LyondellBasell completes acquisition of A. Schulman

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, has announced it has completed the acquisition of A. Schulman, Inc., a leading global supplier of high-performance plastic compounds, composites and powders, as per LyondellBasell's press release.

"This acquisition builds upon our complementary strengths, creating a substantial value proposition for our customers and positioning the company for future growth in this space," said Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell. "Moving forward, our team is focused on a seamless integration that captures opportunity and creates exceptional value for our shareholders."

The acquisition more than doubles LyondellBasell's existing compounding business and broadens the company's reach into growing, high-margin end markets such as automotive, construction materials, electronic goods and packaging.

The combined business will operate as a stand-alone Advanced Polymer Solutions reporting segment. In addition to LyondellBasell's existing polypropylene compounding (PPC) assets and the A. Schulman assets, the segment will include:

- Catalloy thermoplastic resins – polymers that combine the advantages of polyolefins and elastomers, offering customers durable and flexible products for the automotive, packaging and construction industries.
- Polybutene-1 resins - plastics that offer a combination of temperature resistance and strength and are used in modern water pipes, construction materials and re-closeable packaging.

New to LyondellBasell's product portfolio are several materials previously manufactured by A. Schulman that will also be included in the Advanced Polymer Solutions segment going forward:

- Engineered composites - lightweight, strong materials that are used in infrastructure, aerospace and automotive applications such as headlamps.
- Powders - specialty particle materials used in coatings, rotational molding, toll compounding and other technical applications.
- Masterbatches - coloring and additive materials used in the production of paper, paint and plastic goods around the world.

"With the combination of LyondellBasell's vertically integrated polypropylene compounding business and A. Schulman's agile customer focus across broad and growing markets, Advanced Polymer Solutions is well positioned to deliver significant value for our customers and our shareholders," said Jim Guilfoyle, Executive Vice President, Advanced Polymer Solutions and Global Supply Chain for LyondellBasell. "I'm convinced we have all of the ingredients to build a world-class business that will reach a multitude of markets with a full range of innovative, tailored products and solutions."

As MRC informed previously, in the second half of May 2018, LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, announced that it has received unconditional clearance from the Chinese State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) for its pending acquisition of A. Schulman.

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.

PP imports to Belarus rose by 6.4% in Jan-Jun 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of polypropylene (PP) into Belarus grew in the first half of 2018 by 6.4% year on year, totalling slightly over 49,500 tonnes. Demand for all grades of propylene polymers increased, according to MRC's DataScope report.

June PP imports into Belarus were 8,400 tonnes, compared to 9,000 tonnes a month earlier, local companies reduced their purchasing of injection moulding propylene copolymers in Russia. Overall imports of propylene polymers reached 49,500 tonnes in January-June 2018, compared to 46,500 tonnes a year earlier, with propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) accounting for the greatest increase in demand.

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

June imports of homopolymer PP to the Belarusian market virtually remained at the level of May, totalling slightly over 6,000 tonnes. Overall imports of homopolymer PP reached 33,600 tonnes in the first six months of 2018, up by 7.6% year on year. Russian producers with the share of about 89% of the total shipments were the key suppliers.

June imports of propylene copolymers to Belarus were 2,300 tonnes versus 3,000 tonnes a month earlier, local companies reduced their procurement of injection moulding block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymer) in Russia. Thus, overall imports of propylene copolymers reached 16,000 tonnes in January-June 2018, whereas this figure was 15,300 tonnes a year earlier.


PE imports to Belarus dropped by 5% in Jan-June 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of polyethylene (PE) into Belarus decreased by 5% year on year in the first six months of 2018, reaching 58,800 tonnes. At the same time, local companies reduced purchasing of exclusively linear polyethylene (LLDPE), according to MRC's DataScope report.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics of Belarus, imports to Belarus dropped to 9,100 tonnes in June 2018 from 9,600 tonnes a month earlier. Local companies reduced their purchasing of high density polyethylene (HDPE). Overall PE imports totalled 58,800 tonnes in the first six months of 2018, compared to 61,900 tonnes a year earlier. Demand for HDPE and low and high pressure polyethylene (LDPE) increased, whereas demand for LLDPE subsided significantly.

The structure of PE imports to Belarus by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

June total LDPE imports fell to 3,700 tonnes from 3,900 tonnes a month earlier. Overall imports of this PE grade into Belarus totalled about 18,700 tonnes in January-June 2018, compared to 18,400 tonnes a year earlier.

June LLDPE imports were about 1,200 tonnes, which virtually corresponded to the figure a month earlier. Thus, overall LLDPE imports reached 10,900 tonnes over the stated period, whereas this figure was about 21,000 tonnes a year earlier.

June HDPE imports decreased to 4,200 tonnes from 4,500 tonnes a month earlier. Local companies increased their purchasing of PE from the Ukrainian producer. Thus, overall HDPE imports totalled 28,200 tonnes in the first six months of 2018, up by 27.4% year on year.


Petrobras says fire controlled at Replan refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A "serious" fire at Petrobras' largest refinery early on Monday has been controlled and should not disrupt fuel supplies, executives at the Brazilian state-run oil company said on Monday.

The fire, at the Replan refinery in Sao Paulo state, caused no injuries but prompted Petrobras to halt production, the company said,without providing a forecast for a restart of operations.

However, Gustavo Marsaioli, the regional leader for oil workers, said normalization of operations should take more than a week.

"It was a serious accident of big proportions," he said.

Jorge Celestino Ramos, the company's refining and natural gas director, described the incident as "serious" but said fuel supplies were guaranteed for at least two weeks.

"There is no need to worry about supply for some 15 days, because we can calibrate inventories and other refineries," he said in an interview.

Marsaioli confirmed that stocks at Paulinia, where the refinery is located, were high and that other refineries, in Santos Maua and Sao Jose dos Campos, were operating at about 70 percent capacity.

Brazil's oil regulator, ANP, said it has sent out a team to monitor the progress of a Petrobras group investigating the cause of the accident.

Replan accounts for about 20 percent of Petrobras' refining capacity, processing the equivalent of 434,000 barrels of oil per day, according to the company's website.

The fire occurred just months after a truckers' strike over rising fuel prices in May paralyzed Brazil's economy, cutting off fuel supplies and causing goods shortages across large swathes of the country.

As MRC wrote earlier, in March 2018, Petrobras said that it would invest 137 million reais (USD42 million) this year in the Presidente Bernardes refinery in the industrial hub of Cubatao, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of metropolitan Sao Paulo.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras is an integrated energy firm. Petrobras' activities include exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks as well as refining, processing, trade and transport of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons, in addition to other energy-related activities.

Chevron awards EPC contract to WorleyParsons

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chevron (China) Chemicals Co., Ltd has awarded WorleyParsons the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the China Manufacturing Plant Project in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China, said WorleyParsons on its site.

Under the contract, WorleyParsons will provide services including engineering, procurement, construction and pre-commissioning. The services will be executed by WorleyParsons China.

Chevron (China) Chemicals Co., Ltd plans to build a wholly-owned plant manufacturing Oronite additives in Ningbo, China, a seaport city in northeast Zhejiang province.

"We are pleased that Chevron (China) Chemicals Co., Ltd has chosen WorleyParsons to work on this important project and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Chevron," said Andrew Wood, Chief Executive Officer.

As MRC reported before, in May 2018, Chevron Products Company, a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc., and Novvi LLC announced that they had entered into an agreement to jointly develop and bring to market novel renewable base oil technologies. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

WorleyParsons delivers projects, provides expertise in engineering, procurement and construction and offers a wide range of consulting and advisory services. We cover the full lifecycle, from creating new assets to sustaining and enhancing operating assets, in the hydrocarbons, mineral, metals, chemicals and infrastructure sectors.