PTTGC net profit falls in Q4

PTTGC net profit falls in Q4

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC)'s net profit fell by 49% year on year to Thai baht (Bt) 3.25bn in the fourth quarter as petrochemicals output fell due to maintenance shutdowns, said the company.

For 2022, the company expects the recovery in downstream demand from external markets to continue supporting its aromatics as well as olefins and derivatives businesses throughout the year. The company's overall sales surged by 59% year on year to Bt139.3bn in the fourth quarter, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation were up by 20%, PTTGC said in a statement.

PTTGC's overall sales in the fourth rose on the back of higher petroleum product prices which tracked the increase in the crude prices as well as a demand recovery from the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, it said. The company's petrochemical prices increased on tightening supply from maintenance shutdowns and a slowdown in production at some producers in the region, the company said.

The rise in feedstock prices weighed on the company's olefins and aromatics businesses in the fourth quarter, with EBITDA margins for both units falling in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared with the same period in the previous year.

The adjusted EBITDA margin for the company's aromatics business fell to 5% in the fourth quarter from 3% in Q4 2020. The adjusted EBITDA margin for the olefins and derivatives unit fell sharply to 12% in the fourth quarter of 2021 from 23%. PTTGC expects its olefins plants utilization rate to be around 91% this year.

As per MRC, Thai PTTGC is planning a capital investment of USD608 million over five years, including two start-ups this year. PTTGC's joint venture with Austrian packaging and recycling company ALPLA, called ENVICCO Ltd, is expected to produce recycled polymers at Map Ta Phut in Rayong Province. The ENVICCO plant, which can produce 30,000 tons per year of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) and 15,000 tons per year of recycled low-density polyethylene (R-HDPE), is expected to enter commercial operation in the first quarter of 2022.

PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) was founded on October 19, 2011 after the merger of PTT Chemical Company and PTT Aromatics and Refining Company to become the flagship of the PTT chemical group. As a result of the integration, the company's total capacity for the production of olefins and aromatics reached 8.2 million tons per year, and oil products - 280 thousand barrels per day, which makes it the largest integrated petrochemical and oil refining company not only in Thailand, but also in Asia.

North American weekly chemical rail traffic increased for first time this year

North American weekly chemical rail traffic increased for first time this year

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American weekly chemical railcar shipments rose 5.8% year on year, marking their first increase in six weeks and the first so far this year, according to the latest data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

For the first six weeks of 2022 ended 12 February, North American chemical rail traffic was down 1.1% year on year to 278,794 railcar loadings.

With the exception of coal and non-metallic minerals, shipments are down in all the major commodities categories so far this year.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

As per MRC, North American chemical railcar traffic came in flat year on year for the week ended 5 February, following four weeks of declines. A 1% increase in the US was offset by declines in Canada and Mexico. For the five weeks of 2022 ended 5 February, North American chemical rail traffic was down 2.4% year on year to 231,266 railcar loadings. With the exception of coal and non-metallic minerals, shipments are down in all the major commodities categories so far this year.

As per MRC, North American chemical railcar traffic fell by 3.3% year on year for the week ended 15 January, as a small increase in US shipments was more than offset by declines in Canada and Mexico. The decline followed a 6.7% decline in the previous week, ended 8 January. For the first two weeks of 2022, ended 15 January, North American chemical railcar loadings were down 5.0% year on year to 91,437.

Hempel expands with acquisition in the Middle East

Hempel expands with acquisition in the Middle East

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hempel has acquired the coatings division of the Omani conglomerate, Khimji Ramdas, to expand its Oman operations and further establish itself as a market leader, said the company.

Following an exclusive dialogue, Hempel has completed the acquisition of Khimji Paints LLC. This is Hempel’s first acquisition in the Decorative segment in the Middle East, supporting its strategy to double Hempel by 2025. Hempel’s Double Impact strategy will be realized through both acquisitions and organic growth, as well as ambitious investments in sustainability, innovation and digitalization.

Khimji Paints is a leading paint and coatings manufacturer in Oman, with a strong distribution network of more than 50 own and independent retailers. Khimji Paint was built on a solid foundation of superior quality, true value and excellent customer service, which matches perfectly with Hempel’s purpose and values.

"This transaction marks a significant milestone for Hempel in our global growth journey,” says Joe Devitt, EVP of Decorative at Hempel. “We will now be better equipped to meet the needs of our customers with an extensive offering of products and services."

"With this acquisition, I am thrilled to welcome the entire Khimji team - over 70 new employees - into the Hempel family and a production facility, enabling us to increase capacity in the region,” added Devitt. “This gives Hempel a much bigger foothold in the Omani market."

Hempel is at the forefront when it comes to innovation and quality. Adding Khimji to the Hempel family forms a leading player in decorative paints and coatings, bringing award-winning solutions to a wider market. "We are excited that Hempel is in a strong position to offer better value propositions to Khimji Paints’ loyal customers and we wish them all the best,” says Hritik Khimji, director, Khimji Ramdas.

As MRC informed earlier, Hempel has broken ground on a new 200,000 tonne/year plant at the Yangtze International Chemical Industrial Park in Zhangjiagang, China. Production is due to start in 2022, when the plant will replace an existing facility at Kunshan. It will produce various coating types, including: high-solids, solvent-free, waterborne, antifouling. Together with another coatings project at Yantai, Hempel expects to invest a combined USD270m to expand its production capacities in China.

Hempel is a global company with strong values, working with customers in the protective, marine, decorative, container and yacht industries. Hempel factories, R&D centres and stock points are established in every region. Across the globe, Hempel’s coatings protect surfaces, structures and equipment. They extend asset lifetimes, reduce maintenance costs and make homes and workplaces safer and more colourful. Hempel was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1915. It is proudly owned by the Hempel Foundation, which ensures a solid economic base for the Hempel Group and supports cultural, social, humanitarian and scientific purposes around the world.

Solvay, Veolia form JV for green energy at Dombasle, France soda ash plant

Solvay, Veolia form JV for green energy at Dombasle, France soda ash plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay and Veolia have set up a joint venture (JV) aiming to replace coal with refuse-derived fuel (RDF) to produce clean energy for its soda ash plant at Dombasle-sur-Meurthe, France, said the company.

The RDF cogeneration unit installed at the joint venture Dombasle Energie would allow to halve carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a cut of 240,000 tonnes/year, at the Dombasle site, the European chemicals soda ash major and the French water and waste management firm said on Wednesday. RDF is a fuel produced from various types of waste such as municipal solid waste (MSW), industrial waste, or commercial waste.

The Dombasle-sur-Meurthe plant, located in France's Meurthe et Moselle department, has a 700,000 tonnes/year nameplate capacity and uses ammonia as feedstock, and is Solvay's second-largest production site in Europe. Capital expenditure (capex) will stand at €225m and is scheduled to come on stream in 2024.

The project consists of replacing three coal-fired boilers with a boiler room equipped with two furnaces running on RDF, made up of waste that cannot be recycled, to halve the carbon footprint of the industrial activity. It would also allow to stop importing 200,000 tonnes/year of coal.

The Dombasle-sur-Meurthe site will have a cogeneration unit that recovers 350,000 tonnes/year of waste supplied by Veolia as of 2024. The new facility, to be built by Solvay and operated by Veolia, will have a capacity of 181 megawatts (MW) thermal power and 17.5 MW electrical power, which will be reused for the industrial process.

Solvay has already started up other initiatives to improve its carbon footprint at its soda ash plants. In Germany, the company has upgraded a gas-fired cogeneration unit at its Bernburg site, and in Rheinberg it started up a biomass boiler in 2021, and a second will start up in 2024.

Soda ash is used in the manufacturing of glass, detergents, chemicals and other industrial products.

As MRC informed earlier, in August, 2020, through the acquisition of the Solvay polyamide (PA) business, BASF enhanced its R&D capabilities in Asia Pacific with new technologies, technical expertise, and upgraded material and part testing services. BASF is planning to integrate the R&D centers from Solvay into its R&D existing facilities in Shanghai, China, and Seoul, Korea. The enhanced capabilities will boost BASF’s position as a solution provider to develop advanced material solutions for key industries.

We remind that BASF-YPC, a 50-50 joint venture of BASF and Sinopec, undertook a planned shutdown at its naphtha cracker on 30 April 2020. The company initially planned to start turnaround at the cracker on April 5, 2020. The plant remained under maintenance unitl 18 June, 2020. Located in Jiangsu, China, the cracker has an ethylene capacity of 750,000 mt/year and propylene capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 24,100 employees in 64 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet plan crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and delivered net sales of EUR10.2 billion in 2019. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels (SOLB) and Paris and in the United States, where its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a Level I ADR program.

Lotte Chemical awards contracts worth USD757.2m to begin building petrochemical complex in Merak

Lotte Chemical awards contracts worth USD757.2m to begin building petrochemical complex in Merak

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Subsidiaries of South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corporation on Friday announced the award of contracts worth USD757.2m to begin building a USD3.9bn petrochemical complex in Indonesia. The Lotte Chemical Indonesia New Ethylene project (LINE) will be located in Merak, Banten Province, western Java, according to GCR.

The contract for the Group A work package was to be awarded to a joint venture between South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering Co. and Indonesia’s PT Hans Enjiniring dan Konstruksi, while an offshore engineering and procurement contract goes to Hyundai.

The Group A package involves building a cracker plant with the capacity to produce, amongst others, 1 million tons/year of ethylene and 520,000 tons/year of propylene.

As MRC informed earlier, in a 7 January press release, Lotte Chemical informed that that company had decided to proceed with the petrochemical project in Indonesia after the previous delay due the pandemic. The LINE project is to commence construction in 2022, according to the company's bourse filing. Lotte Chemical aims to bring the new complex online in 2025.

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 2,265,290 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2021, up by 14% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 tonnes in January-November, 2021, up by 25% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.