NIOC and Lukoil discuss cooperation prospects in Iran

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Head of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Russian oil company Lukoil met on Monday to discuss development of Ab Teymour and Mansouri oil fields, reported Shana.

Ali Kardor, managing director of NIOC, and Vahid Ali Akbarov, head of Russia's largest oil company Lukoil, discussed cooperation over development of the two Iranian oil fields at Kardor's office in Tehran.

Earlier this year, the Russian company signed a confidential deal with NIOC for developing the two fields.

"Lukoil shall submit the result of its appraisal studies over the fields as soon as possible," said Kardor in the meeting.
Akabrov reiterated in the meeting his company's seriousness to invest in Iran's petroleum industry.

"Despite the vast potentialities of the two companies, they have not had very serious ties so far and we hope studies over these two fields will result in stronger bilateral relations between us," the Russian oil official said in the meeting.

Lukoil is anticipating the finalized version of the new oil contract models that Iran is to offer its foreign partners, he added.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, Russia's second-biggest oil producer, Lukoil, played down the possibility of selling its oil refineries in Europe as margins improved. Lukoil said in June it might consider spinning off or selling its downstream assets in Europe to focus on exploration in Russia and abroad.

Lukoil, a Russian-based company, is one of the global leaders in the production and refining of crude oil and gas resources. The world's largest privately owned oil and gas company, measured by proven oil reserves, LUKoil has operations in over 40 countries.

BASF intends to acquire Henkel professional European Building Material Business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Integration of Thomsit and the Ceresit flooring, tiling and waterproofing business in Western Europe into PCI Group, said the company on its site.

Unna site will be leased for a period of two to three years; thereafter operations will be continued at other PCI sites
Ludwigshafen / Dusseldorf, Germany, September 14, 2016 – BASF and Henkel have signed an agreement under which BASF intends to acquire Henkel’s professional Western European flooring, tiling and waterproofing business in order to strengthen its portfolio in Construction Chemicals. The transaction includes Henkel’s flooring business sold under the Thomsit brand and the Thomsit trademark globally. Also part of the transaction is Henkel’s flooring, tiling and waterproofing business in Western Europe, currently sold by specialized retailers or under the Ceresit brand. BASF and Henkel have agreed that BASF will use the Ceresit trademark for the Western European business in the categories of tiling and waterproofing. Main markets are Germany and Benelux. Total revenue for the business being acquired is in a higher double-digit million euro range. BASF intends to integrate the acquired business into PCI Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF and part of its Construction Chemicals division. PCI Group has a leading position in the German market for tile fixing systems.

The intended transaction includes a temporary lease of Henkel’s production site in Unna, Germany, where the respective products are being produced. BASF will operate the Unna site for a period of two to three years and will then continue the business at existing PCI production sites, mainly in Hamm, Germany, which is located nearby Unna. The transaction is subject to the approval of relevant antitrust authorities and is expected to close by year-end 2016. Both parties have agreed not to publish financial details of the transaction.

"The acquisition of Thomsit and the Ceresit flooring, tiling and waterproofing business in Western Europe demonstrates our strong commitment to expanding our Construction Chemicals product portfolio. Together, the strong brands PCI and Thomsit will make BASF one of the leading companies in the market for flooring products in Germany. The Ceresit flooring, tiling and waterproofing business in Western Europe will allow us to enter market segments which we do not serve comprehensively today," said Ralf Spettmann, President of BASF’s Construction Chemicals division.

"Henkel’s building material business will remain an integral part of our portfolio and we will continue to develop it in all other regions. The Ceresit brand will continue to be the strategic platform for Henkel’s global building material business," said Corporate Senior Vice President Hermann Deitzer, who is heading Henkel’s Consumer, Craftsmen and Building Business. "However, in Western Europe we do not see a long-term perspective for this business in its current setup as well as for our related activities in Unna. Thus we are pleased to have reached this agreement with BASF," Deitzer added.

As MRC informed earlier, Albemarle and BASF announced that they have signed a definitive agreement under which BASF will acquire Albemarle’s Chemetall surface treatment business for about USD3.2 billion in cash.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF generated sales of more than EUR70 billion in 2015.

Formosa brought on-stream PP plants in Thailand after maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (FCFC, part of Formosa Petrochemical) has restarted its polypropylene (PP) units following a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has resume operations at the units last weekend. The units were taken off-line in mid-August 2016 for planned maintenance.

Located in Ningbo, China, the plant comprising two units have a production capacity of 280,000 mt/year and 170,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A., also part of Formosa Petrochemical, will build a new, state-of- the-art PP production line at its Point Comfort, Texas site. This will be the first new PP production to be built in the US in many years. It continues the company’s longstanding commitments to its customers, its employees and the communities in which it operates.

Formosa Petrochemical is involved primarily in the business of refining crude oil, selling refined petroleum products and producing and selling olefins (including ethylene, propylene, butadiene and BTX) from its naphtha cracking operations. Formosa Petrochemical is also the largest olefins producer in Taiwan and its olefins products are mostly sold to companies within the Formosa Group. Among the company's chemical products are paraxylene (PX), phenyl ethylene, acetone and pure terephthalic acid (PTA). The company's plastic products include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resins, polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and panlite (PC).

Teijin acquires continental Structural Plastics for USD825 mln

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Teijin Limited has agreed to acquire Continental Structural Plastics Holdings Corporation (CSP), based in Auburn Hills, Mich., for USD825 million. Under the terms of the agreement, CSP will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Teijin, said the company.

The company said that it made the acquisition with the hope of establishing a foundation for an automotive composite products business in North America. "Through this transaction, Teijin aims to become an automotive solution provider by expanding its offerings beyond carbon fiber and glass fiber materials, in collaboration with other materials manufacturers," the company said in a September 13 press release. "Teijin intends to expand its product portfolio from materials to component design, implement a global supply chain and help achieve vehicle weight reductions in order to comply with tighter environmental regulations being introduced after 2020."

CSP is widely considered a leading manufacturer of thermoset composites in the automotive industry. It is the world’s largest sheet molding compound (SMC) manufacturer for automakers. The company holds more than 50 patents covering materials development and manufacturing processes in composite materials formulation and design. CSP has won a number of awards over the past few years for its TCA Ultra Lite advanced composite material, which is currently in production for 2016 Chevrolet C7 Corvette.

"Teijin will benefit from CSP’s established sales channels in the North American automotive market, which will enable the combined business to provide a broader range of solutions that meet automakers’ demands for weight reduction and durability, utilizing the company’s thermoplastic composite technologies," Teijin said. "The integration of CSP’s technical expertise in thermoset composites and Teijin’s leadership in complementary thermoplastics creates significant synergies for comprehensive multi-material applications to meet diversified demands from the automotive industry."

Teijin says the combination of CSP’s thermoset GFRP capabilities and Teijin’s high-performance composites, such as carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP), will help reduce weight and component count in finished products. The company believes that will offer automakers solutions that meet their requirements for more environmentally friendly components at lower cost.

Teijin says it will also utilize CSP’s European Center for Advanced Technology in France and Teijin’s own composite production facilities to enhance its global development capabilities, allowing the combined business to better address the requirements of European, Japanese and Asian automakers.

"We are confident that the platform for automotive composite products business we will gain through the acquisition of CSP’s complementary technical expertise in thermoset composites and GFRP know-how will trigger further development of our integrated high-performance materials business, one of our key strategic fields," said Jun Suzuki, President and CEO of Teijin Limited.

Teijin is a technology-driven global group offering advanced solutions in the areas of sustainable transportation, information and electronics, safety and protection, environment and energy, and healthcare. Its main fields of operation are high-performance fibers such as aramid, carbon fibers & composites, healthcare, films, resin & plastic processing, polyester fibers, products converting and IT. The group has some 150 companies and around 17,000 employees spread out over 20 countries worldwide.

Borealis plans world-scale PDH plant in Belgium, selects UOP process

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis (Vienna), a leading producer of polyolefins, said today that it plans to study the feasibility of a new, world-scale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant at its existing production site at Kallo, Belgium, said the producer on its site.

The study will be carried out over the next nine months with the final investment decision expected in the third quarter of 2018. Potential start-up is scheduled for the second half of 2021.

The new PDH plant would have a targeted production capacity of 740,000 metric tons/year of propylene, making it one of the largest such facilities in the world. Borealis chose Kallo due to its logistical position and its experience in propylene production and handling. Borealis has selected the Honeywell UOP Oleflex technology for the new plant. Borealis already owns a 480,000-metric tons/year PDH plant at Kallo, which will continue to operate.

Borealis, a joint venture (JV) in which the International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC; Abu Dhabi) holds 64% and the energy group OMV (Vienna) 36%, says it will provide further details, including costs and what it intends to do with the propylene, once the study has been completed. Borealis is a partner in Borouge (Abu Dhabi), a major polyolefins production JV with Adnoc. Borouge is planning to debottleneck its olefins and polyolefins production facilities in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, adding 1 million m.t./year (MMt/y) of each. The project includes construction of a 650,000-m.t./year polypropylene plant at Ruwais. At present, Borealis and Borouge have combined capacity to produce 8 MMt/y of polyolefins in Abu Dhabi and in Europe.

"A new PDH plant of this scale would be a significant investment for Borealis in Europe. It would strengthen our long term commitment to be the innovative polypropylene and propylene supplier that is meeting the needs of our customers today and in the future," says Markku Korvenranta, Borealis executive vice president/base chemicals. "During the coming quarters we will be engaging with the value chain partners and authorities to work out the commercial and operational details of the project."

"In Europe propylene demand is increasing while the supply growth from steam crackers and refineries is slowing down. With the market tightening, an on-purpose propylene investment is needed to ensure a reliable platform for continuous, long-term growth in propylene and its derivatives in Europe," says Thomas Van De Velde, vice president/hydrocarbons & energy.

As MRC informed earlier, in April 2016, Borealis AG and PAO Gazprom, the world's gas major, signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The document reflects the parties' interest in evaluating opportunities to develop joint gas chemical projects in Russia.

Borealis is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. With headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Borealis currently employs around 6,500 and operates in over 120 countries. It generated EUR 8.3 billion in sales revenue in 2014.