Thai PTT Global Q1 profit falls 16% on plant shutdown, falling margins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thailand's petrochemical maker, PTT Global Chemical Pcl said its first-quarter net profit dropped 16 percent from a year earlier because of an olefins plant shutdown and weak refining margins, reported Reuters.

Net profit was 4.71 billion baht (USD133.73 million) for the January to March period, in line with a 4.75 billion baht forecast by 13 analysts polled by Reuters.

First-quarter revenue fell 19 percent, while its crude distillation unit ran at 93 percent in the quarter, down from 102 percent the same period a year earlier, it said in a statement.

Gross refining margins fell to USD4.77 a barrel, down from USD5.98 a year earlier, and lower crude prices also made the company book an inventory loss of 486 million baht in the quarter, it said.

We remind that ss MRC reported earlier, in 2013, Indonesian state-owned energy company Pertamina signed an agreement to purchase petrochemical products from PTT Global Chemical. The agreement serves as a pre-marketing strategy for Pertamina and PTT’s joint Indonesian petrochemical business. Under the agreement, PTT will deliver at least 5,000 tonnes of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) products each month to Pertamina for sale in Indonesia.

Besides, Pertamina and PTTGC were to start joint shipments of PE to the Indonesian market from 1 July 2014, but they were posponed till September 2014.

PTT Global, the petrochemical flagship of PTT Pcl PTT.BK, Thailand's top energy firm, currently has a petrochemicals production capacity of 8.75 million tonnes a year and runs a refinery with a crude and condensate refining throughput capacity of 280,000 barrels per day. The company has planned to boost its annual petrochemical production capacity by an average of 4 percent over five years to 2020.

Sirmax acquired all shares in thermoplastic compounds producer Nord Color

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Italian compounder Sirmax (Cittadella) is continuing to grow its footprint. In a deal the financial details of which were not disclosed, the company recently acquired all shares in thermoplastic compounds producer Nord Color (San Vito al Tagliamento / Italy), said Plasteurope.

The purchase of the latter – which caters to the automotive, E&E, furniture, construction and sports & leisure industries – not only consolidates Sirmax’s growth strategy, it also complements and expands the company’s own PP compounds product range.

Founded in 1981, Nord Color’s 70 employees specialise in the manufacture of thermoplastic compounds for technical applications. The company posted sales of almost EUR 35m in 2015, and has overall production capacity of 12,000 t/y.

New owner Sirmax – which last year set up its first plant in the US (see of 21.01.2015) – said it posted revenues of EUR 210m in 2015, a rise of 31%. Output came to 132,000 t – which also worked out to be a year-on-year rise of 20%. The company said that following the start-up of operations at its plant in Anderson, Indiana / USA and the Nord Color purchase, it anticipates 2016 revenues to come to EUR 260m, with output pegged at 175,000 t – putting it firmly on the path to achieving its 2018 target of EUR 300m in sales.

As MRC informed earlier, the future of the short fiber thermoplastic (SFT) composites market looks attractive with opportunities in the transportation, consumer goods, and electrical/electronics industries. The global short fiber thermoplastics market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2016 to 2021.


Prime Polymer to open its Singapore PE plant after 1-year delay

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's Prime Polymer will start mass production of polyethylene (PE) used for food-packing film in Singapore as early as August after a one-year delay, as per Nikkei Asain Review.

Equipment problems at feedstock provider Royal Dutch Shell postponed the planned August 2015 opening of the plant for making advanced PE Evolue. With operations at Shell's facilities expected to resume in July, the Tokyo-based company will bring the plant online.

Prime Polymer has spent some 10 billion yen (USD92.9 mln) to build the Singaporean plant, which will have an annual capacity of 300,000 tons.

The company currently produces about 300,000 tons of Evolue yearly in Chiba Prefecture. The new plant in Southeast Asia will allow the capacity in Chiba to be used for trial production of new film materials.

Prime Evolue was established in 2012 for the sales and production of Mitsui Chemical’s Evolue LLDPE in Singapore. The venture, owned 80% by Prime Polymer and 20% by Mitsui, and with a capital of USD115-million, built a 300,000-t/y Evolue production unit, as MRC wrote previously. Initially, construction was scheduled for completion in December 2014, with commercial operations to start during the second quarter of 2015.

Czech Trelleborg will add to and strengthen existing leading positions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Swedish industrial group Trelleborg has completed its SEK 10.9 bn (EUR 1.17 bn) acquisition of CGS Holding (Prague / Czech Republic) – a privately-owned company with leading positions in agricultural, industrial, speciality tyres and engineered polymer solutions.

The deal was initially announced in November 2015.

Peter Nilsson, Trelleborg president and CEO, said: "It is highly gratifying to welcome CGS to the Trelleborg Group. The company has long been on our list of interesting acquisitions. (...) CGS’s engineered polymer solutions add new interesting positions as well as strengthen Trelleborg’s existing leading positions in several of the group’s current business areas."

CGS Holding includes the businesses Mitas, Rubena and Savatech. Mitas accounts for approximately two-thirds of group sales, which totalled around SEK 5.6 bn in the 12 months ended June 2015, and has strong mid-market speciality tyre brands. Mitas will be integrated into the Trelleborg wheel systems business area. During the transition, other activities will remain independent from Trelleborg’s existing operations before being gradually integrated into current business areas.

Following the acquisition, Trelleborg will have sales of about SEK 30 bn, with around 23,000 employees in 47 countries.

As MRC informed earlier, Trelleborg worked with offshore construction company McDermott to develop a new range of diver-friendly piggyback clamp designed to improve safety during installation of underwater pipelines. Molded from marine-grade polypropylene, the piggyback saddle can fit carrier pipelines from 20" - 42" and line sizes from 1.25" to 3.5". The one-size-fits-all design of the clamp can streamline purchasing, enabling zero-waste bulk ordering.


Gekoplast installed a new PP twinwall sheet production line in Krupski Mlyn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Plastic panels producer Gekoplast (Krupski Mlyn / Polandl) has installed a new PP twinwall sheet production line at its plant in Krupski Mlyn, said Plasreurope.

Investment costs were not disclosed, but the company said the plant lifts its total twinwall sheet output by 28% to 10,000 t/y. The line raises Gekoplast’s output of both twinwall sheet and other products, such as layer pads, and is expected to generate an additional PLN 9m (about EUR 2m) in income, the company said.

As it was written earlier, sales and net profit of Gekoplast in 2015 reached Zloty 86.4 M (EUR 20 M) (+13.3%) and Zloty 5.5 M (EUR 1.3 M), respectively. The company uses several plastics, including PP, to produce panels.

Founded in 2010, Gekoplast specialises in the production of various types of panels manufactured from PP, GPPS, HIPS, ABS, ABS/PMMA, PMMA, LDPE and HDPE. The company in early 2015 announced plans to lift output by 40% and more (see of 24.02.2015), without providing a timetable. The latest sheet expansion has increased its overall production capacity by 16%. In addition to shortening delivery times, it will also help the company – which exports about half of its output – compete more effectively in Europe.