Indorama starts production at acquired PTA & PET assets in Portugal and Egypt

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama Ventures (IVL) has commenced production of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) at plants it acquired from Artlant PTA in Portugal and EIPET in Egypt, respectively, as per Apic-online.

IVL completed the acquisition of the 700,000-t/y PTA facility, located at the Sines industrial complex, in Late 2017. Value of the transaction, which included all equipment, surface rights and employment contracts, was not disclosed.

As MRC wrote before, in June 2018, IVL, through its indirect subsidiary Indorama Netherlands, entered into an agreement with Dhunseri Petrochem to acquire and restart the 540,000-t/y PET plant in Ain Sokhna, Egypt.

IVL agreed to purchase up to a 50% equity stake in EIPET and entered into a 50-50 joint venture partnership with Dhunseri. Financial details were not given.

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, listed in Thailand, is one of the world's leading petrochemicals producers, a global manufacturing footprint with 59 sites in 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. The company's portfolio is comprises necessities and high value-added (HVA) categories of polymers, fibers, and packaging. Indorama Ventures has approx. 15,000 employees worldwide and consolidated revenue of USD 8.4 billion in 2017. The company is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).

Delta trying to unload East Coast refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Delta Air Lines wants to sell its oil refinery in Trainer, Pennsylvania, after attempts to offer a partial stake in the plant late last year failed, reported Reuters with reference to two people familiar with the matter.

The Atlanta-based airline hired investment banks last year to organize the sale of a stake in its Monroe Energy refining subsidiary, signaling it wanted to share the risk of running an energy business.

The offer failed to attract sufficient interest because a refinery on the East Coast is viewed as an undesirable asset given the rising costs of acquiring crude oil.

The airline, the largest in the United States by market capitalization, now wants to sell the entire plant with an eye toward finding a buyer that would agree to a long-term contract with Delta to buy the plant’s jet fuel, the sources said.

Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant declined to comment on the potential sale and shift in strategy but pointed to comments made by chief financial officer Paul Jacobson last month when asked for an update on the search for a partner in Monroe Energy.

"We have continued with that process and have received some interest in having discussions with parties. There’s no update on the strategy broadly as we articulated," Jacobson said in a January 15 earnings call.

"We’re looking for ways to enhance the value and the strategic value to Delta of the refinery through a partnership and those discussions can be complicated," he said.

The airline acquired the 185,000-barrel-per-day refinery in 2012 for USD150 million in a bet that it could lower its cost of jet fuel, among the highest expenses for any airline. The refinery also makes gasoline and diesel for profit.

The US refining industry has been consolidating into larger players that can use scale to lower their cost of buying raw materials and paying for regular overhauls. This week, oil giant Chevron announced plans to buy a small Gulf Coast refinery to increase its crude processing capabilities.

Four refineries on the US East Coast have closed in the past decade. East Coast refiners got a lifeline for a few years from the Bakken shale boom in North Dakota earlier this decade when high production forced producers to offer them steep discounts.

The discounts have vanished in recent years as more pipeline capacity came online, however, reverting to the poor economics that hurt East Coast refiners a few years earlier.

Delta has argued that keeping the refinery open by buying it was crucial. It said jet fuel prices would have risen across the Northeast if the facility had closed, hurting the airline’s results.

More recently Delta has run the plant like a traditional refinery, choosing to make more of whatever refined product offered the highest margin.

As MRC informed earlier, in late January 2019, ExxonMobil said that it had reached a final investment decision and started construction on a new unit at its Beaumont, Texas refinery that will increase crude refining capacity by more than 65 percent, or 250,000 barrels per day.

Hitachi Chemical set to take over Apceth Biopharma

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions has recently announced an agreement by which Apceth Biopharma, will join PCT Hitachi Chemical’s global services platform, said Process-worldwide.

Apceth Biopharma manufactures cell and gene therapy products for American and European clients through two manufacturing sites in Munich, Germany, certified for GMP manufacture since 2010. These facilities are fully compliant with all current EU regulations and ICH guidelines. The company’s strength lies in its experience and comprehensive quality management systems allowing the manufacturing and development of a wide range of complex cell and gene therapy products. Through this deal, Hitachi Chemical will acquire two state-of-the-art GMP/BSL2 production facilities including 600 sq m of clean room area.

This global contract development and manufacturing services platform currently includes two U.S. facilities, in Allendale, New Jersey and Mountain View, California, and a recently opened facility in Yokohama, Japan. Construction is underway for a third U.S. facility in Allendale, New Jersey that will provide commercial manufacturing capability for products after the opening in the second quarter of 2019.

The addition of Apceth in Europe to Hitachi Chemical will complement the PCT global services platform’s global footprint. All of these facilities will share harmonised quality and information management systems, accounting for all regional regulatory requirements, as well as harmonised manufacturing operations, and technology transfer approaches, designed to ensure a seamless and rapid approach to serving clients globally.

Singapore refinery profits fall to lowest since 2010

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Average Singapore refinery profit margins fell to their lowest levels since 2010 as fuel markets struggle with oversupply while feedstock crude oil prices are near 2019 highs, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The average refinery margins for a Singaporean refinery dropped to USD1.20 per barrel on Monday, the lowest since 2010, Refinitiv data showed.

Traders said the low profits were due to oversupply of refined fuels like fuel oil or diesel, while prices for crude oil, the most important feedstock and biggest cost factor for refineries, reached 2019 highs last Friday.

As MRC informed before, in 2016, Jacobs Engineering Group received a contract from Singapore Refining Company Private Ltd. (SRC), a JV between Singapore Petroleum Co. and Chevron, to provide services for an upgrade project at SRC’s refinery in Jurong Island, Singapore.

Avery Dennison recycled PET liners now available across Europe in four constructions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The recent launch, by Avery Dennison, of a portfolio using recycled PET (rPET) liners has received another important boost, with four labelling constructions now available across Europe, as per the company's press release.

Georg Muller-Hof, vice president marketing LPM Europe, said that using post-consumer waste (PCW) to manufacture label liners represents a step change in sustainability: "Avery Dennison is focused on real-world sustainability improvements, which ultimately means ‘closing the loop’ and using post-consumer waste to create new products. These four new labelling materials not only use a liner with more than 30% recycled PET bottle content, but they are also part of our CleanFlake and ClearCut portfolios - which offer important additional sustainability gains in their own right."

Three CleanFlake materials are now available on a thin rPET23 liner. The 'switchable' CleanFlake adhesive is designed to separate cleanly from PET bottles during the recycling process so that contamination of PET flakes is avoided - an important factor in ensuring that recycled PET can be recycled rather than downcycled. A fourth material - a high clarity ClearCut PP50 TOP CLEAR-S7000-rPET23 construction - is considerably thinner than today’s market reference (PP60 with PET30), and offers high speed conversion and dispensing using the same thin rPET23 liner.

The rPET liner has been designed to convert in the same way as a conventional PET liner, with no noticeable differences in performance.

Muller-Hof said that more will follow: "We are committed to managing waste across the value chain - in line with our 2025 Sustainability Goals and to meet the needs of our customers. Moving forward, we look forward to introducing rPET liner in an expanded range of products, as well as offering products that contain recycled content and/or enable recycling of end use packaging."

As MRC wrote earlier, in December 2016, Avery Dennison Corporation announced it had agreed to acquire Hanita Coatings, a pressure-sensitive materials manufacturer of specialty films and laminates from Kibbutz Hanita Coatings and Tene Investment Funds for the purchase price of USD75 million. Headquartered in Israel with sales and distribution facilities in the United States, Germany, China and Australia, Hanita Coatings develops and manufactures coated, laminated, and metallized polyester films for a range of industrial and commercial applications, all of which require high performance and superior quality.

Headquartered in Glendale, California, Avery Dennison is a global leader in labeling and packaging materials and solutions. The company’s applications and technologies are an integral part of products used in every major market and industry. With operations in more than 50 countries and more than 25,000 employees worldwide, Avery Dennison serves customers with insights and innovations that help make brands more inspiring and the world more intelligent.