Plastipak acquires Evolve Polymers Ltd. assets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Plastipak Packaging Inc., headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, with European headquarters in Wrexham, U.K., says it has completed the acquisition of the business assets of Hemswell Cliff, U.K.-based Evolve Polymers Ltd., one of Europe’s leading plastics recyclers, said Recyclingtoday.

Plastipak is a leading global manufacturer of rigid plastic packaging and virgin and recycled plastic resin.

Plastipak’s global recycling operations currently recycle billions of bottles per year. The Evolve site being acquired from Aurelius Equity Opportunities has the capacity to process an additional 6 billion to 9 billion PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles into food-grade-contact flake and pellets and polypropylene and polyethylene flake. The business will begin operating immediately under Plastipak’s ownership. Contracts with Evolve’s existing key business partners have been secured for continued effect, the company says.

Evolve was established from the assets of bottle sorting and recycling firm Eco Plastics, which went into prepack administration in December 2014, with debts totalling more than GBP14 million (nearly USD17.5 million). A new company named ECOPlastics Recycling was established at that point and bought out by Aurelius, based in Germany.

As MRC informed earlier, in 2014, APPE, part of bankrupt Spanish PET group La Seda de Barcelona, has been acquired by U.S.-based Plastipak Packaging Inc. for 360 million euros (USD447.7 million).

Plastipak Packaging is a subsidiary of Plastipak Holdings, which designs and makes rigid plastic containers for the food, beverage and consumer products industries.

PVC imports into Belarus dropped by 16.5% in Jan-Sept 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into Belarus decreased to 18,500 tonnes in the first nine months of this year, down 16.5% year on year, according to MRC DataScope.

According to the Statistics Committee of Belarus, local converters increased their purchases of PVC in September. September PVC imports into the country increased to 3,200 tonnes, compared with 2,600 tonnes in August. The low imports in August was a result of limited export quotas for Russian producers, who are the key suppliers of the resin in the Republic of Belarus.
Demand for PVC in Belarus decreased to 18,500 tonnes in January - September 2016, compared with 22,200 tonnes year on year. The main reason for such a significant decline in processing volumes was the fall in export sales of finished products, in particular, the profile-moulded products.

Market of profile-moulded products decreased to 9,800 tonnes in January-September 2016, down by 22.2% from the same time a year earlier.

Key suppliers of PVC into Belarus were producers from Russia. During the reporting period, their share in the domestic market amounted to about 60%.


Kolon Plastics to expand output of high performance plastic in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kolon Plastics Inc. will increase production of compounds whose application in vehicles has been recently rising in line with growing demand for lightweight, high-performance vehicles, as per GV.

Kolon Plastics said it had completed Gimcheon Plant II with 66,000 square meters of space for the production of compounds under a KRW 47.3 billion (USD 41.3 million) investment project in Gimcheon Industrial Complex in Gyeongbuk.

Kolon Plastics integrated compound production facilities divided into Gimcheon Plant I and Sangju Plant into Gimcheon Plant II, increasing output by about 40 percent from 35,000 tons to 50,000 tons.

The plastic compounds have been steadily replacing metal materials in producing vehicles as they help to reduce vehicle weight. With growing demand for eco-friendly vehicles and high-performance cars, more car makers have been seeking materials like composite materials and compounds that could help to lighten vehicle weight.

The latest plant applied new IT technology developed by Kolon to optimize the production process. Kolon Plastics chief executive Jang Hee-gu said: “The smart factory plant combines the company’s production know-how and cutting-edge facilities. We will lead a continuous growth by preemptively expanding our investment."

As MRC reported earlier, in March 2016, Kolon Plastics and BASF signed an agreement to establish a joint venture in Korea to manufacture polyoxymethylene (POM), an engineering plastic used in industrial, transportation, construction and consumer markets. The 50:50 joint venture named "Kolon BASF innoPOM, Inc." will have an annual capacity of 70,000 metric tons. It will be located at the existing manufacturing site of Kolon Plastics in Gimcheon, Korea, which already includes a POM production. The start of operation is scheduled for the second half of 2018 creating in total the world’s largest complex for the production of POM. Following the start-up of the new plant in Korea in the second half of 2018, BASF will discontinue production of POM in Ludwigshafen

Shell and Cosan reaffirm commitment to Brazil distribution with revised JV agreement

МОSCOW (MRC) -- Shell and Cosan have reached an agreement to strengthen the Raizen JV in Brazil, through a change in its contractual structure, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The partners have agreed to remove the mutual time-bound buyout options included in the original JV, signed in June 2011, and in doing so have transformed Raizen from a temporary to a permanent JV.

"Low-carbon, sustainable biofuels play an important role today and will be required long term for heavy duty and long distance transport," John Abbott, Shell’s Downstream Director, said. "We are pleased with Raizen’s strong performance."

Raizen is the world’s largest individual producer of sugar cane, producing more than 4 MMt of sugar, more than two billion liters of ethanol and 2.2 gigawatt hours of cogenerated energy in 2015. It also operates a network of more than 5,800 Shell-branded service stations in the country.

As MRC informed earlier, hell Nanhai B.V. (Shell) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s (CNOOC) 50:50 JV has officially assumed ownership of CNOOC’s ongoing project to build an ethylene cracker and several derivatives units, after receiving all the necessary government approvals.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

BP loses USD68 MM court ruling stemming from Morocco refinery closure

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP must pay more than USD68 million to the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), a UK court has ruled, in a case stemming from the surprise closure of Morocco's Samir refinery in 2015, said Reuters.

The British energy company sold a cargo of Russian Urals crude to Samir in August 2014 which was not paid for and NBAD took on 95 percent of that debt.

The London High Court ruled that BP did not have the right to pass on the debt. It said the contract between BP and Samir stipulated that there could be no assignment of obligations or rights without reasonable consent and that Samir's consent had not been obtained.

It said NBAD was entitled to claim from BP some USD68.9 million plus interest that Samir failed to pay the bank. BP declined to comment on the judgement.

Trading and oil companies such as Glencore, Vitol and BB Energy are collectively owed around USD1 billion by Samir.

Efforts to restart the refinery have so far failed. Liquidator Mohamed el-Krimi said on Monday that he would only consider bids to buy the Samir refinery that included a production restart.

The 200,000 bpd plant was shut in August 2015 due to financial difficulties after the government said Samir owed over USD1.3 billion in taxes.

Industry sources have criticized that move, noting it reduces the plant's value and necessitates a restart that could take several months.

After Samir failed to buy crude in the market earlier this year, a processing agreement, whereby traders provide crude in exchange for the refined output, was considered as a way to pay back money owed. Those negotiations have also failed to produce a deal.

As MRC informed earlier, BP reported a near halving in third-quarter earnings on Tuesday and cut its 2016 investment plans by another USD1 billion as weak oil prices cut into profits yet tighter spending helped the British oil major still beat analysts' estimates. BP, which plans to lay off around 7,000 workers by the end of next year, said it was expecting further charges related to redundancies and other restructuring measures next year, adding to the USD2.1 billion in charges incurred since the end of 2014.

BP is a leading producer of oil and gas and produces enough energy annually to light nearly the entire country for a year. Employing about 17,000 people across the country, BP supports more than 170,000 additional jobs through all of its business activities.