SABIC and Saudi Aramco declare intent to develop Yanbu industrial park

MOSCOW (MRC) -- On 28 January, SABIC signed a Letter of Intent with Saudi Aramco to discuss the development of a downstream industrial and logistics park in Yanbu, as per Hydrocarbon Engineering.

The signing took place on the sideline of the inauguration ceremony of the National Industrial Development & Logistics Program (NIDLP).

The companies previously selected Yanbu as the location for their upcoming crude-oil-to-chemicals complex, a joint venture between SABIC and Saudi Aramco.

The programme, which is one of 13 programmes meant to enable ‘Saudi 2030 vision’, aims to increase growth and integration among four major sectors of Saudi Arabia’s economy: industry, mining, energy and logistics.

As MRC informed before, in March 2018, Wood was selected to develop the world's largest fully integrated crude oil to chemicals (COTC) complex in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on behalf of Saudi Aramco and SABIC as the first PMC contractor

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco"s value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world"s most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world's market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Adani Group and BASF to partner for USD2.3bn India petrochemical venture

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Adani Group has signed an initial agreement with Germany's BASF to jointly invest 160 billion rupees (USD2.3 billion) in a petrochemicals venture that will take on billionaire Mukesh Ambani's flagship Reliance Industries, according to NIKKEI.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate an acrylics value chain at Mundra port in the western Indian state of Gujarat, they said in a statement. The potential investment comprises the development, construction, and operation of plants that make products to serve local industries including construction, automotive and coatings, it added.

"India continues to be a very large importer of petrochemicals given the rapid expansion of the middle class," billionaire Chairman Gautam Adani said in the statement. "This partnership will allow us to produce several of the chemicals along the C3 chemical value chain that we are currently importing."

Adani will hold a minority stake in the venture, for which a feasibility study will be completed this year. Aside from the investment, BASF also plans to co-invest as a minority partner in a wind and solar park.

India, Asia's third-largest economy, is witnessing a surge in demand for automobiles, paints, and plastics that use this derivative of oil and gas. In the fiscal year ended in March, Reliance Industries, one of the largest petrochemical producers in the world, reported a 36% jump in revenue from petrochemicals. In the latest quarter ended in December, Reliance Industries reported a 37% jump in revenue from petrochemicals to 462.5 billion rupees.

According to the International Energy Agency, petrochemicals are set contribute more than a third of the growth in world oil demand by 2030, and almost half the growth by 2050.

For Adani Group, the proposed investment comes as it seeks to emerge as a large business behemoth with interests straddling across oil and gas, coal infrastructure, power, and renewable energy.

In 2017, Adani set up the world's largest solar energy plant with 648-megawatt capacity in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu that can power up to 150,000 homes. It also runs a joint venture with Wilmar International, which is into crushing oilseeds and also imports edible oil.

The group is in the process of setting up the world's largest thermal coal mine in Australia worth USD13 billion, though the project has long been delayed due to numerous court challenges from environmentalists concerned about climate change and potential damage to the Great Barrier Reef.

As MRC wrote before, in December 2017, BASF’s Coatings division inaugurated a new automotive coatings plant at its Bangpoo manufacturing site, Samutprakarn province, Thailand. The new plant was the first BASF automotive coatings manufacturing facility in ASEAN, and produces solventborne and waterborne automotive coatings to meet growing market demand in the region.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Toshiba taps industry vet Chuck Gorman as national sales manager

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Plastics industry veteran Charles Chuck Gorman has been named as national sales manager of Toshiba Machine Co. America’s injection molding division, said Canplastics.

As national sales manager, Gorman is responsible for supporting the efforts of Toshiba’s Machine’s network of outside sales reps, inside sales team and technical sales group. "Our goal is to steadily increase market share in the U.S. and Canada for both our all-electric as well as servo hydraulic machines," he said.

Among his prior positions, Gorman owned and managed Florida Plastics Machinery, a rep agency selling a broad range of systems, including those from Toshiba Machine, for 20 years. He also worked at TriMech, a supplier of additive manufacturing systems sold to manufacturers, the U.S. military and educational institutions.

"During his four years with Toshiba, Chuck has done an outstanding job helping us grow business throughout the southwestern U.S. and Latin America,” Toshiba Machine Co. general manager and vice president Thomas McKevitt said. “We’re confident Chuck has the expertise to take on this new challenge and help us maintain our leadership position in North America."

Headquartered in Elk Grove, Ill., Toshiba Machine Co. America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based Toshiba Machine Co. Ltd. The company’s injection molding machines division designs and builds electric, hydraulic, and hybrid molding machines ranging from 25 to 4000 tons.

AceTronic organizing one-day tabletop show for plastics processors

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AceTronic Industrial Controls is organizing a one-day tabletop trade show designed to address some of the common problems facing injection molders, blowmolders, extruders, and other plastic processors, said Canplastics.

Called AceConnex, the show will take place on May 9 at the Double Tree By Hilton Toronto Airport West in Mississauga, Ont.

"The goal of AceConnex is to provide a platform whereby industry specific manufacturers, along with service providers, will be able to offer solutions to address our customers’ current problems," said AceTronic president Kim Thiara. “The majority of trades shows today are being convoluted with a variety of other industries and the emphasis on plastic processing either gets lost or is non-existent. Our customers deal with daily breakdowns and maintenance related issues stemming from a variety of areas, such as water flow, cleaning, purging, temperature control, insulation/heat loss, pressure build-up, cable/wiring hook-ups, and scrap material. AceConnex will provide solutions to these and a variety of other common plastic manufacturing problems."

The show will offer a breakfast, lunch and, dinner, with product presentations and networking opportunities throughout the day.

AceTronic is headquartered in Mississauga, and supplies industrial controls, mold components, heaters and heater accessories, and other products for the plastics industry.

Sanctions on Venezuelas oil firm sends U.S. refiners scrambling

MOSCOW (MRC) - Venezuela’s revenues from oil sales to the United States have come under severe threat as sweeping sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil firm has sent U.S. buyers scrambling for replacements, said Reuters.

The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., known as PDVSA, to cripple the OPEC member’s oil shipments, which account for nearly all of Venezuela’s exports, in response to the reelection of socialist President Nicolas Maduro, a vote widely viewed as fraudulent.

Washington has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s head of state. U.S. refineries that depend on Venezuela’s heavy crude are turning to domestic sour crude grades to offset the impact, sending prices to the strongest in about five years WTC-MRS, traders said. Other potential alternatives from Canada, Mexico or elsewhere in Latin America are hard to secure amid slowing production, limited spare capacity and transportation bottlenecks, traders said.

Broader oil futures prices found some support on news of sanctions but the market reaction was largely muted as a lack of investment, mismanagement and fleeing workers have already driven the OPEC-member’s oil production to the lowest in almost seven decades.

PDVSA is seeking to sidestep Trump administration sanctions restricting payments for its oil by asking major buyers, including U.S. refiners, to renegotiate contracts, four sources involved in the talks said. The United States is Venezuela’s biggest oil customer, importing, on average, about 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude in 2018, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

"The region with the biggest shortfall of Venezuelan crudes, either through sanctions or inadvertently through further production declines is the U.S.," said Michael Tran, commodity strategist at RBC Capital Markets, in a note.

The Trump administration sanctions allow U.S. companies to buy Venezuelan oil, but the proceeds of such sales will be put in a “blocked account." Because of this, PDVSA is likely to quickly stop shipping much crude to the United States, its top client. Overnight, Maduro said cargoes loaded for the United States that had not already been paid for could not depart.

"There’s going to be appetite around the world to take Venezuelan oil," Zachary Rogers, an oil markets analyst at consultancy Wood Mackenzie said. Venezuela will likely be forced to offer steep discounts and increase shipments to Russia, China and India to try and make up for lost revenues from its top market, traders and analysts said.

Its output has been cut in half since 2016 to near 70-year lows to less than 1.2 million bpd, according to figures from OPEC secondary sources, due to a major cash crunch. As a result, the U.S. share of its exports has declined in recent years, with more shipments going to Russia and China made largely through oil-for-debt repayment structures.

Venezuela can prioritize exports to Asia, but it is the most competitive battleground on the planet, RBC Capital’s Tran said, adding that while they remain the second largest market for Venezuelan crudes, the Chinese have also tapered its buying from Caracas over the past two years.