Mitsubishi Chemical starts producing styrenic thermoplastic elastomer in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation has started production of styrenic thermoplastic elastomer (TPS) at Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers (Thailand) Co., Ltd., its subsidiary in Thailand in January 2018, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"TEFABLOC" is a core brand of our thermoplastic elastomers. The company has an extensive lineup of olefinic, styrenic, and polyester elastomers, and produce and market these products globally. Its TPS is used in a wide range of fields such as automobiles, building materials, electronic devices, food packaging, and healthcare, and we currently manufacture TPS in Japan, China, the United States, Europe, and Brazil.

In Southeast Asia, the company so far supply TPS by exporting from those markets of manufacture. However, TPS demand in Southeast Asia has increased in recent years mainly in the automotive and food packaging fields. To meet this robust market demand, the company decided to start TPS production in Thailand, a rapidly growing country.

With this production launch, its lineup of thermoplastic elastomers in Thailand will expand to four brands, which will enable us to offer a wider range of solutions with shorter lead times.

The company will continue to expand our thermoplastic elastomer lineup to meet the diverse needs of its customers and further accelerate the growth of its performance polymers business.

As MRC wrote previously, in late December 2017, Ube Industries, JSR Corp. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. received European Commission (EC) approval for the planned integration of their acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) subsidiaries.

Mitsubishi Chemical with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, is a diversified chemical company involved in petrochemicals, polymers, agrochemicals, speciality chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The company's main focus is on three business pillars: petrochemicals, performance and functional products, and health care.

Petrobras to join Oil and Gas Climate Initiative

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA will join the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), becoming the 10th member of the group which aims to lead the industry's response to climate change, said Hydrocarboprocessing.

Petrobras' entry is subject to the approval oocessingf the OGCI and Petrobras' board, the OGCI said in a statement.

The OGCI currently comprises BP, CNPC, Eni, Pemex, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil and Total

Bahrain gets a boost of USD6 billion in oil and gas projects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil and gas projects worth about USD6 billion are underway or soon to begin in Bahrain. Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a conference, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Bapco Modernization Programme is on track for completion in 2022, he said with the $4.2bn engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning turnkey contract awarded last month to a consortium led by TechnipFMC. The signing of the contract is expected shortly, he added. The program entails the expansion of the capacity of the existing Sitra oil refinery from 267,000 up to 360,000 bpd besides improving energy efficiency, valorisation of the heavy part of the crude oil barrel (bottom of the barrel), enhancing products and meeting environmental compliance.

The minster also said Bahrain is looking for more partners to develop the Bahrain oilfield, which was exited by Mubadala and Occidental Petroleum in 2016.

The National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga) this year will complete major projects, including the new 350,000 bpd pipeline (A-B) between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia that will replace the existing 230,000 bpd link, the minister said.

“More than 50 per cent of the construction and modernization of the pipeline has been completed and the pipeline is now being laid underground in the south of Bahrain. The project is moving steadily according to plan and budget,” he said.

Kazakhstan says freeze lifted on USD22 billion in oil fund assets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A Dutch court has lifted a freeze on Kazakh sovereign fund's assets worth USD22 billion, the Central Asian nation's Justice Ministry said on Wednesday, reported Reuters.

The assets held by the fund's custodian, Bank of New York Mellon, were frozen last October after a lawsuit by Moldovan businessman Anatolie Stati who seeks to enforce a USD500MM arbitration ruling against the Astana government.

The freeze had shocked the oil-exporting nation and the sovereign fund industry, partly because of the disproportion between the size of the claim and that of the frozen assets.

Stati, his son Gabriel and their companies were investors in Kazakhstan's oil and gas industry. They say they have been subjected to harassment from the state aimed at forcing them to sell their investments cheaply.

Kazakhstan denies the allegations, but Anatolie and Gabriel Stati and two of their companies - Ascom Group S.A. and Terra Raf Trans Traiding Ltd, have won an international arbitration award of around USD500MM against the government. Kazakhstan has refused to pay, accusing Stati of using fraudulent means to secure a favorable arbitration ruling and filing lawsuits against him.

The Justice Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday it was also seeking the reversal of a court ruling in Belgium which had frozen some Kazakh assets.

SABIC acquires strategic stake in Clariant from 40 North and Corvex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC, a world leader in chemicals, has agreed to acquire approximately 83 million shares in Clariant, a global specialty chemicals company, from 40 North and Corvex Management, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The acquisition of this approximately 24.9% stake in Clariant will make SABIC the largest Clariant shareholder, and represents another key milestone in SABIC's growth and diversification strategy to become the preferred world leader in chemicals.

This acquisition is part of SABIC's long-term growth strategy to remain committed to product differentiation and creating value for its customers. Clariant is complementary to SABIC's existing specialties business and is well in line with SABIC's strategy of opening up new growth opportunities in specialty chemicals.

SABIC currently has no plans to launch or otherwise effect a full takeover of Clariant.

SABIC and Clariant have already had a successful relationship in their joint venture, Scientific Design, a process technology and catalyst development company. SABIC is looking forward to engaging in discussions with the company.

David Winter, Co-CEO of Standard Industries and Co-CIO of 40 North, said, "SABIC is an established global leader in the chemicals industry with a world-class management team and a long-term, sophisticated vision for the future. We are confident that this transaction allows Clariant to continue on its path to becoming a global specialty chemicals leader."

David Millstone, Co-CEO of Standard Industries and Co-CIO of 40 North commented, "We have been significant shareholders of Clariant since 2016. SABIC's strategic investment in Clariant is a successful outcome and we are pleased to have played a role in making it possible."

The closing of the transaction is subject to completing regulatory approvals.

As MRC informed before, in September 2017, SABIC continued its global expansion with the inauguration of a new polypropylene (PP) pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, and the announcement of a new investment in a state-of-the-art PP extrusion facility to be built at the same location.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world's market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.