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.

Crude oil intake suspension at Rosneft's Tuapse refinery to continue

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil intake suspension at Rosneft’s Tuapse refinery will continue until April 18, reported Reuters with reference to Russia’s transport monopoly Transneft.

"The Tuapse refinery, which was back from planned maintenance on April 3 and suspended crude oil intake on April 5 for 24 hours, decided to continue the suspension period until April 18," Transneft said in a statement.

Rosneft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As MRC wrote before, in mid-December 2018, oil loadings were resumed to the Afipsky refinery, Interfax news agency cited Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft. Russia’s Afipsky, a mid-sized private oil refiner, suspended oil refining to carry out maintenance of its two crude units from Oct. 6-17, 2018.

Fire breaks out at Rosneft Novokuibyshevsk refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian oil producer Rosneft said a fire that broke out earlier on Monday at a secondary facility at its Novokuibyshevsk oil refinery in the Russian region of Samara had been put out, reported Reuters.

It said no one had been hurt in the incident.

The refinery is part of the Samara group of refineries acquired by oil giant Rosneft in May 2007.

As MRC informed before, Russian oil giant Rosneft said its refinery plant in Ryazan stopped a primary crude processing unit to carry out planned maintenance on March 17. The plant remained closed until March 31, according to the energy ministry's statement.

Rosneft became Russia's largest publicly traded oil company in March 2013 after the USD55 billion takeover of TNK-BP, which was Russia’s third-largest oil producer at the time.

AkzoNobel innovation key to unique energy harvesting project for buildings

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A research project which aims to harness the wasted solar energy absorbed by buildings has been launched by a consortium of 13 partners – including AkzoNobel, as per the company's press release.

The ENVISION initiative is going beyond the solar panels found on roofs in an attempt to harvest energy from all building surfaces (both transparent and opaque), without having to compromise on aesthetics. A solution for absorbing near-infrared light (NIR) via special panels already exists, but these panels are only available in one color – black. So AkzoNobel’s coatings experts got to work and are developing technology which can capture heat using lighter and brighter colors. Dutch company BAM and research organization TNO are also partners in the project.

“Black facades aren’t attractive to most people, so we’ve come up with an innovative solution which allows heat to be captured by colors that traditionally reflect NIR,” explains Anthonie Stuiver, the AkzoNobel senior scientist who is working on the project.

He adds that the company is also looking to create different pigment effects, as well as the more familiar brick and wood patterns found on most houses. “It’s a practical and sustainable solution for making buildings energy positive – and existing houses more climate-friendly – which also gives consumers freedom of color choice,” Stuiver continues.

The ENVISION project is part of Horizon 2020, the biggest ever EU research and innovation program. The project aims to demonstrate a full renovation concept which invisibly harvests energy from all available surfaces. The potential is huge, with an estimated 60 billion square meters of facade surface available to use throughout the EU.

“This is the first time that a concept of this kind has been developed,” says Bart Erich, researcher and project coordinator from partner TNO. “Theoretically the concept is very simple. The challenge has been how to convert and store the energy so that it can be used efficiently."

AkzoNobel’s focus on sustainable innovation has already produced several products that make buildings more climate-friendly. Many of these include KeepCool technology (used in exterior paints) which can reflect up to 85% more infrared radiation than comparable products – leading to significant energy savings related to air conditioning. The ENVISION project is designed to do exactly the opposite – absorb energy.

"Innovation is part of our DNA," adds Stuiver. “Projects such as ENVISION enable us to demonstrate our passion for paint and prove the depth of our expertise. We’re proud to be involved."

Stuiver will reveal more about AkzoNobel’s involvement at the Building Holland trade show – being staged in Amsterdam from April 9 to 11 – when he will take part in an interactive knowledge session organized by BAM Wonen.

As MRC informed before, in December 2016, AkzoNobel finalized the acquisition of BASF’s global Industrial Coatings business, which supplies a range of products for industries including construction, domestic appliances, wind energy and commercial transport, strengthening its position as the global number one supplier in coil coatings. The transaction includes relevant technologies, patents and trademarks, as well as two manufacturing plants in the United Kingdom and South Africa. Approximately 400 employees from BASF’s Industrial Coatings business join AkzoNobel, bringing expertise to innovate and serve an expanded customer base worldwide.

Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, active in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 55,000 people.