Orbia appoints new CFO

Orbia appoints new CFO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Orbia Advance Corporation S.A.B. de C.V., formerly Mexichem (Mexico City), has announced the appointment of James P. Kelly as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), according to BusinessWire.

Mr. Kelly will begin his employment on August 30, 2021. He will be based out of Orbia’s global headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.

Mr. Kelly most recently served as Vice President and Corporate Controller leading the reporting, accounting and internal control functions at Cabot Corporation, a US-based specialty chemicals and performance materials company with operations covering 36 manufacturing plants across 20 countries.

As CFO, Mr. Kelly will lead Orbia’s global finance organization and preside over the accounting, treasury, financial planning and analysis, tax and investor relations functions.

Sameer Bharadwaj, CEO of Orbia, said: “Jim brings over 30 years of leadership experience in complex, global organizations to Orbia, along with an extensive track record of building world-class financial organizations, processes and controls to drive growth, operational excellence and competitive positioning in a dynamic market environment.” Mr. Bharadwaj continued, “Jim possesses a keen understanding of global production structures as well as experience in leading companies and finance teams through transformations. With his wide and deep expertise in corporate finance, external reporting, financial planning and analysis, investor relations and audit, I believe Jim has all the acumen to strengthen Orbia’s financial foundation for a future of resilience and value creation as we work to provide solutions that help people around the world live well and thrive.”

Mr. Kelly stated, "I am thrilled to be joining Orbia’s leadership team and leading its global finance organization to contribute to the company’s transformation, executing on strategy, accelerating growth and unlocking value for all shareholders and stakeholders."

As MRC reported earlier, last summer, Orbia Advance Corp. said that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy and capital markets, it had decided to pause its efforts to divest or seek an alternative strategy for its Vestolit vinyls business.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall production of unmixed PVC totalled 580,500 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by 4% year on year. At the same time, one producer reduced its output.

Orbia is a global leader in specialty products and innovative solutions spanning the precision agriculture, building and infrastructure, fluorinated products and technologies, polymer solutions and data communications verticals, with broad experience in corporate and operational finance. The company has commercial activities in more than 110 countries and operations in over 50, with global headquarters in Mexico City, Boston, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv.

ADNOC signed agreements for major projects worth nearly USD1 bn

ADNOC signed agreements for major projects worth nearly USD1 bn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced the signing of framework agreements for Concept and Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) services for major projects across its full value chain to support the delivery of its 2030 strategy, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The framework agreements – which were signed with eight top-tier global engineering contractors – have a combined scope worth up to USD1 billion (AED 3.67 billion) and the potential for 50% of the value to flow back into the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) economy under ADNOC’s In-Country Value (ICV) program, over the agreement term between 2021 and 2026. The scope of the agreements is based on the forecasted requirement for external project engineering services across the ADNOC Group.

The nature of the agreements underpins ADNOC’s smart approach to procurement which is enabling it to drive value and commerciality across its portfolio. By structuring the framework agreements with a group of top-tier contractors instead of procuring smaller individual agreements, ADNOC was able to secure pre-agreed terms and conditions thereby reducing tendering cycle by months, achieve highly competitive rates by leveraging long-term contracts that service its entire portfolio, and establish a group-wide performance management and review process that provides high visibility of contractor performance.

Abdulmunim Saif Al Kindy, ADNOC People, Technology & Corporate Support Executive Director, said: “We are very pleased to engage with the eight top-tier engineering contractors awarded to provide best-in-class engineering expertise on our strategic projects across our full value chain. These framework agreements follow a very competitive tender process and the smart nature of the deals will deliver substantial cost savings, optimize project delivery schedules and provide ADNOC with increased flexibility to drive its growth targets and proactively respond to the demands of the fast-evolving energy landscape. In addition, the agreements offer the potential to create additional skilled employment opportunities for Emiratis and include commitments that contracted services will primarily be carried out in the UAE, ensuring more economic value remains in the country from our contract awards."

ADNOC signed the framework agreements with AMEC International Ltd (part of the Wood Group), Fluor, McDermott, Mott MacDonald, SNC-Lavalin International Arabia Limited – Abu Dhabi (part of the Kentech Group), Technip Energies, Worley, and a joint venture between Tecnicas Reunidas and NPCC. The agreements will run for five years, with an option for a two-year extension. The eight contractors have committed to set up and run enhanced training programs to further develop local expertise and enable knowledge transfer.

As an integral part of its 2030 strategy, ADNOC is optimizing its procurement strategy to reflect market dynamics, focusing on long-term contracts with a reduced number of suppliers that provide stable and reliable delivery at highly competitive rates.

As per MRC, Indian company Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) have signed an agreement to build a new petrochemical plant for the production of chlorine, ethylene dichloride and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the UAE.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall production of unmixed PVC totalled 580,500 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by 4% year on year. At the same time, one producer reduced its output.

ALPLA acquires packaging manufacturer Wolf Plastics

ALPLA acquires packaging manufacturer Wolf Plastics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Packaging supplier ALPLA Group is purchasing the Wolf Plastics Group for an undisclosed amount in a move to expand the company's product portfolio in Central and Southeastern Europe, according to Canadian Plastics.

Headquartered in Kammern, Austria, Wolf also has production facilities in Hungary and Romania.

The Austrian and Romanian competition authorities are currently examining the proposal, Alpla officials said in a news release.

Closure of the deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Wolf was founded in 1973, and supplies SMEs and international key accounts in the construction, chemical and food industries with buckets, canisters and bottles sectors. It currently employs about 210 workers at its three sites.

As MRC wrote previously, the ALPLA Group is investing more than EUR5m in an extrusion system for food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) made of used PET bottles at its site in Anagni, Italy.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption totalled 411,200 tonnes in the first six month of 2021, up by 12% year on year. Russian companies processed 62,910 tonnes in June, compared to 85,890 tonnes a month earlier.

Headquartered in Hard, Austria, Alpla specializes in blow molded bottles and caps, injection molded parts, and preforms and tubes.

Crude oil futures rise in Asia on bargain hunting and optimistic demand outlook

Crude oil futures rise in Asia on bargain hunting and optimistic demand outlook

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures were higher in mid-morning trade in Asia Aug. 23 amid bargain hunting by investors after the rout in oil prices last week, with analysts noting the demand outlook remained optimistic as the West refrains from overly-strict restrictions to curb delta variant outbreaks, reported S&P Global.

At 10:58 am Singapore time (0258 GMT), the ICE October Brent futures contract was up 87 cents/b (1.33%) from the previous close at USD66.05/b, while the NYMEX October light sweet crude contract was 74 cents/b (1.19%) higher at USD62.87/b.

"Risk assets appear to have caught a strong bid this morning after last week's hammering and that's lifting crude, too," said Vandana Hari of Vanda Insights.

"Sentiment in the financial markets is tentatively turning upbeat on expectations that the US Fed may be willing to defer its tapering of asset purchases in view of the delta wave slowing economic growth," she added.

Both oil benchmarks last week posted their steepest declines since October last year as growing clusters of delta variant outbreaks globally and a strengthening US dollar threw off a recovery in global oil demand. Both benchmarks settled lower on the week by 7.66%-8.94%.

Nonetheless, some bright spots appeared amid the fresh wave of pandemic outbreaks worldwide.

Daily case numbers in China have fallen to single-digit figures in recent days in a sign that the government has brought the outbreak under control. The country most recently reported only four locally transmitted cases as of Aug. 21, according to the National Health Commission, down from 108 cases Aug. 10.

Cases in the US meanwhile have continued to climb, with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting 157,450 cases Aug. 20 and a seven-day moving average of 137,188.

However, analysts at ANZ Research noted that ongoing vaccination drives in Europe and the US have limited the scale of restrictions in both regions despite rising caseloads.

"This has seen demand remain robust as mobility continues to improve. Overall, this should keep the market tight," the analysts said in a note.

Investors will be watching the Jackson Hole Symposium set to start Aug. 26 for cues on the US Federal Reserve's pace of tapering its massive bond buying program, which in turn will influence the strength of the dollar. The OPEC+ alliance is also set to hold its own meeting Sept. 1 to review policy, with some market sources expecting the group to hold off on easing supply in the wake of the recent resurgence in COVID-19.

As MRC informed previously, crude oil stockpiles fell modestly in early August, 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.

Evonik invests in two leading Chinese funds to strengthen its footprint in the region

Evonik invests in two leading Chinese funds to strengthen its footprint in the region

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik is extending its corporate venture capital activities in China with investments into GRC SinoGreen Fund V and Richland VC Fund III, as per the company's press release.

The two leading funds focus on advanced materials, high-end manufacturing equipment, digital transformation, and green technologies. They will strengthen Evonik’s activities in the region and will provide access to attractive technologies and business opportunities. Parties have agreed to not disclose the amount of the investment.

“China is one of the world’s fastest growing innovation leaders and therefore an attractive market for venture capital,” said Bernhard Mohr, head of Evonik Venture Capital. “By partnering with funds that have deep understanding of the innovation ecosystem in China and broad networks with local start-ups, Evonik is able to gain rapid access to new technologies and attractive business opportunities at an early stage.”

The Chinese venture capital fund GRC invests in material-focused green technology companies in China. GRC SinoGreen Fund V intends to focus on areas of circular economy, synthetic biology, 3D printing, battery materials and carbon materials. The investment marks a follow-up to Evonik’s participation in 2015 in the third fund of GRC (GRC SinoGreen Fund III).

Richland Capital invests in advanced materials and pays attention to new technologies such as advanced manufacturing equipment and digital technology. Therefore, it has set its investments focus on the value chain of materials, equipment and data, targeting strategic industries such as pan-semiconductor, e-mobility, digital manufacturing, 5G and alternative energy.

Evonik is a well-known corporate venture capital partner in China with a local presence since 2018 and several fund and direct investments over the years. The Venture Capital arm plays a strategic role in Evonik’s goal to become a best-in-class specialty chemicals company, by investing in innovative technologies and disruptive business models as well as enabling digital technologies.

As MRC reported 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 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.

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.