Aurora Plastics acquired by private equity firm Nautic Partners

Aurora Plastics acquired by private equity firm Nautic Partners

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Aurora Plastics LLC, a U.S.-based supplier of PVC compounds with operations in Quebec, has been acquired by private equity firm Nautic Partners for an undisclosed amount, said Canpastics.

Prior to the ownership change, Aurora Plastics was majority owned by Chicago-based Wind Point Partners (WPP) and the Toronto-based Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). WPP and OTPP purchased Aurora Plastics in August 2016.

Aurora Plastics CEO Darrell Hughes and the senior executive team will continue to lead the company, which is headquartered in Streetsboro, Ohio. "Together with our investors, employees, and suppliers, we have created a strong polymer compounding platform, supporting the growth of our key customers, accelerating the release of new strategic products, enhancing our long-term customer partnerships, and increasing our overall levels of quality, service, and profitability. In doing so, we have delivered an excellent return for our investors,” Hughes said in an Aug. 11 news release. “We thank our previous owners – WPP in Chicago and OTPP in Canada for being tremendous sponsors over the last five years, and we are happy to have fulfilled their vision."

"The mission at Aurora Plastics remains the same – we want to be our customers’ first choice in polymer compounds,” Hughes said. “With Nautic as our new investor and majority shareholder, we will benefit from their strong record of creating value with teams just like ours. We look forward to continued innovation and providing the best in service to all our customers."

Last year, U.S.-based private equity firm Nautic Partners LLC added a second plastics company to its portfolio with the acquisition of pipe distribution company Harrington Industrial Plastics LLC.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, July total production of unmixed PVC fell to 64,600 tonnes from 83,800 tonnes a month earlier, Bashkir Soda Company and SayanskKhimPlast shut their production capacities for scheduled turnarounds. Overall output of polymer totalled 580,500 tonnes in January-July 2021, compared to 556,800 tonnes a year earlier. Only Bashkir Soda Company reduced its production, whereas three other producers showed an increase in the output of resin.

Founded in 1997, Aurora Plastics supplies PVC, TPE, and customized alloy compounds for customers across North America. In addition to the Streetsboro production facility, the company has manufacturing capabilities in North Carolina, Quebec, Massachusetts, and Texas.

KraussMaffei High Performance will transfer its business to Netstal

KraussMaffei High Performance will transfer its  business to Netstal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Munich, Germany-based KraussMaffei Group will transfer its KraussMaffei High Performance AG business into an independent unit operating under the Netstal name on 1 October, said Canplastics.

The new subgroup will manage the Netstal new machines and service business worldwide from its subsidiaries, according to KraussMaffei CEO Michael Ruf.

"With this step, we are taking into account the wishes of our customers and reuniting the NETSTAL brand and the Netstal organization under a common name,” Ruf said in an Aug. 13 news release. “We are convinced that in the future Netstal will be able to respond to customers and their applications with even greater focus than before and offer them the added value for which the Netstal brand has stood for many decades."

"The markets served by Netstal have proven to be crisis-proof even during the pandemic,” the news release continued. “KraussMaffei therefore anticipates strong growth in these areas, particularly in the medical as well as the PET segments. Here, Netstal offers a machine series with the new PET Line that provides unique added value."

As MRC informed earlier, in July Krauss Maffei opened its new plant in Jiaxing, with which the company plans to double its production capacity in China. More than 600 customers and partners came to the opening ceremony of the new Chinese plant. In an exhibition, they saw ten different machine types and 16 different applications. These included machines that are developed and manufactured in China for the Chinese market, such as the PX Agile series of electrical injection molding machines, the ZE GP-Agile twin-screw extruders and a mixing and dosing machine. Among the processes presented were LSR processing, colorform and metal injection molding as well as special applications such as precision injection molding, optical lenses and freely sprayed high-gloss surfaces.

As per MRC, 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 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. Production of benzene dropped to 108,000 tonnes in June 2021 from 119,000 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of this product reached 695,900 tonnes over the stated period, down by 3.3% year on year.

Krauss Maffei, the world's only provider of turnkey equipment for injection molding, extrusion and reaction technology, has merged its business divisions as well as the former brands KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal, under the auspices of the single brand KraussMaffei.

LyondellBasell joins post-use plastic feedstock management company Cyclyx as founding member

LyondellBasell joins post-use plastic feedstock management company Cyclyx as founding member

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Cyclyx International, a consortium-based feedstock management company with a mission to increase the recycling rate of plastic from 10% to 90%, has announced that LyondellBasell has joined Cyclyx as a founding member, according to CISION.

LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest producers of plastics and chemicals, is a leader in the effort to help advance the circular economy and has pledged to produce and market two million metric tons of recycled and renewable-based polymers annually by 2030.

As a founding member of the consortium, LyondellBasell will join the collaborative efforts of a growing list of companies that are working to foster a more sustainable future for plastics. The company has consistently demonstrated their commitment in this area, leveraging their scale and reach to make a positive impact across the value chain. With multiple investments in recycling technologies and collaborations focused on advancing recycling infrastructure and end markets for recycled products, LyondellBasell’s membership brings valuable knowledge and experience to Cyclyx. In addition, Ganesh Nagarajan, associate director, polymers business development and projects at LyondellBasell will bring his expertise to the executive advisory board.

“As a founding member of Cyclyx, increasing the recycling rate of plastic waste is incredibly important to our sustainability journey,”said Ken Lane, LyondellBasell executive vice president Global Olefins and Polyolefins. “LyondellBasell recognizes the challenges plastic waste brings, and we aim to be a part of the solution through our involvement with Cyclyx, which can help us and our industry achieve our recycling ambitions.”

As MRC informed earlier, LyondellBassel's La Porte, Texas, cracker was heard to be offline again after a short-lived restart, reported S&P Global with reference to sources familiar with operations' statement on July 23. The cracker had been confirmed as back online July 20, but, according to one market source, it was shut again not long after.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,176,860 tonnes in the first half of 2021, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) decreased. At the same time, 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 PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased. Supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.

LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its 13,000 employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, and improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road. LyondellBasell sells products into approximately 100 countries and is the world's largest licensor of polyolefin technologies.

European and US gasoline stocks down to near pre-pandemic levels but road ahead may be bumpy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- European and US gasoline stocks have fallen to near pre-pandemic levels as Western holidaymakers hit the roads, but the end of the driving season and the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus could slow the recovery in global oil demand, reported Reuters.

The pandemic and resulting lockdowns around the world destroyed demand for oil products and led to massive stock builds in 2020 which have been gradually depleting this year.

The International Energy Agency said on Thursday that global oil demand surged by 3.8 million barrels per day month-on-month in June, led by increased mobility in North America and Europe, but reversed course in July and is set to proceed more slowly for the rest of the year due to the spread of the Delta variant.

"International travels are restricted so everyone is travelling by car. It is really a car-driven recovery that is pulling road fuel inventories down," said Cuneyt Kazokoglu, head of oil demand analysis at FGE.

World gasoline demand in June was only 3% lower than the 2019 average, according to FGE's estimate, and demand in the United States, Europe and China has either largely recovered or exceeded 2019 levels.

"Government regulations and restrictions are the main obstacles for demand recovery at the moment. Whenever they are lifted, we see pent-up demand and a strong recovery," said Kazokoglu.

Successful vaccination programmes in North America and Europe - with around half their populations fully inoculated according to Our World in Data project - meant easing restrictions and faster and steeper fuel stock drawdowns West-of-Suez than in the East.

Fuel stocks in Asia, where only around 30% of people are fully vaccinated, remain elevated overall as a rapid rise in COVID-19 case numbers in parts of the continent leads to new curbs on movement.

The United States consumes about a fifth of the world's oil, almost half of it as gasoline and it is here that the inventory decline has been largest. US gasoline inventories fell to 227.5 million barrels last week, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the lowest since November 2020 and compared to 233.8 million barrels in the same week of 2019, before the pandemic.

Rising employment and mobility drove consumption to an average 8.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of the year, the EIA said, but it cautioned that it expects demand through 2022 to stay below 2019's average level of 9.3 million bpd as large numbers continue working from home.

Gasoline in Europe's main Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) storage hub fell for a fifth consecutive week last week, mainly due to strong exports to the United States and Africa, while weekly averages of light distillates at Fujairah, the main Middle-East hub, have been well below pre-pandemic levels in recent weeks.

As MRC informed earlier, crude oil stockpiles fell modestly last week, while gasoline inventories dipped to their lowest level since November, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Crude inventories fell by 447,000 barrels in the week to Aug. 6 to 438.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.3 million-barrel drop. Overall crude inventories have been on the decline for several weeks due to increased demand.

We remind that US crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 11.12 million bpd, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.

Chemours to sell Mining Solutions business to Czech-based private company

Chemours to sell Mining Solutions business to Czech-based private company

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Chemours Company, global chemistry company with leading market positions in Titanium Technologies, has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Mining Solutions business for USD520 million in cash to Draslovka Holding a.s., a Czech-based private company specializing in cyanide production, according to Kemicalinfo.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Draslovka also recently acquired the sodium cyanide business of Sasol.

“Today’s announcement of the Mining Solutions divestiture furthers our strategy of focusing on our three principal businesses in order to drive long-term shareholder value. Leveraging differentiated strategies, we feel confident that our businesses are well positioned to deliver growth and higher quality earnings through economic cycles,” said Mark Newman, Chemours President and CEO.

“The entire Mining Solutions team has worked hard to create a leading business with an unmatched record of safety and supply chain stewardship. Draslovka’s long-standing expertise in cyanide coupled with a strategy devoted to growing this business, makes them an ideal partner invested in the success of our Mining Solutions employees and customers.”

As MRC informed before, in December 2019, Chemours announced plans to sell its methylamines and methylamides unit to Belle Chemical, an affiliate of Cornerstone Chemical. The sales price was not disclosed. Thus, Chemours had signed a letter of commitment with Belle Chemical Co. to sell Chemours' methylamines and methylamides business and production facilities at the Belle location. Earlier in 2019, Chemours announced it would stop making methylamines and methylamides at the plant. In 2020, it planned to start dismantling the methylamines operations. Once Belle takes possession of the plant, most of the employees at Belle and others assigned in supporting roles at other locations will become part of Belle, Chemours said. Cornerstone makes acrylonitrile (ACN) and melamine at Fortier, Louisiana.

Acrylonitrile is one of the main feedstock for the production of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS).

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, ABS imports rose in the first half of 2021 by 40% year on year to 20,900 tonnes from 15,000 tonnes a year earlier. The share of South Korean shipments fell to 56% (11,800 tonnes) from 60% (9,000 tonnes) a year earlier.

Chemours is a global leader in titanium technologies, fluoroproducts and chemical solutions, providing its customers in a wide range of industries with market-defining products, application expertise and chemistry-based innovations. Chemours ingredients are found in plastics and coatings, refrigeration and air conditioning, mining and oil refining operations and general industrial manufacturing. The company has approximately 6,500 employees and 30 manufacturing sites serving approximately 3,300 customers in approximately 120 countries in North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Chemours is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol CC.