Reliance Industries plans to restart Hazira cracker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), India's petrochemical major, is likely to brought on-stream its cracker in Hazira, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source informed that the company is expected to complete the maintenance at the cracker in end-April 2017. The cracker was taken off-line on March 24, 2017.

Located at Hazira near Surat in Gujarat, the cracker has a production capacity of 1.1 mmt/year.

As MRC informed previously, RIL has delayed the start-up of its new monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant until Q2 2017. The company scheduled to commence operations at the plant in Q2 2017. As per the earlier plans, the plant was to be started in December 2016. Located at Jamnagar, Gujarat in India, the plant has a production capacity of 750,000 mt/year.

Reliance Industries is one of the world's largest producers of polymers. The company is engaged in a wide range of activities, ranging from oil and gas production to production of polyester and polymer goods, including the production of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and textiles.

Bechtel awarded two contracts for petchem project in Egypt

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bechtel, a company in engineering, procurement, and construction, announced that the company has been awarded two contracts by Carbon Holdings of Egypt: one to provide project management services for the Tahrir Petrochemicals Complex at Ain Sokhna, Egypt, and one to build two new polypropylene units at an adjacent site, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

In its project management role, Bechtel will have oversight of project execution and contractor performance on what will be the largest petrochemicals complex in Egypt.

"For decades we have partnered with customers, contractors, and suppliers in Egypt and the region to safely deliver quality industrial facilities. These awards allow us to continue the legacy with the delivery of world-class facilities for Carbon Holdings," said Joe Thompson, general manager of Bechtel's Downstream and Chemicals business. "At the same time, the project will use goods and services from the United States, supporting jobs and creating opportunities for small businesses in the country."

Bechtel will also design, build and procure all the equipment and materials for the polypropylene production expansion at the complex's existing Oriental Petrochemicals site.

Bechtel has delivered complex petrochemical projects for more than 60 years, including signature projects such as the Borouge Petrochemical Complex in Abu Dhabi, CSPC Nanhai in China, and LP-7 in Canada. The company is currently building an ethylene plant in Texas for ExxonMobil.

ExxonMobil and Sabic select location for proposed petchem project on US Gulf Coast

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Chemical Company and Sabic each announced the selection of a site in San Patricio County, Texas for potential development of a jointly owned petrochemical complex on the US Gulf Coast, reported Reuters.

The proposed multibillion dollar investment would include a world-scale ethane steam cracker capable of producing 1.8 MMt of ethylene per year, which would feed a monoethylene glycol unit and two polyethylene units.

The proposed project, one of 11 ExxonMobil announced as part of its 10-year, USD20 billion Growing the Gulf initiative, is expected to create thousands of jobs during the construction phase, as well as 600 new, full-time jobs and 3,500 indirect jobs during operations. It is also expected to generate more than USD22 billion in economic output during the construction phase and more than USD50 billion in economic output during the first six years of operations.

"This decision represents a significant milestone for both the local community and the state of Texas," said Neil Chapman, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. "We wish to thank local and state officials who have been instrumental in the site selection process, as well as everyone in the community who attended meetings to learn more about the project and provided us with constructive feedback. We will continue listening to local residents and businesses and look forward to continuing to work together."

With site selection completed, ExxonMobil and Sabic will now apply for the necessary air and wastewater permits from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Each company will make a final decision on the investment after the required permits have been granted.

"We are focused on geographic diversification to supply new markets," said Sabic vice chairman and CEO Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan. "The proposed venture would capture competitive feedstock, capitalize on the growing global demand for ethylene-based products, and reinforce Sabic’s strong position in the value chain."

As MRC wrote before, ExxonMobil and SABIC have worked together for 35 years in major chemical joint ventures in Saudi Arabia.

Sabic ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies, and is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene, advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers. Sabic manufactures on a global scale in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. The company operates in more than 50 countries across the world with 40,000 employees worldwide.

ExxonMobil Chemical Company is one of the largest petrochemical companies worldwide. The company holds leadership positions in some of the largest-volume and highest-growth commodity petrochemical products in the world. ExxonMobil Chemical Company has manufacturing capacity in every major region of the world, serving large and growing markets. More than 90% of the company's chemical capacity is integrated with large refineries or natural gas processing plants.

Siemens opens doors to new facility serving Gulf Coast O&G industry

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Siemens opened the doors of a new service center in Geismar, La, devoted to serving the region’s oil and gas industry, and related markets. Judy Marks, CEO for Siemens USA and Executive Vice President for New Equipment Solutions at the Dresser-Rand business, and Tim Holt, CEO for Siemens Power Generation Services Division, were among several senior executives who joined employees for a special ribbon cutting ceremony at the facility, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

With 28,000 square feet of shop floor space, onsite engineers and manufacturing technicians at the service center bring global technology to the Gulf Coast’s oil and gas market. The service center features the latest technology to repair and rebuild critical equipment such as centrifugal and reciprocating compressors, steam turbines, expanders, pumps, and rotary compressors.

"Siemens is a global company that is also a local partner. That’s particularly true here in the Gulf Coast," said Judy Marks, CEO Siemens USA and Executive Vice President for New Unit Solutions at the Dresser-Rand business. "As Louisiana continues to help lead America’s oil and gas revolution, this new facility will bring the services we provide our customers to an even higher level."

For oil and gas customers, Siemens supplies a broad spectrum of products, services and solutions that support upstream, midstream and downstream applications. With its acquisition of Dresser-Rand and the addition of Rolls-Royce Energy’s aero-derivative gas turbine business, Siemens has an installed base of more than 130,000 compressors, gas turbines and steam turbines.

Siemens has over 200 employees in Louisiana, serving the energy, healthcare and building technologies sectors.

Akzo Nobel to separate chemicals arm in new strategy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Akzo Nobel NV has outlined a new strategy which will see its Specialty Chemicals unit separated into a new business unit and divested within 12 months, said Plasticsnews.

In a 19 April statement, the Amsterdam-based chemicals company said the new strategy aimed to "accelerate growth and value creation" and will involve the creation of two "focused, high-performing businesses - Paints & Coatings and Specialty Chemicals."

The restructuring which comes in the face of Akzo Nobel’s takeover bid by U.S. rival PPG Industries pledges to give EUR1 billion special dividend to shareholders in November, "reflecting confidence in the planned separation," the company added. Under the new structure, the company will either list the Specialty Chemicals unit as a separate entity or sell it and focus on Paints & Coatings business with "fit-for-purpose” structure and processes".

The unit, which had a EUR4.8 billion in 2016 sales, makes ingredients for products including plastics, detergents and pharmaceuticals. This new strategy, said Akzo Nobel, will make EUR150 million annual savings from continuous improvement programs in Paints and Coatings, while the separation of the Specialty Chemicals will add an extra EUR50 million cost savings.

Additionally, the company will be investing EUR1 billion in R&D by 2020 to maintain focus on new product development. The Dutch paint maker also pledged to use 100 percent renewable energy and be carbon neutral by 2050.

With the new layout, Akzo Nobel expects to improve earnings (EBIT) in 2017 by around EUR100 million more than 2016. "The industry-leading performance and outlook of our Specialty Chemicals business gives us the confidence to return proceeds to shareholders in advance of the separation. In addition, we see extensive growth momentum in our Paints and Coatings business, which we expect to keep growing faster than market rates, allowing us to improve our long-term financial guidance," said Ton Buchner, CEO of Akzo Nobel.

The strategy, he added, "will create substantial value for shareholders with significant less risks and uncertainties compared to alternatives."

Also commenting on the new plan, Antony Burgmans, chairman of the AkzoNobel supervisory board, voiced his confidence in the strategy, saying it would deliver "superior shareholder value compared to the alternatives."

"It will be delivered by a competent, experienced management team with a proven track record at a faster pace, with considerably less risk and at significantly lower social cost," he concluded.