AkzoNobel share repurchase

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel has repurchased 340,000 of its own ordinary shares in the period from February 13, 2017 up to and including February 17, 2017, at an average price of EUR63.21 per share, said the producer on its site.

The consideration of the repurchase was EUR21.36 million.

This is part of a repurchase program announced on December 12, 2016. The total number of shares repurchased under this program to date is 1.30 million ordinary shares for a total consideration of EUR80.86 million.

The purpose of the program is to neutralize the dilutive effect of stock dividends paid in 2016.

AkzoNobel invests EUR12.6 million in new innovation hub in the UK

MOSCOW (MRC) -- More than 100 of the coatings industry’s leading scientists are being brought together by AkzoNobel in a new EUR12.6 million research and innovation hub which could revolutionize the company’s portfolio, said the producer on its site.

Located in Felling in the UK, the facility will be home to teams of scientists and technical experts who will work on developing protective coatings for the energy, mining, infrastructure and oil and gas industries. The main focus will be on delivering cutting edge innovations and efficiencies for protecting steel and concrete structures from damage caused by corrosion, abrasion and fire.

The new innovation hub will also offer a world class testing and simulation facility, enabling tests to be carried out in conditions experienced in the world’s most extreme environments.

The facility is expected to be operational at the end of 2018. "Our work at the state-of-the-art lab will have an important impact on our most critical industries,” said Conrad Keijzer, AkzoNobel’s Executive Committee member responsible for Performance Coatings. “More than 100 top scientists and technical experts will be working on future solutions that will offer essential protection to a wide variety of products for our customers."

Added Greg Clark, UK Secretary of State for Business: "Having grown up in the north east of England, I am very aware of the strengths of the chemical sector in the region. AkzoNobel’s significant investment in establishing a new technical innovation hub is further proof that Britain is open for business and underlines the growth we want to see and support in our local economies. As we develop our industrial strategy, we are determined to build on the diverse strengths of all of Britain’s cities and regions."


Ras Laffan Refinery 2 to focus on jet fuel

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Jet fuel will be the most widely used product from Qatar's Ras Laffan Refinery 2 and a pipeline connecting it to Doha's Hamad International Airport is expected to be completed by next year, said Reuters, citing Qatar Petroleum chief executive Saad al-Kaabi.

Kaabi was speaking to reporters. The condensate refinery, in which Qatar Petroleum, France's Total and Japan's Marubeni Corp, Idemitsu Kosan, Cosmo Energy and Mitsui & Co hold stakes, began production towards the end of last year.

The refinery has a total processing capacity of 146,000 bpd and makes products such as jet-A1, naphtha and ultra low-sulfur diesel, according to Marubeni.

As MRC informed before, Qatargas plnned to start operations at its new Ras Laffan 2 condensate splitter by the end of October 2016, doubling the Gulf state's capacity to process condensate.

Lotte Chemical Titan plans to start construction of naphtha cracker in Indonesia next year

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lotte Chemical Titan, a local petrochemical unit of South Korean conglomerate Lotte Group, plans to start construction of a USD4 bln naphtha cracker plant in Indonesia next year, as per Plastemart with reference to jakartaglobe.com.

The project, which has been delayed for three years due to land acquisition problems, will help Indonesia reduce expensive chemical imports, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said.

The company plans to complete the front-end engineering design this year and start construction next year. The plant will have a capacity to produce 1 million tons of ethylene and 600,000 tons of propylene annually.

The facility will be located close to another that is owned by Chandra Asri Petrochemical - controlled by Indonesian tycoon Prajogo Pangestu's Barito Pacific and SCG Chemicals - which is currently being expanded to double its annual production capacity to 2 million tons of ethylene.

As MRC wrote previously, sround 40% of the total investment needed for the new plant would be taken from the company’s internal cash, while the rest would be from bank loans.

The Lotte Group currently has a presence in Indonesia via its subsidiary, Honam Petrochemicals, which acquired Malaysia’s polyolefin major Titan Chemicals in July 2010. Included in the acquisition was Titan’s Indonesian subsidiary - PT Titan Petrokimia Nusantara (TPN), which has a polyethylene (PE) production capacity of 450,000 tonnes/year.

Indorama Ventures receives global distinction for its excellence in sustainability performance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) received the Distinction for its excellent sustainability performance and has been recognized as one of the top-scoring companies in the Chemical Industry globally, said the company on its site.

The Company has also been included in the 2017 edition of RobecoSAM’s Sustainability Yearbook, the world’s most comprehensive publication on corporate sustainability. This global recognition reaffirms IVL’s long-term commitment to sustainability and demonstrates excellent performance in the area of economic, environmental, social and corporate governance.

Each year, more than 3,000 of the world’s largest companies are invited to participate in RobecoSAM’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). Inclusion in the Yearbook is limited to companies within the top 15% of their industry and must achieve a score which is within 30% of the best-performing companies in its industry.

As MRC informed earlier, Indorama Netherlands B.V., a 100%-owned subsidiary of Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), has signed a share purchase agreement to acquire 100% equity stake of Polyplex Turkey from Polyplex Europa Polyester Film San. ve Tic. A.S, Turkey, a 100% owned subsidiary of Polyplex (Thailand) Pcl., and Polyplex (Asia) Pte Limited, Singapore.

Indorama Ventures is a leading producer in the polyester value chain in Thailand with strong global network and manufacturing across Asia, Europe and North America. Its products serve major players in diversified end use markets, including food, beverages, personal and home care, health care, automotives, textile, and industrial. The company’s main products are PTA, PET and polyester fibre, which are distributed across the world.