Williams Partners agrees to sell its interests in the Geismar Olefins facility to NOVA Chemicals for USD2.1 Billion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Williams Partners LP, Tulsa, has entered a deal to sell its indirect ownership interest in the recently rebuilt and expanded Geismar, La., olefins plant and complex to Nova Chemicals Corp., Calgary, (OGJ Online, Sept. 9, 2016), said the company on its site.

As part of the agreement, Nova Chemicals will pay Williams Partners USD2.1 billion in cash to purchase 100% interest in Williams Olefins LLC, which owns an 88.46% undivided stake in the Geismar olefins plant and associated complex, the companies said.

Alongside ownership interest in the 1.95 million-tonne/year Geismar ethylene plant, Nova Chemicals also will acquire 525 acres of undeveloped land next to the complex as well as Williams’ interest in the ethylene trading hub at Mont Belvieu, Tex., Nova Chemicals said.

The companies said they expect to finalize the transaction this summer, pending customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. After closing the deal, Williams subsidiaries plan to enter long-term fee-for-service agreements with Nova Chemicals for supply and transportation of ethane feedstock from fractionation and storage sites in Mont Belvieu to the Geismar plant via Williams Partners’ 270-mile Bayou ethane pipeline.

Consistent with Williams’ strategy to allocate capital to its core, natural gas-focused business, sale of the Geismar olefins operations and proposed associated supply and transportation agreements also align with the company’s program of reducing its commodity margin exposure and securing a long-term, fee-based revenue stream for its US Gulf Coast transportation business, said Alan Armstrong, Williams Cos. Inc.’s president and chief executive officer.
Williams Partners plans to use the cash proceeds from the transaction to pay off its $850-million term loan and to fund a portion of the partnership’s capital and investment expenditures that form part of its extensive growth portfolio, the company said.

For Nova Chemicals, the proposed acquisition creates an opportunity to benefit from access to large US shale reserves while expanding its presence at the US Gulf Coast, a key component of the company’s long-term growth strategy, according to Todd Karran, Nova Chemicals’ president and chief executive officer.

In addition to buying Williams’ Geismar olefins business, Nova Chemicals is working on two additional projects to help meet growing consumer demand for polyethylene (PE), including its recently signed deal with Total SA and Borealis AG of Vienna to build a 1 million-tpy ethane steam cracker and 625,000-tpy PE production plant at Houston-based Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA Inc.’s manufacturing sites along the Texas Gulf Coast, as well as the proposed construction of a PE plant in Sarnia, Ont., based on its proprietary Advanced SCLAIRTECH technology.

As MRC informed earlier, NOVA Chemicals Corporation, a leading supplier of polyethylene in the Americas, has announced the start up of its new world-scale linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) gas phase reactor at its Joffre, Alberta site.

Nova Chemical is one of the largest world's petrochemical companies, a manufacturer of polyethylene, styrene polymers, monomers, and many other related products.

PBF Logistics announces acquisition of Toledo terminal from Sunoco Logistics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PBF Logistics LP announced that its wholly owned subsidiary has acquired the Toledo, Ohio, refined products terminal assets of Sunoco Logistics LP for USD10 MM, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Toledo Terminal is directly connected to and currently supplied by PBF Energy Inc.'s Toledo refinery. "We are pleased with our acquisition of the Toledo Terminal which is PBFX's second third-party acquisition and third transaction completed this year,” said Tom Nimbley, PBF Logistics GP LLC Chief Executive Officer. The combined transactions represent a USD15 million increase to the Partnership's forecasted annualized EBITDA. We welcome the employees of the terminal to the PBFX family and look forward to maximizing the potential of our newest asset."

Located adjacent to PBF Energy's Toledo refinery, the Toledo Terminal is comprised of a 10-bay truck rack and over 110,000 bbl of chemicals, clean product and additive storage capacity.

As MRC informed earlier, Fluor was awarded a construction management contract by Sunoco Logistics for the Mariner East 2 project at its Marcus Hook Industrial Complex on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania.

China plans Shanghai crude oil futures launch in H2 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China is looking at launching its crude oil futures in Shanghai in the second half of this year, two sources familiar with the matter said, breathing new life into a derivative that was considered shelved only months ago, said Reuters.

The contract is aimed at giving China, world's second-largest oil consumer after the United States, clout in pricing crude in Asia, and a share of the trillions of dollars in oil futures trade that flow through global benchmarks Brent and West Texas Intermediate.

Shanghai's International Energy Exchange (INE) last year was close to launching the futures contract, which was approved in 2014 after years of planning, but its plans were shelved after volatility in domestic stock and commodities markets spooked regulators.

The sources were unclear when the contract would actually start to trade. "In the second half of this year, maybe in September or October," one of the sources said, adding it could take place before the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, where a change of guard under President Xi Jinping will take place.

The second source said the launch could happen earlier, possibly in July or August. It was not immediately clear what factors prompted the project's revival.

An INE spokeswoman did not give a definitive start date, saying, "We are actively preparing and are striving to launch the product as soon as possible."

Crude oil sold in Asia is mainly priced against the Dubai, Oman and dated Brent benchmarks assessed by S&P Global Platts or the Oman crude futures on Dubai Mercantile Exchange.

PVC imports to Ukraine dropped by 35% in Q1 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) into Ukraine decreased by 35% in the first three months of this year, compared to the same period in 2016 and reached about 20,900 tonnes, according to MRC DataScope.

March SPVC imports into Ukraine despite a small seasonal increase in demand for finished PVC products fell to 6,700 tonnes against 7,400 tonnes in February. The main reason was limited export quotas and a high level of PVC prices at European producers. Overall SPVC imports were about 20,900 tonnes in January-March 2017, compared to 31,900 tonnes a year earlier. Last year's high figure was a result of low prices in the US in November-December 2015, which led to the fact that some companies were actively building up additional inventories of cheap material at the start of the season. Prices of North American PVC were significantly higher than the European ones in the end of 2016.

Structure of PVC imports into Ukraine over the reported period was as follows.

Last month's SPVC imports from the USA were about 800 tonnes, compared to 1,500 tonnes in February. Imports of North American resin totalled 3,500 tonnes in the first three months of 2017 versus 22,200 tonnes a year earlier. Many Ukrainian companies did not form additional stocks of PVC because of the high export prices at the end of last year.

March imports of European PVC into Ukraine decreased to 3,700 tonnes, compared with 4,600 tonnes in February. Many companies last month, as well as in the current one, failed to fully meet their requirements for PVC because of supplies from Europe. Total imports of European PVC into Ukraine were about 12,300 tonnes in the first three months of the year, compared with 7,100 tonnes year on year.

Last month's imports of Russian SPVC grew to 2,300 tonnes from 1,300 tonnes in February. A significant reduction of Russian resin supplies is expected to be in April due to the introduction of a temporary ban on the import of products from two producers: RusVinyl and Kaustik Volgograd. Shipments of Russian resin slightly exceeded 5,000 tonnes in the first three months of 2017, compared to 2,400 tonnes a year earlier.


Socar Polymer to build new BOPP plant in Sumgait at cost of USD32 mln

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The construction of the biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film production plant is estimated at USD32 million in Sumgait within Azerbaijan’s SOCAR Polymer project, Farid Jafarov, director general of SOCAR Polymer company, said, reported Trend.

He said that the issue should be considered from the perspective for the future as the company has focused on the construction of the polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) production plants.

It will be possible to use polypropylene, which will be produced as part of the project, as raw material," he said."

The total cost of SOCAR Polymer project is USD750 million. The project is being implemented in the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park.

At the first stage, the plant’s production capacity will reach 120,000 tons of PE and 184,000 tons of PP. By 2021, the plant’s total capacity can reach 570,000 tons of products.

As MRC informed before, state owned energy company SOCAR’s Polymer investment project, which is first of its nature and scale implemented for the last 40 years in Azerbaijan’s downstream oil and gas industry, will make USD10-11 billion of revenues during the plant’s lifetime. Some 30% of this sum will be the net profit of the company. In the meantime, cooperate taxes and property taxes worth USD800 million and value added tax worth USD700 million will be paid to the government. PP and High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plants of SOCAR Polymer are being built within the Sumgayit chemical industrial park’s territory which was established by the decree of the President Ilham Aliyev and provides a number of significant privileges for its residents.

SOCAR is involved in exploring oil and gas fields, producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate, marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in domestic and international markets, as well as, supplying natural gas to industry and the public in Azerbaijan. Three production divisions, one oil refinery and one gas processing plant, a deep water platform fabrication yard, two trusts, one institution, and 23 subdivisions are operating as corporate entities under SOCAR.