PolyOne announces increase in quarterly dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Board of Directors of PolyOne Corporation has declared a quarterly cash dividend of thirteen and a half cents (USD0.135) per share on the common stock outstanding, representing a 12.5% increase to the quarterly cash dividend, said the producer in its press release.

The USD0.135 per share will be paid on January 6, 2017 to stockholders of record on December 16, 2016.

"I am pleased to announce an increase in our quarterly dividend, which represents the sixth consecutive year of annual dividend growth," said.

Robert M. Patterson, chairman, president and chief executive officer, PolyOne Corporation. "We remain committed to reinvestment in our business and returning cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. This dividend increase also highlights our confidence in executing our long-term growth strategy and our ability to achieve our 2020 Platinum Vision targets."

As MRC wrote before, earlier this year, the Board of Directors of PolyOne Corporation declared a quarterly cash dividend of twelve cents (USD0.12) per share on the common stock outstanding. The quartely cask dividend was to be paid on October 6, 2016, to stockholders of record on September 16, 2016.

PolyOne Corporation is a premier provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions with operations in specialty polymer formulations, color and additive systems, polymer distribution and specialty vinyl resins. In February 2014, PolyOne Corporation announced the addition of new capabilities to its OnColor HC Plus portfolio. These expanded offerings add medical-grade LDPE, nylon, PEBA, PS and PVC to the globally available palette of specialty healthcare colorants, and are pre-certified to meet or exceed biocompatibility requirements for ISO 10993 and/or USP Class VI protocols.

Petro Rabigh delays phase II completion; project cost increased to SAR 34 billion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petro Rabigh, a joint venture of Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, has again postponed completion of its Phase II expansion project in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, increasing the project's cost to SAR 34 billion, Petro Rabigh said in a statement to Tadawul (Saudi Stock Exchange), reported GV.

The project involves expansion of ethane production capacity to 1.6 million t/y from 1.3 million t/y, as well as units to produce ethylene propylene rubber, thermoplastic polyolefins, methyl methacrylate, polymethyl methacrylate, low-density polyethylene/ethylene vinyl acetate, paraxylene/benzene, cumene and phenol/acetate.

Phase II was expected to be completed in September 2016, but is being postponed by at least six months to the second quarter of 2017, due to "construction market challenges," Petro Rabigh noted.

The ethane cracker expansion portion of Rabigh Phase II began full operations on 19 Apr. 2016. Cumene and phenol units have also begun operations, according to the statement.

As MRC informed before, in early April 2016, Petro Rabigh received ownership of the Rabigh Phase II project from Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, major shareholders in Petro Rabigh, and will now integrate the project into Petro Rabigh's existing refining and petrochemical complex in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia.

PetroRabigh, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemical, has an annual output capacity of 18 million tonnes of refined products and 2.4 million tonnes of petrochemicals. Thus, the complex currently has a cracker to produce 1.3-million t/y of ethylene and 900,000 t/y of propylene, as well as downstream production of polyethylene, polypropylene, propylene oxide, ethylene glycol and butene-1.

Lanxess improved antihydrolysis additives

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Lanxess Rhein Chemie Additives (ADD) business unit is expanding its product range of hydrolysis stabilisers for plastics and polyurethanes with the addition of Stabaxol P 110, the first product in a new line of low-emission polymeric carbodiimides based on alternative raw materials, according to GV.

The stabiliser is said to show very good performance when used in TPE-Es, PET, and PBT. The product is supplied in pellet form or as an easy-flowing powder. It can be easily processed as it does not have to be pre-heated in the production process, has a high softening point of 80 C and is thus easy to meter uniformly. Typical applications include monofilaments for paper machine screens, cable sheathing, engineering injection mouldings, and electronic housings.

The company said that with Stabaxol P 110, as with the other new carbodiimides, it is addressing the trend towards customised antihydrolysis agents that are tailor-made for use in individual applications and are thus an enormous improvement with respect to stabilisation performance, toxicology, emissions, and handling.

ADD will further inform about halogen-free flame retardants based on phosphorus, among them Disflamoll 51092, a halogen-free phosphate ester. The product that combines plasticising and flame retardant properties has a low odour and can be used in many plastics (plasticised PVC, flexible PU foams, TPU, PC-ABS and NBR-PVC blends). In ester-based TPUs such as cables, Disflamoll 51092 can also be combined with Stabaxol in order to significantly extend the service life of a material.

As MRC wrote before, in August 2016, Lanxess’ Rhein Chemie Additives (ADD) business unit expanded it extensive portfolio of flame retardants by introducing a new one - Levagard TP LXS 51114. The new flame retardant Levagard TP LXS 51114 is characterised by low emissions (fogging) and low scorch. It is suitable among other things for use in polyether- and polyester-based flexible polyurethane foams.

Lanxess is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.0 billion in 2014 and about 16,600 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of Lanxess is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.

Trinseo introduces three new industry-changing product releases

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, the global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, have presented its three new industry-changing product releases, setting new performance standards in Home Appliances, Automotive and Medical applications, as per the company's statement.

Thus, as a recognized, award-winning technology leader, Trinseo provides value to customers through a wide-ranging portfolio of competitive, high-quality and consistent products - each designed to customers’ application needs.

Trinseo’s Basic Plastics introduces STYRON X-TECH 2175 Polystyrene resin for home appliances: developed from proprietary technology and built on the foundation of industry-changing STYRON A-TECH 1175 Polystyrene resin, this next generation of polystyrene offers a unique performance combination for superior benefits, including improved rigidity and strength along with advanced down-gauging and up to 10% material savings for OEMs.

Trinseo Automotive expands its portfolio with its 85% Long Glass Fiber (LGF) Polypropylene (PP) concentrate product family for automotive semi-structural applications. ENLITE PP LGF 1851 and 1852 Structural Polymers are the latest innovation in Trinseo’s ENLITE Structural Polymers portfolio, built on the company’s in-depth market knowledge and polymer expertise. ENLITE Structural Polymers products are developed for instrument panels, door modules, front-end modules, tailgates, and other interior and semi-structural applications that require a balance of dimensional stability, heat resistance and weight optimization. A step-change improvement over the previous industry benchmark of 60% LGF concentrate, the new ENLITE Structural Polymer products have the highest glass fiber concentration (85%) of any PP LGF concentrate available commercially for automotive semi-structural applications, enabling lighter weight interior parts at lower total cost compared to steel and aluminum.

Trinseo Consumer Electronic Markets (CEM) expands its presence in the medical market with the introduction of a biocompatible polystyrene: STYRON 2678 MED Polystyrene resin. This enhanced resin meets a growing need, especially in medical packaging, for a medical grade polymer that offers the versatility of polystyrene, protects its contents and provides an added degree of assurance through ISO 10993 compliance and an extended notification of change. Besides being used for clear packaging, the material is suitable for diagnostic components and petri dishes and provides an alternative to general purpose food grade polystyrene.

As MRC informed previously, Trinseo and its affiliate companies in Europe increased prices for all polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and acrylonitrile styrene copolymer (SAN) grades in November. Effective as of 1 November, or as existing contract terms allow, the November contract and spot prices for the product listed below rose for Europe as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) - by EUR50/tonne;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR50/tonne;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR45/tonne.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo's technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD4.0 billion in revenue in 2015, with 18 manufacturing sites around the world, and more than 2,200 employees.

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).