Total proposes Q4 2015 dividend of EUR0.61 per share

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Board of Directors of Total has agreed to propose to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on May 24, 2016, a 2015 annual dividend of 2.44 euros per share, stable compared to the 2014 annual dividend, said the company in its press release.

This corresponds to a fourth quarter 2015 dividend of 0.61 euros per share, unchanged compared to the previous three 2015 interim quarterly dividends.

The Board will also propose to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting the alternative for shareholders to receive the fourth quarter 2015 dividend in cash or in new shares of the company discounted by 10%.

Subject to approval at the shareholders’ meeting:

- the ex-dividend date for the fourth quarter dividend will be June 6, 2016;
- the price of each new share will be equal to 90% of the average opening Total SA price on the Euronext Paris over the 20 trading days preceding the shareholders’ meeting, reduced by the amount of the fourth quarter dividend, and rounded up to the nearest euro centime;
- the payment of the dividend in cash or the delivery of shares issued in lieu of the cash dividend is set for June 23, 2016.

As MRC wrote previously, Total's proposed new ethane cracker near its refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, is being designed to have a capacity of 1 million tpy, the company said in a permit application to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in April 2015. Construction on the cracker could start in June 2016, the company said, with operations starting three years later. The project would include seven ethane-cracking heaters.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Iran plans to build propylene via methanol plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iran is in discussions with Air Liquide regarding prospects of building a Propylene via Methanol (PVM) plant in the country, as per an Iranian petrochemical official, reported Plastemart.

PVM technology is used to convert methanol into propylene. Over the past two years, Iran focused on acquiring PVM technology, launching its first PVM pilot plant in Mahshahr city in early 2015, producing 120,000 tons of propylene from methanol, as per Xinhua.

Esmaeil Qambari, managing director of Iran’s Petrochemical Research and Technology Company said, "we discussed with Air Liquide the potential for a scientific partnership to develop a 500,000 ton PVM plant in Iran."

As MRC informed previously, 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.

Liquid crystal polymer market to register CAGR of 6% between 2015 and 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The liquid crystal polymers (LCPs) market is projected to register a CAGR of 6% between 2015 and 2020 to reach USD1.2 bln by 2020, as per Plastemart with reference to ReportLinker.

LCPs are chemically aromatic co-polyesters. But they differ from the engineering plastics PET and PBT most notably in their molecular structure. They are known for their high temperature resistance, excellent mechanical properties, good solvent resistance and low water absorption compared to other heat-resistant polymers. They have good electrical insulation properties, low flammability and a low coefficient of thermal expansion.

LCPs exhibit very low viscosity and high flow to completely fill small and intricate molds, making LCPs the favorite choice for making miniature and ultrathin parts down to 0.1-mm wall thickness with extremely short cycle times. LCPs are used in electrical, automotive, chemical processing, medical, and household applications. They are also used for oven and microwave cookery.

Electrical & electronics segment is estimated to be the largest application of the LCPs market. Liquid crystal polymer segment is projected to grow at the highest rate in global LCPs market between 2015 and 2020. Increasing engineering resin substitutes for ultra-thin components is one of the major reasons for the growth in this market.

Asia-Pacific is leading the LCPs market. Growth in Asia-Pacific is led by the rising demand from electrical & electronics applications, consumer goods, and automotive, lightning, medical applications.

Major brands like Polyplastics (Japan), SUMIKASUPER LCP by Sumitomo Chemical (Japan) and SIVERAS LCP by Toray international (Japan) are the major players which dominate this market.

The demand is expected to grow at a comparatively slower pace in North America and Europe as LCPs market has nearly saturated in the region. XYDAR LCP by Solvay S.A. (Belgium) and Vectra/Zenite by Celanese Corporation (U.S) are the majors brands which cater to the European and the North American region respectively.

As MRC wrote before, in January 2015, Solvay Specialty Polymers introduced Xydar MG-850 liquid crystal polymer (LCP), a new specially designed grade that meets the rigorous performance and processing demands of new high-speed USB 3.0 surface mount connectors. Solvay Specialty Polymers has introduced Xydar MG-850 liquid crystal polymer (LCP), a new specially designed grade that meets the rigorous performance and processing demands of new high-speed USB 3.0 surface mount connectors.

Thai refinery to use Axens reforming technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Axens announced today that Bangchak Petroleum will use Axens’ state-of-the-art reforming technology and catalysts for its energy, efficiency and environment improvement project in Bangkok, Thailand, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The project consists of a grassroots Octanizing unit (CCR reforming unit for gasoline production) with a design capacity of about 12,000 bpd to produce high-quality reformate, a blend component for high-octane gasoline.

The relationship between the refinery and Axens started more than 30 years ago, with a semi-regenerative reforming unit, hydrotreating unit for gasoline and diesel, and more.

More recently, it has continued with projects linked to the production of clean fuels and impurities removal.

For this specific project, detailed studies conducted by an independent party demonstrated that Axens’ technology solution was the most economically-attractive option for a given reformate RON target. This was a key element for the Bangchak Petroleum and for the viability of the project.

In addition, Axens said its reputation for clean fuel projects was also an important factor in the final decision for this refinery located close to the city. Because of that, creating an environmentally-friendly energy business is essential, officials said.

As MRC informed earlier, Malaysia's national oil and gas company Petronas selected Axens as a technology provider for its refinery and petrochemicals integrated development (RAPID) project in Pengerang, Johor.

Treofan wins European Plastics Innovation Award for ultra-thin film

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BOPP specialist Treofan won a trophy at the 1st European Plastics Innovation Awards for its "PHD 1.9" ultra-thin capacitor film, said Packagingeurope.

The first European capacitor film thinner than 2µm, developed in partnership with chemicals and plastics producer Borealis, took home the award for Best Lightweight Innovation.

Storing and rapidly releasing large amounts of energy plays a crucial role in key next-generation technologies such as electric cars and wind power. Ultra-thin films increase storage capacity per unit area while also reducing the weight of the capacitor, which in turn means less cooling is required. This saves energy and lowers operating costs. Overall, a 1.9µm film boosts the efficiency of a component by around 30 percent compared to a conventional 2.4µm film.

The main challenge when developing ultra-thin films is combining the extreme mechanical strength demanded by high production speeds with outstanding homogeneous electrical and thermal properties.

Treofan and Borealis worked together intensely to optimize the molecular structure of the award-winning new solution. In parallel to this, improvements were made to the specialized production line at Treofan’s Neunkirchen site. Further enhancements are planned, with the goal of producing even thinner and more efficient films in the medium term.

"Developing ultra-thin capacitor films is the perfect reflection of our innovation strategy, which focuses on including the entire value chain – from raw materials and processing to the end consumer," says Dr. Yvonne Dupre, Head of Innovation at Treofan Germany.

The European Plastics Innovation Awards were created in 2015 by three organizations: European Plastics Converters (EuPC), PlasticsEurope and the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE). The initiative aims to reward new ideas, products and technologies in the plastics industry that address a societal need while respecting the 3 Ps of sustainability – people, planet and profitability. The inaugural ceremony was held in Brussels on January 25.

As MRC informed earlier, in August 2015, Treofan developed a new film known as Treofan EPT for in-mould labelling in deep drawing or thermoforming. The new film with a special surface that attaches perfectly to deep-drawn films, enabling stable fusing of thermoforming and label film at low temperatures and pressures, while delivering look and feel as good as injection-moulded products.

Treofan Group is a global technology leader for biaxially oriented polypropylene film (BOPP). Treofan, which develops and sells BOPP films in over 90 countries around the world, has already production facilities in Europe and the Americas. Company offers the most diverse and comprehensive product range within the industry, providing packaging, label and tobacco film applications as well as films for electronic devices, such as capacitors.