Clariant confirms SABIC to complete purchase of 24.99% stake in Clariant after receiving all regulatory approvals

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has announced that SABIC has received the final outstanding regulatory approvals from the competition authorities for the purchase of a 24.99% stake in Clariant, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Therefore, an unconditional closing of the purchase will take place in the next days which makes SABIC Clariant’s largest strategic anchor shareholder, and second anchor shareholder beside the group of former shareholders of Sud-Chemie.

SABIC, the world’s third-largest diversified chemical company and a long-standing partner of Clariant in the Catalyst joint venture Scientific Design, entered into a purchase agreement regarding the acquisition of the stake in Clariant in January 2018.

"With SABIC receiving all the regulatory approvals and the transaction set to be completed, we look forward to further developing the strategic relationship between both companies in order to generate value for all stakeholders", said Hariolf Kottmann, CEO of Clariant.

Clariant and SABIC are discussing possible future collaborations that will generate value for the stakeholders of both companies. Any outcome of these discussions will be presented in due course.

As MRC wrote before, in January 2018, SABIC, a world leader in chemicals, agreed to acquire approximately 83 million shares in Clariant from 40 North and Corvex Management.

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.

Sempra Energy receives FERC notice of schedule for Port Arthur, Texas, LNG export project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sempra Energy received a Notice of Schedule from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that sets Jan. 31, 2019, as the planned completion date of the final environmental impact statement for siting, construction and operation of the proposed Port Arthur LNG natural gas liquefaction-export project in Jefferson County, Texas, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"This is an important step forward in the federal regulatory review to construct our Port Arthur liquefaction-export project on Texas' Gulf Coast," said Joseph A. Householder, president and chief operating officer of Sempra Energy. "Federal and Texas state policymakers have been instrumental in supporting U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to bolster the U.S. economy."

"Sempra Energy's new liquefaction facility will be a boon to the Port Arthur community and to the entire state of Texas," said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. "This project will not only create thousands of jobs and benefit the local economies, but it will also be a boost to our nation's economy. I thank Sempra Energy for their investment in Texas and Port Arthur, and I look forward to the completion of this project."

"I am honored to have worked to make the Port Arthur LNG export project a reality, which will bring thousands of jobs to Texas and renewed prosperity to communities like Port Arthur, where families are still rebuilding one year after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey," U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said. "Our Gulf communities remain strong, and Texas continues to forge ahead as an energy leader for America and the entire world."

"Southeast Texas is America's energy gateway," said U.S. Rep. Randy Weber. "As more LNG facilities come online, the contributions our region makes to America's energy dominance further increase. I am grateful to FERC for finalizing the notice of schedule, allowing Sempra Energy to complete this project years in the making."

The FERC issued its Notice of Schedule for the proposed Port Arthur liquefaction-export project Aug. 31. The project is expected to include two natural gas liquefaction trains to enable the long-term sale of approximately 11 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG; feed gas pre-treatment facilities; natural gas liquids and refrigerant storage; up to three LNG storage tanks; two marine berths and associated facilities.

The ultimate decision to construct the Port Arthur liquefaction project is contingent upon obtaining binding customer commitments and financing arrangements; reaching a definitive engineering, procurement and construction contract; securing all necessary permits and approvals including a FERC order approving the siting, construction and operation of the project and reaching a final investment decision.

Borouge to build its fifth PP plant in Ruwais to raise the production capacity by 25%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borouge PP Plant EPCBorouge has signed the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract with Maire Tecnimont Group for building its fifth polypropylene (PP) plant with a capacity of 480,000 t/y in Ruwais to increase production capacity of PP by 25% to 2.24 million tonnes t/y, as per PasticsInsight.

This opens up new opportunities to integrate with the local industries. The new PP5 plant will be added to the existing Borouge 3 plants in Ruwais scheduled to be commissioned in Q3 2021.

Borouge’s PP5 plant, based on Borealis’ proprietary Borstar technology, will significantly contribute to helping ADNOC’s downstream strategy declared in the recent Downstream Investment Forum, held in May 2018. The aim of the addition of the PP5 plant at Ruwais is to expand its refining and petrochemical operations to create the world’s largest integrated refining and petrochemicals complex in Ruwais and obtain highly targeted overseas investments to secure greater market access.

In addition, it will also help in increasing ADNOC’s, and its subsidiaries’ range and volume of high-value downstream products.

Borouge has made an ambitious growth plan for increasing the polymers production capacity by 11% to reach 5 million tonnes per year with the installation of the PP5 plant, which is effectively linked to the growth ambitions of both ADNOC and Borealis to grow polymers production capacity.

The partnership between ADNOC and Borealis will ensure global supply of creative polypropylene products with the help of PP5 plant, which becomes the tenth Borstar plant in Ruwais. The Ruwais-based plant will offer solutions to its customers across the globe, especially in the packaging industry.

As MRC informed before, in March 2017, Austrian chemical company Borealis started carrying out feasibility studies for a PP unit and a mixed-feed steam cracker at Borouge, the petrochemicals complex it owns jointly with Abu Dhabi's state-owned Adnoc in Ruwais, UAE.

Borealis is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. With headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Borealis currently employs around 6,500 and operates in over 120 countries.

LDPE prices continued to rise in the Russian market in September

MOSCOW (Market Report) -- A slight shortage and a rise in prices of low density polyethylene (LDPE) began in the Russian market back in August. Prices continued their upward trend in early September, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The Russian LDPE market was excessive in the first half of 2018, the market balance has begun to change since July due to shutdowns for maintenance at a number of plants. Despite weak demand, prices of some LDPE grades increased in August. In September, the growth in LDPE prices continued, the shutdowns for tunrarounds at two large producers - Ufaorgsintez and Kazanorgsintez - will put pressure on prices.

Ufaorgsintez took off-stream some of its LDPE production capacities (108 grade) for a 30-day maintenance on 1 September, the second part of the capacities (158 and 153 grades) will be shut down for a one-month turnaround on 19 September. Kazanorgsintez will take off-stream some of its production capacities for long maintenance in the third decade of September, meanwhile, the plant has already reduced its capacity utilisation and, consequently, LDPE shipments to the domestic and foreign markets because of a shortage of ethylene.

Demand for LDPE was weak in August, however, this factor did not curb the increase in prices of 108 grade LDPE.
The price growth of this polyethylene (PE) grade continued in early September, in some cases, deals reached Rb93,000/tonne FCA, including VAT, and higher. Prices of other LDPE grades also began to go up.

Buying activity was low in the LDPE market in early autumn, converters were slow to replenish inventories, despite lower supply of polymer in the market.

Russian watchdog seeks to equalize export tax for LPG, naphtha

MOSCOW (MRC) - Russia’s antimonopoly watchdog is proposing to change the export duty for liquefied petroleum gas, a product used in the petrochemical industry and as a substitute for gasoline, making it equal to naphtha’s export duty, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service is seeking to stabilize prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which have risen by a third so far this year as companies preferred to export LPG given a low - or in some months zero - export duty.

Russia returned to an export duty on LPG from Aug. 1 after prices rose on world markets, to which domestic LPG taxation is linked. The export duty was zero for more than three years from early 2015.

Russia taxes LPG exports in two ways: propane-butane blend LPG-EXPDTY-RU is facing a tax of $8.6 per tonne in September while LPG clean fractions BUT-EXPDTY-RU are taxed at USD3.4 per tonne this month.

Export duty for naphtha NPTH-EXPDTY-RU, a feedstock to produce ethylene and some other petrochemicals, among other types of its usage, is set at USD71.5 per tonne in September.

Dmitry Makhonin, head of regulation department at the Federal Antimonopoly Service, did not say when the changes could take place, if at all.

Sibur, Russia’s top petrochemical producer, said in a statement to Reuters it hoped that changes would be implemented on a step-by-step basis if a decision is taken, with it and other LPG producers involved in the taxation change discussions.