Pembina and KKR agree deal to merge netgas ops

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Canadian midstream energy company Pembina Pipeline and private equity firm KKR have agreed to form a joint venture (Newco) that will combine their western Canadian natural gas processing assets, said Reuters.

Pembina will contribute to Newco its field-based gas processing assets, which include the Cutbank Complex, the Saturn Complex, the Resthaven Facility, the Duvernay Complex and the Saskatchewan Ethane Extraction Plant, as well as its 45% interest in Veresen Midstream.

Not included: Pembina's Empress, Younger and Burstall assets will be excluded from the transaction and Pembina will retain its current ownership position. Also, Pembina and KKR intend to dispose of Newco’s non-operated interest in the Key Access Pipeline System (KAPS) natural gas liquids (NGL) and condensate pipeline project in Alberta, following closing of the Newco deal.

Newco will be owned 60% by Pembina and 40% by KKR's global infrastructure funds. Pembina will serve as the operator and manager of Newco. Newco's permanent name is expected to be announced prior to closing.

As the energy sector has evolved, the opportunities available from bespoke partnerships between public and private infrastructure owners have become more compelling, particularly in the natural gas processing business, KKR said. In a separate statement, US-based Energy Transfer said that the sale of its stake in ETC would allow it to divest “high-quality Canadian assets at an attractive valuation to further deleverage its balance sheet and redeploy capital within its US footprint."

As per MRC, Pembina Pipeline expects to decide by the end of March on whether to proceed with a planned expansion of its Prince Rupert propane export terminal in British Columbia province. The terminal, with a capacity of 25,000 bbl/day, was commissioned early last year and began loading propane onto vessels in April. It exports propane of petrochemical quality.

As per MRC, Pembina Pipeline and Inter Pipeline (IPL) are mulling the prospects of dehydrogenation/polypropylene (PDH/PP) production in Alberta province. On May 31, 2021, Pembina and Inter Pipeline entered into an agreement (the "Strategic Combination") to create one of the largest and best positioned energy infrastructure companies in Canada. Together the companies' diversified and integrated asset base can support and grow an extensive value chain for natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude oil, from wellhead to end user, that far exceeds anything either company can do separately.

Pembina Pipeline has been a gas supplier to the North American power system for over 60 years. Pembina owns and operates pipelines that transport a variety of hydrocarbon fluids, including conventional and synthetic crude oil and others, produced in Western Canada and North Dakota.

Evonik launches first renewable isophorone-based products

Evonik launches first renewable isophorone-based products

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik has started producing renewable isophorone-based products from renewable acetone, said the company.

The new range of products will have lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than conventionally made material, enabling more sustainable production of solvents, composites and coatings. The isophorone, isophorone diamine and isophorone diisocyanate materials have the same properties as the same products made from fossil fuels.

The potential CO2 reductions of the material are evaluated on a mass balance approach - an accounting principle matching inputs with outputs from the production process. The processes will be audited to be compliant with the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) and RECCert standards to verify the use of renewable resources across all stages of production.

The products will be used in the manufacturing of paints, lacquers and binders for modern coating systems, and will be suitable for high-performance composite materials like rotor blades for wind turbines, automotive interiors or the latest chemical synthesis technologies.

As MRC reported before, Evonik is investing a three-digit million-euro sum in the construction of a new production plant for bio-based and fully biodegradable rhamnolipids. The decision to build the plant follows a breakthrough in Evonik's research and development. Rhamnolipids are biosurfactants and serve as active ingredients in shower gels and detergents. Demand for environ-mentally friendly surfactants is growing rapidly worldwide.

We remind that 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.

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of EUR13.1 bn and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of EUR2.15 bn in 2019. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers.


Covestro Q4 net income declined

Covestro Q4 net income declined

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro's fourth-quarter net income fell by 3.2% but the full year 2021 income surged manifold over the previous year to EUR1.62bn on the back of strong global demand for its products, said the company.

"The group benefited from strong global demand and buoyant earnings in the year as a whole. Core volumes sold increased by 10% year on year, mainly due to additional volumes from the Resins & Functional Materials (RFM) business acquired from DSM," it said in a statement.

Covestro anticipates EBITDA for the first quarter of 2022 to be between EUR750m and EUR850m while for the full year 2022 the company expects an EBITDA value between EUR2.5bn and EUR3.0bn.

As MRC informed before, in April 2021, DSM completed the sale of the resins & functional materials businesses to Covestro for EUR1.6 bn (USD1.9 bn), including EUR1.4 bn in cash.

We remind that Covestro closed the sale of its European polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Munich-based Serafin Group effective January 2, 2020. This includes key management and sales functions throughout Europe as well as production sites in Belgium and Italy.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PC granules (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus) decreased in the first eleven months of 2021 by 11% year on year due to a major fall of imports and higher exports. Thus, overall estimated consumption in Russia totalled 74,300 tonnes in January-November 2021 versus 83,600 tonnes a year earlier.

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc. With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).


COVID-19 - News digest as of 01.03.2022

1. Westlake reports record Q4 and full year 2021 results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Westlake Corporation’s 4Q net income rose more than fivefold year on year on the back of stronger sales prices and higher margins across most of its businesses, said the company. Profitability during the quarter was driven by an over sevenfold increase in net income for Westlake’s performance and essential materials business year on year, rising to USD821m due to higher pricing and the impact of hurricane outages in Louisiana during the same period in 2020. Housing and infrastructure products division 4Q net income rose USD21m year on year to USD86m on the back of healthy housing and remodelling demand.


TotalEnergies to stop funding new Russia projects

TotalEnergies to stop funding new Russia projects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies condemned what it called Moscow's military aggression in Ukraine but stopped short on Tuesday of joining rivals Shell and BP in planning to exit positions in resource-rich Russia, reported Reuters.

The French oil major, which holds a 19.4% stake in Novatek, Russia's largest producer of liquefied natural gas, said it "will no longer provide capital for new projects in Russia".

"TotalEnergies supports the scope and strength of the sanctions put in place by Europe and will implement them regardless of the consequences (currently being assessed) on its activities in Russia," it said in a statement.

"We are somewhat surprised that TTE didn't follow Shell and BP and signal intentions to exit Russia," said RBC equity analyst Biraj Borkhataria.

TotalEnergies announced in January it was pulling out of Myanmar almost a year after a coup there. In 2018 it had to drop its involvement in Iran's South Pars gas field after it failed to receive sanctions waivers for the project.

Earlier, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire had said he would be holding discussions with the heads of TotalEnergies and energy company Engie about their business interests in Russia.

"I believe there is a question of principle in working with any political or financial person close to Russian power," Le Maire told France Info radio.

Russia constituted 24% of TotalEnergies proven reserves and 17% of its oil and gas production in 2020. The Yamal LNG project in northern Russia launched production in late 2017.

As MRC informed previously, Total Petrochemicals and Refining USA, the US petrochemical major and part of TotalEnergies, restarted all of its three polypropylene (PP) units in La Porte as of 17 June 2021. At the same time, the force majeure (FM) at this plant with an annual capacity of 1.15 million tons/year remains in place as the company attempts to stabilize operating rates and build inventories ahead of the hurricane season. Previously, Total Petrochemical declared FM on its PP output after an abrupt loss of electricity supply during a severe weather condition on 18 May, 2021.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas.shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

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