Chevron announces sale of geothermal operations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chevron Corporation announced that its wholly-owned subsidiaries have entered into a sales and purchase agreement with Star Energy Consortium to sell Chevron’s Indonesian and Philippines Geothermal assets, said the company on its website.

"These assets deliver reliable energy to support the needs of Asia-Pacific’s growing economies," said Jay Johnson, executive vice president, Upstream, Chevron Corporation. "This sale is aligned with our strategy to maximize the value of our global upstream businesses through effective portfolio management."

In Indonesia, Chevron subsidiaries operate the Darajat and Salak geothermal fields in West Java. In the Philippines, company subsidiaries have a 40 percent equity interest in the Philippine Geothermal Production Company, Inc., which operates the Tiwi and Mak-Ban geothermal power plants in Southern Luzon.

As MRC informed earlier, in July 2016, USD36.8bn expansion of the Tengiz oilfield in Kazakhstan, the largest investment by private sector oil companies this decade, has been given the go-ahead by Chevron of the US, bucking the trend of delays and cancellations resulting from the slump in crude prices since mid-2014.

Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies. Through its subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide, the company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemicals and additives; generates power; and develops and deploys technologies that enhance business value in every aspect of the company's operations. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif.


Petrobras to sell ethanol unit stake to Sao Martinho for USD133 million in shares

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazil's oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) has agreed to sell its 49% stake in the sugar and ethanol joint venture Nova Fronteira Bioenergia SA to partner Sao Martinho SA, both companies said in securities filings on Thursday, reported Reuters.

State-controlled Petrobras will receive 24 million new Sao Martinho shares as payment for the stake. Petrobras said in the filing that it will attribute a USD133 million value to the deal.

The 24 million shares Sao Martinho is going to issue are equivalent to 6.6% of its capital. The shares will not be subject to a lock-up period and Petrobras can sell them later in a structured process, the oil company said.

The sale is one of the five ongoing transactions that Brazil's federal auditing court did not prohibit Petrobras from doing in a recent decision that halted an asset-sale process. Petrobras has set a two-year goal of selling USD15.1 billion in assets by the end of this year despite the court's prohibition.

Petrobras has stakes in eight other sugar and ethanol plants in Brazil besides the one sold on 15 December. The oil company is also discussing the sale of a combined 45% stake in seven mills controlled by sugar producer Tereos SA.

As MRC informed before, Brazil's state-controlled oil producer Petrobras is seeking to sell its 5.8 billion Brazilian real (USD1.4 billion) stake in petrochemical producer Braskem SA. Petrobras has hired Brazilian bank Banco Bradesco SA as a financial adviser and has started to pitch the sale to foreign investors. Petrobras owns a 36% stake in Braskem, Latin America's largest petrochemical producer. The sale would help Petrobras meet its target of selling USD15.1 billion worth of assets in 2015-16, a key part of its plan to cut debt as oil prices plunge to 12-year lows.

Braskem S.A. produces ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, xylenes, butadiene, butene, isoprene, dicyclopentediene, MTBE, caprolactam, ammonium sulfate, cyclohexene, polyethylene theraphtalat, polyethylene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras is an integrated energy firm. Petrobras' activities include exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks as well as refining, processing, trade and transport of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons, in addition to other energy-related activities.

Sinopec starts construction of Zhanjiang refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) - China's Sinopec Group has begun construction of a long-planned refinery and petrochemical complex in the southern city of Zhanjiang, said Reuters.

The first phase of the mega projects includes a 10 million tonnes per year refinery and an 800,000 tonnes per year ethylene complex that produces plastics, synthetics, rubber and fibre, Sinopec said.

Sinopec and OPEC member Kuwait has agreed on a preliminary deal to build the energy complex in a USD9 billion joint venture.

As MRC informed earlier, Rosneft and Sinopec Groupsigned in June 2016 a Framework Agreement on joint pre-feasibility study of the project related to the construction and operation of a gas processing and petrochemical complex in East Siberia.

China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) is a super-large petroleum and petrochemical enterprise group established in July 1998 on the basis of the former China Petrochemical Corporation. Sinopec Group's key business activities include the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, petrochemicals and other chemical products, oil refining.

Algeria, French Total sign deal for petrochemical plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Algerian state energy company Sonatrach said it had signed a deal with French Total to set up a major petrochemical facility in Algeria, said Reuters.

Sonatrach has commissioned Total to do a feasibility study, it said in a statement. It gave no details on the scale of the investment or its production capacity, but said it will be of a "world-class standard".

OPEC member Algeria has been looking to increase foreign investment in its energy sector after several years of stagnant oil and gas production, especially as the government wants to offset the impact of a sharp fall in global oil prices.

Earlier this year, Total filed a request for arbitration against Algeria for changing profit-sharing terms on oil and gas contracts in the mid-2000s. Algeria has said it was preparing to counter the claim, but expected little impact on business.

As MRC informed earlier, Total intended to invest EUR160m before 2016 to adapt its petrochemical platform in Carling, in the Lorraine region of eastern France, and to restore its competitiveness.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Evonik hikes capacity for biodegradable polymers in the US and Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik is expanding its production facilities in Birmingham (Alabama, USA) and Darmstadt (Germany), said the company on its press-release.

This will create additional capacity for the production of biodegradable polymers marketed globally under the brand names RESOMER and RESOMER SELECT. These poly-lactic-glycolic-acid (PLGA) copolymers are primarily used to manufacture bioresorbable medical devices and controlled-release formulations for parenteral drug delivery.

"We expect the global demand for biodegradable polymers to continue to grow in the coming years," explains Paul Spencer, Head of Biomaterials at Evonik’s Health Care Business Line. "With this in mind, we are currently investing to increase the capacity of our production facilities in order to serve our global customer base."

The expansion will involve construction of a new building adjacent to Evonik’s existing facility in Birmingham. Besides greater production capacity, the project will also result in new production clean rooms and a laboratory for polymer contract research projects. Commissioning is slated for late 2018.

The expanded plant in Birmingham is the second investment to serve the growing market demand after the inauguration of the new manufacturing site in Darmstadt two years ago. The Darmstadt unit capacity will also be increased with the opening of a new production line. "By serving the market from two state-of-the-art locations, Evonik strengthens its role as a reliable partner for its customers and underpin its commitment to this market" adds Spencer.

Moreover, Evonik will open an applied technology laboratory in Darmstadt at the end of the year to support its customers in the medical device field. Its first facility of this kind was completed in 2015 in Shanghai (China). At these laboratories, customers receive prompt support for product development and training in the use of Evonik products.

As MRC informed earlier, Evonik Resource Efficiency will invest in a capacity expansion of its performance foams business at its production site in Darmstadt, Germany.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world.