LyondellBasell announces new share repurchase program and increased dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell has announced that its Supervisory Board has authorized the company's Management Board to declare an interim dividend of USD0.85 per share, representing a 9% increase from the company's first quarter 2016 dividend, said the producer in its press release.

The interim dividend will be paid June 7, 2016 to shareholders of record May 24, 2016, with an ex-dividend date of May 20, 2016.

The company also announced that at its Annual General Meeting, shareholders approved a new share repurchase program authorizing the company to repurchase up to 10% of the company's shares over the next 18 months. The repurchases will be executed from time to time through open market or privately negotiated transactions.

"Because of our disciplined approach we have returned more than USD21.6 billion to our shareholders through dividend payments and share repurchases over the past five years," said Bob Patel, LyondellBasell CEO and chairman of the management board. "Our increased dividend and new share repurchase program demonstrate our focused commitment to return value to our shareholders."

As MRC informed previously, on 17 May 2016, LyondellBasell declared a force majeure on linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) following unexpected mechanical issues at plants in Texas and Illinois. The company said it experienced mechanical difficulties at its plants in La Porte, Texas, and in Morris, Illinois. The nature of the mechanical issues was not clear. The La Porte plant has an annual LLDPE capacity of 355,166 mt/year and the Morris facility has an annual LLDPE capacity of 295,292 mt/year.

LyondellBasell is one of the world’s largest plastics, chemical and refining companies and a member of the S&P 500. LyondellBasell manufactures products at 57 sites in 18 countries. LyondellBasell products and technologies are used to make items that improve the quality of life for people around the world including packaging, electronics, automotive parts, home furnishings, construction materials and biofuels.

PTTGC plans maintenance at HDPE plant in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thailand's PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) is likely to shut an high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant for a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Thailand informed that the plant is expected to be taken off-line in early-June 2016. It is slated to remain under outage for around 15 days.

Located in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, the plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote previously, PTT Global Chemical PCL is studying several options for supplying sufficient raw material to its petrochemical plants, including imports of oil feedstocks after declines in global crude prices. The move is part of a plan to cope with a potential drop in domestic natural gas supply after Thailand's government put bidding for new oil and gas concessions on hold.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.

Honeywell to spin off Its Resins and Chemicals Business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell International Inc. said that it would spin off its USD1.3 billion resins and chemicals business into a stand-alone, publicly traded company, said The Wall Street Journal.

The deal is expected to be completed by early 2017 and is subject to certain conditions and the assurance that the spinoff will be tax-free to Honeywell shareowners. The spun-off company will be called AdvanSix and its Chief Executive will be Erin Kane, who is currently the general manager of the resins and chemicals unit.

Honeywell said there is currently no impact to its financial guidance.

The resins and chemicals business makes Nylon 6, a polymer resin used to produce engineered plastics, fibers, filaments and films. Those products are used to produce automotive and electronic components, carpets, sports apparel, fishing nets, and packaging. The segment also produces ammonium-sulfate fertilizers and chemical intermediates, such as phenol and acetone. It is also the largest single-site producer of caprolactam, which is used to make Nylon 6.

The move to spin off some assets comes two months after the New Jersey-based company withdrew a $90 billion bid to beef up by buying fellow industrial giant United Technologies Corp. It backed down from the massive tie up after facing opposition from the target, antitrust regulators and major customers.

Last month. Honeywell said its board authorized the repurchase of as much as USD5 billion of the industrial conglomerate’s shares as part of its strategy to deploy cash.

As MRC informed earlier, State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) will use a suite of Honeywell UOP technologies to modernize its oil refinery in Baku, Azerbaijan, to produce high-quality gasoline that meets stricter emission standards.

Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies (PMT) is a global leader in developing advanced materials, process technologies and automation solutions. PMT's Advanced Materials businesses manufacture a wide variety of high-performance products, including environmentally friendlier refrigerants and materials used to manufacture end products such as bullet-resistant armor, nylon, computer chips and pharmaceutical packaging. Process technologies developed by PMT's UOP business form the foundation for most of the world's refiners, efficiently producing gasoline, diesel, jet fuel.


May prices of European HDPE fell for CIS markets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The May contract price of ethylene in Europe was agreed by EUR40/tonne higher than in April. However, European producers of high density polyethylene (HDPE) reduced their export prices of polymer for the CIS countries, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Negotiations over export prices of the European polyethylene (PE) began at the beginning of the month, many market participants reported a decrease in export prices by European HDPE producers, despite the rise in ethylene prices. In some cases, the price reduction was up to EUR30/tonne.

Deals for May HDPE shipments were done at EUR1,210-1,280/tonne FCA, whereas April deals were done in the range of EUR1,240-1,305/tonne FCA. Some producers had restrictions in supply, but in general, there were no major problems with contacting PE.

Deals for May shipments of pipe grade PE 100 were done in the range of EUR1,320-1,380/tonne FCA, which generally equalled the level of April prices.

PVC production in Russia decreased by 1% in January - April 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) - Production of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in Russia decreased to 257,200 tonnes in the first four months of this year, down 1% compared to the same period of 2015. RusVinyl has significantly increased production volumes, however, it did not help to offset the loss of volumes from SayanskKhimPlast's forced shutdown, as per MRC ScanPlast.

April production of unmixed PVC in Russia decreased to 56,600 tonnes, compared with 67,500 tonnes in March 2016. In general, January - April PVC production in Russia increased to 257,200 tonnes against 260,600 tonnes year on year. RusVinyl increased production by 45%, but this factor did not offset the SayanskKhimPlast's shutdown. Bashkir Soda Company also increased PVC production.

Structure of PVC production over the reported period looked as follows.

RusVinyl (joint venture of SIBUR and SolVin) in April produced about 28,500 tonnes of PVC, with 2,500 tonnes of them occurred for emulsion polyvinyl chloride (EPVC), compared with 27,800 tonnes in March. Total production of resin at RusVinyl in the first four months of this year was about 106,200 tonnes, compared with 69,000 tonnes year on year.

Bashkir Soda Company (BSC) in April 2016 produced about 20,500 tonnes of SPVC, while in March it was slightly more than 21,700 tonnes.
Producer's production of PVC totalled 84,400 tonnes in January - April of this year, up 2% year on year.

Kaustik (Volgograd) in April slightly decreased SPVC production, slightly exceeding 7,600 tonnes, compared with 7,900 tonnes in March. Total SPVC production at the plant exceeded 31,400 tonnes in January-April 2016, down 1% year on year.

As it was written earlier, SayanskKhimPlast had to shut down PVC production in mid-February because of the suspension of ethylene production at Angarsk ZP. According to preliminary information, the outage will last until late May - early June. For incomplete two months of this year the total production of SPVC at SayanskKhimPlast amounted to about 35,300 tonnes.