LANXESS appoints new head of its inorganic pigments business

LANXESS appoints new head of its inorganic pigments business

MOScOW (MRC) -- LANXESS, specialty chemicals company, announced that Michael Ertl (54) will take over as head of the Inorganic Pigments (IPG) business unit with immediate effect, according to Indian CHEMICAL Nes.

He will be responsible for the specialty chemicals company’s global business with inorganic color pigments, which are used primarily in the construction industry. Ertl succeeds Holger Hueppeler (53), who heads the newly formed Flavors & Fragrances (F&F) business unit at LANXESS following the successfully completed acquisition of Emerald Kalama Chemical.

Ertl joined Bayer AG in 1992 as a divisional engineer after studying process engineering at RWTH Aachen University and then held various managerial positions in the Technology Division. In 2005, he took over as head of the internal management consultancy Operational Excellence at LANXESS. Three years later, he moved to Aliseca GmbH, where he served as department head and site manager Krefeld-Uerdingen. In 2013, he took over as head of the LANXESS Chempark Office in Leverkusen. Since October 2015, Ertl has headed the Benzyl Products and Inorganic Acids business line within the Advanced Industrial Intermediates business unit.

The IPG business unit is part of LANXESS's Advanced Intermediates segment, which achieved sales of around two billion euros in fiscal 2020. IPG operates its largest site in Krefeld-Uerdingen and also has additional sites in Porto Feliz (Brazil), Starpointe Burgettstown (USA), Branston (UK), Vilassar de Mar (Spain), Sydney (Australia) and Ningbo (China).

As MRC reported earlier, in April 2021, LANXESS expanded its Colortherm Yellow pigment range for heat-resistant high-performance plastics. Two new inorganic yellow pigments are now available, namely Colortherm Yellow 5 and Colortherm Yellow 26.

We remind that Russia's output of chemical products rose in June 2021 by 10.2% year on year. However, production of basic chemicals increased year on year by 8.2% in the first six months of 2021. according to Rosstat's data. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, polymers in primary forms and synthetic rubbers accounted for the greatest increase in the output in January-June 2021.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with about 19,200 employees in 25 countries. The company is currently represented at 74 production sites worldwide. The core business of Lanxess is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals and plastics. Through Arlanxeo, the joint venture with Saudi Aramco, Lanxess is also a leading supplier of synthetic rubber.

Jinneng Science Technology conducts trial run at its new PP plants in Shandong province

Jinneng Science Technology conducts trial run at its new PP plants in Shandong province

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Jinneng Science & Technology Co Ltd successfully conducted trial production at its new polypropylene (PP) plant on 27 July 2021, according to CommoPlast with reference to market sources.

Based in Shandong, China, the company has two PP lines each with 450,000 tons/year. The first line was launched in end-July.

A source close to the company informed earlier that they would be outsourcing propylene for the trial production of PP line in August before the start up of a new 900,000 tons/year propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit at the same site.

Jinneng Science & Technology is aiming to achieve commercial on-spec PP production in the near future, whereby players expecting cargoes shall be able to be available in the market by next month.

As MRC reported previously, initially, the company planned to launch these units with in April last year. Construction was delayed due to longer-than-expected land-use permit procedures, the company said.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 727,160 tonnes in the first six months of 2021, up by 31% year on year. Supply of homopolymer of propyelene (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased. Supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.

Located in the Industrial Park of Qihe County (Shandong Province, China), Jinneng Science and Technology Company, Limited is an energy-focused high-tech industrial enterprise based on the production and distribution of fine chemical products and coal chemical products with total assets of 4 billion RMB (USD640 million) and over 3,000 employees. The company was founded in 1998.

Nigeria gives NNPC green light to acquire a 20% stake in Dangote oil refinery

Nigeria gives NNPC green light to acquire a 20% stake in Dangote oil refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nigeria has given its state oil firm the green light to acquire a 20% stake in Dangote's oil refinery for USD2.76 billion, reported Reuters with reference to junior oil minister Timipre Sylva's statement.

The 650,000-barrel-per-day oil refinery, owned by Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote, is under construction in Lagos, the biggest city in the most fuel-consuming nation in the region. The refinery is scheduled for commissioning by January.

Sylva said the government approved the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp's (NNPC) acquisition at a Cabinet meeting, he told reporters in Abuja, adding that the country also awarded contracts for the modernisation of two state-owned refineries.

The has said the NNPC's move to work with private companies was in line with safeguarding the country's energy security and would not undercut plans to rehabilitate its own refineries.

The NNPC said in June it had signed term sheets with Dangote Group for the stake in its USD19 billion oil refinery and is in talks with banks to borrow to buy the stake but would require government approval of the plan. The Dangote Group has previously said NNPC and three other firms had approached it regarding a stake purchase, to be able to secure crude supply agreements.

Nigeria, Africa's biggest crude oil exporter, imports virtually all its fuel due to moribund state refineries, which has prompted NNPC's interest in Dangote's oil refinery.

In March, Nigeria approved US1.5 billion of spending on the modernisation of the Port Harcourt oil refinery and awarded a contract to Italy's Tecnimont. Sylva said 15% of the contract sum has been paid and work has started in Port Harcourt. He added that the Cabinet approved contract awards for the upgrade of the Warri and Kaduna refineries to Saipem SpA and Saipem Contracting Ltd for USD1.484 billion.

As MRC informed before, Africa's largest oil refinery will deliver its fuels to Nigerian consumers via roads and sea ports, and will effectively replace all of Nigeria's fuel imports once fully operational. The 650,000 barrel-per-day Dangote oil refinery is under construction in Lagos, the biggest city in the most fuel-consuming nation in the region, which absorbed 266,000 barrels of petroleum products per day as of 2015. Congested ports and dilapidated roads led some to expect that the company would build a pipeline or other method of getting its fuel to consumers.

The Dangote group is also eyeing ethanol production at its sugar and molasses plant in Adamawa state, and has facilities at the refinery to blend ethanol with fuel if needed. Edwin said they are also already considering expanding plastics and petrochemical productions at the refinery, which will make polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) when it begins production.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of PE and PP, respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 953,400 tonnes in the first five months of 2021, which virtually corresponded to the same figure a year earlier. High density polyethylene (HDPE) shipments decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 607,8900 tonnes in January-May 2021, up by 33% year on year. Shipments of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas deliveries of PP random copolymers decreased.

Trinseo raises August MMA prices in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe, have announced a price increase for Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) in Europe, according to the company's press release as of August 3.

Effective August 1, 2021, or as existing contract terms allow, the company's price for MMA monomer grew by EUR300/tonne.

The company also raised its July MMA prices in the region by the same amount.

As MRC reported earlier, in May, 2021, Trinseo announced the closing of the previously announced transaction to acquire Arkema’s polymethyl methacrylates (PMMA) business. PMMA is a transparent and rigid resin with a wide range of end uses that augments Trinseo’s existing offerings across several end markets including automotive, building and construction, medical and consumer electronics.

The main application, consuming approximately 75% MMA, is in the production of polymethyl methacrylate acrylic plastics (PMMA). Methyl methacrylate is also used to produce methyl methacrylate-butadiene-styrene copolymer (MBS), used as a modifier for polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, negotiations over August contract prices of Russian PVC in the domestic market continued through the week; some producers further raised their prices. Some converters hesitated to confirm the new prices for Russian PVC.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo's technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD3.0 billion in net sales in 2020, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,600 employees.

Evonik posts strong earnings for H1 2021 and raises outlook for 2021

Evonik posts strong earnings for H1 2021 and raises outlook for 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik has raised its outlook for 2021 after posting strong earnings in the first half. Demand for Evonik products increased significantly worldwide with sales prices also rising, as per the company's press release.

"We have emerged out of the crisis stronger than before and have made substantial gains in the first half," said Christian Kullmann, chairman of the board of management. "This positive dynamic will continue into the second half. Therefore, we are confident about raising our outlook. From today’s perspective we will even end up in the upper part of the range.”

For 2021 Evonik now expects adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) of between EUR2.3 billion and EUR2.4 billion for the full year. Previously the range was EUR2.1 billion to EUR2.3 billion. The outlook for sales is now EUR13 billion to EUR14.5 billion, up from a previously expected EUR12 billion to EUR14 billion. Last year Evonik posted adjusted EBITDA of EUR1.91 billion and sales of EUR12.2 billion.

In the second quarter, adjusted EBITDA rose 42% to EUR649 million compared with the prior-year quarter. Even compared with the pre-corona second quarter of 2019, adjusted EBITDA gained, growing 15%. The main drivers were all three growth divisions - Specialty Additives, Nutrition & Care and Smart Materials, which demonstrated their resilience despite higher raw-material costs.

Sales at the company gained 29% to EUR3.64 billion in the second quarter compared with the same quarter in 2020. Adjusted net income increased 58 percent to EUR253 million with adjusted earnings per share rising from EUR0.34 to EUR0.54.

As a result of the improved business performance, free cash flow increased year-on-year to USD101 million, despite the expected increase in net working capital and higher tax payments. As a result, free cash flow reached a record level of USD413 million in the first half of the year.

Specialty Additives: The division's sales rose 23 percent to EUR922 million in the second quarter. Additives for polyurethane foams, for example for the construction industry or durable goods such as mattresses and refrigerators, saw significantly higher demand with sales rising strongly compared to the corona-related weaker quarter last year. Additives for the coatings industry also recorded significant sales growth in all regions. Good demand for renewable energy products continued. The business with additives for the automotive industry also increased significantly year-on-year. Adjusted EBITDA increased by 20 percent to EUR242 million.

Smart Materials: The division's sales improved by 35% to EUR975 million in the second quarter. High-performance polymers saw a significant increase in demand from the auto industry. Polyamide 12 powders for 3D printing and membranes for efficient gas treatment were also in high demand. The tire silica business benefited from a strong upturn in demand compared to the corona-related weaker quarter last year. Active oxygen products recorded good volume demand both in the specialty business and in the classic hydrogen peroxide business. The catalysts business benefited from the first-time inclusion of Porocel, which was acquired in November 2020. Adjusted EBITDA rose 73 percent to EUR176 million at the division.

Performance Materials: The division's sales rose by 62 percent to EUR708 million in the second quarter. Sales of C4 products increased significantly with increasing demand and strongly improved selling prices. The superabsorbent business continues to be affected by a difficult market environment. Adjusted EBITDA rose from EUR12 million to EUR99 million in the quarter.

As MRC informed earlier, in February, 2020, Dow and Evonik entered into an exclusive technology partnership. Together, they plan to bring a unique method for directly synthesizing propylene glycol (PG) from propylene and hydrogen peroxide to market maturity.

Propylene is the main feedstock for the production of polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 607,8900 tonnes in January-May 2021, up by 33% year on year. Shipments of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas deliveries of PP random copolymers decreased.

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The focus on more specialty businesses, customer-oriented innovative prowess and a trustful and performance-oriented corporate culture form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. They are the lever for profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company. Evonik benefits specifically from its customer proximity and leading market positions. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world with more than 33,000 employees.