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.

Saudi Aramco contains fire at Ras Tanura, eight injured

MOSCOW (MRC) -- State-owned Saudi Aramco said it had put out a minor fire at its Ras Tanura oil terminal where 8 workers were injured, including 6 contractors and 2 Aramco employees, said the producer on its site.

The company said emergency fire services have fully contained the fire. Workers in the facility have been evacuated, the injured have received medical treatment.

The state-owned oil firm said the cause of the fire was not yet known. Further details about the incident have not been disclosed.

The Ras Tanura oil terminal has a refining capacity of 550,000 barrel per day, according to the Associated Press. The Ras Tanura refinery, which exports naphtha, fuel oil and middle distillates, will be shut for scheduled maintenance in December this year.

As MRC informed earlier, British oilfield services company Petrofac and Spain's Tecnicas Reunidas are likely to win contracts to build projects for state oil giant Saudi Aramco's Uthmaniyah and Ras Tanura plants. Tecnicas Reunidas is the lowest bidder to build units for a cleaner fuels project at Ras Tanura refinery, originally estimated to cost more than USD2 B, aimed at removing sulfur from refined oil products.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco's value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world's most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.MRC

GAIL Unipol PE process line starts operations in Pata

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In a step towards realizing the ’Make in India’ initiative of the Government of India, GAIL (India) Ltd. has successfully started its first Unipol PE process line with the capacity to produce 400 Mtpy of polyethylene (PE), as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The total production capacity of GAIL’s Petrochemical plant at Pata, UP is now 8.1 MMtpy.

GAIL’s flexible high-density polyethylene (HDPE)/ linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) swing plant provides access to a full range of resin applications which will allow GAIL and its customers to capture new market opportunities as PE market demands are changing.

The new process line gives GAIL the platform to expand its PE product capabilities, providing Indian PE converters with the high-quality, domestically-produced resin products needed for both large-volume markets as well as advanced performance applications.

As MRC informed previously, GAIL India plans to import ethane from countries including the US, for its upcoming USD5 billion joint-venture Andhra Pradesh petrochemical plant. GAIL is seeking 1.3 million mt/year of ethane for 15 years for its JV ethane cracker with India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), located on the east coast of India beginning 2022.

Huhtamaki invests to grow in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Huhtamaki supports the profitable growth of its foodservice business in China by investing in the expansion and modernization of its manufacturing unit in Guangzhou, South China, said the company on its site.

The total investment including site expansion, improvements in plant layout and new high-speed machinery is expected to be approximately EUR 15 million. "With its growing population and rapid urbanization China is an important market for our quick service and specialty coffee customers. With this investment we will create a modern, efficient, high-capacity manufacturing unit and significantly improve our productivity and capability to serve our customers in the future," says CEO Jukka Moisio.

The investment follows Huhtamaki's earlier announced actions to improve the competitiveness of its foodservice business in China and consolidate the South China manufacturing operations. The modernized unit will manufacture a defined core foodservice packaging product range. Majority of the investment will take place in the latter part of 2016 and early 2017, and the modernization is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

"This major investment brings our operations in China into a new level and strengthens our position as a leading foodservice packaging provider in East Asia," says Eric Le Lay, Executive Vice President, Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania business segment. "We're pleased to invest in serving our customers better and helping them grow."

As MRC informed earlier, last year Huhtamaki acquired the assets and business of Pure-Stat Technologies, Inc., a privately owned company in the United States. Pure-Stat's laminate is used as a component in a number of Huhtamaki's molded fiber products. The company employs 12 people in its manufacturing unit in Lewiston, Maine.

Huhtamaki is a global specialist in packaging for food and drink. With our network of 73 manufacturing units and 23 sales offices in 34 countries, we're well placed to support our customers' growth wherever they operate. Mastering three distinctive packaging technologies, approximately 17,000 employees develop and make packaging that helps great products reach more people, more easily. In 2015 our net sales totaled EUR 2.7 billion.

RusVinyl shut down PVC production for turnaround

MOSCOW (MRC) - Russia's largest producer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) - RusVinyl, a joint venture of SIBUR and SolVin, has stopped production for scheduled preventive maintenance, according to company representatives.

The plant was shut down on 19 September. The outage of the plant will last at least two weeks. The producer plans to fully resume the PVC production by early October.

This is the last routine maintenance shutdown at Russian PVC producers in the current year. Kaustik Volgograd shut its PVC production in the late May. SayanskKhimPlast had to shut its PVC production from mid-February to July.
Bashkir Soda Company does not plan to stop its capacities for scheduled maintenance works this year.

RusVinyl began production of suspension PVC (SPVC) in the test mode in August 2014. The official launch of the plant in Kstovo (Nizhny Novgorod region) took place on 19, September. Total production of resin at RusVinyl in the first eight months of this year was about 209,400 tonnes, compared with 153,900 tonnes year on year. The design capacity is 300,000 tonnes/year of SPVC and 30,000 tonnes/year of emulsion polyvinyl chloride (EPVC).
Its caustic soda production capacity is 225,000 tonnes/year. RusVinyl got ethylene from the complex SIBUR-Kstovo, which have been recently expanded to 360,000 tonnes/year. Rock salt is delivered by water transport from the Astrakhan region and rail from Belarus. All produced polyvinyl chloride will be sold in the domestic market.