Indorama acquires 32% of Indian fibres maker IRSL

MOSCOW (MRC) --Thai Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemical producer, has announced that it has completed the share purchase of 83,000,000 newly issued shares in Indo Rama Synthetics (India) Limited (IRSL), equaling to approximately 31.79% of IRSL’s enlarged share capital at the price of INR 36 per share, as per the company's press release.

IRSL is a fiber manufacturing facility located in Nagpur, Maharashtra state, India. This facility has a combined capacity of 605,000 tonnes/ annum, consisting of polyester chips, fibers and filament yarns.

IRSL is a strong strategic fit with IVL’s Fiber strategy in home and apparel, where the company focuses on building a low-cost position in Asian operations and leveraging innovation in high-margin growth markets. This strategic investment provides IVL entry into a large domestic market where local presence gives duty and logistic benefits.

IVL has already invested in India over three years in the PET business. India is the second largest polyester market in the world after China with consumption growing at about 7.0% per annum, with a population of 1.2 billion. India’s per capita consumption of polyester is about 3 kg, compared to 14 kg in China. This low level per capita consumption is expected to increase along with the rise in India’s per capita GDP, which will provide affluence-related consumption and opportunities for growing into more functional and High Value-added (HVA) products. IVL is in a strong position to benefit from this evolving trend, backed by its strong R&D capabilities.

The textile industry contributes 15% of India’s exports and employs 4% of the population and therefore has an important part in India’s industrial policy.

Mr. Aloke Lohia, Group CEO of Indorama Ventures said, "This strategic investment is another step in executing our strategies to position IVL for sustainable growth. India has been on our radar for some time. It is the only large domestic market for fibers where we are not present. The market for fiber in India is expected to grow exponentially and is still largely untapped.

India is the largest textile market and IRSL has a key position. The strategic investment is expected to grow shareholder returns. This market has a large, untapped potential that will be highly lucrative as it expands.

As a company listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, we put the circular economy and sustainability as a priority. We will bring our knowledge and expertise of recycling to play a role in the creation of awareness and practices thus protect the environment and society."

As MRC reported previously, in early February, 2019, IVL 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. 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.

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. 19,000 employees worldwide and consolidated revenue of USD 10.7 billion in 2018. The Company is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).

KBR technology selected for Saudi Aramco Riyadh Refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR, Inc. announced that it has been awarded a contract by Saudi Aramco for KBR's market-leading Supercritical Solvent Deasphalting (SDA) technology ROSE, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide a 3-product ROSE technology license, basic engineering design, and proprietary equipment for Saudi Aramco's residue upgrading and clean fuels project at the Riyadh Refinery in Saudi Arabia. Our proven 3-product ROSE scheme will be designed to meet Saudi Aramco's specific objectives for their project.

KBR's highly efficient ROSE technology requires up to 60% less energy than other technologies and is designed for ease of operation, safety and high reliability. Leading KBR's line of environmentally friendly technologies, ROSE is setting the industry standard for assisting refiners in complying with the new International Marine Organization (IMO) fuel regulations that take effect in 2020 (IMO2020).

"We are honored that Saudi Aramco has selected the ROSE process for their clean fuels project at the Riyadh Refinery," said John Derbyshire, KBR President, Technology. "This award underscores our market leadership in residue upgrading solutions to help our clients address IMO2020 compliance challenges and improve the profitability of their refining assets."

As the market leader in SDA technology, KBR has licensed over 90% of the world's installed SDA capacity and continues to see a strong demand for the ROSE technology globally.

As MRC reported before, in October 2018, Saudi Aramco signed an agreement to invest in a refinery-petrochemical project in eastern China, part of its strategy to expand in downstream operations globally. The memorandum of understanding between the company and Zhejiang province included plans to invest in a new refinery and co-operate in crude oil supply, storage and trading. Zhejiang Petrochemical, 51 percent owned by textile giant Zhejiang Rongsheng Holding Group, is building a 400,000-barrels-per-day refinery and associated petrochemical facilities that was expected to start operations by the end of 2018.

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.

Ineos Oxide to double capacity of its new ethylene oxide and derivatives facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ineos Oxide has recently announced that it is to double the size of its planned Ethylene Oxide (EO) and Ethylene Oxide Derivatives (EOD) facility to be built on the U.S. Gulf Coast, said the company.

The new plant will produce 1.2 billion pounds of EO (circa 520 kt). The plant is expected to be operational in 2023.

Ghislain Decadt, Operations Director, Ineos Oxide said, “Doubling the capacity of our planned Ethylene Oxide and Derivatives facility is a significant commitment in support of our customers and their growth ambitions in the US. This build allows us to address a fast growing EO merchant market as well as our own requirements. Combined with our upstream olefins capabilities this world class facility will secure our position as a reliable and competitive producer."

In addition to installing its own Ethoxylate derivative capacity on-site and infrastructure to supply customers by rail, the company plans to allow interested third-parties to co-locate on site and consume EO by pipeline.

The firm is considering several sites on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

As MRC informed earlier, Ineos Oxide announced that following a detailed study it is moving forward with the next stage of its project to construct an Ethylene Oxide (EO) and Ethylene Oxide Derivatives (EOD) facility on the U.S. Gulf Coast. It is planned that the asset will be operational in 2022.

Reliance Jio Acquires Haptik for 100 Million Dollars

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Reliance Industries has recently announced that its subsidiary Reliance Jio Digital Services has entered into a definitive business transfer agreement with Haptik Infotech, said Process-worldwide.

The transaction size, including investment for growth and expansion, is estimated at about 100 million dollars, with 33 million dollars as the consideration for the initial business transfer. The Haptik team will continue to drive growth of the business, including the enterprise platform as well as digital consumer assistants. On a fully diluted basis Reliance will hold about ~87 % of the business with the rest being held by Haptik founders and employees through stock option grants.

This transaction enables Reliance Jio to leverage Haptik’s capabilities across various devices and touch points in the consumer’s journey. The investment focus is on enhancement and expansion of the platform, with an addressable market opportunity of over 1 billion users in India. This partnership will also give a boost to Haptik’s existing enterprise grade business, with the company continuing to build innovative AI solutions for corporates globally.

Speaking on this strategic investment, Akash Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio, said “This strategic investment underlines our commitment to further boost the digital ecosystem and provide Indian users conversational AI enabled devices with multi-lingual capabilities. We believe voice interactivity will be the primary mode of interaction for Digital India. We are delighted to announce this partnership, and look forward to working with the experienced team of Haptik in realising this vision for offering greater connectivity and rich communication experiences to the billion+ Indian consumers.”

As MRC informed earlier, Reliance Industries, operator of the world’s biggest refining complex, has turned to selling fuels to Venezuela from India and Europe to circumvent sanctions that bar US-based companies from dealing with state-run PDVSA.

Reliance Industries is one of the world's largest producers of polymers. Thus, the company produces among others polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride.

Volgograd Kaustik to shut PVC production for maintenance in May

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Volgograd Kaustik, Russia's fourth largest polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer, intends to take off-stream its production capacities for a scheduled turnaround in May, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The plant's customers said the shutdown of PVC production for scheduled maintenance is planned from 10 May. The outage will be short and will last for three weeks. The plant's PVC production capacity is 90,000 tonnes/year.

It is also worth noting that next shutdowns for maintenance at Russian PVC plants are scheduled from mid-July. Thus, SayanskKhimPlast and Bashkir Soda Company, which annual capacities are 350,000 tonnes and 240,000 tonnes, respectively, will take off-stream their production capacities for maintenance.

PVC production at Volgograd Kaustik was launched in December 1972 with the assistance of the Japanese firm Kureh's specialists.

Nikokhim Group is one of the leaders of the Russian chemical industry, the main production assets of which are located in the southern industrial hub of Volgograd.

The holding company includes: JSC Kaustik is the principal plant of the group, manufactures basic products - caustic soda, chloroparaffins, synthetic hydrochloric acid, chlorine trademark, polyvinyl chloride, sodium hypochlorite, etc .; CJSC NikoMag - production of anti-icing materials, magnesium chloride, magnesium oxide and hydroxide; Zirax, Ltd. - production of high-purity reagents for various industries and JSC Poligran - the production of plastic compounds and rigid PVC compounds.