Toyo awarded petrochemical project in Indonesia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Toyo Engineering Group (TOYO) has been awarded a contract of Acrylic Acid Production plant with capacity of 100,000 tons/year in Cilegon, Banten, on the western tip of Java, Indonesia from PT. NIPPON SHOKUBAI INDONESIA (NSI), Indonesian subsidiary of NIPPON SHOKUBAI CO., LTD. (NSCL), as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Toyo Engineering Corporation (Toyo-Japan, President and CEO Haruo Nagamatsu) is in charge of a part of engineering and offshore supply services. On the other hand, consortium of PT. Inti Karya Persada Tehnik (IKPT, President and CEO Yasuhiro Hime), TOYO’s Indonesian subsidiary, and PT. SMCC Utama Indonesia (SMCC, President Satoshi Tanimoto), Indonesian subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co., Ltd. is responsible for engineering, domestic procurement and construction work. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2021.

Starting from the award of SAP plant project in China in 2003, TOYO has accumulated project experience in Asia, Europe and United States of America for NSCL. TOYO has also been awarded Acrylic Acid and SAP plant project from NSI in Indonesia on 2011.

The client has appreciated TOYO’s long-term relationship with NSCL and TOYO/IKPT’s project execution capability backed up by abundant project experience in Indonesia, which led to this award.

Affiliate of Sun European Partners completes sale of ELIX Polymers to Sinochem International

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sun European Partners, LLP has announced that one of its affiliates has completed the sale of its investment in ELIX Polymers, a leading manufacturer of ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) resins and derivatives in Europe, to Sinochem International (Overseas) Pte. Ltd. for an enterprise value of EUR195 million, as per the company's press release.

ELIX was acquired by an affiliate of Sun European Partners in 2012. Since its acquisition, Sun has overseen the transformation of the company from operating as a production-focused unit of a large chemicals conglomerate into a European standalone market leader with a best-in-class product and service offering. Operational initiatives at ELIX, including the introduction of lean manufacturing and commercial excellence, led to a considerable jump in productivity, record levels of customer satisfaction and strong sales increase, resulting in EBITDA quadrupling during Sun’s ownership.

Lionel de Posson, Managing Director at Sun European Partners, said: "We are pleased to have completed our sale of ELIX. The progress made by the company during our ownership allowed for a successful exit and we continue to actively seek further investments in Spain."

ELIX Polymers now begins a new stage in its more than 40 years of history under new Chinese ownership and they consider this a great opportunity for international growth in the Asian market. From the outset, ELIX has focused on the European market and subsequently growth in the NAFTA region, specifically in North America and Mexico. The next step agreed within its business strategy was to target Asia and China in particular.

The integration of ELIX into a chemical group as important as Sinochem International will enable them to position the brand quickly in the Asian market and strengthen it in the European and American markets.

As MRC reported before, in June 2018, ELIX Polymers, a thermoplastics manufacturer located in Tarragona's Poligono Sur industrial complex, announced a new investment amounting to 4 million euros, whose objective is to optimize its ABS powder production facilities. The company began executing this new project in 2018, which it will continue to develop and consolidate throughout the year of 2019.

ELIX Polymers is one of the most important manufacturers of ABS resins and derivatives in Europe, with 40 years of experience in engineering plastics and an installed capacity of 180,000/year from their plant in Tarragona (Spain) to the world. The operation starts in 1975, when the Tarragona ABS and SAN production plant was inaugurated.

Saudi Arabia may cut February heavy crude prices to Asia

MOSCOW (MRC) - Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to cut February prices for heavier crude grades sold to Asia due to weaker fuel oil margins, respondents to a Reuters survey said.

Weak refining margins and an expected drop in Asia’s crude demand during second-quarter refinery maintenance were also factors that may prompt Saudi Arabia to cut prices in February, the respondents said.

The official selling prices (OSPs) for Arab Medium and Arab Heavy crude grades are expected to fall by up to 50 cents a barrel in February from the previous month, according to the four refiners participating in the survey.

“Arab Heavy was too expensive in the past few months,” said one of the respondents who expected a price cut of 50 cents.

Typical margins at a complex refinery in Singapore DUB-SIN-REF averaged about $2.84 a barrel in December, the lowest since August 2013, data on Refinitiv Eikon showed.

A 15-cent drop in the price spread between the first and third month DME Oman crude futures may also prompt Saudi Arabia to lower OSPs, the respondents said. DME Oman accounts for half of the underlying Saudi OSP benchmark for Asia.

The same respondents also expect a 20-50 cent cut for the February Arab Extra Light OSP.

The United States has surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer, with overall crude production hitting an all-time high of 11.537 million barrels per day in October.

Still, Asia’s demand for Saudi crude is set to rise this year as new refineries starting up in the first half of 2019 have committed to buying long-term Saudi oil. Saudi crude OSPs are usually released around the fifth of each month, and set the trend for Iranian, Kuwaiti and Iraqi prices, affecting more than 12 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude bound for Asia.

State oil giant Saudi Aramco sets its crude prices based on recommendations from customers and after calculating the change in the value of its oil over the past month, based on yields and product prices.

Saudi Aramco officials as a matter of policy do not comment on the monthly OSPs.

Trinseo raises January PC prices in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe have announced price increases for all polycarbonate (PC) grades in Europe, as per the company's press release.

Effective January 7, 2019, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the products listed below rose as follows:

- CALIBRE PC resins - by EUR300 per metric ton.

As MRC informed before, Trinseo last raised its prices for PC grades on 1 July 2018, as stated below:

- CALIBRE PC resins - by EUR100 per metric ton.

And previously, the company increased its PC prices in Europe on 1 May, 2018. Then, the rise was EUR70 per metric ton.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo's technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD4.4 billion in net sales in 2017, with 16 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,200 employees.

Indian Oil says Iran may still invest in Chennai Petroleum expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) - India’s biggest refiner Indian Oil Corp Ltd said on Wednesday that Iran may still invest in a refinery expansion project at one of its subsidiaries, said Reuters.

Indian Oil’s chairman Sanjiv Singh said that Iran has not ruled out participating in the expansion at Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd, a south India-based 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery. Iran’s participation has been questioned after India cut back its Iranian crude oil imports following U.S. sanctions.

However, Singh’s comments come a few days after India exempted rupee payments to the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) for crude oil imports from a withholding tax.

The exemption will allow Indian refiners to settle about USD1.5 billion of outstanding payments to NIOC through direct rupee payments.

It has been expected that these payments could help Iran invest in Indian projects, particularly the Chennai Petroleum Corp expansion.

"Iran has always been positive with this (the new rules). I think they should be able to invest," Singh told Reuters, following a media conference on Wednesday.

Chennai Petroleum plans to invest up to 356.98 billion rupees (USD5.1 billion) to replace the 20,000 bpd Nagapattinam refinery in Southern Tamil Nadu state with a 180,000 bpd plant.

Naftiran Intertrade, the Swiss subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Company, holds a 15.4 per cent stake in Chennai Petroleum, while Indian Oil has about a 52 percent share.

Singh said a detailed feasibility report for the expansion has yet to be prepared.