Evergas orders four INEOS MAX vessels

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chinese shipbuilder JHW Engineering & Contracting has secured a contract to build four INEOS MAX liquefied ethane / ethylene carriers for Evergas, a Denmark-based owner and operator of gas carriers, said Ship-technology.

Under the terms of the contract, JHW will build four 32,000m INEOS MAX vessels at a selected shipyard in China.

The new carriers will feature dual fuel propulsion flexibility that includes liquefied natural gas (LNG) and ethane, besides ballast water treatment system.

The carriers will have increased cargo capacity of about 10% when compared to the Dragon series 27,500m? class gas carriers currently owned by the operator.

Additionally, the newbuilds will incorporate a wide range of features for safe, environmentally friendly and efficient operations.

The new vessels are expected to comply with regulatory requirements such as Clean ship notation, Green Passport, EEDI Phase III compliance.

Deliveries under the order are expected to commence from the first quarter of 2018.

The four option two INEOS MAX 32,000M3 liquefied ethane / ethylene carriers will release the LNG transportation capacity of the existing Dragon series of 27,500m LNG carriers, stated the company.

Of the total eight 27,500m LNG carriers to be delivered by Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group, Evergas has received three and they have been assigned to bring ethane from the US to the UK Ineos refineries.

With the expansion of its fleet, the company expects to improve trade in the growing mid-size LNG transportation market.

As MRC informed earlier, in January 2013 INEOS agreed a 15-year shipping agreement with Evergas for the transportation of ethane into Europe from the US Mariner East project, as the world’s first US ethane export contract. In 2014, INEOS and Evergas expanded the agreement to secure additional capacity for long-term shipping of advantageously priced US ethane for INEOS’ European crackers at Rafnes (Norway) and Grangemouth (Scotland).

INEOS Group Limited is a privately owned multinational chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom. It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom.

Azelis to represent Robinson Brothers in Germany

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Azelis has entered a new distribution agreement with Robinson Brothers, a UK-based independent manufacturer of speciality organic chemicals for the rubber industry, said the company on its site.

From Jan 2016, Azelis will promote and distribute Robinson’s Robac Technology vulcanisation agents in Germany – building on existing partnerships between the two companies in France, Benelux and Turkey.

Dr. Rene Manski, Regional Business Manager Azelis Rubber & Plastic Additives DACH adds, "We are delighted that Robinson Brothers has chosen us to fully represent them in Germany. Our dedicated Rubber & Plastic Additives team will use market and product knowledge, backed by Robinson's technical expertise, to help our customers anticipate market expectations and give them a competitive advantage."

Mr. Kelvyn Soars, Robac Business Manager, Robinson Brothers. ''Germany is the largest potential market for the rubber Industry in Europe, the partnership between Azelis and ourselves will help us service our existing customers, penetrate new customers and further provide opportunities for us to innovative novel solutions for the rubber industry'. We are very much looking forward to the working together and to further enhance the Robac brand in Germany''

Robinson Brothers are renowned worldwide for their Robac Technology, a range of speciality products for rubber vulcanisation. Robac products provide solutions for heightened regulatory demands in terms of health, safety and environmental matters, in addition to exacting demands of product applications and the constant need to reduce energy costs.

As MRC informed earlier, Azelis has been appointed by Evonik Industries as distributor for the Aerosil and Sipernat ranges of silica products to the Food, Personal Care, and Pharma Industries in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland.

Azelis Chemicals is a leading European distributor of speciality and commodity chemicals, with a comprehensive portfolio of innovative products for high-tech solutions. The company source high quality products from leading global manufacturers, supporting customers in diverse markets including chemical producers and pharmaceuticals, I&I/household and cleaning, lubricants/metal working fluids, paper, agrochemicals, textile and leather, water treatment, building, wood preservation, agriculture & horticulture, electronics and salts.

Technip explores sale, has held talks with FMC Technologies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- French oilfield services company Technip is exploring a sale and has held talks with U.S. peer FMC Technologies Inc about a potential combination, said Reuters.

A deal would illustrate how lower energy prices are driving consolidation in the oil services sector, as companies seek savings and synergies to boost profits amid a supply glut that is weighing on exploration and production.

Technip and FMC Technologies, which have market capitalizations of 5.3 billion euros (USD5.8 billion) and USD6.8 billion respectively, have not yet agreed on terms and there is no certainty they will do so, the people said.

Technip has also held talks with other potential buyers, one of the people added. Shares of Technip rose as much as 10 percent in late afternoon trading in New York after Reuters reported on talks. Technip shares had already closed up 3.6 percent in Paris.

The sources asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. FMC Technologies and Technip did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Earlier this year, FMC Technologies and Technip formed a joint venture, Forsys Subsea, aimed at reducing the cost of subsea oilfield exploration, a sector that has been badly hurt by the drop in the price of oil.

Technip tried to do a deal with CGG SA last year, but talks fell apart when CGG rebuffed Technip's 1.47 billion euro preliminary takeover approach.

Halliburton Co, the world's No. 2 oilfield services provider, is currently in the midst of securing regulatory approvals for its acquisition of smaller rival Baker Hughes Inc (BHI.N) in a stock-and-cash USD34.6 billion deal.

As MRC informed earlier, Czech Republic-based oil distribution company Unipetrol has awarded two separate contracts to Linde Engineering and Technip for conducting reconstruction work at the company's damaged ethylene plant in Zaluzi.

Technip is a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry.
From the deepest Subsea oil & gas developments to the largest and most complex Offshore and Onshore infrastructures, our 37,500 people are constantly offering the best solutions and most innovative technologies to meet the world’s energy challenges. Present in 48 countries, Technip has state-of-the-art industrial assets on all continents and operates a fleet of specialized vessels for pipeline installation and subsea construction.

Merck planning EUR250 mln additional spend to develop drug pipeline

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Germany's Merck KGaA said Thursday it is planning additional investments of around 250 million euros (USD273.4 million) to further develop its pharmaceutical pipeline--one of the company's priorities for 2016, said The Morningstar.

"Next year, our focus will mainly be on the integration of Sigma-Aldrich as well as the further development of the pharmaceutical pipeline," Chief Executive Officer Karl-Ludwig Kley said.

The company said it expects that its R&D investments in immuno-oncology will be EUR150 million to EUR200 million higher in 2016 than in 2015.

These investments will be allocated to high-profile future products, such as avelumab, which Merck is co-developing with Pfizer, as well as to projects in early stages of clinical development. The first potential market launch for immuno-oncological antibody avelumab is expected in 2017.

"The foundations for growth have been laid, now it's about delivering," said Stefan Oschmann, member of the Executive Board and CEO-elect of Merck.

The acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, a supplier of laboratory testing materials, will have a positive impact on the operating result before exceptionals next year, Merck said. This includes expected cost synergies of EUR90 million.

In November, the company had forecast an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization pre exceptionals of between EUR3.58 billion and EUR3.65 billion for 2015.

As MRC informed earlier, in November, Sigma-Aldrich Corporation announced it has secured final approval from the European Commission (EC) on the planned acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich by Merck KGaA.

On September 22, 2014, Merck and Sigma-Aldrich announced they had entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck will acquire Sigma-Aldrich for USD17 billion - USD140 cash per share - establishing one of the leading players in the USD130 billion global life science industry.

Merck KGaA is a German multinational chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences company headquartered in Darmstadt, with around 40,000 employees in around 70 countries. Merck was founded in 1668 and is the world's oldest operating chemical and pharmaceutical company. Merck operates mainly in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Latin America. It has major research and development centres in Darmstadt, Boston, Tokyo and Beijing.
Merck is not associated with U.S.-based drug company Merck Co.

BASF sells Versamid trademark to Gabriel Performance Products

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF Corporation and Gabriel Performance Products, LLC, a U.S. based specialty chemical company, finalized a transaction transferring the highly recognizable Versamid trademark to Gabriel, and exclusively licensing the polyamide curing agent technology in the U.S. Versamid polyamide curing agents are used for two component solvent-borne epoxy applications, said the company on its site.

"The Versamid product line is well known within the industry and this acquisition strengthens Gabriel’s position in the epoxy curing market," said Seth Tomasch, CEO of Gabriel Performance Products. "It is an excellent complement to our mercaptan product line, and we look forward to serving customers who formerly looked to BASF for epoxy curing agent solutions."

The transaction with Gabriel follows BASF’s announcement in July that they will close the Dimer and Polyamide Resins unit at the Kankakee, Illinois site, exit the business, and divest intellectual property including trademarks. BASF continues to operate the Kankakee site, which supplies products for the Nutrition and Health and Care Chemicals Divisions of the company. BASF intends to work closely with Gabriel to transition customers through March 2016.

BASF will continue to manufacture, market and sell PUR technologies through the back license of the Versamid® trademark with Gabriel. Versamid PUR polyurethane resins are used for flexographic and gravure printing ink applications. BASF South America is excluded from this transaction and will continue to manufacture, market and sell polyamide resins under the Versamid trademark in the South American region.

As MRC informed earlier, BASF has signed a contract to divest its subsidiary company Magenta Master Fibers s.r.l. (MMF) located in Magenta, Italy, including MMF’s wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai, China (Magenta Master Fibers Co., Ltd.), to PolyOne Corporation, a leading global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions based in Cleveland, Ohio.

Gabriel Performance Products, LLC is a market-leader in epoxy additives and specialty chemical manufacturing. Gabriel is focused on expanding its epoxy specialty offerings beyond its market-leading mercaptan-based curative technology.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF had sales of over EUR74 billion in 2014 and over 113,000 employees as of the end of the year.