Plastivaloire to acquire US auto parts rival TransNav

MOSCOW (MRC) -- French auto components moulder Groupe Plastivaloire is set to boost its industrial footprint in North America with the acquisition of its US rival TransNav Inc, USA, as per Plasticsnewseurope.

In October, Plastivaloire of Langeais, France signed a binding memorandum of understanding confirming the group would purchase 100% of the capital of the US parts moulder headquartered in New Baltimore, Michigan. Family-owned Plastivaloire, with 27 production and development sites, including plants in Tunisia, Turkey and Mexico, is awaiting approval for the deal from the US antitrust regulators. It expects a decision before the end of this year.

TransNav, run by the Dutch Vreeken family, operates three plants in Danville, Kentucky, at its New Baltimore base in Michigan and near Puebla, Mexico with a workforce of over 580. It has nearly 100 injection moulding machines from 20 – 4,400 tonne clamping force.

Eighty per cent of TransNav’s business comes from auto component production, supplying products such as moulded interior and external trim, wheel trim, and fuel tank parts to major US vehicle builders and global tier one suppliers.

TransNav is still growing and, according to Plastivaloire, is on course to achieve annual sales worth USD105m (EUR92m) in 2018.

Groupe Plastivaloire said this deal will establish it in the US for the first time, boosting its growth in North America in line with its strategy of internationalisation. Its takeover of TransNav will accelerate its annual sales which could now reach its 2020 target of EUR750m by the end of this year, the group said.

This will pass an “important milestone” on the way to Plastivaloire’s next goal of reaching a turnover of EUR1bn by 2025, according to its chief executive officer Patrick Findeling whose family manages the group.

The French company points to a number of valuable synergies achieved through its latest acquisition including the firms’ complementary client portfolios and shared technology expertise in tooling and complex injection moulding.

It will also complete the group’s market coverage in Europe and North America, positioning Plastivaloire at the heart of two Mexican vehicle manufacturing hubs with TransNav’s Puebla plant and its own existing operation at San Luis Potosi in central Mexico.

Engel event studies Chinese automotive industry

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Austrian injection moulding giant Engel has held its ‘trend.scaut’ event in Shanghai, exploring the automotive industry in Asia, the Chinese market and future challenges of electromobility, said Plasticsnewseurope.

The event was held parallel to FUMOTec automotive engineering and future mobility trade show, which took place in Shanghai at the end of October. Attended by more than 300 delegates, mainly including development and production managers from both Chinese and international companies, the event reviewed current and future challenges, new opportunities as well as innovative technologies within the automotive industry.

"We discussed new technologies and opportunities for the future on the basis of the specific requirements of local producers and were also able to reflect the topics in an international context," explained Gero Willmeroth, president East Asia and Oceania of Engel and based in Shanghai. The key-note programme included speakers from Volvo, Continental, China-based Nobo, electronics supplier Ecorea as well as JSC Automotive, ExxonMobil, Sabic and Engel.

Opening the event, Norbert Muller, head of the Engel centre for lightweight composite technologies, said the automotive market in Asia was continuing to develop “at a particularly dynamic pace”. "Over 100 vehicle brands are now competing in China," he said, adding that the focus is currently on electric vehicles.

Another development is that renowned Chinese suppliers are also positioning their products in the premium segment. "This results in important opportunities for the market entry of new technologies," said Muller, pointing to Engel’s innovative composite technologies.

Together with his team, Muller develops new, particularly cost-effective processes for large-scale composite lightweight construction. The process covers a broad range of technologies, from HP-RTM and SMC to the processing of thermoplastic semi-finished products as well as reactive technologies such as in-situ polymerisation (T-RTM).

"What is new is that composite manufacturers in Asia are also increasingly focusing on thermoplastic-based solutions," said Muller. "The possibility of functionalising thermoplastic composite materials immediately after moulding in the same mould using injection moulding can secure decisive time advantages."

Also speaking at the event was Jochen Siebert, the managing director of JSC Automotive, a management consultancy specialising in the Chinese automotive market.

BP and WorleyParsons enter oil services JV

MOSCOW (MRC) -- WorleyParsons has secured a 50 per cent stake in New Zealand Oil Services after forming a joint venture with BP, as per Oil&Gas Australian Mining.

NZOSL is an energy storage terminal operator which provides services to its shareholders BP Oil and Z Energy.

Under the agreement, NOZSL will operate BP’s seven bulk fuel storage, handling and distribution facilities in New Zealand.

WorleyParsons will deliver engineering, project delivery and asset management services to NZOSL as the preferred contractor.

Andrew Wood, WorleyParsons chief executive, said, "This contract demonstrates the synergies following our acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler UK Oil & Gas Limited in 2017.

"It builds upon our established relationship with BP and utilises WorleyParson’s maintenance, modifications and operations (MMO) expertise and capability."

Concurrently, WorleyParsons has awarded a four-year operations and maintenance contract to TW Power Services at the Synergy-owned Collie power station in Western Australia.

WorleyParsons holds a 50 per cent interest in TW Power Services; its remaining stake is held by Spanish-owned Broadspectrum.

Wood said, "We look forward to continuing our relationship with Synergy and the Collie power station, which will span more than 20 years of continual service."

Synergy is state-owned and represents Western Australia’s largest electricity generator and energy retailer.

As MRC informed before, WorleyParsons has been recently awarded a four-year project management consultancy (PMC) contract for the new Assiut Hydrocracking Complex (AHC Project) in Egypt, by Assiut National Oil Processing Company (ANOPC),

Honggang chooses Invista technology for new PTA line in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Jiangsu Honggang Petrochemical Co. will utilize Invista Performance Technologies' latest P8 purified terephthalic acid (PTA) technology for a new 2.4-million-t/y PTA line in China, as per Apic-online.

"This is the first time that Invista and Honggang would be collaborating to build state-of-the-art PTA assets," Invista noted. The project is expected to start up in the fourth quarter of 2020. No other details were given.

Honggang, a subsidiary of Shenghong Petrochemical, started up the first phase, a 1.5-million-t/y PTA line, in July 2014.

As MRC wrote before, in May 2018, Invista Performance Technologies (IPT) announced the success of its latest P8 PTA technology deployed on Jiaxing Petrochemical’s second PTA Line. Started up in record time in December 2017, the plant is now consistently operating at 100 percent design rate with a variable cost performance better than the target, firmly establishing Jiaxing Petrochemical’s second PTA Line as the global leader in terms of raw material and utility consumptions.

Invista is one of the world's largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications. With a business presence in over 20 countries, Invista's global businesses deliver exceptional value for their customers through technology innovations, market insights and a powerful portfolio of global trademarks.

Refiners get taste of post-IMO world with gasoline/diesel imbalance

MOSCOW (MRC) - Refineries around the world are squeezing out every last drop of diesel while drowning in gasoline, in what could well become the new normal for the next few years, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The imbalance is a confluence of major shifts in oil markets - surging production of light U.S. shale oil, plummeting exports of heavier Venezuelan and Iranian crude, weakening gasoline demand and rising diesel consumption. The coming in 2020 of the biggest change in fuel regulations in decades, when the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will start requiring ships to use cleaner fuel, is likely to prolong this reality, oil executives and analysts say.

Refineries that distill crude oil into fuel have always had to adapt their output to shifting demand patterns such as high consumption of gasoline in summer and increased demand for heating oil in winter. But the market for refined products appears out of kilter in a way rarely seen before, and the IMO changes are likely to prolong the imbalance.

“We are witnessing a microcosm of the post-IMO environment,” Jefferies analyst Jason Gammel said. The new IMO regulations will reduce the allowed content of sulphur in shipping fuel, known as bunker fuel, from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent, increasing demand for diesel at the expense of dirtier fuel oil.

Ahead of the change, refineries invested in equipment to remove more sulphur from crude oil and increase production of diesel. At the same time, a slew of new refineries has come or will come on stream in coming years. Several long-term changes are further impacting oil refining.

First, gasoline demand is gradually decelerating due to higher engine efficiency, slowing economic growth in China and a gradual expansion of the electric vehicle fleet. The International Energy Agency has estimated that gasoline demand will grow by “a puny” 80,000 barrels per day in 2018, the slowest expansion since 2011.

Diesel demand, on the other hand, has been persistently strong due to higher industrial activity in the United States, while global stocks have tightened as a result of lower exports from China and refinery outages.