Clariant opens new facilities in Oklahoma

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant has hosted a grand opening event for its new facilities in Clinton, Oklahoma, US. The site is a strategic location to support the growing oil and gas industry within the Mid-Continental region with a focus on the STACK and SCOOP, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The site includes a leading-edge laboratory with high-end analytical services, providing the data that is necessary to measure the effectiveness of a chemical management programme. Proximity to customers means this strategic location will ensure fast turnaround times. The laboratory can also troubleshoot the various challenges that can arise with oil and gas production – specifically in the areas of problematic paraffin, challenging emulsions, and hydrogen sulfide. This unique level of local analytical expertise will deliver significant benefits to customers. Leveraging from Clariant's global innovation group, the regional technology team has introduced a proprietary, non-triazine scavenger with proven results in the region, that delivered notable reductions in customers' operating expenses.

Technical expertise and know-how at the Clinton facility has been built from considerable involvement in tackling paraffin and emulsion challenges, which are characteristic to the region. In addition to the laboratory, the site houses a blending facility to enable security of supply, with the flexibility to produce fit-for-purpose products as required. By leveraging the depth and technical experience of the Clariant organisation, and investing in local infrastructure, the company is able to offer a technically robust solution of a large organisation with the agility and responsiveness usually only offered from smaller organisations. Clariant Oil Services also offers customers capillary support.

"Clariant is the fastest growing specialty oilfield chemicals supplier in North America, and the ability to be where our customers are is a clear differentiator," said Pete Schoemann, Head of Oil Services North America. "By working collaboratively with our customers to improve their production efficiency and total cost of operations, we are committed to offering innovative products with proven performance and exceptional customer service."

In addition to the enhancement of facilities at Clinton, Clariant has also made significant investments at their location in Midland, Texas, US, and expecting to be open in 3Q18.

As MRC wrote previously, in March 2017, Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, was awarded a contract by Dongguan Grand Resource Science & Technology Co. Ltd. to develop a new propane dehydrogenation unit in cooperation with CB&I.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints. Clariant India has local masterbatch production activities at Rania, Kalol and Nandesari (Gujarat) and Vashere (Maharashtra) sites in India.

Citeo, Total, Saint-Gobain and Syndifrais join forces to create a PS recycling channel in France by 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- As part of the voluntary commitments for the French government’s Circular Economy Roadmap and in line with French and European Union objectives in the area of plastic recycling, Citeo, Total, Saint-Gobain and the French Union of Fresh Dairy Product Manufacturers (Syndifrais) are joining forces to help lay the groundwork for an industrial-scale polystyrene recycling channel in France and to validate its technical and cost feasibility within 18 months, as per the company press release.

The announcement was made at the World Materials Forum, which is being held in Nancy, France from June 27 to 29.
All of the players in the polystyrene consumer packaging value chain are actively seeking a recycling solution that will enable the development of a circular economy for these products. This involves not only collecting the packaging and finding the right technical solutions for recycling it, but also identifying uses for the recycled polystyrene, all while ensuring each step is affordable. It is estimated that 110,000 metric tons of polystyrene packaging is put on the market each year in France.

France’s fresh dairy product manufacturers have undertaken to organize, via Citeo, the separation, sorting and preparation of several hundred tons of post-consumer polystyrene from France's extended household waste sorting program. Syndifrais, alongside Citeo, will therefore contribute to the emergence of a recycling channel for polystyrene packaging.

Syndifrais will also use the project's technical findings to improve the eco-design of packaging so it will be easier to recycle.

Total will use the sorted and prepared polystyrene in its plastic production units in Carling, France and Feluy, Belgium. Polystyrene waste from other sources, such as construction, will also be used. The end product will be expected to meet the same specifications as virgin polystyrene1.

Total tested its polystyrene recycling technology last year in preliminary industrial trials. The objective now will be to validate all the aspects of large-scale production. A target has been set of 4,000 tons of output containing at least 20% recycled polystyrene for 2019. Total will also make its dedicated research and development resources available for the project.|

Saint-Gobain is involved in initiatives related to the circular economy. Its subsidiary Placoplatre collects discarded insulation made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) at construction sites, which it reuses in its production. To go to the next level, Placoplatre is also aiming to promote the use of raw materials containing recycled content.
The company has been working with Total since 2017 to share its knowledge of sources of EPS construction waste that could potentially be recycled and to evaluate the performance of recycled polystyrene for the insulation market. Its familiarity with this market will help to validate the necessary technical and commercial specifications and find new commercial markets for recycled EPS products.

Other users and outlets are also under consideration and will join the project at the appropriate time.

SABIC working on tightening Clariant ties

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) is considering increasing its holding in Clariant and pursuing joint ventures as the Saudi firm looks to strengthen ties with the Swiss chemicals group, sources told Reuters.

The world's number four chemical firm bought a 24.9 percent stake in Clariant this year and is expected to intensify research and development with the Swiss specialty chemicals maker as well as hike its stake over time, the sources said.

It already has a New Jersey-based partnership with Clariant that licenses chemical process technology to customers including Huntsman and Akzo Nobel.

"SABIC's narrative is clearly not to stay at 25 percent and do nothing," a person close to the matter said, adding that a combination of businesses would precede any potential merger.

In January SABIC said it had no current plans to launch a full takeover of Clariant.

However, the Riyadh-based group wants to extract value from its investment in a friendly manner, the sources said, adding that it does not want to be perceived as an aggressive acquirer and any attempt to hike its stake may take time.

SABIC declined to comment, while a spokesman for Clariant said it was in ongoing talks with SABIC about "possible future collaboration prospects" and any outcome would be communicated at the appropriate time.

Middle Eastern firms have been eager to expand into advanced downstream chemicals operations like the catalysts that Clariant produces to help speed up processes at chemicals plants.

Saudi state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco in 2015 bought half the synthetic rubber business of Germany's Lanxess for around 1.2 billion euros.

The moves show that Saudi companies are increasingly trying to raise their influence outside the kingdom as part of the ambitious Vision 2030 plan which was set out by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to diversify the country's economy from oil.

SABIC, which is 70 percent owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund sovereign wealth fund, would initially stop short of taking control of Clariant which has a market value of $7.8 billion, the sources said.

Under Swiss takeover rules anybody with 33.3 percent of the shares would have to make an offer for the full company.

While SABIC's purchase of a stake in Clariant ended the Swiss firm's fight with activist investors, it must be vetted by regulators in countries including Brazil, Germany and Austria.

The sources said the deal would be cleared during the summer and would pave the way to the implementation of closer ties.

Clariant's boss Hariolf Kottmann told investors in March that management viewed SABIC's commitment as "very positive" and a strategic update would be provided in September.

Plastics production is an area where SABIC may implement closer ties with Clariant, two of the sources said.

SABIC has a strong plastics business since its USD11.6 billion purchase of GE Plastics in 2007 and a combination with Clariant's would make sense, one of the sources said.

Plastics & Coatings accounts for more than 40 percent of Clariant's 6.4 billion francs in annual sales.

Although the division's revenue grew by 5 percent last year, producing much of Clariant's cash flow, its profitability trails that of divisions like catalysts and care chemicals, which include soap and shampoo ingredients.

Last year Clariant abandoned a USD20 billion deal with U.S. group Huntsman to create the world's second-biggest specialty chemicals maker behind Evonik after opposition from activist investors.

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

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints. Clariant India has local masterbatch production activities at Rania, Kalol and Nandesari (Gujarat) and Vashere (Maharashtra) sites in India.

LyondellBasell receives EU antitrust clearance for acquisition of A. Schulman

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, have announced that it has received antitrust clearance from the European Commission for its pending acquisition of A. Schulman, Inc., as per the company's press release.

The European Commission's clearance for the transaction satisfies one of the conditions for the closing of the pending acquisition, which remains subject to other customary closing conditions, including the receipt of other required regulatory clearances and approvals. Shareholders of A. Schulman voted in favor of the transaction on June 14.

As previously announced, on February 15, 2018, LyondellBasell and A. Schulman, a leading global supplier of high-performance plastic compounds, composites and powders, entered into a definitive agreement under which LyondellBasell will acquire A. Schulman for a total consideration of USD2.25 billion. The acquisition builds upon LyondellBasell's existing platform to create a premier Advanced Polymer Solutions business with broad geographic reach, leading technologies and a diverse product portfolio.

The pending acquisition has already been cleared by antitrust regulators in the United States, Brazil, China, Serbia, Turkey and Mexico. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2018.

As MRC informed before, in mid-June 2018, A. Schulman announced that during a special stockholder meeting its stockholders approved the merger agreement, under which LyondellBasell Industries will acquire all of the outstanding shares of A. Schulman common stock.

A. Schulman, Inc. is a leading international supplier of high-performance plastic compounds, composites and resins headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Since 1928, the company has been providing innovative solutions to meet its customers' demanding requirements. The company's customers span a wide range of markets such as packaging, mobility, building & construction, electronics & electrical, agriculture, personal care & hygiene, sports, leisure & home, custom services and others. The company employs approximately 5,200 people and has 54 manufacturing facilities globally. A. Schulman reported net sales of approximately USD2.5 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2017.

LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies and a member of the S&P 500. LyondellBasell manufactures products at 55 sites in 17 countries. LyondellBasell is also a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies. The more than 250 polyolefin process licenses granted by LyondellBasell are twice that of any other polyolefin technology licensor.

Abadan refinery in Iran catches fire, six injured

MOSCOW (MRC) -- An Iranian oil refinery caught fire in the southwestern part of the country, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, leaving six people injured, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Firefighters on the scene at the Abadan refinery have brought the blaze under control, a local official was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency, adding that the fire would be contained in an hour.

The cause of the incident was still unknown, Tasnim said.

The damage to the plant at Abadan had no impact on oil exports from Iran, the world’s fifth-biggest exporter, as it is involved in producing gasoline and some other fuels, not the production of crude.

ISNA reported that one of the injured was in a critical condition.

Abadan Oil Refinery is Iran's oldest crude processing facility in the southern oil-rich Khuzestan Province.

The refinery, like almost all Iranian oil and gas processing plants, needs major works and renovation.