that the cost of certain brands of European PC have significantly increased since early May, this material will find buyers in the market.


PolyOne hires Richard N. Altice as President of Designed Structures and Solutions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PolyOne Corporation, a premier provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions, has announced the hiring of Richard N. Altice as senior vice president, president of Designed Structures and Solutions (DSS), the company's specialty sheet, rollstock and packaging solutions business segment, said the producer on its site.

"We are extremely pleased to have Rich join PolyOne's leadership team," said Robert M. Patterson, president and chief executive officer, PolyOne Corporation. "DSS is entering an important phase of its transformation into a specialty business. Rich is a proven performer, who will lead DSS with a results-oriented approach that will deliver improved innovation, service, quality, and value to our customers."

Mr. Altice has nearly 30 years of extensive experience, primarily focused on driving growth through innovative product development and commercial excellence at global specialty chemical companies. He joins PolyOne from Hexion Inc., where he served as vice president, Epoxy Specialties, and delivered significant expansion in sales and profitability. Mr. Altice previously worked at Solutia Inc., advancing through commercial roles, P&L responsibilities and executive positions, ultimately serving as president and general manager of the company's Technical Specialties division. Mr. Altice holds a bachelor's of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Mr. Altice replaces Julie A. McAlindon, who is leaving the company after five years of dedicated service. "Julie played a key role in transforming and evolving PolyOne's marketing function to support our specialty strategy," Mr. Patterson said. "We also appreciate her service during our first stage of the Spartech integration, and wish her all the best in her future endeavors."

As MRC reported earlier, last year, PolyOne announced a realignment of its manufacturing assets in Brazil. As part of the realignment, PolyOne will close manufacturing plants located in Diadema and Joinville, Brazil. The company will continue to operate and invest in its facilities in Novo Hamburgo and Itupeva, Brazil, while offering specialty solutions throughout the region.

We also remind that in February 2014, PolyOne Corporation announced the addition of new capabilities to its OnColor HC Plus portfolio. These expanded offerings add medical-grade LDPE, nylon, PEBA, PS and PVC to the globally available palette of specialty healthcare colorants, and are pre-certified to meet or exceed biocompatibility requirements for ISO 10993 and/or USP Class VI protocols.

PolyOne Corporation, with 2014 revenues of USD3.8 billion, is a global provider of specialized polymer materials, services, and solutions. PolyOne is a provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions with operations in specialty polymer formulations, color and additive systems, polymer distribution and specialty vinyl resins.

Borealis Q1 net profit up 34%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis, a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins and base chemicals announces a net profit of EUR 137 million for the first quarter of 2015, compared to EUR 102 million in the same quarter of 2014, said the company.

The improved result reflect improvements in all three profit centers of Borealis despite the lower price environment which led to substantial negative inventory effects in Q1 2015, especially for polyolefins.

In the first quarter net debt reduced by EUR 132 million largely due to lower working capital needs driven by the lower price environment for polyolefins. Borealis' financial position remains strong with financial gearing of 34% at the end of the first quarter.

"The solid result in the first quarter was realised in a challenging price environment and is testament to the robustness of our European base," says Mark Garrett, Borealis Chief Executive. "Despite the improved result, operability was not where we want to see it in the first quarter and the focus remains on ensuring good operability and safety at all our European sites as well as in regards to the start-up of the remaining plants of the Borouge 3 project. We expect 2015 to be a challenging year, but are pleased to see that the work to be a resilient company is supporting our bottom line in volatile times".

As MRC informed before, the Borouge 3 plant expansion in Abu Dhabi will be fully operational in 2015. Borouge 3 will deliver an additional 2.5 million tonnes of capacity when fully ramped up, bringing the total Borouge capacity to 4.5 million tonnes. Borealis and Borouge will then have approximately 8 million tonnes of polyolefin capacity.

Borealis is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. With headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Borealis currently employs around 6,500 and operates in over 120 countries. It generated EUR 8.3 billion in sales revenue in 2014.

HPCL concludes study for new greenfield refinery and petrochemical complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL) has completed a techno-economic feasibility study for the site selection for its proposed greenfield refinery and petrochemical complex, to be set up in the planned Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) in Visakhapatnam-Kakinada, India, according to Apic-online with reference to the Times of India.

Late last year, HPCL expressed interest in partnering with others to establish the greenfield project to produce 1-million t/y of olefins and aromatics as part of the PCPIR.

HPCL, who would act as anchor tenant for the PCPIR, is collaborating with Gail to explore the possibility of getting requisite investments for the project, said the report citing the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Proceeding with the project is dependent largely on the finalization of a location and HPCL's planned investment.

Separately, HPCL is awaiting environmental clearance for a project that involves setting up a 9-million-t/y refinery at its existing facility in Malkapuram, India. Once clearance is received, the project is expected to take 42 months to complete.

As MRC wrote before, in April 2012, HPCL-Mittal (HMEL, Bathinda, Punjab/India) - a joint venture between HPCL (India) and Mittal Energy (Singapore) commissioned a new 440,000 t/y PP plant at its headquarters in Bathinda. According to media reports posted on the company’s website, the facility will also produce PP homopolymers.

Deceuninck reported strong growth in Q1 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Building materials manufacturer Deceuninck reported it had sales growth in the first quarter of 2015 of 18% to EUR136 mln, said Northern Observer.

The company, which manufactures PVC windows, door frames and other architectural products, said the level of its order books at the start of the 2nd quarter was normal for the time of the year.

Credit facilities had been extended and better conditions were negotiated during the period.

Tom Debusschere, CEO, said "Deceuninck’s 8.7 % growth at comparable scope during the first quarter has beaten expectations. Particularly the 20% volume growth in North America in spite of the extreme winter conditions in the North East is showing evidence of continued share growth in an attractive market. In Turkey we enjoyed the contribution of the Pimas sales whereas organic volumes remained stable. Growth remained strong in United Kingdom, Spain and Italy. The double digit volume growth in Poland and Czech Republic reversing the trend of the preceding quarters. The construction climate in France, Belgium and Germany remains weak in a highly competitive market and volumes deteriorated in Russia due to economic weakness, affecting the property market and consumer confidence."

Deceuninck said it expects volume trends to continue into the 2nd quarter however it was deeply concerned about the rising cost of PVC resin.

As MRC informed earlier, Deceuninck North America added three PVC lineal lamination lines to its existing lamination capabilities to meet consumer demand for a wider variety of color customization options.

Deceuninck NV is a Belgian designer and producer of PVC systems for windows and doors, interior, roofline & cladding and terraces. The company extrudes PVC and the single base material Twinson. Founded in 1937, with its headquarters in Hooglede-Gits, the Deceuninck Group operates in more than 75 countries and has 35 subsidiaries across Europe, North America and Asia, including the United States, United Kingdom, Russia and Turkey.