Arkema to invest in polyester powder resin manufacturing facility in India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema has announced plans to construct a new leading class polyester powder resin manufacturing facility, the first of its kind in India, on its existing resin platform in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, said the producer on its site.

The project, which represents an investment of approximately USD15 mln and is targeted for completion in 2018, includes a new manufacturing unit and a dedicated new laboratory to provide both application development and technical support. The new facility will support customers in the fast growing powder coating market.

"Offering increasingly environmental-friendly solutions with low-VOC content, resins for powder coatings is an important and growing part of our product portfolio," said Richard Jenkins, global group president for the Coating resins business. "This new facility will complement our existing manufacturing sites in Europe and North America, and underpins our commitment to meet our customers’ needs wherever they operate around the world."

The new facility will produce polyester powder resins marketed under the REAFREE trade name. The principal use for polyester powder coatings includes a wide range of industrial coatings along with automotive and architectural applications. This investment supports Arkema’s ambition to expanding its geographical coverage of its environmentally friendly, low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) coating resins portfolio, including powder resins, waterborne resins, UV photocure and high solid solutions, as well as high performance coating additive.

Arkema’s manufacturing site in Navi Mumbai also produces alkyd, acrylic solutions and oil-free polyester resins, as well as reactive polyamide resins. The investment in upgrading the capabilities of its Indian production facility is part of the ongoing commitment of the Group to remain a leading and global supplier to the coating industry while at the same time providing customers with all of the benefits of cutting edge technology, locally manufactured with strong technical support.

As MRC informed earlier, in 2015, Arkema inaugurated the thiochemicals plant in Kerteh, Malaysia. This world-scale thiochemicals platform produces methyl mercaptan, a synthesis intermediate for animal feed, as well as dimethyl disulfide (DMDS). The facility strengthens ArkemaпїЅs position as the world leader in high added value sulfur derivatives, and is fully consistent with the GroupпїЅs growth strategy in Asia.

Arkema with annual revenue of EUR6.7 billion is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc. Arkema operates 11 organic peroxide plants on the three continents.
MRC

Ferro signs agreement to acquire of Belgium-based Cappelle pigments for EUR 50.5 mln

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ferro Corporation announced entering into an agreement to acquire Cappelle Pigments NV and the acquisition of certain assets of Delta Performance Products, for aggregate consideration of approximately USD60 million, said Businesswire.

Sales for the two businesses in 2016 are estimated to be approximately USD76 million in the aggregate and adjusted EBITDA in 2016 is expected to be approximately USD11 million. Based on estimated 2016 adjusted EBITDA, excluding expected synergies, the purchase price of the two businesses represents a combined transaction multiple of approximately 5.6X.

On October 14, 2016, Ferro signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the stock of Belgium-based Cappelle Pigments for EUR50.5 million (approximately USD56 million) on a cash-free and debt-free basis. The transaction is expected to close by year end, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review.

Cappelle is a 125-year-old, privately held company that produces specialty, high-performance inorganic and organic pigments used in coatings, inks and plastics and sells its products in more than 75 countries. Cappelle specializes in weather-, heat-, and light-resistant organic pigments. The company is also a market leader in certain inorganic pigments that complement Ferro’s market leadership positions in Complex Inorganic Colored Pigments (CICPs) and Ultramarine Blue pigments.

On August 1, 2016, Ferro purchased certain assets of Delta Performance Products. This business produces customized colorant blends that utilize Ferro’s CICPs for the concrete and outdoor hardscape markets.

Peter Thomas, Chairman, President and CEO of Ferro Corporation, said, "These acquisitions are great additions to our growing Pigments business. Both fit extremely well into the strategy for our color solutions businesses, and we are excited about the opportunities these assets present to enhance shareholder value. Over the next 12 to 24 months, between the two businesses, we expect to realize commercial and operating synergies of USD3 million to USD4 million.

As MRC informed earlier, Ferro Corporation announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with the shareholders of Egypt-based tile coatings manufacturer Al Salomi for Frit and Glazes to acquire 100% of the equity of Al Salomi on a cash-free and debt-free basis, for approximately USD39 million in cash, subject to working capital and other customary adjustments.

Ferro Corporation is a leading global functional coatings and color solutions company that supplies technology-based performance materials, including glass-based coatings, pigments and colors, and polishing materials. Ferro products are sold into the building and construction, automotive, appliances, electronics, household furnishings, and industrial products markets. Headquartered in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, the Company has approximately 4,900 employees globally and reported 2015 sales of USD1.1 billion.

MRC

Global ethylene market to register CAGR of over 11% till 2025

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Growing demand for ethylene and its derivatives from packaging and construction sector will drive the global ethylene market through 2025, as per Plastemart with reference to TechSci Research.

The global ethylene market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 11.6%, during 2016-2025, in value terms, on account of growing packaging industry, increasing application of ethylene across automotive and building & construction sector.

In 2011, global automobile production stood at 79.88 mln units and reached 90.78 mln units by 2015. With growth in automobile production, increase in demand for ethylene derivatives was witnessed from the automotive industry and a similar trend is expected to continue during 2016-2025. Moreover, development of coal to olefins technology as an alternative way for ethylene production, lifting up of the sanctions in Iran are expected to augment the ethylene production capacity, globally through 2025.

Few of the major producers of ethylene across the world includes Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), The Dow Chemical Company and ExxonMobil Corporation.

Polyethylene (PE) was the largest end use segment in the global ethylene market in 2015 on account of increasing demand for safe and high quality packaging material from various sectors such as food & beverage, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Moreover, increasing application of ethylene derivatives such as ethylene oxide, for manufacturing high quality plastic and disposable plastic products, in automobile sector and PET market is expected to fuel the demand for ethylene, globally.

Rising demand for ethylene derivatives such as PE and ethylene dichloride can be attributed to their increasing application across plastic manufacturing industry. In 2014, the global plastic materials (thermoplastics and polyurethanes) production stood at 260 million metric tons. Asia-Pacific accounted for a share of around 46% in the overall plastics material production, while China alone controlled 26% of the global plastic materials production. Large manufacturing base of plastic materials in Asia-Pacific generates strong demand for ethylene from the region, owing to which the region controls the largest share in the global ethylene market.

"Asia-Pacific region controls the largest share in the global ethylene market on account of increasing demand for ethylene derivatives from packaging industry along with automobile and construction sector. Over the next five years, the region is expected to continue to controlling the largest share in the global ethylene market on account continuous shift of manufacturing base of automobiles from Western European countries towards Asia-Pacific countries, thereby generating increased demand for ethylene in the region. Additionally, shale gas revolution in the United States has enabled ethylene manufacturers in North America to produce ethylene using lower priced feedstocks. Consequently, steady growth in ethylene supply at cheaper rates is expected to drive the global ethylene market at a promising rate.", said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, a research based global management consulting firm.

As MRC reported earlier, global ethylene market (Industry) was valued at USD156 bln in 2013 and is projected to reach USD234.2 bln by 2020, expanding at a CAGR of 6% from 2014 to 2020, as per Transparency Market Report. The global ethylene market is fueled by growing demand in packaging applications, booming construction industry, and rising demand from the automotive sector.
MRC

ChemChina and Sinochem in talks on possible merger

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chinese state-owned chemical companies Sinochem Group and ChemChina are in discussions about a possible merger to create a chemicals, fertilizer and oil giant with almost USD100 B in annual revenue, three sources familiar with the matter said, reported Reuters.

The deal has been proposed by China's central government as part of its efforts to slash the number of state-owned companies and create larger, more competitive global industry players, said the sources.

The sources asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Top management of the two firms held a meeting earlier this week to discuss a potential merger, said one source directly briefed on the matter.

"The government has given the mandate to let Sinochem lead in this potential merger with ChemChina," said the source.

A second source familiar with the matter said both firms have started due diligence work looking into each other's financial details and business segments.

While still at an early stage, the talks come as China National Chemicals Corp, as ChemChina is officially known, finalizes a USD43 B takeover of Swiss pesticides and seed group Syngenta. That deal would be China's largest-ever foreign investment.

If approved, the ChemChina-Sinochem merger would be among the largest between two Chinese state-owned enterprises, following similar marriages that created shipping giant China Cosco Shipping Corp, train maker CNR-CSR and more recently, the tie-up between Baosteel Group and Wuhan Steel.

Combining the two companies, which make everything from refined oil products to latex gloves and insecticides, would propel it into the top echelons of the competitive global chemicals, fertilizer and oil industries.

It would be a major global chemical giant and challenge domestic rivals Sinopec, PetroChina and CNOOC, said Michal Meidan, London-based China analyst with Energy Aspects.

As MRC informed before, in late June 2016, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and China National Chemical Corporation Chairman Ren Jianxin signed Heads of Agreement for cooperation in respect of Far Eastern Petrochemical Company (FEPCO) project.

ChemChina produces special chemical materials, basic chemicals, oil refining, agricultural chemistry, rubber products, and chemical equipment.

Sinochem Group engages in energy, agriculture, chemicals, real estate, and finance service businesses in China and internationally. It is involved in the exploration and production, refining and trading, warehousing and logistics, and distribution and retailing of oil and gas. The company also produces and distributes fertilizers, such as nitrogen, phosphate, potash, and other fertilizers.
MRC

Force majeure on polyurethane raw materials MDI and TDI remains in effect

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Due to an unforeseen production outage at a supplier of nitric acid, Covestro’s European production facilities for the isocyanates MDI and TDI can currently only be operated at reduced capacity. Covestro therefore declared force majeure on October 6, 2016, said Covestro on its site.

Covestro is unable to fully compensate for the missing quantities of raw materials through purchases from other manufacturers. Its raw material supplier currently plans to restart its facility in the week of December 11, 2016. On the basis of this information, Covestro is striving to gradually restore its production output to a normal level.

"We deeply regret this restriction and hope to be able to resume full deliveries of MDI, TDI and by-products to our customers soon," said CEO Patrick Thomas. "Despite the extent of this issue, we in total do not expect a negative impact on our declared business targets for 2016."

During the force majeure period, Covestro is keeping its customers and suppliers informed about the situation and is helping them to find alternate solutions.

As MRC informed earlier, Covestro is moving forward with a repurposing of its production operations in Brunsbuttel, Germany. An existing, idled plant for the precursor TDI will be converted for production of MDI. The plans call for roughly doubling production capacity at the site to a total of approximately 400,000 metric tons of MDI per year. Commissioning of the new plant complex is scheduled for late 2018. Preliminary plans call for a total investment volume (in euros) in the low hundreds of millions, which is already included in Covestro’s medium-term capital expenditure budget.

With 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites around the globe and as of the end of 2015 employed approximately 15,800 people (full-time equivalents).
MRC