Bayer to acquire Monsanto for USD66bn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Monsanto has accepted an increased takeover bid of USD128/share from Bayer, paving the way for Bayer to acquire Monsanto in an all-cash transaction valued at USD66 billion.

The price is a slight increase from Bayer's bid of USD127.50/share that was announced earlier. It also represents a 44% premium to Monsanto's closing share price on 9 May 2016, the day before Bayer made its initial approach to Monsanto. The deal wil create "a global leader in agriculture," combining Bayer's strengths in agricultural chemicals with Monsanto's strengths in seeds and traits, the companies say.

Bayer's management and supervisory boards, as well as Monsanto's board, have unanimously approved the agreement. "This represents a major step forward for our Bayer CropScience business and reinforces Bayer's leadership postion as a global innovation-driven life science company with leadership positions in it core segments," says Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer. High Grant, chairman and CEO of Monsanto says, "we believe that this combination with Bayer represents the most compelling value for our shareowners, with the most certainty through the all-cash consideration."

Bayer and Monsanto expect the deal to create synergies leading to annualized cost savings of about USD1.5 billion starting three years after the transaction's close, plus additional synergies from ongoing integration.

The combined business's worldwide seeds and traits and North American commercial headquarters will be located at Monsanto's St. Louis, Missouri, base. The combined business will have an annual pro-forma R&D budget of about EUR2.5 billion. "It has been both companies' belief that the challenge (of feeding a rising global population) requires a new approach that more systematically integrates expertise across seeds, traits, and crop protection including biologicals with a deep commitment to innovation and sustainable agriculture practices," says Liam Condon, a Bayer board member and head of Bayer CropScience.

Kuraray, Sumitomo and PTT agree on butadiene project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kuraray, Sumitomo, and PTT Global Chemical have signed a Head of Agreement (HOA) to jointly perform a Detailed Feasibility Study (DFS) for potential project development of manufacturing and sales of butadiene derivatives in Thailand. This has been announced by the companies on 13 September 2016, reported GV.

The Feasibility Study (FS) will be targeted to start operation of 16,000 t hydrogenated styrenic block copolymers (HSBC) and 13,000 t polyamide 9T (PA9T) in Hemaraj Eastern Industrial Estate (HEIE), Rayong in Thailand in 2020. Butadiene as a key raw material will be supplied by PTTGC.

After the successful completion of a prelim joint feasibility study for potential development of butadiene derivatives in Thailand on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Kuraray, PTTGC and Sumitomo in September 2015, the companies decided to move forward the project to the early phase of engineering study to perform Front End Engineering Design (FEED) by signing HOA. The Final Investment Decision (FID) is expected to be made in the second half of 2017. The agreement will lead to a new joint venture company. Equity proportion and other details are currently discussed.

Kuraray further announced that in addition it will solely conduct a feasibility study of a 5,000 t 3-methyl-1,5-pentanediol (MPD) at the same site of the plants of butadiene derivate. The FID will be made end of 2017; start of the operation is targeted in late 2020. The isobutene will also be supplied by PTTGC.

We remind that, as MRC informed before, in October 2015, Kuraray announced that it would expand production facilities at its plant at Saijo, Japan, for optical-use Poval film, which serves as a base film for polarized film, an essential component of LCDs. Poval is the brand name for Kuraray’s polyvinyl alcohol products. Production capacity for optical-use Poval film at Saijo will increase by 20 million sq meters/year. The expanded facilities will become operational in the beginning of 2017, Kuraray says. The company produces optical-use Poval film also at Kurashiki, Japan. Kuraray will expand its annual production capacity of optical-use poval film from the current 212 million m2 to 232 million m2.

Kuraray produces specialty chemicals, fibres and other materials, including functional resins and films, synthetic isoprene chemical products, synthetic leather, vinylon fibre and polyester fibre.

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.

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.

Total Cray Valley to build liquid polybutadiene plant in France

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total Cray Valley (TCV) (part of Total S.A.) has started construction on its new C4 chemical manufacturing plant in Carling, France, which will be used for the production of liquid polybutadiene, according to GV.

According to the company, the plant will have the ability to produce several thousand tonnes of product per year. The plant is scheduled to begin production in October 2016. The facility in Carling will be TCV’s fifth manufacturing plant for liquid polybutadiene.

Based in Paris, France, TCV is part of Total’s Polymers division within the Refining & Chemicals branch. TCV provides polybutadiene homopolymers and copolymers with a broad range of molecular weights and microstructures. The company offers these products under a series of brands, including Poly bd, Ricon, and Krasol.

As MRC wrote before, in 2013, Total, Europe’s third-largest oil company, announced that it intended to invest EUR160m before 2016 to adapt its petrochemical platform in Carling, in the Lorraine region of eastern France, and to restore its competitiveness. Total planed indeed to develop new activities on the platform in the growing markets for hydrocarbon resins (Cray Valley) and for polymers, while shutting down the acutely loss-making steam cracker in the second half of 2015.

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.

Indian Oil inks MOU with Praj for development of 2G ethanol

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOCL), India's flagship national oil company, has selected Praj, a Pune-based global process solutions leader, as its technology partner for setting up multiple 2nd-Generation (2G) bio-ethanol plants based on indigenously developed technology. Indian Oil will set up three such 2G bio-ethanol plants, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Indian Oil, like other Oil Marketing CPSEs are blending biofuels in transportation fuels to bring down dependency on crude oil imports and for the economic and environmental benefits. In order to enhance ethanol availability in the country, Indian Oil is developing 2G ethanol production infrastructure using ligno-cellulosic biomasses as feedstock.

Speaking about the collaboration, Mr. Pramod Chaudhari, Executive Chairman, Praj Industries Ltd., said, "Praj is offering end-to-end 2G 'Smart Bio-refinery' solutions globally. Our 'Smart Bio-refinery' is capable of producing bio-ethanol and other co-products such as bio-CNG, power and a variety of bio chemicals."

At the World Bio-fuels Day conference held at New Delhi recently, the Government of India announced that a 'biomass-based bio-fuels policy' is in the offing to boost the agro-economy and promote clean, renewable energy. This endeavor will be a socio-economic and environmental enabler, as the farming community will generate additional revenues from agri-waste, which will be utilized to produce bio-ethanol.

Praj is also providing assistance to Indian Oil for achieving various milestones towards holistic development of these projects at various suitable locations across the country.

Such 2G Ethanol Plants are based on indigenous technology and designs developed by Praj at their R&D Center in Pune. Praj will also supply plant & machinery servivces and assist in operating and maintaining the facilities.

As MRC reported earlier, on 13-14 August 2016, IOCL restarted its high density polyethylene (HDPE)/linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) swing plant in Panipat. The plant was shut on July 24 for a planned maintenance until end-July. However, the period of the shutdown was extended owing to a fire occurred at the plant on July 25. Located at Panipat in the northern Indian state of Haryana, the HDPE/LLDPE swing plant has a production capacity of 350,000 mt/year.

Indian Oil Corporation Limited, or IndianOil, is an Indian state-owned oil and gas corporation with its headquarters in New Delhi, India.

Indian Oil Petronas gets greenlight for Haldia LPG terminal expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian Oil Petronas has obtained environmental approval to expand the capacity of its LPG import/export terminal at Haldia, West Bengal state, to 36,500 mt from 31,500 mt, in a bid to increase LPG supply in the state, a company source said Tuesday, reported Apic-online.

The expansion will cost Rupee 750 million (USD11.2 million), according to a report by The Economic Times late last week.

The report quoted a senior government official saying that the environment ministry has given clearance to the terminal expansion project at Haldia, subject to certain conditions.

Among the conditions, IPPL is required to give adequate buffer zone around the storage tanks and construct a garland drain around the project site to prevent a spillage of oil into the nearby water.

IPPL, a 50:50 joint venture between Indian Oil Corporation and Malaysia's Petronas, has another LPG terminal at Ennore, Tamil Nadu state, with a capacity of 31,000 mt, according to the source. There are currently no plans to expand the Ennore terminal at this point.

IPPL is however, looking at building a third LPG import/export terminal in the west coast of India, the source said, but added it is too premature to give details.

India's LPG imports have been growing steadily amid rising demand for the cooking gas.

Imports grew from 6.567 million mt in fiscal year 2013-2014 (April-March) to 8.313 million mt in FY 2014-2015 and 8.885 million mt in FY 2015-2016, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed.

As MRC reported earlier, Indian Oil to invest Rs7,812 crore for expansion IOC to invest Rs.1,843 crore in upgrading Koyali refinery in Gujarat to produce Euro-IV complaint fuel, Rs.1,327 crore to be spent on Barauni refinery in Bihar. In February 2015, the board approved an investment of Rs.1,843 crore in upgrading the 13.7 mln tons Koyali refinery in Gujarat to produce Euro-IV complaint petrol an diesel. Another, Rs.1,327 crore will be spent on similar fuel quality upgradation project at Barauni refinery in Bihar. The Borad approved setting up of ethylene glycol project along with associated facilities at Paradip (in Odisha) at an estimated project cost of Rs.3,752 crore. The project would help in consolidating the glycol business of IOC by producing low cost mon-ethylene glycol based on refinery gas.

Indian Oil Corporation Limited, or IndianOil, is an Indian state-owned oil and gas corporation with its headquarters in New Delhi, India.