Clariant and CB&I win design work for huge Chinese dehydrogenation unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant has been awarded a contract by Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) Refinery Co. to develop an extensive propane and butane dehydrogenation unit in cooperation with CB&I, according to the companies' announcement.

The project includes the license and engineering design of the co-processing unit, which is to be built in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China.

The design will be based on CB&I’s Catofin catalytic dehydrogenation technology using Clariant’s tailor-made Catofin catalyst and Heat Generating Material (HGM) to process feedstock containing 300,000 tpy of propane and 600,000 tpy of isobutane for the joint production of propylene and isobutylene.

When completed, it will be the largest single-train co-processing dehydrogenation unit in the world, and will play a key role in Hengli’s expansion plans.

"We are very pleased to be part of this groundbreaking project for Hengli Petrochemical Refinery," said Stefan Heuser, senior vice president and general manager for Clariant's catalysts business. "The contract is further proof that our customers recognize and demand the technological and economical advantages of Catofin and HGM."

The Catofin process is recognized as a highly reliable and efficient technology for producing propylene from propane, and isobutylene from isobutane. The process operates at optimum reactor pressure and temperature to maximize conversion of propane and isobutene for a high yield of propylene and isobutylene, and correspondingly low investment and operating costs.

As MRC informed before, in 2014 CB&I and Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, announced that their new Ziegler-Natta (ZN) polypropylene catalyst plant in Louisville, Kentucky, is on schedule to begin production in 2015.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

Celanese reports record adjusted earnings per share of USD6.02 for full year 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, has reported 2015 adjusted earnings per share of USD6.02 versus USD5.67 in the prior year, and fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share of USD1.25 versus USD1.28 in the prior year quarter, as per the company's report.

These strong results demonstrate the ability of the company's complementary cores to create value in a challenging environment.

Fourth quarter 2015 financial highlights:

- Adjusted earnings per share of USD1.25, down 2 percent from prior year;
- Adjusted EBIT margin of 19.2 percent, a fourth quarter record and an increase of 110 basis points over the prior year;
- Fourth quarter record performance for adjusted EBIT and margin in both Materials Solutions and Industrial Specialties.

Full year 2015 financial highlights:

- Record adjusted earnings per share of USD6.02, up 6 percent from prior year, driven by the strength of our commercial models in both the Acetyl Chain and Materials Solutions;
- Adjusted EBIT margin of 21.8 percent was our highest ever, increasing 320 basis points over the prior year
- Record core income and margin in Materials Solutions;
- Free cash flow of USD733 million before the impact of a USD177 million payment to terminate a supplier contract;
- USD594 million of cash returned to shareholders, including 6.6 million shares repurchased and USD174 million in dividends paid.

As MRC wrote before, in June 2015, Jacobs Engineering Group was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract from Celanese Corp. for the construction of a vinyl acetate ethylene (EVA) emulsions production plant at Jurong Island, Singapore.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Texas, Celanese employs approximately 7,500 employees worldwide and had 2014 net sales of USD6.8 billion.

LANXESS appoints Industrial Intermediates business unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Effective May 1, 2016, Dirk Van Meirvenne (52) will take charge of the Advanced Industrial Intermediates business unit at specialty chemicals company LANXESS, said the company on its press release.

His predecessor Hubert Fink was appointed to the Board of Management of LANXESS AG on October 1, 2015 and has since been acting head of the business unit.

As MRC informed earlier, in January 2016, LANXESS AG has started up a second production line for high-performance plastics compounding at its facility in Gastonia, N.C.

The Advanced Industrial Intermediates business unit is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-quality industrial chemicals. Aromatic compounds play a prominent role in the product range. Production centers on the aromatics network, an integrated cluster of interconnected production facilities that is the largest of its kind in the world.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.0 billion in 2014 and about 16,300 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.

Polyplastics to expand plant in Malaysia for greater global sales of POM and PPS Resin

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Polyplastics Co., Ltd. announced on January 21 its decision to expand its engineering plastics compound plant in Malaysia operated by Polyplastics Asia Pacific Sdn. Bhd. (PAP), a wholly owned local subsidiary headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, as per companies press release.

The expansion plan calls for additional production capacity of 9,000 tons per year at the plant in Kuantan, Pahang State. When expansion is completed, the plant will have a yearly production capacity of 35,000 tons. The additional lines will produce POM "DURACON(R)" and PPS "DURAFIDE(R)" compounds. The expanded facility is scheduled for completion at the end of 2016 and commencement of commercial operation in June 2017.

It is anticipated that as Japanese companies continue to be transplanted in the Asia-Pacific region, demand for compound products in the region will rise. Polyplastics will use to advantage the excellent location of the Kuantan Plant, where distribution costs can be contained and tariffs on Japanese imports are eliminated, to strengthen cost competitiveness.

The increase in compound production capacity will not only benefit customers in the Asia-Pacific region but also strengthen the supply system to be better able to respond to growing demand in the European and American markets as well.

As MRC informed earlier, Polyplastics Co., Ltd. announced the completion of the acquisition of 100% ownership of LCP Leuna Carboxylation Plant GmbH, a German supplier of p-HBA (p-hydroxybenzoate, a key monomer for liquid crystal polymer), from Infatrade (UK) Ltd., London.

The Polyplastics Group, as a top supplier of engineering plastics whose Fuji Plant in Japan; Dafa Plant in Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and Nantong Plant in mainlandChina have a combined yearly compound production capacity of 150,000 tons, will continue to make every effort to provide customers with a stable supply of products in the aim of further increasing customer satisfaction.

Covestro appoints new head for polycarbonates

МOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro said on Friday that Michelle Jou took over as head of polycarbonates effective 1 January 2016, said the company on its site.

She succeeds Markus Steilemann who now heads polyurethanes. Since 1 September 2015 he is also member of the board of Covestro responsible for Innovation. Jou has over 20 years of experience in the chemical industry in Asia, where she served in a variety of positions in sales, marketing and supply chain management. Before joining Bayer in 2003, she worked for a leading French petrochemicals company in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Covestro, formerly known as Bayer MaterialScience, has its headquarters for polycarbonates in Shanghai.

Bayer MaterialScience has operated under the name of Covestro since September 1, 2015. The company had already relocated the headquarters of its global polycarbonate activities to Shanghai in 2011, as the primary markets for thermoplastics are located in Asia.

With 2014 sales of EUR 11.8 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 15,700 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of September 2015.