Shell and four European energy companies sign financing agreements with Nord Stream

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell and four European companies – ENGIE, OMV, Uniper and Wintershall – signed financing agreements with Nord Stream 2 AG, the company responsible for the planning, construction and future operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, said the company on its site.

The 1,220-kilometer pipeline will be able to transport a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year. It will run from the coast of Russia via the Baltic Sea to Greifswald in Germany, acting as a direct link between Russian reserves and European consumers.

The five energy companies have each committed to provide financing and guarantees for up to 10% of the total cost of the project, which is currently estimated to be EUR9.5 billion.

Each company will provide a long-term funding facility of EUR285 million expected to be drawn down in 2017. In addition, funds of up to EUR665 million will be provided to cover a combination of short and long-term funding and guarantees.

The draw down of the 665 million fund will depend on future decisions by Nord Stream 2 AG in respect of the overall financing of the project. Gazprom remains the sole shareholder of Nord Stream 2 AG.


LANXESS successfully completes acquisition of Chemtura

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Specialty chemicals company LANXESS has successfully completed the acquisition of U.S. company Chemtura, one of the world’s leading suppliers of flame retardant and lubricant additives, earlier than originally expected effective April 21, 2017.

All required regulatory authorities have cleared the transaction. Already in February 2017, Chemtura’s shareholders voted to approve the acquisition. With a total enterprise value of EUR 2.4 billion, Chemtura is the largest acquisition in the history of LANXESS. The acquisition significantly expands the company’s additives portfolio and makes LANXESS one of the world’s leading players in this growth field, which is one of the most attractive in the specialty chemicals industry. In addition to additives, Chemtura’s urethanes and organometallics businesses will be integrated into the LANXESS portfolio. The Cologne-based specialty chemicals company will absorb some 2,500 Chemtura employees at 20 sites in 11 countries worldwide. The former Chemtura businesses generate annual sales of approximately EUR 1.5 billion.

"The acquisition of Chemtura is another major step in our realignment process and a significant milestone in our course of growth. The ‘new’ LANXESS is increasingly taking shape. The expansion of the additives business gives LANXESS an additional strong pillar. In its new set-up and with an even more balanced portfolio, the company will be much more stable and profitable. At the same time, Chemtura considerably strengthens our presence in the North American growth region," said Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG. "We will now focus our energy on rapidly and smoothly integrating the new businesses and employees, as well as on optimally serving our new and existing customers."

Through the acquisition LANXESS increased its footprint in North America. In this region, the company is now represented at 24 production sites (previously 12) and employs approximately 2,800 staff (previously 1,500). The region’s share in global sales increases from approximately 17 percent to approximately 21 percent.

The expected annual synergy effects from the transaction amount to approximately EUR 100 million with realization targeted until 2020. The acquisition of Chemtura is already expected to be accretive to LANXESS’s earnings per share in the first full fiscal year after closing. LANXESS financed the acquisition through two corporate bonds and a hybrid bond as well as cash. The bonds were successfully placed at attractive terms already in 2016.

Petronas and Yayasan Hartanah Bumiputera Sarawak ink agreement and MoU

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petronas and Yayasan Hartanah Bumiputera Sarawak (YHBS) have signed an agreement and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) as part of commitment to support the development and growth of the petrochemical industry in Sarawak, as per Plastemart.

The move was in line with the state government’s aspiration to advance the state as a petrochemical hub and to add value to the state’s natural gas resources. The first agreement relates to the key terms for the supply of 140 mmscfd of natural gas to YHBS’ proposed methanol plant in Tanjung Kidurong, Bintulu that will produce methanol and methanol derivatives. The key terms include the price, volume and period of gas supply by Petronas to YHBS. The agreement is a prelude to the gas sales agreement (GSA) to be signed by Petronas and YHBS at a later date.

At the same event, Petronas chemicals Marketing (Labuan) Ltd (PCML) and YHBS also signed an MoU on a sale and purchase agreement for methanol produced by YHBS’ proposed Tanjung Kidurong methanol plant. Signing on behalf of PCML was its chief executive officer Akbar Md Thayoob and witnessed by the company’s head of marketing and sales (methanol), Shahrom Muhammad Yusuf. YHBS was represented by Abdul Aziz and witnessed by Muhammad Abdullah.

As MRC reported before, in December 2015, Petronas awarded the Johor port operatorship for its Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project to Johor Port Bhd (JPB). As the port operator, JPB will manage the operations and logistics functions at the material offloading facility (MOLF) for Petronas’ Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Pengerang.

Petronas plans to build a C6-based metallocene linear LDPE plant and a low density polyethylene (LDPE)/ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) swing plant at its greenfield integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in southern Johor state by mid-2019. The proposed metallocene LLDPE will have a capacity of 350,000 tpa, while the LDPE/EVA will have a capacity of about 150,000 tpa. The two plants are part of Petronas' planned Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development project in Pengerang at Johor. RAPID includes a 300,000 bpd refinery and a petrochemical complex with a 3 million tpa steam cracker, and is expected to come onstream in mid-2019. The petrochemical complex will have the capacity to produce 7.7 million tpa of petrochemical products.

Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, is a Malaysian oil and gas company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. The Group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.

Supply of PP into Ukraine grew by 4% in Q1

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of polypropylene (PP) into Ukraine rose by 4% n the fist three months of 2017 year on year, totalling about 28,400 tonnes. Imports of all grades of PP increased, with the exception of PP random copolymers, according to MRC DataScope.

March PP imports to Ukraine, despite export restrictions from some European and Middle Eastern producers, increased to 10,300 tonnes against 9,800 tonnes a month earlier. Overall imports of propylene polymers increased to 28,400 tonnes in January-March 2017, compared to 27,300 tonnes a year earlier. PP block copolymer accounted for the greatest increase in imports, whereas demand for statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymer) decreased.

Structure of PP supplies over the reported period looked as follows.

March imports of homopolymer PP into the country remained practically at the February level at about 7,800 tonnes. A limited supply of PP in Europe and the Middle East, Ukrainian companies offset by the growth in the supplies from Russia. Overall shipments of homopolymer PP reached 22,200 tonnes in the first three months of 2017 versus 21,200 tonnes a year earlier.

March imports of PP block copolymers into the country increased to 1,100 tonnes, compared with 800 tonnes in February. Local companies increased imports of pipe and injection moulding grade PP block copolymers. Imports of PP block copolymers into the country were about 2,900 tonnes in January-March, compared with about 2,500 tonnes year on year. Local pipes producers accounted for the greatest increase in demand.

March imports of PP random copolymers into Ukraine increased to 1,200 tonnes, compared with 923 tonnes in February; local companies significantly increased their imports of pipe grades PP. Overall imports of PP random copolymers reached 2,300 tonnes in January-March, whereas this figure was slightly over 3,000 tonnes a year earlier.

Overall imports of other propylene copolymers were about 581 tonnes over the stated period.


Formal talks likely between ONGC Petro Additions Ltd and Saudi Aramco for collaboration

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ONGC Petro additions Ltd (OPaL) is seeking to sell 50% stake in its USD4.6 bln facility, likely to Saudi Aramco, as per sources in, after talks with a unit of Kuwait Petroleum Corp. about investing in the project stalled last year, reported Plastemart.

Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), which owns the biggest stake in OPaL, entered into a preliminary cooperation agreement in January 2014 with Petrochemical Industries Co., a subsidiary of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum. Talks between OPaL and PIC about the Kuwaiti company investing in the Indian project stalled last year, according to the people. OPaL hosted a team from Saudi Aramco at its plant in Gujarat last month, they said.

Saudi Aramco, which is the biggest supplier of crude oil to India, has shown interest in a proposed 60 million tonnes-a-year refinery and petrochemicals project being planned by Indian state refiners on the nation’s west coast, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on 30 March.

As MRC informed before, in late 2016, OPaL started up its cracker in India. Located at Dahej in the western India state of Gujarat, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 1.1 million mt/year and propylene production capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

OPaL is a joint venture of Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC - 26%), Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL - 17%) and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. (GSPC - 5%), with the balance held by other investors and public shares.