TSMC completes turnaround at SM plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Taiwan Styrene Monomer is likely to restart its styrene monomer (SM) plant following a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Taiwan informed that the company has resumed operations at the plant on August 8, 2018. The plant remained under maintenance for a period of around two weeks.

Located at Lin Yuan in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of 160,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, PetroChina Jinxi Petrochemical (part of PetroChina) brought on-stream its SM unit in end-July 2018, following a maintenance turnaround. The unit remained under maintenance for around two months. Located in Huludao in Liaoning province, China, the unit has a production capacity of 60,000 mt/year.

Quarterly profit of Mexican Alfa soars, boosted by petrochemicals

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexican conglomerate Alfa said that its net profit more than doubled in the second quarter compared to the year-earlier period, helped by a record quarter at its petrochemicals unit Alpek, reported Reuters.

Alfa, which has units in industries such as food packaging and car parts, said net profit was 3.59 billion pesos (USD180 million) between April and June, compared to 1.37 billion pesos last year. Revenue rose 19 percent to 93.7 billion pesos.

The results were helped by petrochemicals unit Alpek, which benefited from higher oil and raw materials prices, as well as the consolidation of Brazil’s Petroquimica Suape and Citepe, the company said.

Alpek’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) hit a record high, according to the company.

Earlier this year, the company said it had teamed up with Thailand’s Indorama Ventures (IVL.BK) and Taiwan’s Far Eastern to buy a chemical plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, as well as other assets.

Alfa said it was in the process of getting government approvals for the operation.

KBR PCMAX technology selected for two polycarbonate projects in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR, Inc. announced that it has been awarded a license and engineering and a proprietary equipment supply contract by China Pingmei Shenma Group (PMSM) to build two new polycarbonate plants in Kaifeng and Pingdingshan in the Henan Province in China, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Under the terms of the contracts, both 100,000 metric tonnes per annum plants will utilize KBR's proprietary phosgene-based interfacial polycarbonate technology PCMAX™. As part of its overall polycarbonate strategy, PMSM intends to expand its total production capacity to 800,000 metric tonnes per annum.

KBR's unique PCMAX™ technology produces a wide range of high-quality polycarbonate product grades with minimal capital investment.

"KBR is a world-leading technology licensor," said Yang Jianguo, General Manager of PMSM. "The polycarbonate project using KBR's advanced PCMAX™ technology is the largest technology import project for PMSM in recent years. This project supports China's requirement for advanced and high-quality developments as well as PMSM's corporate vision of industrial transformation and upgrading."

"KBR is excited to be part of this major investment project. Growing demand for polycarbonate products in China presents an attractive opportunity for PMSM," said John Derbyshire, President, KBR Technology. "KBR's superior PCMAX™ technology will empower PMSM to be a market leader in the polycarbonate business."

KBR globally licenses and designs polycarbonate synthesis and compounding plants as well as complementary phenolic technologies, including phenol/acetone, and bisphenol-A (BPA). KBR's integrated phenolics offering provides advantages in raw material, utility, OPEX and maintenance costs.

Estimated revenue associated with this project was booked into backlog of unfilled orders for KBR's Technology Business Segment in the second quarter of 2018.

Italian private equity fund completes divestment of Treofan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Milan-based private equity firm M&C SpA has completely divested its bi-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) films business with the sale of German films manufacturer Treofan Holdings GmbH to a company part of the Indian BC Jindal Group, as per Plasticsnewseurope.

Speaking to PNE, an M&C spokesman refused to disclose the name of the Jindal business that had acquired the European operations of Treofan, which was the only Treofan business remaining under the control of M&C.

In a 6 Aug statement, M&C, which currently holds 98.75% of Treofan shares said the purchase price could range between EUR500,000 to EUR4.8m.

The final price, said the company, shall be determined before the closing of the transaction, which is expected to be in the first quarter of 2019.

Based in Raunheim, Germany, Treofan Holdings had sales of EUR271.8m and negative EBITDA of EUR3.6m last year.

The company produces 120,000 tonnes per annum of films at three production plants in Germany and Italy.

The transaction follows the sale of Treofan Americas to Canadian label manufacturer CLL Industries in June this year.

M&C announced in 2017 that it was divesting Treofan Americas business in order to proceed with the reorganisation of the company’s European business and reduce its debts.

In its statement today, M&C said the reorganisation had become increasingly challenging on a “standalone” basis and without cooperation with another strategic player in the BOPP industry.

M&C said part of the reason for the divestment was the “current market conditions, which strongly call for further economies of scale."

The Italian private equity firm expects that as a result of the disposal, it would not be in a position to recover the entire current book value of the interests held in Treofan Holdings.

The company said it could not therefore confirm the value to be realised through the transaction and the potential loss arising from the disposal of the investment in Treofan Holdings.

As one of India's leading business conglomerates, the BC Jindal Group manufactures, amongst others, polyester and BOPP films through its Jindal Films operations. Headquartered in New Delhi, the films business has production sites in Italy, the Netherlands, the US, India and Belgium.

Honeywell integrates new software into new Process Safety Suite

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), a pioneer in automation control, instrumentation, and services, has entered into a reseller agreement with the Software Products division of Applied Engineering Solutions, Inc., as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Through the reseller agreement, aeShield® is integrated into Honeywell’s new Process Safety Suite.

This integration pairs the HAZOP/LOPA, SRS, and SIL Verification requirements from aeShield with Honeywell’s Safety Builder, Process Safety Analyzer, and Trace into a Process Safety Suite. This comprehensive suite will provide unprecedented visibility throughout the process safety lifecycle.

"Our aeShield team is extremely excited to partner with Honeywell," said Mike Scott, President of Software Products at aeSolutions. “Significant synergies between aeShield and existing Honeywell technologies offer a new and revolutionary way to manage process safety information. Connecting design assumptions to real-time operating data provide the opportunity to view process safety as a profit center and proactively removes risk to the business."

"The aeShield and Honeywell technologies work together to integrate critical steps in the process safety lifecycle,” said John Rudolph, President of HPS. “The result is an enterprise-wide risk identification and reduction capability that is unique in the industrial process safety market."