Sale of Canadian refinery falls through as owners clash over price

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The sale of a remote Canadian refinery has been scuttled as two former oil traders running the company locked horns over the value of the plant, according to three people familiar with the discussions, reported Reuters.

The partners, former traders Neal Shear and Kaushik Amin, sought to sell the 130,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Come By Chance, Newfoundland last year to privately held Canadian refiner Irving Oil, which was seen as the leading bidder.

The deal fell apart in recent months and is unlikely to be rekindled because Shear and Amin are at odds over the sale price, according to three people familiar with the firm, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the events were private.

Shear was ready to sell to Irving for an undisclosed value that two of the people said was about CD250 million (USD191 million). Amin, however, was pushing for a C$400 million price tag, according to the people. Shear's name has since been removed from the firm's website, and talks with Irving have been put on hold. There are no longer any immediate plans to try to sell the plant, the people said.

Gloria Warren-Slade, communications manager for the Come By Chance refinery, did not respond to a request for comment.

Irving Oil did not respond to requests for comment.

The refinery's value has fluctuated widely over the last 12 years. It was sold for CD1.6 billion (USD1.2 billion) in 2006 and re-sold for CD930 million three years later, but the two bought it in 2014 for just CD97 million due to a slump in world oil prices.

Having paid less than any other buyer of the plant, Amin and Shear wanted to use Come By Chance as a linchpin for later purchases of other fuel shipping infrastructure globally or to sell quickly at a profit.

Come By Chance's value for suitors is hampered by its isolated locale, reducing its access to cheap domestic crude that has boosted margins for Gulf Coast or Midwest refiners, and because it lacks the processing scale of larger refineries.

The refinery's relative proximity to Europe and shorter shipping time to eastern ports in Latin America is an advantage, but it has still been hurt by slimmer margins than other North American refiners.

Solvay to increase prices of hydrogen peroxide

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay raises prices by EUR130 per dry metric ton in Europe for all hydrogen peroxide grades and derivates from September 1st, 2018, as per the company's press release.

This change is due to the exceptional increase of key raw materials & utilities prices, in combination with a worldwide demand exceeding our current capacity.

All existing contracts remain honored. The price movement will allow Solvay to continue to serve customers in a secure and reliable manner.

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 followed 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.

Total Creates Digital Innovation Center in India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have signed a partnership agreement to create a digital innovation center in India. Based in Pune in the State of Maharashtra, the center will explore disruptive technologies and solutions, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"For a large industrial group like Total, it is essential to always stay ahead of these topics", said Marie-Noelle Semeria, Senior Vice President and Group Chief Technology Officer at Total. "After having integrated digital solutions within the Group, we now want to invent those of tomorrow by combining Total's know-how with the agility of TCS."

The partnership will initially focus on refining. Thanks to the intensive use of digital technology, the various building blocks of refining (production units, processes, the supply chain and petroleum product markets) will be driven in a wide-ranging way to improve refinery performance. Real-time data analytics, the Internet of Things, automation, artificial intelligence and agile methodology will be used to improve industrial efficiency, energy performance and availability rates.

"With the digital innovation center, we are positioning ourselves as a pioneer working to develop a smart, connected refinery that will allow us to improve our industrial competitiveness. We want to invent the Refinery 4.0" said Bernard Pinatel, President, Refining & Chemicals at Total.

Based on the TCS concept of "entrepreneurship-in-residence," Total will work with TCS technology and domains experts. TCS will also bring to Total its network, its structured co-innovation approach and its unique Business 4.0 cooperation framework.

"The energy and resources sector is one of TCS’ fastest growing business units. We are delighted to sign this strategic digital innovation partnership with Total for which we will leverage our Business 4.0 framework, with a focus on agile, intelligent automation, internet of things, analytics and cloud-based solutions" said Debashish Ghosh, President of Energy, Resources and EPC Business at TCS.

The digital innovation center in India will build on the industrial digital technology initiatives already deployed at Total’s production sites.

The aim of industrial digital technology is to make operations safer and more efficient, by making better decisions faster, simplifying operators’ day-to-day work to enhance their efficiency, and reducing our costs. Industrial digital technology is a highly effective tool for improving industrial competitiveness.

We remind that, as MRC wrote before, in December 2017, Total inaugurated the new units at its Antwerp integrated refining & petrochemicals platform, which had progressively started up in the previous few months. This event marked the completion of the upgrade program launched in 2013 of one of the largest and most efficient integrated refining & petrochemicals platforms in Europe. Thus, the company had invested more than EUR1 B to further improve the competitiveness of this major site located in the heart of Europe's main markets.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

SayanskKhimPlast shut PVC production

MOSCOW (Market Report) -- SayanskKhimplast (Irkutsk region), Russia's second largest polyvinyl chrolide (PVC) producer, shut down its PVC production capacities for a scheduled turnaround, according to the ICIS-MRC Price report.

The plant's representative said SayanskKhimPlast took off-stream its PVC production for maintenance works on Sunday, 15 July, as per the schedule. The outage will be quite long and will last for about 30 days. The plant's annual production capacity is 300,000 tonnes.

As reported earlier, this is the second and last shutdown for maintenance at Russian PVC plants this year. RusVinyl with the annual capacity of 330,000 tonnes/year shut down its production capacities in late April - early May. Bashkir Soda Company and Kaustik Volgograd do not intend to take off-stream their production capacities for turnarounds this year.

JSC "Sayanskkhimplast" (Irkutsk region), established in 1998, is a complex of large-capacity chlororganic production facilities connected in a single production cycle. SayanskKhimPlast produces PVC, caustic soda and bleach. After commissioning of RusVinyl's PVC production (Nizhny Novgorod region), SayanskKhimPlast became Russia's second largest PVC producer.

PE imports to Ukraine down by 2% in H1 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polyethylene (PE) into Ukraine increased to 120,500 tonnes in the first six months of 2018, up 2% compared to the same period of 2017. At the same time, a decrease in imports was seen in the segment of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), according to the DataScope.

Last month's PE imports decreased to 20,100 tonnes from 23,900 tons in May, local companies decreased their purchasing of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE). Total PE production in Ukraine reached 120,500 tonnes in January-June 2018 against 122,700 tonnes year on year. Imports of HDPE and EVA decreased, whule demand for other ethylene polymers increased.

The supply structure by PE grades looked the following way over the stated period.

Ukraine’s HDPE imports decreased in June; decrease in supplies accounted for polyethylene for the production of caps for plastic bottles and film HDPE. June HDPE imports into the country were about 6,100 tonnes in January-June, compared with 7,200 tonnes in May. Overall HDPE imports reached 37,200 tonnes in the first six months of 2018, compared to 52,800 tonnes a year earlier.

Film grade HDPE accounted for the greatest reduction in imports (-60%), which was caused by the resumption of the local production. June imports of low density polyethylene (LDPE) grew to 7,900 tonnes from 7,100 tonnes a month earlier, local companies increased their purchases of LDPE in Russia. Overall LDPE imports reached 39,400 tonnes over the stated period, up by 27% year on year.

June imports of LLDPE into the country decreased to 4,900 tonnes, compared with 8,200 tonnes in May. on a stronger purchases from local producers of stretch films. In general, January - June LLDPE imports into Ukraine increased to 36,900 tonnes compared with 31,100 tonnes year on year. The main increase in demand occurred for the local producers of the film production.

Imports of other grades of polyethylene, including EVA for the period under review reached about 7,000 tonnes against 7,600 tonnes a year earlier.