Sumitomo Chemical reports higher profits, lower sales

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sumitomo Chemical reports a 79% increase in net profits for its fiscal first nine months ended 31 December 2015 compared with the year-ago period, to ?84.56 billion (USD705 million), said the company on its site.

Nine-month sales decreased 8.4%, however, to ?1.57 trillion. Nine-month sales at Sumitomo's petrochemicals and plastics segment decreased 26.9%, to ?518.4 billion. The segment however reports more than a threefold rise in operating profits, to ?25.77 billion, due to higher margins and temporary licensing revenues, Sumitomo says.

Market prices of petrochemical products and synthetic resins declined because of lower feedstock prices. Shipments of petrochemical products and synthetic resins decreased due to the restructuring of the petrochemical business at the Chiba Works as well as a change in the commercial distribution channel for petrochemical products from Petro Rabigh and periodic plant maintenance there. The weaker yen had a positive effect on sales from overseas subsidiaries in yen terms.

As MRC reported earlier, in May 2015, Sumitomo Chemical Co. announced its plans to mothball the ageing 415,000 tpa naphtha cracker at its Chiba plant from May 11. Though Sumitomo Chemical's cracker is shut for good, the company resumed operations of downstream petrochemical units at the Chiba plant from the beginning of July, using petrochemical feedstock from Keiyo Ethylene's 768,000 tpy cracker located nearby.

Sumitomo Chemical is a Japanese based manufacturer of a diverse range of products, including basic chemicals, petrochemicals and plastics, fine chemicals, agricultural chemicals, IT-related chemicals and pharmaceuticals.


Alberta government announces program to boost petrochemical sector

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Canada's Alberta government, Monday, unveiled a program to boost province’s petrochemical sector under its Petrochemicals Diversification Program, the provincial government announced in a statement, reported TPS.

The Petrochemicals Diversification Program will encourage companies to invest in the development of new Alberta petrochemical facilities by providing up to CAD$500 million (USD356 million) in incentives through royalty credits, said Alberta Energy, the government agency that manages the development of province's non-renewable resources including coal, minerals, natural gas, petrochemicals, conventional oil and oil sands and renewable energy.

The program, announced on is part of the government’s continued action on the economy, helping to create jobs, attract investment and diversify Alberta’s economy, the agency said.

Building on Alberta's large supply of methane and propane, the program will capitalize on the growing global demand for related higher value products and promote greater energy processing right here in Alberta.

We remind that, as MRC informed earlier, in October 2015, Williams announced that it was proceeding to the next phase of development with its planned propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility located near Edmonton, Alberta. The plant will have a capacity of 525 KTA of polymer grade propylene production and will use low-cost, locally sourced propane as its feedstock.

ExxonMobil restarts Singapore aromatics unit after tech issues

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil has restarted its aromatics unit in Singapore last week, a customer of the company told TPS.

This unit was shut due to unexpected technical issues on Jan 18. The unit was anticipated to be down for up to one month, but has restarted earlier than foreseen. It was unclear on which date specifically the plant was restarted.

ExxonMobil's aromatics shutdown did not have any impact its paraxylene (PX) supply, according to the source.

"The company faced some tightness in January, but volume was not cut. We are already discussing February supply, and there are no disruptions," the source said.

"They are probably not operating at full capacity, but maybe around 80-90%," the source added.

Exxonmobil did not disclose specific details about why the plant was taken off-stream. Its Singapore refinery spans two operating sites: Jurong on the mainland and Pulau Ayer Chawan (PAC) on Jurong Island, with pipelines connecting both. This integrated refinery has a combined nameplate capacity of about 592,000 b/day, producing fuels, lubricant basestock and chemical feedstock for its customers and sister plants.

As MRC wrote previously, ExxonMobil is studying a proposal to expand its 334,600-bpd refinery in Beaumont, Texas. ExxonMobil has pulled together a group of experts at the plant to do more detailed studies on potentially adding a third crude distillation unit (CDU). The new CDU could make the Beaumont refinery the largest in the US, with capacity rising to as much as 850,000 bpd.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.

Weener Plastic moves its HQ and renames facilities

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Plastic packaging company Weener Plastic Packaging Group (WPPG) announced that it has moved its headquarters from Weener, Germany, to Ede, the Netherlands, as part of its new corporate identity, said Plasticsnews.

It has also announced a name change, with all facilities to become unified under the Weener brand name. Plasticum facilities will be renamed Weener Plastics. As a result, Plasticum Netherlands BV has become Weener Plastics Netherlands BV, Plasticum Norwich Ltd. has been renamed Weener Plastics Norwich Ltd. and Plasticum Ilkenhans GmbH is now named Weener Plastik Ilkenhans GmbH.

WPPG CEO Roel Zeevat says: "Today, WPPG is a market-leading global plastic packaging company offering innovative packaging to our customers from 24 operations in 16 countries. The clear positioning and name change better reflect our company’s current structure and increasingly diverse and widespread global activities.

"We look to the future with great confidence and are proud of our identity. The core of our strategy remains unaltered. Weener Group will continue to develop innovative products and processes, maintaining a global presence whilst offering a customer oriented approach and consistently reliable service."

WPPG currently employs more than 2,000 people.

As it was written earlier, 3i Group plc, the international investment manager in June 2015 agreed to invest approximately EUR250 million (GBP183million) in Weener Plastic Packaging Group.

Since 1960 WEENER Plastik has designed, developed and manufactured innovative plastic packaging for the Personal Care, Food and Beverage, Home Care, Chemical and Pharmaceutical segments. This primarily includes primary packaging such as sealing caps, valve caps, beverage caps, plastic bottles, jars, dispensers and dosing systems.

PolyOne swings to net profit in Q4 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PolyOne Corp. reported fourth-quarter net income of USD3.1 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier, said Cnbc.

The Avon Lake, Ohio-based company said it had profit of 4 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 39 cents per share.

The results missed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 42 cents per share.

The maker of resins used in plastic pipe and other products posted revenue of USD775.8 million in the period, which also fell short of Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected USD794.4 million.

For the year, the company reported profit of USD144.6 million, or USD1.63 per share. Revenue was reported as USD3.38 billion.

PolyOne shares have fallen 19 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has dropped 30 percent in the last 12 months.

As MRC informed earlier, PolyOne Corporation in January 2016, announced the acquisition of Magenta Master Fibers (Magenta), an innovative developer of specialty solid color concentrates for the global fiber industry. PolyOne purchased Magenta from BASF for USD22 million, which represents a multiple of 6.8x EBITDA. The acquisition is expected to add USD16 million to revenues and be accretive to earnings in 2016.

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