DSM expands in India with acquisition of SRF Ltd.’s Specialty Materials business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living, announces that it has reached agreement with SRF Ltd., to acquire its Engineering Plastics business, a leading player in India in the development, production and sale of specialty materials, said the company.

The acquisition is expected to close in Q3 2019, subject to customary closing conditions. The acquisition will further cement DSM Material’s’ position in India as the leading player in among others engineering plastics in this fast-growing economy and fits with its strategic aim of generating leading positions in fast-growing economies. SRF’s Engineering Plastics business, founded in 1979, with its main operations located in Pantnagar (India), realized sales of about USD 37 million in 2018 and has seen double-digit growth in recent years.

The company’s customers are well-known brands in the Automotive and Electrical & Electronics industries in India. Its business is highly complementary to DSM’s business in India and will allow DSM to further grow its business without having to significantly invest in capital expenditures. With strong anticipated market growth in the coming years, fueled by increasing domestic demand from a growing middle class and weight reduction/metal replacement in automotive, this acquisition will help DSM to meet the current and future needs of its customers in India and saves DSM a capacity investment required for further growth in India.

In 2018, DSM’s total sales in India, realized with about 550 employees, amounted to about €250 million, an increase of 17% compared to 2017. DSM is active in both Nutrition and Materials in the country. DSM Engineering Plastics operates a compounding facility and an R&T center in Pune.

Clariant Masterbatches plants in Spain and Indonesia are Global Sites to comply with ISO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a focused and innovative specialty chemical company, today announced it has completed ISO 22000 certification for its sites at Sant Andreu de la Barca (Barcelona), Spain, and Tangerang, Indonesia, recently, said the company.

Together with the Indonesian site and the former certified site in Singapore, Sant Andreu de la Barca is the third global site, and the first in Europe, to have completed the certification.

Certification strengthens Clariant’s global capabilities and leadership position as a supplier of high-quality, high-performance color and additive masterbatches for the food industry. Applications supported by the Spanish site include plastics caps and closures, food tabs and bottles, as well as film and sheet. In recent years, regulators have determined that packaging that comes in direct contact with food products must be considered a food ingredient and must meet the same standards for safety. Since Clariant’s color and additive concentrates are used in making plastics packaging, achieving ISO 22000 status for its manufacturing plants simplies the certification process for its customers and their clients.

"Our objective was to build on Clariant’s long-standing collaboration with current customers and expand the business related to food contact applications," says Alessandro Dulli, Global Head of Segment and BD Packaging. “We now can readily support food producers who are already using a similar standard, or plastics converters who want to make sure that the entire value chain applies comparable procedures to the ones they are using in their production lines."

ISO 22000 is a family of international standards that addresses food-safety management and lists measures that an organization needs to put in place to control eventual food safety hazards. These regulations are more stringent than earlier standards governing simple food contact. The need for such a standard is driven by an increased level of awareness of consumers towards food safety.

The certification process, which was overseen by SQS, a qualified Swiss provider of international certifications and audit systems,took roughly one full year and will undergo constant annual review. It represents a further step over HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) qualification that San Andreu achieved a few years ago.

KBR awarded maintenance services contract by Sadara

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR, Inc. announced it has been awarded a Maintenance Alliance Program (MAP) contract to provide long-term maintenance services for the Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture of Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical Company, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Sadara project is the largest chemical complex ever built in a single phase, with 26 world-scale manufacturing plants, at a total investment of approximately USD20billion. Under the terms of the MAP contract, KBR, through its local joint venture subsidiary KBR Al Yusr , will provide preventative and predictive maintenance services (PPM) for an initial period of 3 years, extendable up to 5 years. In addition to PPM KBR Al Yusr will support Sadara with management and execution of corrective maintenance, shutdowns and turnarounds.

"We are delighted to be selected for the Sadara Maintenance Alliance Program for two out of the three envelopes which were tendered," said Jay Ibrahim, KBR President, Energy Solutions - Services. "This award confirms Sadara’s continued confidence in KBR as a full-service partner throughout the lifecycle of this project, and KBR’s position as the preeminent market leader in Industrial Services."

KBR was originally awarded the feasibility and pre-FEED for the entire Sadara complex, and later awarded the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for several major assets. In addition, KBR provided project management oversight during the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) phase of the project which peaked at about 660 specialized KBR personnel at the Jubail site.

"We are incredibly proud of the safety record already achieved on the Sadara project during the EPC phase under KBR’s management, working over 80 million construction hours without a single lost time incident," Ibrahim continued. "The safety of our people remains a cornerstone of our culture and we intend to roll-out our Zero Harm safety program in MAP immediately."

As MRC wrote earlier, in June 2015, Sadara Chemical Co. signed a 20-year supply agreement with Energy Chemicals Sources Co. (ECSC), a new joint venture of Halliburton and The Industrialization & Energy Services Co. (TAQA), to supply feedstock to ECSC's planned chemical production facility to be built in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Sadara is building a world-scale, fully integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City 2, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The complex is comprised of 26 manufacturing units, will possess flexible cracking capabilities and is expected to produce more than 3 million metric tons of high-value performance plastics and specialty chemical products. The first production units came on-line in the second half of 2015, with full production starting in mid-2016.

Hengyi prepares to start trial runs at Brunei crude oil refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China’s Zhejiang Hengyi Group has started preparations for trial runs at its oil refinery in Brunei after importing its first crude cargo for the plant last week, a company spokesperson said, as per Reuters.

The company imported 80,000 tons (584,000 barrels) of Seria Light crude that arrived at the Pulau Muara Besar Terminal on May 2, she said. Hengyi’s refinery has a nameplate capacity of 160,000 barrels per day. Xinhua News reported the trial runs on Friday.

Hengyi has also purchased Zafiro crude from West African, which will arrive in June.

As MRC informed earlier, in April 2012, Zhejiang Hengyi signed a land lease agreement with the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) for its Integrated Refinery and Aromatics Cracker Project in Brunei Darussalam. The China Zhejiang Hengyi (Brunei) PMB Petrochemical Project at Pulau Muara Besar (PMB), Indonesia, is the largest investment project for a privately-owned Chinese company overseas.

Zhejiang Hengyi Group Co., Ltd manufactures and distributes chemical fiber products. The Company produces purified terephthalic acid fibers, polyester spinning fibers, and more. Zhejiang Hengyi Group also operates investment businesses.


US EPA has received DOE input for 2018 small refinery waivers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The US Department of Energy has given the US Environmental Protection Agency its scoring results for the 40 outstanding 2018 applications made by small refineries for waivers from biofuel laws, reported Reuters with reference to sources.

The recommendations from the Energy Department are a crucial step in the EPA’s process for weighing the exemption requests, which can save refineries millions of dollars in regulatory costs and have become the center of a bitter dispute between the rival oil and corn industries.

The US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is designed to help American farmers by requiring oil refiners to blend certain volumes of biofuels into their fuel each year or purchase credits from those that do. But small refineries with a production capacity of 75,000 barrels per day or less can secure waivers if they prove that compliance would cause them financial harm.

Under President Donald Trump, the EPA has vastly expanded the number of waivers granted to refineries, angering Midwest farmers and their legislative backers who say the policy destroys demand for corn-based ethanol and other biofuels at a time they are already struggling.

For 2017, the EPA granted 35 exemptions to small refineries, without denying any applications, up from seven exemptions issued in the last year of the Obama administration, according to EPA data. That reduced the costs of credits that some refiners such as Valero Energy Corp, PBF Energy Inc and HollyFrontier Corp must buy in order to comply with the RFS, saving them hundreds of millions of dollars.

For 2018, there are a total of 40 petitions pending to obtain a small refinery waiver. Traders and market participants have been awaiting the decisions for months now.

"No decisions regarding 2018 SREs have been made," Michael Abboud, a spokesman for the EPA said. "Many aspects of the decisions for exempting individual refineries are based on confidential business information."

As MRC wrote before, in November 2018, The US Environmental Protection Agency lifted its annual blending mandate for advanced biofuels by 15 percent for 2019, while keeping steady the requirement for conventional biofuels like corn-based ethanol.