Saudi Aramco and Shell plan to break up Motiva refining venture in US

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell and Saudi Aramco has announced plans to break up Motiva Enterprises LLC and divide up the assets, almost two decades after forming the US oil refining and marketing joint venture, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The split comes after early signs of the break-up emerged last summer when Motiva set up its own oil products trading business separate from Shell.

"The Motiva joint venture with Shell has served our downstream business objectives very well for many years," Abdulrahman Al-Wuhaib, senior vice president of downstream at Saudi Aramco, said in the statement.

"However, it is now time for the partners to pursue their independent downstream goals."

Under the terms of a non-binding letter of intent, the Saudi state oil giant will take over the Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, the biggest in the US, retain 26 distribution terminals as well as the Motiva name, according to a statement.

It will also have an exclusive license to use the Shell brand for gasoline and diesel sales in Texas, the majority of the Mississippi Valley, the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic markets, it said.

For its part, Shell will assume sole ownership of the Norco, Louisiana, refinery, where it also operates a chemicals plant, the Convent, Louisiana refinery, nine distribution terminals, as well as Shell branded markets in Florida, Louisiana and the Northeastern region.

As MRC informed previously, in April 2015, Royal Dutch Shell completed a revamp and upgrade of its Singapore ethane cracker. The project increased production for the 800,000-tpy ethylene plant on Bukom Island by 20%. The ethylene and olefins unit is also integrated with Shell’s 500,000-bpd refinery.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.
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BASF presented SLENTITE for the first time in a customer project at “Frontale”

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF, the world's petrochemical major, has presented SLENTITE, the new high-performance insulating material, said the producer on its site.

In the design and construction sectors, the properties of SLENTITE are opening up totally new potential. The innovative material based on a polyurethane aerogel is manufactured as a heavy-duty panel displaying exceptional insulation performance. Owing to its open-porous structure, the material provides moisture regulation and thus contributes to a pleasant interior climate: сustomized climate management with the new high-performance insulating material. Inserted between the window frame and the masonry, SLENTITE makes window modernization even more attractive. The PU aerogel can be installed as thermal insulation wedges between walls and windows indoors and outdoors, regardless of the window frame material. Existing window jamb systems can be reduced further in size, as the new high-performance insulation panel is extremely slim.

"We now have the chance to eliminate thermal weak points in the building envelope, prevent damage and enhance interior comfort," says Dr. Marc Fricke, SLENTITE Project Manager at BASF Polyurethanes.

SLENTITE also facilitates further product improvements in roller shutter casings and lamellar blind boxes. For a new or upgraded building to be truly energy-efficient, attention has to be paid to the details. Roller shutter casings insulated with SLENTITE deliver excellent insulation values regardless of the wall structure and thickness. "With the new BASF high-performance insulating material, we’ve succeeded in improving our existing top products by another 35 percent," says Michael Kruger, Development Director at Beck + Heun.

As MRC reported earlier, in September 2015, BASF began its first production of diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) at its wholly-owned site in Chongqing, China. Production will be ramped up gradually in line with market demand.

MDI is an important component for polyurethanes - an extremely versatile plastics material that contributes towards improved insulation, provides lighter materials for cars, and helps save energy in buildings. MDI production will support these key industries in China’s western areas.

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 EUR70 billion in 2014 and over 113,000 employees.
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Kolon Plastics and BASF to set up joint venture for polyoxymethylene production in Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kolon Plastics and BASF have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture in Korea to manufacture polyoxymethylene (POM), an engineering plastic used in industrial, transportation, construction and consumer markets as per BASF's press release.

The 50:50 joint venture named "Kolon BASF innoPOM, Inc." will have an annual capacity of 70,000 metric tons. It will be located at the existing manufacturing site of Kolon Plastics in Gimcheon, Korea, which already includes a POM production. The start of operation is scheduled for the second half of 2018 creating in total the world’s largest complex for the production of POM.

Both companies have long-term experience in POM production and will use Kolon’s highly efficient production technology to provide best-in-class product quality. "In the new joint venture the strengths of each company will be reinforced enhancing our overall competitiveness. Kolon Plastics’ globally leading technology and the efficiencies of the existing infrastructure will generate significant synergies. We are looking forward to this joint venture that may lead to further opportunities for cooperation," said Mr. Hee Goo Jang, CEO of Kolon Plastics.

The products are to be marketed around the world separately by the two companies under their respective trade names and proprietary formulations. "Kolon and BASF have had an excellent business relationship for many years," said Raimar Jahn, President of BASF’s Performance Materials division. "The markets for POM are growing around the world. Particularly in Asia the joint venture will strengthen our ability to support our customers with high-performing, innovative specialties."

Following the start-up of the new plant in Korea in the second half of 2018, BASF will discontinue production of POM in Ludwigshafen.

Polyoxymethylene resins are engineering plastics used in complex and highly durable components. Their high strength and resilience, friction performance and chemical resistance enable a broad range of applications used in automotive manufacturing as well as for electric and electronic goods, consumer goods, medical products and construction.

Kolon markets its POM product line under the trade name Kocetal. BASF offers POM products for a wide range of applications under the trade name Ultraform.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, in September 2015, BASF began its first production of diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) at its wholly-owned site in Chongqing, China. Production will be ramped up gradually in line with market demand. MDI is an important component for polyurethanes - an extremely versatile plastics material that contributes towards improved insulation, provides lighter materials for cars, and helps save energy in buildings. MDI production will support these key industries in China’s western areas.

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 generated sales of more than EUR70 billion in 2015
MRC

Nova board of directors gives approval for USD400 mln expansion at Corunna

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nova Chemical's board of directors has given approval for the company to invest in creation of a pipeline connection to a second source of natural gas liquids, originating in the eastern U.S. shale region, and to convert the Corunna site's cracker to use up to 100% ethane feedstock, according to Plastemart.

Work is scheduled for 2017 and 2018.

The company has spent millions of dollars to convert the plant to be able to use up to 100% natural gas liquids, and connect by pipeline to Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale region. The upcoming capital work includes replacing and enlarging a four-kilometre section of existing pipeline from the plant, to connect to a Plains Midstream Windsor-to-Sarnia pipeline, providing access to natural gas liquids from the Utica Shale Basin.

Most of that work is scheduled for "quite a large turnaround" planned for 2017 at the plant site. The new pipeline is scheduled to come online in 2018, and some additional work at the Corunna site will be completed that year.

As MRC informed before, in early 2013 NOVA Chemicals decided build two polyethylene (PE) plants and expand its ethylene capacity. NOVA took several actions to secure additional ethane feedstock supply for its crackers in Corunna, Ontario, and Joffre, Alberta.

Nova Chemical is one of the largest world's petrochemical companies, a manufacturer of polyethylene, styrene polymers, monomers, and many other related products.
MRC

Wacker confirms fourth-quarter and full-year results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker Chemie (Munich) confirmed its preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 results announced last month and said it expects growth in both sales and adjusted Ebitda in 2016, said the company on its site.

The company has achieved its sales target for full-year 2015 and slightly exceeded its earnings expectations. Group sales in 2015 advanced by about 10% to EUR5.30 billion (USD5.95 billion) on higher volumes and positive exchange-rate effects. Ebitda in 2015 was flat at EUR1.05 billion and Ebitda margin declined from 21.6% in 2014 to 19.8% last year.

At its chemical business, Wacker sees good prospects for further growth in 2016. It expects sales at each of its three chemical divisions to climb by a mid-single-digit percentage. For silicone and polymer products, growth will be driven by every business segment. Wacker BIOSOLUTIONS sees additional potential especially in its biologics business. Sales growth is also anticipated in its food segment, spurred by new product developments.

As MRC informed earlier, Wacker has presented high-performance silicones and polymer binders for challenging coatings and construction applications: wood impregnated with the silicone resin emulsion SILRES WH is protected against damp, moisture and damage caused by swelling and shrinkage for an exceedingly long time.

Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The product range includes silicone rubbers, polymer products like ethylene vinyl acetate redispersible polymer powder, chemical materials, polysilicon and wafers for semiconductor industry.
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