Solvay and CNRS strengthen their historical scientific partnership with renewed framework agreement

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay and the CNRS (France’s National Centre for Scientific Research) have renewed their framework agreement for five years, emphasizing the strong ties between science, research and innovation and their strategic partnership of the past 40 years, said Solvay in its press release.

Patrick Maestro, Scientific Director of Solvay, and Nicolas Castoldi, Chief Technology Transfer Officer and General Counsel of CNRS, signed the agreement which structures the scientific partnership between the two organizations. It includes conducting innovative research ranging from basic science to market applications to develop, for example, eco-efficient products and processes, formulations for home & personal care, polymer materials for lightweighting in transport or methods and tools that speed up research.

"Our partnership with CNRS reaffirms Solvay’s deep historical link to science and research. It brings together researchers with diverse profiles and drives creativity, resulting in innovative applications as well as in valuable and sustainable solutions for our customers," said Patrick Maestro, Scientific Director of Solvay.

"CNRS and Solvay open a new chapter in their 40 years of exemplary partnership. The new agreement illustrates how public research together with multinationals like Solvay, dedicated to innovation, can build a relationship of trust which takes research to the highest international levels and creates products and efficient processes addressing challenging market demands. Economic competitiveness is enhanced by excellence in science and CNRS and Solvay’s shared successes are testimony of this," said Nicolas Castoldi, Chief Technology Transfer Officer and General Counsel of CNRS.

Since 2006, the collaboration between CNRS researchers, academics and Solvay teams has resulted in more than 110 patents, 450 contracts and nearly 280 shared scientific publications. It has moreover led to the creation of four shared research centres across three continents: the Laboratory of the Future (Bordeaux, France) and the Polymers and Advanced Materials Laboratory (Lyon, France), the Eco-efficient Products and Processes Laboratory (Shanghai, China) and the Complex Assemblies of Soft Matter Laboratory (Bristol, Pennsylvania, United States).

As MRC informed previously, in early July 2016, Solvay completed the divestment of its shareholding in Inovyn (London), bringing to an end Solvay's chlorvinyls joint venture with Ineos. Solvay received exit cash proceeds amounting to EUR335 million (USD370.7 million). The dissolution of the jv follows regulatory clearances from the relevant authorities. Inovyn was formed on 1 July 2015 as a jv between Ineos and SolVin, a subsidiary of Solvay. Solvay and Ineos signaled their decision to end their chlorvinyls jv in March this year.

Solvay, with a market share 27%, is the second largest PVC manufacturer in Europe, after Kerling with 29% of the market. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with about 30,900 employees spread across 53 countries. It generated pro forma net sales of EUR12.4 bn in 2015, with 90% made from activities where it ranks among the world’s top 3 players.
MRC

Solvay continues its transformation with the sale of its cellulose acetate tow business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay has reached an agreement to sell its cellulose acetate tow business, Acetow, to private equity funds managed by Blackstone, as per the company's press release.

"The divestment of Acetow is another significant step in Solvay’s transformation towards a multi-specialty chemical group with a higher growth profile," said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay.

The transaction is based on an enterprise value of about EUR1 billion, representing around 7xEBITDA multiple. The net proceeds will contribute to the continued deleveraging of Solvay. Solvay expects to generate a capital gain of around EUR150 million after tax.

Completion of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2017 and is subject to the customary social procedures and approval by the relevant antitrust authorities.

As MRC informed before, in early July 2016, Solvay completed the divestment of its shareholding in Inovyn (London), bringing to an end Solvay's chlorvinyls joint venture with Ineos. Solvay received exit cash proceeds amounting to EUR335 million (USD370.7 million). The dissolution of the jv follows regulatory clearances from the relevant authorities.

Solvay, with a market share 27%, is the second largest PVC manufacturer in Europe, after Kerling with 29% of the market. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with about 30,900 employees spread across 53 countries. It generated pro forma net sales of EUR12.4 bn in 2015, with 90% made from activities where it ranks among the world’s top 3 players.
MRC

Interoil provides update on Exxonmobil transaction


MOSCOW (MRC) -- InterOil and ExxonMobil have entered into an Amended and Restated Arrangement Agreement, which among other items, extends the outside date of the transaction to March 31, 2017, said Iinteroil.

Following the previously announced decision by the Court of Appeal of Yukon to allow an appeal lodged by Phil Mulacek, InterOil’s Independent Transaction Committee, consisting of four independent and experienced directors of InterOil, are undertaking a detailed and thorough review process relating to the proposed transaction, with
the support of independent legal counsel and BMO Capital Markets, an independent financial advisor.

To accommodate the new review process, ExxonMobil and InterOil have agreed to extend the outside date of the current Arrangement Agreement to the close of business on Wednesday, December 21, 2016.

Dr. William Ellis Armstrong, Chairman of the Committee said, "We are pleased to have reached an agreement with ExxonMobil to extend the outside date and expect to be in a position to update shareholders on the progress of our deliberations shortly."

InterOil is an independent oil and gas business focused on Papua New Guinea. Its assets include one of Asia's largest undeveloped gas fields. The company’s main offices are in Singapore and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. InterOil is listed on the New York and Port Moresby stock exchanges.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.
MRC

Wacker appoints Tobias Brandis as head of polysilicons

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dr. Tobias Brandis (45) is taking over as president of the WACKER POLYSILICON division effective January 1, 2017, said the producer on its site.

He succeeds Ewald Schindlbeck who, effective the same date, is retiring after 33 years at the company. Brandis was previously Chief Financial Officer of the Group’s US subsidiary Wacker Chemical Corporation.

WACKER POLYSILICON is a global leader in the production of hyperpure polysilicon. Its polysilicon - which is used in semiconductors and the growing photovoltaics sector - meets the extremely high quality standards required by customers in these application areas.

As MRC wrote previously, in 2013, Wacker Chemie AG officially launched its new production plant for ethylene-vinyl-acetate copolymer (EVA) dispersions at its Ulsan site in South Korea. The additional 40,000 tonnes from the second reactor line increases the site's EVA-dispersion capacity to a total of 90,000 tonnes per year. The production capacity of the site has, thus, almost doubled, making the plant complex one of the biggest of its kind in South Korea.

Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The product range includes silicone rubbers, polymer products like ethylene vinyl acetate redispersible polymer powder, chemical materials, polysilicon and wafers for semiconductor industry.
MRC

Phillips 66 Freeport LPG export terminal achieves full operation

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Phillips 66's Freeport LPG export terminal in Freeport, Texas is now fully operational, the company announced on Friday. Phillips 66 loaded its first contracted cargo on the gas carrier Commander, which departed the terminal on December 16, reported BusinessWire.

"The startup of the Freeport LPG Export Terminal is the culmination of a 4-yr effort to develop a new US Gulf Coast natural gas liquids market hub that also includes Phillips 66 Partners’ 100-Mbpd Sweeny fractionator and 7.5-MMbbl Clemens storage facility," said Greg Garland, Phillips 66 chairman and CEO.

"The new liquefied petroleum gas export terminal gives customers the ability to place multi-grade LPG products directly into global markets through Port Freeport, which provides immediate blue water access with minimal congestion."

The Freeport LPG export terminal can load two ships at the same time with refrigerated propane and butane, at a collective rate of 36 Mbph. The petrochemical supplies come from Phillips 66 Partners’ Sweeny fractionator and Clemens storage facility. The storage terminal is connected by pipeline to the Mont Belvieu hub.

The export facility will help satisfy growing international demand for affordable US NGL. Phillips 66 expects US production to continue growing, and it is evaluating additional NGL fractionation and infrastructure alternatives along the USGC.

As MRC informed before, Phillips 66 and Chevron Phillips Chemical are teaming up with the Sweeny Independent School District in Texas to help fund the creation of a petrochemical academy.

Phillips 66 is an American multinational energy company headquartered in Westchase, Houston, Texas. It debuted as an independent energy company when ConocoPhillips spun off its downstream assets and midstream assets. Phillips 66 began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on May 1, 2012, under the ticker PSX. The company is engaged in producing natural gas liquids (NGL) and petrochemicals.
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