LyondellBasell Corpus Christi Complex Expansion Complete

МОSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies, today announced completion of the 800 million pounds-per-year ethylene expansion project at the company's Corpus Christi, Texas, site, said the company on its website.

The project increases ethylene capacity at the facility by 50 percent, from 1.7 billion pounds-per-year to 2.5 billion pounds-per-year, and completes the company's multi-year plan to increase annual ethylene capacity in the U.S. by two billion pounds.

"As we look to meet growing, global demand for our products, we continue to seek the right opportunities that ensure we are well positioned for the longer term," said Bob Patel, LyondellBasell CEO and chairman of the management board. "By expanding ethylene capacity in the U.S. through debottlenecks rather than long and costly greenfield developments, we quickly added substantial capacity for significantly less than the cost of a new plant," he added.

Completion of the Corpus Christi expansion is another milestone in the company's organic profit-generating growth strategy. To date, the company has completed the following expansion projects at its manufacturing sites globally:

2012 - 120 million pounds-per-year combined ethylene/polyethylene increase – Clinton, Iowa and Morris, Ill.

2013 - 155 million pounds-per-year butadiene increase – Wesseling, Germany; 250 million gallons-per-year methanol increase – Channelview, Texas.

2014 - 800 million pounds-per-year ethylene increase – La Porte, Texas; 220 million pounds-per-year polyethylene increase – Matagorda, Texas

2015 - 250 million pounds-per-year ethylene increase – Channelview, Texas.

2016 - 800 million pounds-per-year ethylene increase – Corpus Christi, Texas.

LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies and a member of the S&P 500. LyondellBasell products and technologies are used to make items that improve the quality of life for people around the world including packaging, electronics, automotive parts, home furnishings, construction materials and biofuels.

Aramco CEO says oil tax will be cut to lure investors to IPO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia has promised it will reduce the overall tax rate paid by its national oil company to make its 2018 initial public offering -- potentially one of the largest in history -- more appealing to investors, said Bloomberg.

"Definitely the fiscal regime will be changed," Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Tuesday in Davos, Switzerland. "When you look at the fiscal regime and the taxes, it has to be aligned with other listed companies."

Aramco, as the company is commonly known, currently pays a 20 percent royalty on its revenue plus an 85 percent tax on income, Nasser said. He declined to say what tax rate the kingdom is considering.

Saudi officials said Aramco’s tax rate wouldn’t need to be slashed because the company -- considered the crown jewel of the country’s economy -- is able to make a profit even when oil prices plunge. In 2016, under the existing tax regime and with crude dipping to 12-year lows, Aramco was able to pay a dividend and fund its biggest-ever capital investment program, Nasser said.

"Based on the advice of the different banks that we use during the process of the IPO, we are setting a certain fiscal regime that will meet investors’ requirements," Nasser said.

To read a wrap of oil views from the World Economic Forum in Davos, click here. Saudi Arabia is looking at markets including Hong Kong, London, New York and possibly even Canada as international venues for the sale. The kingdom will offer 5 percent of the world’s biggest oil producer as part of a plan by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to set up a giant biggest sovereign wealth fund and help reduce the economy’s reliance on hydrocarbons.

Nasser said the kingdom was considering whether to do a double listing, with shares sold in the domestic market in Riyadh and a foreign exchange, or a triple-listing, with two foreign locations on top of the local bourse.

As MRC informed earlier, Pertamina and Saudi Aramco finalized an agreement on a USD5 billion expansion of Indonesia's largest oil refinery in Central Java.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco's value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world's most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.

SABIC Q4 net profit jumps as industry recovers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the world's largest petrochemicals groups, gave further evidence of a recovery in the sector on Thursday with its first profit rise in ten quarters, said Reuters.

Among nearly a dozen Saudi petrochemical companies that have reported fourth-quarter results, most have posted higher earnings. The industry has been squeezed by the plunge of oil prices since 2014 and also by Saudi government austerity measures, which raised the cost of gas feedstock.

SABIC's net profit jumped 47.7 percent from a year earlier to 4.55 billion riyals (USD1.21 billion) in the three months to Dec. 31.

SABIC said its performance was the result of aggressive cost-cutting in response to low oil prices.

As MRC wrote before, SABIC and an affiliate of Exxon Mobil Corporation are considering the potential development of a jointly owned petrochemical complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast. If developed, the project would be located in Texas or Louisiana near natural gas feedstock and include a world-scale steam cracker and derivative units. Before making final investment decisions, the companies will conduct necessary studies and work with state and local officials to help identify a potential site with adequate infrastructure access.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the worldпїЅs top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Trinseo EVP and COO Martin Pugh to retire

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, has announced that Martin Pugh, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Trinseo, will retire effective March 1, 2017, as per the company's press release.

The COO position was established as an interim role in 2015 while Trinseo integrated a number of strategic initiatives into the business. The company will not be replacing Pugh in the COO role, as these initiatives have been completed. Tim Stedman, Senior Vice President and Business President for Basic Plastics and Feedstocks, and Hayati Yarkadas, Senior Vice President and Business President for Performance Materials, will now report directly to Chris Pappas, President and CEO of Trinseo.

"Martin is a trusted business executive, a respected industry leader, and a friend," said Pappas. "In his four years with Trinseo, he has truly made his mark by propelling the company’s evolution and growth to become the successful enterprise it is today. His wisdom, strategic insights and leadership excellence will be missed by Trinseo colleagues and customers alike, and we wish him all the best in his retirement."

With a career in the chemical industry spanning nearly 40 years, Pugh has made exceptional contributions through business leadership, marketing management and sales roles around the world. Pugh joined Trinseo (known as Styron at that time) in March 2013 as Senior Vice President and Business President for Plastics, and later served as SVP and Business President for Performance Materials. He moved to the EVP/Chief Operating Officer role in November 2015, where his focus was on driving strategic initiatives and cross-business optimization; leading and mentoring business leaders on key strategic opportunities; and driving corporate development priorities. Prior to joining Trinseo, Pugh held leadership roles in Styrolution Group GmbH, Ineos Nova, Nova Chemicals, and The Dow Chemical Company where he worked in the UK, Dubai, Sweden and Switzerland.

As MRC informed earlier, Trinseo and its affiliate companies in Europe have announced price increases for all polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), acrylonitrile styrene copolymer (SAN) grades and polycarbonate (PC) grades in January. Effective 4 January 2017, or as existing contract terms allow, the January contract and spot prices for the product listed below rose, as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS), STYRON and STYRON A-TECH high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR110 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR105 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR90 per metric ton;
- CALIBRE PC resins - by EUR220 per metric ton.

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.

Linde Engineering North America appoints new president, CEO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Linde Engineering North America (LENA) has appointed Jason Cooper as President and CEO, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Cooper has 22 years of experience at the domestic and international level in both owner/operator and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) corporate environments. He has been with the Linde Group since 2008.

"We are pleased to name Jason Cooper as LENA’s President and CEO," said Dr. Christian Bruch, Linde Group Executive Board. "Jason has demonstrated clear results for Linde in numerous areas of the company and in several areas of our international footprint. We look forward to the executive leadership he will bring to LENA as the company explores growth opportunities. I would also like to thank Steve Bertone for his long-time dedication to Linde and his valuable contributions throughout his more than 33 years with the company."

Cooper began his tenure with Linde eight years ago as a Business Unit Manager responsible for Hydrogen and Synthesis Gas. He later assumed roles including V.P. of Project Management and Construction and most recently served as Managing Director of the company’s southeast Asia region.

"I see great opportunities for LENA’s future," said Cooper. "We have a very talented team that have achieved some wonderful things over the years. Certainly there are opportunities and some challenges in the road ahead, but I know our employees at every level are committed to generating value for our customers. We will continue to push for strong collaboration with customers and partners, driving for innovative solutions and delivering successful projects."

As MRC reported before, in 2013, SIBUR, a Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company, and Linde Group, a German Technology company, signed agreements to build and operate new air separation units in Dzerzhinsk, the Nizhny Novgorod Region.

In January 2016, Linde AG agreed with Gazprom to build a gas processing plant in eastern Russia. The plant will be part of Gazprom’s pipeline taking gas from eastern Siberia to China. Linde didn’t disclose the value of the contract.

The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 62,000 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide.