Petrobras says judge orders suspension of Suape and Citepe sale

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Tuesday a judge had ordered the suspension of the sale of petrochemical companies Suape and Citepe, reported Reuters.

Petrobras, as the company is commonly known, said in a securities filing it was taking all judicial measures to protect the interests of its shareholders.

The company announced the sale of the two units in late 2016 to Mexico's Alpek for USD385 million.

As MRC wrote before, Petrobras hired Brazilian bank Banco Bradesco SA as a financial adviser and started to pitch the sale of Braskem 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.

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.

HPCL and GAIL sign pact with Govt of Andhra Pradesh for 1.5 mln ton ethylene derivative plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has signed a pact with the Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) for setting up Rs 40,000 crore petrochemical plant in the state, as per Plastemart.

The decision came in the two-day Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Investment Summit in Visakhapatnam. Both oil companies will be working together with Govt of AP for proposed greenfield standalone petrochemical complex in Andhra Pradesh.

The 50:50 joint venture will set up a 1.5 mln ton ethylene derivative plant. The newly established plant will produce a wide range of petrochemical raw materials for the manufacture of detergents, paints, coatings, cosmetics, textiles and adhesives. The plant is likely to be set up at the petroleum, chemical and petrochemicals investment region (PCPIR) sites identified by the state government at Kakinada.

As MRC informed before, India's state-owned gas utility company GAIL India plans to import ethane from countries including the US, for its upcoming USD5 billion joint-venture Andhra Pradesh petrochemical plant. GAIL is seeking 1.3 million mt/year of ethane for 15 years for its JV ethane cracker with HPCL, located on the east coast of India beginning 2022.

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) is an Indian state-owned oil and natural gas company with its headquarters at Mumbai, Maharashtra and with Navratna status. HPCL has about 25% marketing share in India among PSUs and a strong marketing infrastructure. The Government of India owns 51.11% shares in HPCL and others are distributed amongst financial institutes, public and other investors.

Sumitomo Chemical reorganises US subsidiaries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sumitomo Chemical has decided to reorganize some of its Group companies in the U.S. to improve the efficiency of their business operations, said Polymerupdate.

As of March 31, 2017, Sumitomo Chemical will transfer its entire shares, as a contribution in kind, in two of its wholly owned subsidiaries, Valent U.S.A. Corp.(VUSA) and Sumika Electronic Materials, Inc. (SEMI)*, to its US regional headquarters, Sumitomo Chemical America, Inc. (SCAI), making them wholly owned subsidiaries of SCAI. Furthermore, as of April 1, 2017, four of the Group companies, i.e. VUSA, SEMI, Sumika Polymers North America (another wholly owned subsidiary of SCAI), and Valent BioSciences Corp. (a wholly owned subsidiary of VUSA) will be re-organized as limited liability companies (LLCs).

With sales outside Japan accounting for over 60% of its total consolidated sales, Sumitomo Chemical is advancing initiatives under a basic policy of its current Three Year Business Plan to "promote globally integrated management."

The initiatives are being implemented in each of the Company's major business geographical regions, including the earlier announced merger of its three Singapore based subsidiaries, effective April 1, 2017. The re-organization in the U.S. is part of such initiatives and is intended to promote the effective use of the Group's management resources in the U.S. through an enhanced approach to shared services that can be used by its Group companies in the U.S. for their back office operations as well as to ensure strict legal and ethical compliance and further strengthen internal controls as Sumitomo Chemical Group companies continue to expand business activities in the US.


OMV plans to increase its investments in Abu Dhabi

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Austrian energy giant OMV Group plans to step up investments in the UAE by building on its strong, existing partnerships with Abu Dhabi’s state-owned energy companies, said Gulfnews.

"We are ready to increase our investments and further intensify our partnership with Ipic and Adnoc. OMV has a clear vision about its business in Abu Dhabi. We would like to build step-wise, an integrated business as an investor and as a strong partner of Adnoc," said Rainer Seele speaking to Gulf News over phone from Austria.

OMV has significant investments in Abu Dhabi and has three ongoing projects with Adnoc including the sour gas project in Shuweihat with Wintershall, an appraisal project for undeveloped offshore oil & gasfields in the north west of Abu Dhabi with Occidental Petroleum and an exploration project for oil and gas in the Eastern region.

The company is also involved in the Borouge project for the production of petrochemicals through Borealis (OMV has 36 per cent stake in Borealis).

"We are interested to increase our cooperation with Adnoc to further expand the Borouge petrochemical site, which is the world’s largest integrated petrochemical complex. Together, Adnoc and Borealis have invested around USD10 billion and created 3,000 new jobs in Abu Dhabi," he said about Borouge.

Seele is optimistic about OMV’s future relationship with Abu Dhabi, post the Ipic (International Petroleum Investment Company)-Mubadala merger, which was formalised this month. Ipic holds a 25 per cent stake in OMV.

"We are not in a position to comment on the merger. We have to wait until the merger is completed. Given the fact that we do have such good friendship between Abu Dhabi and Austria, we think this is a successful partnership between the two countries and will continue in the coming years."

In an agreement signed last year, Ipic and the Austrian holding OBIB have decided to extend their cooperation.
Suhail Al Mazroui, UAE Energy Minister and Managing Director of Ipic said in a statement last year the continuation of the cooperation with OMV reflects strong energy ties between the two countries and strong investment of strategy of Ipic around the world.

Apart from Abu Dhabi, the oil and gas firm has a number of projects in the Middle East including in trouble spots like Libya and Iran.


PP imports in Kazakhstan rose by 17% in 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polypropylene (PP) into Kazakhstan exceeded 24,500 tonnes in 2016, up 17% compared to the same period of 2015. At the same time, exports from Kazakhstan decreased over the reported period, according to MRC analysts.

December PP imports into Kazakhstan decreased to 1,800 tonnes against 2,800 tonnes a month earlier, local converters reduced their purchases of all PP grades. Total PP imports into the country exceeded 24,500 tonnes in January - December 2016, compared with 21,000 tonnes in the same time a year earlier. Kazakh export sales of polypropylene, on the contrary, decreased by 30%.

Structure of PP imports over the reported period was as follows.

Imports of homopolymer PP grew to 17,500 tonnes in 2016, compared to 9,600 a year earlier. Imports of propylene copolymers into the country grew to 7,000 tonnes, compared with 6,000 tonnes in 2015. Local pipes producers accounted for the main increase in demand for propylene copolymers.

Stronger demand for PP from the local market helped Neftekhim Ltd, the only PP producer in the country, to reduce exports in 2016. Export volumes were also affected by long time shutdown of PP production, both planned and unplanned.

PP exports from the country reached about 16,000 tonnes over the stated period, whereas this figure was 22,200 tonnes a year earlier.