Arkema reports Q1 results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema has reported Q1 net income that is up 39% at 147 million euros, or 1.94 euro per share, with EBITDA up 17.5% at 355 million euros, meaning a margin of 16.5%, against 16% over Q1 2016, said the company on its web-site.

Revenues reached 2,152 million euros, up 13.7% (+9.5% like-for-like). Volumes, which rose 4.6%, have been particularly driven by strong demand in Asia and in some of the chemist's key markets.

The sound performance achieved in Q1, in a context of rising commodity prices, fully backs Arkema's target to report 2017 EBITDA of 1.3 billion euros.

Sales for the three months ending March 2017 rose 13.7% to 2.15bn euros, backed by a 4.6% increase in volumes, with earnings before interests, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) up 17.5% at 355m euros.

For the whole of 2017, Arkema is targeting a 1.3bn euros EBITDA.

As MRC informed earlier, Arkema has completed the sale to INEOS of its 50% stake in Oxochimie, their oxo alcohols manufacturing joint venture, and of the associated business.

Arkema is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.

PP production in Russia in Q1 decreased by 3%

MOSCOW (MRC) - Production of polypropylene (PP) in Russia decreased to 353,900 tonne in first three months of this year, down 3% year on year, compared to the same period of 2016. The largest increase in PP production accounted for three producers, according to MRC ScanPlast.

March PP production in the country increased to 119,600 tonnes, compared with 108,700 tonnes in February. SIBUR Tobolsk and Stavrolen increased their production rates. Total PP production in Russia reached 353,900 tonnes in Jan-March 2017 against 361,400 tonnes, an increase showed Stavrolen, Ufaorgsintez and Poliom.

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

The largest producer of PP in Russia - SIBUR Tobolsk in March produced about 48,200 tonnes against 34,800 tonnes a month earlier. Tobolsk-Polymer's PP production reached 129,500 tonnes in Q1 2017, which is practically the same as in Q1 2016.

March production at Poliom were about 17,000 tonnes, while a month earlier this figure was 16,800 tonnes. Total PP production at the plant over the reported period was about 52,400 tonnes, up 5% year on year.

Stavrolen (LUKOIL) increased capacity utilisation in March, total polypropylene production had increased to 11,100 tonnes against 10,100 tonnes in February. Overall PP production at the plant exceeded 30.600 tonnes in January-March, up 5% year on year.

March PP production at Ufaorgsintez decreased to 9,100 tonnes from 10,300 tonnes a month earlier. Producer reduced capacity utilisation because of technical problems at the propylene preparation site. The producer's PP output at Ufaorgsintez increased to 30,200 tonnes in January-March 2017 compared with 29,900 tonnes year on year.

March PP production at Nizhnekamskneftekhim increased to 18,900 tonnes from 16,900 tonnes a month earlier. The producer's PP production in Q1 remained the same from last year's level - 54,600 tonnes.

Tomskneftekhim also increased production volumes in March, and the final production of propylene polymers was 11,700 tonnes against 11,100 tonnes in February. Total PP production at Tomskneftekhim over the reported period reached 34,800 tonnes, compared with 35,600 tonnes year on year.

Neftekhimiya (Kapotnya) shut its production capacities for turnaround in March, as a result PP production decreased to 3,600 tonnes compared with 8,600 tonnes a month ago. The producer's PP output in Jan-March reached 21,800 tonnes, one third down year on year.


Celanese completes Nilit Plastics acquisition

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, today announced it has completed the acquisition of the nylon compounding division of Nilit, a major independent producer of high performance nylon polymers and compounds, said the company on its site.

Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed at this time.

This acquisition further extends Celanese’s leadership position in the engineered materials business to a global nylon solutions provider. The acquisition includes Nilit Plastics’ nylon compounding product portfolio, customer agreements and manufacturing, technology and commercial facilities in Germany and China. In addition, the acquisition is complementary to the company’s capabilities and track record of innovation, quality and service.

As previously announced, Nilit will retain ownership of its nylon fibers and nylon polymerization businesses worldwide, including facilities in Israel, the United States, China and Brazil.

Nylon compounds continue to be a material of choice in automotive, E&E, consumer and industrial applications. This acquisition delivers on Celanese’s intention to complement and grow its broad portfolio by becoming a leading, global nylon compound supplier.

"Nylon is increasing in applications and end uses in growth industries where Celanese is already focusing significant product, solution and customer development activities," said Scott Richardson, senior vice president of the Celanese engineered materials business. "The addition of the Nilit nylon compounding product portfolio will extend Celanese’s engineered materials solutions offering, and when combined with the company’s world-class operating model, we are well positioned to be the first choice materials solutions provider for our customers."

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Our two complementary business cores, Acetyl Chain and Materials Solutions, use the full breadth of Celanese’s global chemistry, technology and business expertise to create value for our customers and the corporation.

Reliance Industries restarts Hazira cracker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has brought on-stream its cracker in Hazira (India), according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source informed that the company has completed 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.

Unipetrol Q1 net profit rises to CZK 2.83 billion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Unipetrol says Q1 net profit CZK 2.83 billion (USD114.86 million), versus loss CZK 25 million in Q4/16 and CZK 2.62 billion profit in Q4/16, said Reuters.

Unipetrol says Q1 revenue CZK 29.85 billion, up 69 percent y/y, driven by higher crude prices and higher petrochemical products sales.

Unipetrol says Q1 EBITDA LIFO CZK 3.62 billion, versus CZK 350 million in Q1/16 and CZK 3.26 billion in Q4/16.

Unipetrol says company should be in a position to recover CZK 14 billion from insurer in steam cracker accident, amount of CZK 7.9 billion was recognized in 2016 financial results.

Unipetrol says company should be in a position to recover CZK 1.2 billion from insurer in FCC unit incident, amount of CZK 1.0 billion was recognized in financial results for Q1.

Unipetrol says volume of processed crude oil up by 35 percent y/y thanks to stable operation of both refineries.

Unipetrol says refining sales volumes up 3 percent to 1.6 mt says net cash amounted to CZK 4.5 billion at end-Q1.

Unipetrol resumed production at steam cracker damaged by fire in October 2016, following a more than year-long shutdown.

Unipetrol on Wednesday proposed paying a CZK 8.30/share dividend, total CZK 1.51 billion, up 50 percent y/y.

Unipetrol, majority owned by Poland's PKN Orlen, last year paid its first dividend since 2007.

"We are focusing on long term and stable shareholder value growth in order to ensure a stable dividend pay-out and create the possibility for continuous dividend growth in the future. Dividend proposal is in line with our strategic target of a systematic increase of DPS ratio (dividend per share), reflects liquidity position and profitability combined with increased share valuation," says CEO Andrzej Modrzejewski.

As MRC informed earlier, technology, engineering and project management company Neste Jacobs and refinery and petrochemical group Unipetrol have signed an agreement for Neste Jacobs to perform a comprehensive energy efficiency study of Unipetrol's Litvinov oil refinery in Czech Republic.

Unipetrol , a.s. is a group of companies operating in the petrochemical industry in the Czech Republic. In 2005 Unipetrol became a part of the PKN ORLEN Group, the largest oil processor in Central Europe. The UNIPETROL Group is oriented mostly towards oil processing, fuel distribution and petrochemical production. In all of these business areas the Unipetrol Group is among the key players both in the Czech Republic and on the Central European market. The Group ranks among the leading firms in the Czech Republic in terms of its revenues, and employs almost 4,000 people.