Bayer sets new growth targets, likely to drop Monsanto name

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bayer has announced plans to increase sales and earnings in all of its businesses in the medium term, said Chemweek.

The announcement was made at today’s Meet Management investor conference, held in Cologne, Germany. Werner Baumann, chairman, said that the company anticipates especially significant sales and margin growth in pharmaceuticals. "This growth is expected to be driven particularly by the positive development of our recently launched products, for which we now see combined peak sales potential of more than EUR10 billion [USD11.2 billion]."

At the Bayer CropScience subgroup, Bayer expects a substantial increase in margin after closing the agreed $66-billion acquisition of Monsanto. Closing is expected at the end of 2017. Speculation is growing that Bayer will drop the Monsanto name following the acquisition but Bayer says that the decision has not yet been made. "We have not commented on this question; the brand strategy has not been defined yet," Bayer says.

The pharma targets include average annual sales growth of approximately 6% by the end of 2018 adjusted for currency and portfolio effects. Pharma sales totaled EUR15.3 billion in 2015. Bayer aims to increase the pharma EBITDA margin before special items to 32-34% in 2018.

Baumann says Bayer has raised the estimate of the combined peak annual sales potential of five recently launched pharmaceuticals from at least EUR7.5 billion, to more than EUR10 billion. Bayer now expects peak sales potential of more than EUR5 billion, up from approximately EUR3.5 billion, for the anticoagulant Xarelto; and more than EUR2.5 billion for the eye medicine Eylea, up from at least EUR1.5 billion. The company anticipates peak sales potential of more than EUR1 billion for the cancer drug Xofigo and more than EUR500 million for the pulmonary hypertension treatment Adempas. The peak sales potential of the cancer drug Stivarga is unchanged—at least EUR1 billion.

As MRC informed earlier, 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.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech polymer materials. As an innovation company, it sets trends in research-intensive areas. Bayer's products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen.

Polymir shut LDPE production

MOSCOW (MRC) - Polymir (subsidiary of Belarusian Naftan) shut down production of low density polyethylene (LDPE) for scheduled maintenance works, said the customers of the company.

Polymir reportedly had shut the first production of LDPE for routine maintenance works. Maintenance works will last two weeks. The plant's annual production capacity is 65,000 tonnes.

As MRC informed earlier, an outbreak of gas-air mixture with flare combustion of exhaust products happened at the plant on 18 June 2016. The fire damaged the technological equipment production of ethylene, the producer had to shut the second line of polyethylene production.

According to the MRC, total production of LDPE by Polimir exceeded 73,000 tonnes in the first eight months of 2016, down 6.8% year on year.

Plant Polymir ("Naftan") is the largest petrochemical company in Belarus, produces a wide range of chemical products, such as low density polyethylene (LDPE), acrylic fibers, products of organic synthesis, hydrocarbon fractions, etc. Polymir was founded in 1968. Technologies of the largest foreign companies from Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Italy (Courtaulds, Asahi Chemical Co. Ltd, Kanematsu Gosho, SNIA BPD, etc.), As well as the development of scientific research institutes and design institutes of the CIS countries. The producer's annual LDPE production capacity is 130,000 tonnes.

GE to provide power solution for Petronas Pengerang complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The majority of world’s largest refineries are situated in the Asia Pacific region. With 4 MMbpd of oil produced by the top five refineries in the region, Asia’s growing importance as both an energy source and destination market is clear, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Located in Johor, the development of Petronas’ Pengerang Integrated Petrochemical Complex (PIPC) will soon give a boost to the region’s energy output. Upon completion, PIPC’s refinery will be able to produce 300 Mbpd, while the petrochemical plants will produce 7.7 MMtpy of various chemical products.

Through a strategic partnership with Prime Sourcing International (PSI), a subsidiary of Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) group, GE will supply 17 emergency diesel generator (EDG) packages, five transportable switch rooms and the electrical balance of the plant. The equipment will be provided by various GE businesses. Each EDG package will consist of 616 diesel engines provided by GE’s Distributed Power business, which will be coupled with the generators and electrical equipment bounded in e-houses.

The 616 diesel engines play a critical role in enabling uninterrupted operation to ensure high productivity. These generators will be switched on to provide continuous power if the complex experiences an unexpected power shutdown. Integrated into one single package by GE’s Power Conversion business, GE's 616 diesel generator set addresses the most critical application challenges with advanced reciprocating engine technology. It combines and enhances the proven technology of the Jenbacher J616 gas engine with the P616 locomotive diesel engine from GE Transportation—bringing together the best of both worlds to increase efficiency and productivity. The integrated package has a more compact design. While the low component count means less installation cost and higher system reliability, the modular design also brings flexibility to the plant layout, thus helping optimize plant design.

As MRC informed earlier, Petronas Gas Bhd has executed a shareholders agreement with Linde (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd for a joint-venture company to undertake the development of an air separation unit plant in Pengerang, Johor, a project that is estimated to cost USD172 million (RM692 million).

Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, is a Malaysian oil and gas company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. The Group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.

France bans disposable plastic tableware

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In France, picnics may become a plastic-free affair following reports that French government ruled to ban disposable plastic plates, cutlery and cups on Sept. 1., said Plasticsnews.

French ministers have said that by 2020, 50 percent of the material going in to plastic disposable items such as goblets, coffee cups, plates and cutlery must be organic. By 2025 the government says 60 percent of the material must be organic.

Critics have claimed this legislation goes against European Union rules on the free movement of goods. One of these is Belgium-headquartered Pack2Go Europe, an non-governmental organization representing companies that manufacture packaging for the food and beverages consumed on-the-go in Europe.

Speaking to PNE, Eamonn Bates, Secretary General of the food & beverage service & convenience packaging association for Pack2Go Europe said: "The European Commission needs to tackle this abuse of EU law by France, that’s its job! The French ban on disposable tableware made from traditional plastics infringes EU legislation that guarantees that packaging and packaged goods can be traded freely in Europe.

"There is no solid proven case to promote bioplastics over traditional plastics on environmental grounds in this situation — on the contrary. We are looking at taking legal action to challenge this but it is the Commission who should do this really. We’ll be writing to the Commission again to protest its inaction to date.

"Minister [Segolene] Royal first opposed the ban opportunistically pushed by Green politicians in Brussels and Paris. But she did a U-turn and is using it as a publicity stunt to raise profile. It’s not about good law-making. She wants disposable tableware to be made from bio-sourced materials that are compostable in a home composter, but such products aren’t on the market. This decree is only going to mislead consumers into thinking that bioplastic tableware can be left behind as litter because they wrongly believe it will quickly disappear. It won’t. It is bad law and a bad precedent that may fool politicians in other countries into thinking this is a solution to be copied."

The French ruling on disposable plastic items follows its attempts to ban bisphenol A, with the French Constitutional Council in 2015 ruling that a 2012 law suspending the manufacture and export of items using BPA unjustifiably restricted trade. However it let stand the current law banning the use of BPA for products touching food within France, so while manufacturers can use BPA for export, they cannot use the same product for domestic use.

Index of chemical production in Russia grew by 2.4% in January - August 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) - Russian companies managed to further increase the production of basic chemicals in August, with output growth reached 6.9%. Total index of production of basic chemicals increased by 2.4% in the first eight months of the year, as per Rosstat's data.

According to the Federal Service of State Statistics, last month's production of basic chemicals grew by 6.9% in comparison with the July index, while in July this index was 0.5% compared with the June level. In April - June, the index of production of basic chemicals was negative. Thus, the growth of the production of basic chemicals was 2.4% in January - August of the current year.

August production of ethylene was 251,000 tonnes versus 193,000 tonnes a month earlier. Low production of ethylene in July was a result of scheduled maintenance works at Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Tomskneftekhim, as well as a small power outage due to technical problems at the Angarsk ZP. Total production of ethylene in Russia in January-August 2016 exceeded 1,869 m tonnes, up 0.8% year on year.

August production of benzene grew 104,000 tonnes compared to 92,000 tonnes in July, which was also a result of the restart of production at Nizhnekamsk and Angarsk. Total benzene production over the first eight months of the year reached 794,800 tonnes, down 0.9% from the same period in 2015.

Russia's production of xylols in August increased to 47,900 tonnes, compared with 46,100 tonnes in July 2016.
Production of xylols in January-August 2016 totalled 384,400 tonnes, up 3.8% year on year.

August production of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) increased to 96,800 tonnes (100% of the basic substance) against 93,300 tonnes in July. SayanskKhimPlast provided this growth in production. Total production of caustic soda in Russia exceeded 738,700 tonnes in January - August of this year, up 0.2% year on year.

August production of mineral fertilizers was 1.708 m tonnes (in terms of 100% nutrients), up 3.9% from the July's level. Russia's production of mineral fertilizers in Jan-August 2016 exceeded 13.511 m tonnes, up 0.7% than in the same time a year earlier. Production of all types of fertilizers had grown, the exception was only potash production which decreased by 7.5%.