Effective tender offer for Unipetrol shares

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PKN ORLEN made payments for shares tendered by minority shareholders in response to the tender offer for shares in Unipetrol a.s., announced in December 2017, said the company on its website.

The payments totalled PLN 3,5 bn. Thus, PKN ORLEN fulfilled the condition for recognising the tender as effective and achieved a 94.03% ownership of the Czech-based company.

PKN ORLEN offered a price of CZK 380 per Unipetrol share, which is close to the current market price of the stock. As part of the transaction, 826 acceptances were made by natural persons and 126 by legal persons. Together they represented 31.04% of Unipetrol shares. The transaction will be financed with PKN ORLEN’s own funds and with a syndicated loan facility available to the Company. After the buyout is completed, the Group’s net debt will remain at a safe level, with no effect on its credit rating.

Strengthening of PKN ORLEN’s position in the shareholding structure of the largest refining and petrochemical group in the Czech Republic is in line with the Group’s strategy, which envisages integration of refining assets, extension of the petrochemical value chain, and development of the retail network. It will enable more effective use of synergies within the ORLEN Group and consolidation of its competitive position.

Unipetrol a.s owns the refineries in Litvinov and Kralupy, the largest local retail chain Benzina (400 service stations), and Spolana, the sole PVC and caprolactam manufacturer on the Czech market. The company’s core asset is its Litvinov petrochemical operations – now the construction site for a polyethylene unit, the country’s largest petrochemical project to date.

ExxonMobil bolsters global EHC group II slate with addition of new heavy neutral base stock for Americas and EAME markets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil announced the expansion of its global slate of EHCTM base stocks with the introduction of EHCTM 120, a heavy neutral Group II base stock. EHC 120 will soon be available in Rotterdam, The Netherlands for distribution in Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME), and in Baytown, Texas for distribution in North and South America, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Designed to meet the evolving demands of the global base stocks industry, ExxonMobil’s EHC 120 expands the well-designed EHC Group II slate. By increasing formulation coverage capabilities, the EHC slate is optimal for the cost effective blending of the majority of lubricant applications, including those within the automotive, heavy-duty and industrial sectors.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to grow our Group II manufacturing, we are excited to officially announce the addition of EHC 120 and offer our valued customers high-performance, heavy neutral and light neutral base stocks in three key continents," said Ted Walko, Global Basestocks and Specialties Marketing Manager. "Our EHC Group II base stocks provide a robust set of benefits, and, our newly expanded offering will help formulators further streamline their base stock operations. We’re confident our EHC Group II base stocks are well-positioned to serve as the products of choice for lubricant formulators challenged to meet a wide range of stringent technical requirements, with a single base stock slate."

ExxonMobil’s robust EHC slate already includes EHC 110, a heavy neutral base stock for the Asia-Pacific (AP) market, and three light-to-medium neutrals – EHC 45 and EHC 65, available in the Americas, and EHC 50, for AP and soon for EAME.

ExxonMobil will begin production at its Rotterdam, Netherlands, refinery, following the completion of its hydrocracker expansion project. Startup at Rotterdam is on track to begin in the fourth quarter 2018, with full commercialization of EHC 120 targeted for the first quarter 2019. The company also confirmed its capability to produce EHC 120 in Baytown, Texas, with availability to customers expected in 2019.

"With the addition of EHC 120 Group II base stocks in Europe, the ExxonMobil team is strengthening its efficient and secure global base stocks supply chain," added Walko. "We will continue our dialogue with customers regarding their needs as we increase our supply network. Preserving product integrity and the reliable supply of products from our network of locations is of the utmost importance to our team."

Collaborative work with additive companies during the project pre-marketing period will allow ExxonMobil customers to take full advantage of Rotterdam’s products EHC 50 and EHC 120 as soon as they are commercialized. These approvals include lubricant formulations that comply with the latest industry specifications (e.g. ACEA 16, API CK4/FA4, etc.).

Once the Rotterdam project is complete, ExxonMobil will be the only global Group I and Group II producer with significant manufacturing assets across three continents.

New Honeywell connected plant solution to help customers avoid unplanned downtime and unnecessary maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell has announced a new offering as part of Honeywell Connected Plant that allows customers to more effectively manage the maintenance and operations of their industrial equipment, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new Honeywell Connected Plant Asset Performance Insight connects the customers’ assets and equipment to the cloud, and applies analytical models from Honeywell and its partners, so that customers can avoid unplanned downtime and unnecessary maintenance.

New Asset Performance Management (APM) strategies are becoming critical to industrial companies as production demands and the availability of data from devices throughout the facilities increase. Because of this increased demand, any unplanned downtime, equipment failure, or unnecessary maintenance directly impacts the customers’ bottom lines and can be costly.

"In today’s competitive business climate, in which asset capacity is often sold out, equipment performance is key to increased profitability," said Richard Shaw, general manager, Honeywell Connected Plant. "With operational and maintenance-induced equipment failures accounting for most of the unplanned downtime, industrial companies are looking to digital transformation and IIoT to make sense out of huge amounts of data. Honeywell Connected Plant and our new Asset Performance Insight will help our customers operate more strategically and effectively."

Honeywell designed the Asset Performance Insight solution to be rapidly deployed to customers through pre-configured templates. These templates are based on the company’s deep industry experience and real-world customer challenges enhanced with advanced analytics. The offering can also be configured and tailored to customers’ specific needs, making it extremely flexible.

Asset Performance Insight is the latest addition to Honeywell Connected Plant, which turns data into insight that enable plants and businesses to run better. Honeywell delivers this capability through its unmatched domain expertise and advanced analytics capabilities to connect process, assets, people and enterprise to maximize performance. Honeywell’s breadth of cyber-security solutions ensures data stays secure from increasing external threats.

Indian state oil refiners see strong margins for 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) - India state refiners expect their profit margins to hold their strength this year as demand growth accelerates for fuel products amid a record USD93 billion spent on infrastructure and stable crude oil prices, as per Reuters.

India's sales of cars and especially motorbikes are forecast to rise rapidly, even as the development of a Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor drives consumption of the country's primary fuel products, diesel and gasoline.

The infrastructure programme for fiscal 2018/19 calls for more than 80,000 km (50,000 miles) in new highways to better connect rural areas with urban hubs. Roads and other construction require oil-based products such as tar and plastic piping, and fuel to move materials by truck and rail.

"They (these projects) will have a cascading effect on fuel demand," said R. Ramachandran, director of refineries at Bharat Petroleum, adding that this would be reflected directly in strong refining margins.

India's annual fuel demand, made up mainly of diesel and gasoline, is expected to grow 7.5 percent in 2018, according to a report by BMI Research, a unit of Fitch. That compares with 5.4 percent last year, according to government data.

"Strong fundamentals and rising demand in India indicate that refining margins will remain strong in the near term, for at least six months," Ramachandran said.

Refining margins also rely heavily on global crude oil prices, currently around $65 a barrel, and on the status of world inventories of refined products.

Indian refiners hope global prices will remain sub-USD70 per barrel as world oil production rises while new refining capacity doesn't keep the pace.

The International Energy Agency said this month it expects oil production to slightly outpace demand this year, especially thanks to still rising output in the United States.

Mexichem acquired Sylvin Technologies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexichem has announced that it has acquired Sylvin Technologies Inc., a niche PVC compounds manufacturer based in Denver, Pennsylvania for an Enterprise Value of USD39 million based on a debt free cash free valuation, according to MarketWatch.

Sylvin is expected to have total sales of $29 million for the full year of 2017. It has a 30-year history of serving a broad range of industries including: wire and cable, electrical, industrial, automotive, medical and food products. Mexichem will consolidate Sylvin under the Company’s Vinyl Business Group as part of its Compounds Business Unit, a leading supplier of PVC compound solutions serving the global market. Our Vinyl Business Group reported sales of USD2.2 billion for the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2017.

Combining Sylvin’s customer-focused business model, strong team and application development capabilities with Mexichem’s global compounds business will allow Mexichem to deliver even greater value to its combined U.S. customers. Sylvin’s key raw materials are PVC resin, plasticizers and stabilizers, which should bring synergies to Mexichem’s Vinyl operations. "This transaction continues Mexichem’s strategy of completing bolt-on acquisitions that expand its portfolio of specialty products and applications and give access to new end markets and customers, driving future growth. These products and applications can be further leveraged globally as we expand in other parts of the world” said Sameer S. Bharadwaj, President of the Compounds Business Unit.

"The acquisition of Sylvin is a further step towards downstream integration in specialty products with higher margins that enables sustainable growth of our return on invested capital over our weighted average cost of capital in the long run," Antonio Carrillo, CEO of Mexichem remarked.

As MRC informed previously, on 1 December 2014, Mexichem, Mexican PVC and specialty chemicals maker, announced that it completed the acquisition of Vestolit GmbH. Based in Marl, Germany, Vestolit is EuropeпїЅs only manufacturer of High Impact Suspension PVC (HIS-PVC) for weather-resistant windows and is Europe"s second-largest producer of paste PVC for floors and wallpapers. Vestolit also produces alkyl-chlorides, a value-added intermediary used for a variety of chemical and industrial applications and is vertically integrated in a single site from Salt through Specialty PVC. Total installed PVC capacity is 415,000 tons per year.

Mexichem is a global leader in plastic piping and one of the world’s largest chemical and petrochemical companies. It has more than 50 years of experience. The company contributes to global development by delivering an extended portfolio of products to high growth sectors such as infrastructure, housing, datacom and water management, among others. With operations in 37 countries, 120 facilities worldwide and more than 18,000 employees.