ChemСhina extends tender offer for Syngenta to April 28

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) has extended until April 28 its USD43 billion tender offer for Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta, it said on Thursday, reported Reuters.

The offer had previously been set to expire on March 2.

"As previously stated, extensions to the tender offers are expected to occur until all conditions to the offers are satisfied, including obtaining all applicable regulatory approvals. All of the other terms and conditions of the tender offers remain unchanged," it said in a statement.

Syngenta said this month it expected the deal to close in the second quarter.

As MRC informed before, in August 2016, China Inc.’s global ambitions cleared a big hurdle after the U.S. national-security regulator approved China National Chemical Corp.’s planned takeover of Swiss seed giant Syngenta AG. The decision in favor of ChemChina came amid growing opposition to Chinese investment from Europe to Australia. When completed, it would be China’s largest overseas acquisition to date.

We also remind that in September 2016, ChemChina signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Rosneft to acquire a majority stake in Far-East Petrochemical Company (FEPCO) project in Nakhodka, Russia. The complex will produce ethylene, propylene, benzene, and butadiene following the completion of the first two phases, and 50,000t a year of linear alpha-olefins. ChemChina and Rosneft also signed a heads-of-agreement, pursuant to which Rosneft will buy a 30% stake in the Chinese firm.

ChemChina produces special chemical materials, basic chemicals, oil refining, agricultural chemistry, rubber products, and chemical equipment.

Saudi Aramco to invest USD7 B in Petrona RAPID oil refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak announced on Monday that Saudi Arabia's state oil company Saudi Aramco will invest USD7 billion into an oil refinery and petrochemical project in Malaysia's southern state of Johor, said Reuters.

Najib said the decision was made before noon on Monday after discussions between top executives from Saudi Aramco and Malaysia's state-owned energy company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), the sponsor of the USD27 billion Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project.

Najib's statement marks a dramatic reversal in RAPID's fortunes after industry sources familiar with the matter said in January that Aramco planned to drop its participation in a partnership with Petronas in the project. At the time, Petronas said it would move ahead in spite of Aramco dropping out. Najib did not give any details on the change of heart.

"This is a significant investment and more details will be announced tomorrow," Najib said at a brief news conference after hosting a state luncheon for Saudi Arabia's King Salman and his entourage. "I just want to confirm that the agreement has been reached and King Salman is satisfied that the deal will be signed tomorrow," Najib said.

Petronas and Saudi Aramco executives are scheduled to sign the agreement on Tuesday. An industry source familiar with the matter says Aramco will buy a stake in RAPID's refinery, cracker and petrochemical operations. Aramco will also supply at least 50 percent of the crude that will be processed at RAPID, with an option to increase the supply, the source said.

The Aramco funding will help move RAPID to fruition and the desire of Saudi and Malaysian leaders to maintain close links between the countries likely helped cement a deal, said Subramanya Bettadapura, an oil and gas analyst with consultants Frost & Sullivan based in Kuala Lumpur.

"This investment confirmation would help bring the RAPID project to the commissioning stage," said Subramanya. "It's the goodwill of the Saudi king himself to invest and to maintain good ties with Malaysia, boost bilateral ties."

The RAPID project, located at Pengerang in Johor, is expected to begin operations in the first quarter of 2019. RAPID will contain a 300,000-bpd oil refinery and a petrochemical complex with a production capacity of 7.7 million metric tonnes. The complex will sit alongside an existing oil storage site at Pengerang.

Last year, Petronas sought proposals for a USD7.2 billion loan for the project, with separate guarantees from the company and Aramco, Thomson Reuters IFR reported in June.

Besides the Petronas-Saudi Aramco deal to be signed on Tuesday, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia signed four other agreements dealing with bilateral trade, human resources, scientific and educational cooperation and a news-sharing agreement between the state news wires of both countries.

Malaysia is the first stop in a rare month-long tour of Asia by the Saudis seeking to build ties and draw more investments to the oil-rich gulf nation.

GPPC plans to restart SM plant in Taiwan after turnaround

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Grand Pacific Petrochemical Corp (GPPC) is likely to brought on-stream its No. 2 styrene monomer (SM) plant, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Taiwan informed that the company has scheduled to resume operations at the plant on April 9, 2017 following a maintenance turnaround. The planned maintenance started at the plant in mid-February 2017.

Located at Tashe in Taiwan, the No. 2 SM plant has a production capacity of 130,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, on October 20, 2015, GPPC was forced to shut its another SM in Taiwan on account of a technical glitch. Located in Tashe, Taiwan, the plant has a capacity of 240,000 mt/year.

Grand Pacific Petrochemical Corp (GPPC) was founded in 1973. Starting with styrene monomer, commonly known as SM, GPPC and its subsidiaries have gradually broadened the product line to include SM, ABS, SAN, PS, and H2. Currently, GPPC has two SM plants with a total annual capacity of 330,000 metric tons, an ABS/SAN plant producing 80,000 metric tons per annum and a hydrogen plant with a capacity of 600 cubic meters per hour. In addition, two GPPC's subsidiaries, GPPC chemical and BC chemical, are engaged in the polystyrene (PS) production with a combined annual capacity of 100,000 metric tons. Anticipating the regional fast growth, GPPC invested in Grand Pacific Chemical (Thailand) Co., Ltd. and founded Zhenjiang GPPC Chemical Co., Ltd.(China) for the ABS production in 1991 and 1996, respectively.

Qatar Petroleum announces integration of Qatar Vinyl, QAPCO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Qatar Petroleum announced a plan to integrate the activities of Qatar Vinyl Company (QVC), which is part of Mesaieed Petrochemical, into Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO), which is part of Industries Qatar, through a service agreement arrangement. The result will be a single company, QAPCO, operating the facilities of both companies, said Hydracarbonprocessing.

The integration will not result in any change to the shareholder ownership, but will allow the realization of synergies through creating a single entity that operates the assets on behalf of both companies’ shareholders.

"This integration aims to enhance the competitiveness, financial performance, and resilience of both companies," said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum. "The shareholders of Industries Qatar and Mesaieed Petrochemicals will directly benefit from this integration as it reduces the operating cost and enhance the profitability of both companies."

The integration process is expected to start in March and be completed before the end of the year. Upon completing the integration, QAPCO will be a single expanded and highly synergetic operating company fully managing QAPCO’s and QVC’s current activities.

As MRC informed earlier, Qatar Petroleum (QP), as part of a restructuring program, announced plans to withdraw from the joint venture Long Son petrochemical complex in Vietnam.

Russia says in talks over Iranian oil purchases

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia has been in talks of buying oil from Iran, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday, confirming earlier reports, said Reuters.

At the sidelines of an economic forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Novak told reporters he expected the deal to be reached "within weeks." The purchases will be carried out via Promsirieimport, a trading unit of Russia's Energy Ministry, he said.

Last week, Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported that Iran will begin selling 100,000 bpd to Russia within the next 15 days and receive payment half in cash and half in goods and services.

As MRC informed earlier, European sanctions on Iranian oil industry were lifted in February 2015.