Bayer plans to complete Covestro IPO in Q4 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bayer's plastics maker Covestro aims to raise about 2.5 billion euros (USD2.8 billion) with an initial public offering in the fourth quarter, sources said, leaving its parent to focus on drugs and pesticides, said Reuters.

Bayer unveiled plans last year to split off the business, formerly known as Bayer MaterialScience, in a move which has improved its share valuation by removing the discount typically applied to diversified companies.

In an "intention to float" notification released on Friday, Bayer said its Covestro offer would consist only of new shares and the proceeds would be used mainly to repay loans to Bayer.

Several people familiar with the plans said Bayer was telling investors to expect a share volume worth about 2.5 billion euros, or a quarter of Covestro's targeted equity value of 10 billion euros or more.

A spokesman for Bayer, whose stock was down 2.4 percent, declined to comment on the volume.

The sources said the exact figures for the flotation of Europe's fourth-largest chemicals maker would depend on future market conditions.

If confirmed, it would be the biggest listing in Germany since Deutsche Post went public in a 6.25 billion euro transaction in November 2000. A more recent flotation of comparable size was Tognum in 2007, worth 2 billion euros.

Selling new Covestro shares to redeem loans from Bayer, instead of having the parent company sell Covestro shares directly to the market, gives Bayer more flexibility to adjust how many shares it sells, depending on stock market conditions, closer to the flotation, finance chief Johannes Dietsch said.

The parent company will commit to holding onto its Covestro shares for 180 days after the listing, he said.

As MRC imformed earlier, from September 1, 2015, Bayer MaterialScience became known as Covestro. Bayer aims to float this business on the stock market by mid-2016 at the latest. The plans for the carve-out of Bayer MaterialScience were announced in September 2014.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech polymer materials. As an innovation company, it sets trends in research-intensive areas. Bayer's products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2014, the Group employed 118,900 people and had sales of EUR 42.2 billion.

YPF normalizes shale oil, gas production after protests

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Argentina's state-run energy firm YPF said it started normalizing oil and natural gas production in part of energy-producing province Neuquen on Sept. 4 after output was paralyzed earlier in the week by indigenous people protesting land rights, said Empag.

"A team of 34 technicians were able to enter the Loma La Lata field to check production installations, evaluate potential damage caused by the shutdown and normalize operations," YPF said in a statement.

Earlier on Sept. 4, YPF said 400 oil wells and 300 gas wells had been shut down in the Loma La Lata, Loma Campana and Rincon del Mangrullo fields, resulting in a production loss of 16 million cubic meters of gas and 32,000 barrels of crude.

Protesters from the indigenous Paynemil community had barricaded roads, cutting off access to the Vaca Muerta shale field as part of a demonstration over territorial claims.

YPF said it had begun legal action against the Paynemil community to ensure future access to Vaca Muerta wells.

As MRC informed earlier, YPF and Grupo Inversor Petroquimica S.L. have accepted an offer to purchase LyondellBasell's Argentina-based, wholly-owned subsidiary Petroken.

Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales (YPF) is an Argentinean integrated oil and gas company. The company is the largest in its sector in Argentina. Its business is structured in six activities: exploration and production; refining and logistics; marketing, offering a range of automotive, aeronautics, naval, farming and industrial fuels; chemicals, manufacturing a variety of industrial products, including a diverse group of raw materials for chemical, industrial and agricultural activities; lubricants and YPF Gas, comprising the retail distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The Company"s majority shareholder is Repsol YPF SA.

BASF launches new MasterTop flooring and wall products on the European market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- With MasterTop BC 372AS BASF has added an anti-static, epoxy body coat to its product portfolio of flooring solutions which is bundled under the Master Builders Solutions brand, as per the company's press release.

The main advantages of the new product are improved de-aeration and self-levelling properties, thus easing the installation. MasterTop BC 372AS offers customers flexibility as well as cost optimization as part of a modular system that can be adapted to individual requirements. Moreover it complies with the low emission requirements of the AgBB-standard and is also available as an anti-slip version thus contributing to work-safety.

MasterTop BC 372AS offers creative leeway being available in nearly all RAL and NCS colors. The anti-static properties (resistance to ground) of MasterTop BC 372AS are according to norm EN 1081 and therefore optimally suited to minimize static electricity in warehousing applications and ideal for installations in industrial facilities where there is a risk of dust or solvent explosion in production such as in the pharmaceutical industry.

To further improve the MasterTop wall covering solutions BASF has launched MasterTop BC 328FLR and MasterTop TC 427W. Besides enhanced hiding power of the white top coat and the slightly colored body coat, further advantages are better workability - thus an easier installation by trowel and roller - and improved elasticity and static crack bridging properties, providing enhanced durability and impact resistance.

"The launch of our new products confirms our approach of continuous research and development. Our aim is to offer our customers steadily improved flooring solutions and wall coverings," says Luc Van Eldere, Head of Business Segment Management, Performance Flooring Europe.

As MRC reported earlier, BASF, the world's petrochemical major, is further strengthening its production footprint in Asia Pacific with the start-up of its first production plant for polymer dispersions in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia, in January 2015. This production plant is built at the existing BASF production site, located in the Pasir Gudang Industrial Park of the Johor Free Trade Zone. The plant is BASF’s third polymer dispersions plant in ASEAN, complementing the existing dispersions plants in Jakarta and Merak, Indonesia.

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. BASF had sales of about EUR74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year.

Formosa Chemical restarted aromatics plant in Taiwan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Formosa Chemical & Fibre Corp. (FCFC), a Taiwanese producer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins and other intermediate plastic products, has restarted its No. 2 aromatics plant following a maintenance turnaround, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Taiwan informed that the plant resumed operations early this week. It was shut in the 3rd week of July 2015.

Located at Mailiao in Taiwan, the plant has a benzene capacity of 420,000 mt/year, toluene capacity of 300,000 mt/year and isomer MX capacity of 100,000 mt/year.

We remind that, as MRC informed before, in mid-July 2015, FCFC shut down its No. 2 paraxylene (PX) unit for maintenance turnaround. It remained off-stream for around one month. Located at Mailiao in Taiwan, the unit has a production capacity of 580,000 mt/year.

Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corporation (FCFC) is a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Group, the largest private owned enterprise in Taiwan, with annual revenue of USD13.5 billion.

Formosa Plastics Corporation is a Taiwanese company based in Taiwan that primarily produces polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins and other intermediate plastic products.

Chandra Asri plans to shut its HDPE plant Indonesia for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chandra Asri is in plans to shut its high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant for maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymeurpdate source in Indonesia informed that the plant is planned to be taken off-stream towards the end of September 2015. It is likely to remain shut for around 8 Weeks.

Located in Cilegon, West Java, Indonesia the HDPE plant has a production capacity of 135,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote previously, Barito Pacific's subsidiary Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) is reportedly planning to build a naphtha refinery at its Cilegon complex in Banten, Indonesia, with an estimated investment of USD740m.

Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) is the largest vertically integrated petrochemical company in Indonesia with facilities located in Ciwandan, Cilegon and Puloampel, Serang in Banten Province. CAP is Indonesia's premier petrochemical plant incorporating world-class, state-of-the-art technology and supporting facilities. At the heart of CAP lies the Lummus Naphtha Cracker producing high quality Ethylene, Propylene, Mixed C4, and Pyrolysis Gasoline (Py-Gas) for the Indonesian as well as regional export markets.