European Parliament calls for ban on recycled plastics containing DEHP

MOSCOW (MRC) -- MEPs have passed a non-binding Resolution demanding that the European Commission does not authorise the recycling of plastics containing the phthalate plasticiser DEHP, as per EP announcement on its site.

The Resolution, passed in the European Parliament, says the substance poses a toxic threat to exposed workers and could render their male foetuses sterile.

DEHP is used to soften PVC items such as footwear and floor coverings. The plasticiser is included in the REACH authorisation list (Annex XVII) and all non-authorised uses, or those uses for which authorisation applications have not be submitted, had to be phased out by 21 February this year. But some uses have been authorised, and many more are in the pipeline awaiting final decisions.

The Resolution says it is unacceptable to allow potential cases of male infertility so that PVC recyclers and downstream users can save costs "to compete with low-quality imports".

DEHP is banned under REACH. However, the Commission is proposing to authorise the recycling of old plastics containing it into new PVC products. The European Parliament resolution was agreed by 603 votes to 86, with five abstentions. EU member states still have to approve its draft decision.

The European trade body for plasticiser producers, ECPI, said it was disappointed by the vote. The organisation's general manager Stephane Content said that ECPI respects the right of the Parliament to "oversee an implementing measure, but it is essential to underline that the Commission has been strictly adhering to its mandate under REACH.

Mr Content pointed to favourable recommendations from Echa’s Risk Assessment (Rac) and Socio-economic Analysis Committees (Seac), and added: "PVC can be recycled without loss of performance and with risk control for human health and the environment.

Parliament's vote follows a decision by its Environment Committee (CW 12 November 2015). It heard that DEHP has been known to adversely affect the endocrine system of mammals. The substance, the committee said, "may cause irreversible developmental programming effects, leading to severe effects on development and reproduction".

Solvay launches bonds for Cytec acquisition

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay announced that it has launched a euro-denominated senior bond issue worth EUR2.25 bn and a euro-denominated hybrid bond issue worth EUR1.0 bn, to finance the intended acquisition of Cytec and to allow the refinancing of existing short-term and long-term financial debts, said the company on its site.

In order to complete the long-term financing of the intended Cytec acquisition, Solvay aims to issue USD-denominated bonds, as well as a EUR1.5 bn rights offering. Subject to both the successful closing of the acquisition and Solvay Board approval, it also intends to maintain the existing Cytec bonds and to grant the parent guarantee of Solvay SA to them.

On July 28, 2015, Solvay entered into a definitive agreement with U.S.-based Cytec to acquire 100% of its share capital for USD75.25 per share in cash. The acquisition has been approved by Cytec’s shareholders, but is still subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close before the current year-end.

Both the company’s CEO and chemical equity analysts considered the acquisition pricy at USD75.25 per Cytec share. Shareholders of the US company have approved the transaction.

Cytec Industries Incorporated, based in Woodland Park, New Jersey is a speciality chemicals and materials technology company with pro-forma sales in 2004, including the Surface Specialties acquisition, of approximately USD3.0 billion. Cytec is a result of its spin-off from American Cyanamid Company. It makes resins, plastics, and composite materials, especially for the aerospace industry and other users of specialty materials.

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.


Iran petrochemical production capacity to double within years

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Deputy of Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (INPC) has announced that Iran’s petrochemical productions capacity will double by the year 2018, as per GV.

Speaking at a conference on introducing investment opportunities and development in petrochemical industries during the post sanction period, Mohammad Hasan Peyvandi said, "currently, petrochemical production capacity has reached 100 million tons per year and an average of 45 million tons of petrochemical and polymer products is being produced and marketed in the country."

Peyvandi deemed removal of production bottlenecks and increase in production capacity as major policies pursued in the Iranian petrochemical industry adding "the goal is to double the production capacity by attracting foreign investment reaching the production quota of 120 million tons per year until the year 2018."

As MRC wrote before, Director general of the Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporations (AIPC) has referred to the talks with some European petrochemicals distributors estimating increased export in petrochemicals after the removal of sanctions. Explaining Iran’s new plans to export petrochemical and plastic products to EU member countries after the lifting of sanctions, Ahmad Mahdavi said that, "currently, we are not experiencing any problems in exporting petrochemicals."

Announcing that exports to new markets like Europe have been put on the agenda in time with the increase in production capacity of petrochemical products, he asserted that, "accordingly, negotiations with some major petrochemical and polymeric companies have been launched."

Pertamina, Saudi Aramco sign deal to upgrade Indonesia refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indonesia's state-owned PT Pertamina and Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia, have signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) to formalize key business principles for joint ownership, operation and upgrade of the Cilacap Refinery located in Central Java, Indonesia as part of Pertamina’s Refinery Development Master Plan (RDMP), said Saudi Aramco on it site.

The proposed Cilacap Refinery upgrade will enable the refinery to process more sour crudes, meet high quality product specifications (Euro IV) and produce basic petrochemicals and lubricant base oils. The capacity expansion to 370 MBD will help Indonesia meet its increasing demand of refined products, lubricant base oils and petrochemicals. The agreement includes a long-term supply agreement for Arabian crudes to Cilacap refinery.

This HoA will pave the way for the next phase of development within the scope of collaboration between the two parties. The Basic Engineering Design Study for the Cilacap refinery upgrade is expected to commence soon and be completed by 2016.

Participation in the RDMP will offer Saudi Aramco a major growth component of its global Downstream expansion portfolio aspiration, designed to make Saudi Aramco the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals company. The investment would take place within a high growth petroleum demand in South East Asia which has been earmarked in the company’s downstream strategy.

In July 2014 Pertamina offered Saudi Aramco and other strategic partners the opportunity to participate in its RDMP to upgrade and expand five existing domestic refineries (Cilacap; Balongan; Dumai; Plaju; and Balikpapan) from 820 MBD of aggregate processing capacity to 1,680 MBD

Saudi Aramco was selected by Pertamina as a strategic partner for three of the five refineries: Cilacap and Balongan in Java; and Dumai in Sumatra.

Saudi Aramco signed a MOU on December 10, 2014 giving the company exclusivity to conduct a feasibility study jointly with Pertamina for the three refinery expansions and negotiate key business principles.

As MRC informed earlier, Saudi Aramco announced that its downstream investments would exceed USD100 billion over the next decade, as global demand for oil rises by a quarter in the next 25 years.

Pertamina is an Indonesian state-owned oil and natural gas corporation based in Jakarta. It was created in August 1968 by the merger of Pertamin (established 1961) and Permina (established 1957). Pertamina is the world's largest producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco's value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world's most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.

Maku FTZ to launch petchem plant with foreign partnership

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Iranian Maku Free Trade Zone is in negotiations with firms from Germany and Turkey for investment in launching petrochemical units in northwestern Iran, managing director of the zone said, reported GV.

"A delegation from Germany will visit the Maku FTZ in coming weeks and Turkish companies are also interested to invest in the Zone," Hossein Foruzan told Shana. "Petrochemical plans have investment priority in the zone," he added, "The infrastructure is inviting the investors too."

Foruzan cited rich water resources and feedstock supply as major advantages of the zone which justify investment in launching petrochemical industry.

As MRC wrote before, Iran starts marketing for petrochemical exports to Europe, director general of the Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporations (AIPC) has referred to the talks with some European petrochemicals distributors estimating increased export in petrochemicals after the removal of sanctions.

Announcing that exports to new markets like Europe have been put on the agenda in time with the increase in production capacity of petrochemical products, he asserted that, "accordingly, negotiations with some major petrochemical and polymeric companies have been launched."

Currently number of active Iranian Petrochemical complexes are 53, with total production capacity of 59 million metric ton, producing range of polymers, chemicals, aromatics & liquid gas, located mainly at Iranian south region, next to Persian Gulf, called Assaluyeh and Mahshahr Special Economic Zones. At the moment, there are 67 developments projects in the country which are under construction, adding 61 million metric ton on total production and estimated to fully run till 2018.