Solvay Performance Polyamides starts Technyl production unit in Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay Performance Polyamides, a world leader in polyamide-based performance materials, has announced the start of production of engineering plastics in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, said the producer on its site.

This new facility is dedicated to the production of the Technyl range and was built within a few months in partnership with Chunil Engineering, a global automotive Tier 1 and long-standing customer.

"This 10KT unit is fully operational and already serving our regional customers in the automotive and consumer goods markets," said Marcos Curti, Director of Americas for Solvay’s Performance Polyamides Global Business Unit. "Mexico attracts a growing number of global players, particularly from Europe and Asia. Many of them are Solvay’s longstanding customers who need a trustworthy local manufacture of products they can fully trust."

Solvay Performance Polyamides supports customers worldwide with a complete array of advanced services designed to reduceproduct-to-market lead timesof their innovations. This offering extends from material characterization to application validation and includes 3D printing of functional prototypes in Sinterline powders, predictive simulation with MMI Technyl® Design2 as well as the testing of applications at fully equipped APT validation centers.

Technyl, Sinterline, APT are registered trademarks of Solvay.

As MRC informed before, in early July 2016, Solvay completed the divestment of its shareholding in Inovyn (London), bringing to an end Solvay's chlorvinyls joint venture with Ineos. Solvay received exit cash proceeds amounting to EUR335 million (USD370.7 million). The dissolution of the jv follows regulatory clearances from the relevant authorities.

Inovyn was formed on 1 July 2015 as a jv between Ineos and SolVin, a subsidiary of Solvay. Solvay and Ineos signaled their decision to end their chlorvinyls jv in March this year.

Solvay, with a market share 27%, is the second largest PVC manufacturer in Europe, after Kerling with 29% of the market. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with about 30,900 employees spread across 53 countries. It generated pro forma net sales of EUR12.4 bn in 2015, with 90% made from activities where it ranks among the world’s top 3 players.

Poliom shut down PP production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Poliom (JV of Titan, SIBUR and Gazprom Neft) shut down its polypropylene (PP) production for a scheduled maintenance, reported MRC analysts.

Yesterday, on 25 October, Polyom shut its PP production capacities for the turnaround. The plant's representatives said the outage would not be long and would last for about two weeks.

Virtually, this is the last scheduled maintenance at Russian PP producers this year. Yesterday, Stavrolen resumed its PP production after a long shutdown for a turnaround.

As MRC reported earlier, Poliom produced about 161,000 tonnes of PP in the first nine months of 2017, whereas the plant manufactured 202,900 tonnes of PP for the whole last year.

Poliom Ltd., a JV of Gazprom Neft JV, SIBUR and Titan, which was established in 2005, is one of the three leaders of Russian polypropylene (PP) producers. The plant, which started operation on 9 February, 2013, was built using Basell technology, with Tecnimont being the supplier of technological equipment. It can produce 98 different grades of PP (homo-, stat-, block copolymers). Poliom's production capacity is 210,000 tonnes of PP per year.

Saudi Aramco subsidiary to buy stake in Rotterdam terminal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco Overseas Company (AOC), a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, has entered into an arrangement to buy a stake in a Rotterdam terminal from commodities trader Gunvor, reported Reuters with reference to the company's statement on Thursday.

AOC will buy Gunvor’s stake in the Maasvlakte Olie Terminal and the sale is targeted for completion by the end of October, it said in a statement.

AOT’s investment in the terminal will add to its investment in other facilities in the same area and allow it to expand offerings in the North West Europe refining hub, it said.

As MRC informed earlier, in June 2016, Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) became one step closer to building their first plant to process crude directly into chemicals, cutting out a link in the production chain from hydrocarbons to the finished products that go into plastics and other consumer goods. The state-owned companies signed an agreement to study such a project to be located in Saudi Arabia. A joint venture is possible if the companies decide to move ahead after the study is completed. Oil companies normally refine crude into transportation fuels including gasoline and diesel and leave byproducts such as naphtha to be processed separately into chemicals.

Saudi Aramco is an integrated oil and chemicals company, a global leader in hydrocarbon production, refining processes and distribution, as well as one of the largest global oil exporters. It manages proven reserves of crude oil and condensate estimated at 261.1bn barrels, and produces 9.54 million bbl daily. Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the company employs over 61,000 staff in 77 countries.

Aker Solutions secures contract for umbilicals system

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Aker Solutions has been awarded a contract for the supply of 250km of steel-tube umbilicals linking a subsea development to an existing offshore platform, said Explorationanddevelopment.

"We are honored to have been selected to work on this project, which is groundbreaking in terms of the size and technology of the umbilicals system," said Luis Araujo, chief executive officer of Aker Solutions.

The work will be led by Aker Solutions in Oslo and manufacturing will take place at the company's umbilicals plant in Moss, Norway. Delivery is set for the end of 2018.

The parties have agreed to not disclose the name of the project or customer at this point.

Umbilical systems are full service connections used to transport data, power and liquids between oil and gas installations on the seafloor to onshore facilities or platforms.

Bayer Q3 Profit Surges Despite Lower Sales

MOSCOW (MRC) -- German chemicals and pharmaceutical giant Bayer said Thursday it booked a huge windfall gain in the third quarter, but reported no fresh progress on its planned mega-merger with U.S. seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto, said the company on its website.

Group net profit stood at 3.9 billion euros (USD4.6 billion) between July and September, more than triple the 1.2 billion euros reported in the same period last year. But this year's result included a one-off gain of 2.8 billion euros related to the spin-off of Bayer's polymers division, Covestro.

Underlying or operating profit increased by 7.6 percent year-on-year to 1.6 billion euros, while revenues fell by 2.8 percent to 8.0 billion euros, Bayer said in a statement. Bayer's flagship pharmaceuticals division increased revenues 2.3 percent, with particularly strong performance for its stable of recently-developed drugs, including anticoagulant Xarelto and eye medicine Eylea.

Meanwhile, its over-the-counter medicines unit, which offers household names like Aspirin and Claritin, reported a 2.9-percent drop in sales, largely as a result of weaker performances in the U.S. and Russia. The agrochemicals division boosted revenues by 2.7 percent, driven by the North America and Asia-Pacific regions, while the group said it had made progress reducing losses in Brazil after a poor harvest season cut sales in the second quarter.

Bayer said it was "actively addressing the authorities' possible concerns" of its planned USD66-billion takeover of Monsanto by agreeing to sell a slew of agrochemical activities to home-grown rival BASF for 5.9 billion euros if the bigger deal goes ahead. The group said it hopes to complete the merger "by early 2018".

Politicians and environmental groups on both sides of the Atlantic have opposed the tie-up, fearing it will create a corporate titan with a tight grip on global food chains.

Looking ahead to the full year, Bayer confirmed its forecast of a "low-single-digit percentage increase" in sales to between 35 and 36 billion euros, with operating profit "slightly above" the figure for last year.

In September, Bayer Turk CEO Hubert Braun said the company will continue expanding its investments in Turkey in the coming period. In the past 60 years, Bayer has invested around 200 million euros in the country, with another 9-10 million euros committed to renewing the company's headquarters in Istanbul's Umraniye district.