Celanese completes restructuring of Korea engineering plastics JV with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical

Celanese completes restructuring of Korea engineering plastics JV with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global chemical and specialty materials company, has announced the completion of the restructuring of Korea Engineering Plastics Co. (KEP), a joint venture owned 50% by Celanese and 50% by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc. (MGC), as previously announced in December 2020, as per the company's press release.

KEP will now focus solely on manufacturing and supplying high quality products to its shareholders, who will independently market them globally and without competitive restrictions. Celanese and MGC believe that focusing KEP’s efforts on manufacturing and supplying its shareholders with a leading portfolio of innovative products is a necessary response to the globalization of the engineering plastics industry, the fragmentation of the marketing supply chain, and other changes in industry conditions since KEP was first formed in 1987 to manufacture and market polyoxymethylene (POM) in Asia, with a particular focus on serving domestic demand in South Korea. This restructuring will also allow Celanese greater access to original equipment manufacturers in Asia, as well as more direct participation in key markets outside of China.

With the completion of the restructuring, Celanese and MGC will continue to look into additional ways to leverage KEP’s manufacturing strengths, including assessing potential future expansions of its polymer and compounding capabilities. Included in the final terms of the restructuring, Celanese agreed to sell land to KEP, currently leased by KEP, at its Ulsan, South Korea site, at a market value of approximately USD10 million, thereby monetizing a non-strategic asset for Celanese and further solidifying KEP’s presence in Ulsan.

POM is one of the world’s most widely used engineered materials, known for its high dimensional stability, hardness and creep resistance. These unique qualities allow POM to be used as a broad replacement for metal parts. Along with its copolymer resins, POM is widely used as an engineering plastic across almost every industry.

In 2021, KEP delivered approximately USD30 million in equity earnings to the Celanese Engineered Materials business. Celanese expects the restructuring of the KEP venture to be immediately accretive to adjusted EBIT and adjusted EPS. Incremental adjusted EBIT of USD25 - USD40 million will be driven by Celanese marketing and synergy realization to give a run-rate adjusted EPS accretion of USD0.15 to USD0.20 over the next three years.

As MRC reported earlier, in H2, 2021, Celanese Corporation announced a force majeure (FM) in China for vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) shipments from its plant Nanjing, China. Celanese temporarily shut down its acetic anhydride and VAM production in Nanjing to comply with requirements of government departments in order to achieve dual energy consumption targets in the Jiangsu Province in 2021. Thus, its VAM plan with the capacity of 300,000 mt/year was shut on 17 September, 2021, and its resumed operations on 9 October, 2021.

According to MRC's DataScope report, December EVA imports to Russia rose by 3,185% year on year to 3,530 tonnes from 3,420 tonnes a year earlier, and overall imports of this grade of ethylene copolymer into the Russian Federation grew in 2021 by 17,31% year on year to 44,720 tonnes (38,190 tonnes in 2020).

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 8,500 employees worldwide and had 2021 net sales of USD8.5 billion.

MHI Compressor to deliver equipment for Chevron Phillips Chemical propylene unit

MHI Compressor to deliver equipment for Chevron Phillips Chemical propylene unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- MHI Compressor International Corp. (MCO-I) has secured a contract to deliver compressor train equipment for Chevron Phillips Chemical’s new propylene unit at its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, Texas, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The contract scope encompasses the supply of an API 612 steam turbine driving an API 617 heat pump compressor and all associated compressor train auxiliary equipment for Chevron Phillips Chemical’s 500,000 tpy C3 splitter unit. The asset will convert a refinery grade mixture of propylene and propane into a high purity propylene product.

MCO-I’s compressor train manufacturing, assembly, testing and packaging will be performed by its Hiroshima, Japan, and Pearland, Texas, facilities.

Michael McCurry, account executive, MCO-I, said, “The trust we earn from our customers is a result of delivering valuable solutions time and time again. MCO-I has a strong relationship with Chevron Phillips, having supplied many compressor trains to them over the past several years, followed up with superior service after equipment installation. This latest order further establishes MCO-I as a premier supplier for delivering state-of-the-art compression systems that help safeguard petrochemical plant reliability and availability."

We remind, Chevron Singapore Pte. Ltd., which markets the Caltex® retail brand in Singapore, has launched the Caltex Carbon Offset Programme, the first voluntary carbon offset programme for its Caltex service stations in Singapore. Integrated into CaltexGO, Caltex’s mobile payment app, customers enrolled in the Caltex loyalty programme can choose to opt-in and use their loyalty points earned from their fuel purchase to offset a portion of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the combustion of the fuel purchased when they make payment for their fuel purchases via the CaltexGO app.

Chevron Phillips Chemical, a joint venture of Phillips 66 and Chevron, will make a final investment decision on a new cracker in far southeast Texas in 2022, followed by an FID in 2023 on an USD8 billion joint venture petrochemical complex along the US Gulf Coast in 2023.

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 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, 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.

Headquartered in San Ramon, California, Chevron Corporation is the the second-largest integrated energy company in the United States and among the largest corporations in the world. Chevron is involved in upstream activities including exploration and production, downstream activities including refining, marketing and transportation, and advanced energy technology. Chevron is also invested in power generation and gasification processes.


Petronas completes sale of EPOMS to Janamurni

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd (PCSB) announced the completion of the transaction for the transfer of its entire ownership in E&P O&M Services Sdn. Bhd. (EPOMS) to Janamurni Sdn. Bhd., said Oilandgastechnology.

EPOMS is wholly owned by E&P Venture Solutions Co. Sdn Bhd (EPVS), a subsidiary of PCSB. Incorporated in 2012, EPOMS provides integrated frontline operations and maintenance services for all floating facilities, including associated flowlines and pipelines, in Malaysia.

EPVS signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) on 29 December 2021 with Janamurni Sdn Bhd, which includes the transfer of all EPOMS staff’s employment contracts to the new owner.

The exercise follows PETRONAS’ continuous review of its business portfolio to ensure a better fit in its growth strategy in the increasingly evolving energy landscape.

Petronas remains focused on maintaining a robust portfolio with a healthy and sustainable risk and return profile as it expands into non-traditional businesses, including new energy and renewables, to improve its low carbon profile and advance its sustainability agenda.

We remind, Petronas Hydrogen Sdn Bhd and ENEOS Corporation (ENEOS) have signed a Joint Feasibility Study Agreement (JFSA) to advance the studies for a commercial hydrogen production and conversion project in Kerteh, Terengganu. Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) said under the JFSA, both parties will pursue detailed technical and commercial feasibility studies for the production of low carbon hydrogen from Petronas’ existing facilities, production of green hydrogen from a new hydro-powered electrolyser facility, and hydrogen conversion into methylcyclohexane (MCH).

As per MRC, Petronas Chemicals Aromatics shut down its paraxylene production facility at Kerteh, Malaysia in February for scheduled maintenance. This production facility with a capacity of 550,000 tonnes of paraxylene per year will be under repair for about 50 days.

Petronas is a Malaysian government-owned oil and gas and petrochemicals company and a Global Fortune 500 company. It currently operates and operates in markets in more than 60 countries.


China manufacturing activity slumps to two-year low - Caixin PMI

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Caixin’s China manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 48.1 in March from 50.4 in February, as output faltered on the back of lockdowns in several cities to curb COVID-19 outbreaks, said the company.

A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing economy, while a lower number denotes contraction. March production at Chinese factories posted its steepest contraction in 25 months, while new orders fell at the sharpest rate since February 2020 on waning domestic and foreign demand, Caixin said.

"The pandemic, and difficulties shipping items to clients, as well as greater market uncertainty due to the Ukraine war had dampened sales," it said. Greater market uncertainty and lower sales led firms to cut back on their purchasing activity, though the rate of contraction was only marginal, Caixin said.

At present, China is facing the most severe wave of outbreaks since the beginning of 2020," said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group. "Policymakers are facing double challenges of ‘precision’ - improving the level of precision of epidemic control measures, to strike a balance between maintaining the normal order of production and life and guarding safety and health of the people; ensuring fiscal policy and monetary policy are implemented precisely,” Wang added.

Both domestic and overseas demand fell. A subindex for new orders declined at the sharpest rate since February 2020 when China grappled with the first wave of virus outbreaks, leading to a 6.8 per cent contraction in gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2020.

We remind, the Caixin China General Manufacturing PMI unexpectedly rose to 50.4 in February 2022 from 49.1 in the previous month, which was the lowest reading in 23 months, beating market consensus of 49.3. The improvement came as output expanded for the third time in the past four months.

Also, the Caixin China General Manufacturing PMI fell to a 23-month low of 49.1 in January 2022 from 50.9 in December, missing market consensus of 50.4.

North American chem rail traffic rises for seventh week

North American chem rail traffic rises for seventh week

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical railcar traffic rose for a seventh straight week, according to data for the week ended 26 March from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

For the first 12 weeks of 2022 ended 26 March, North American chemical railcar traffic was up 5.2% year on year to 562,331 railcar loadings.

With the exception of chemicals, coal and nonmetallic minerals, railcar shipments in all other commodity categories fell for the first 12 weeks.

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.

We remind, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending March 19, 2022. For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 499,362 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.7 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week ending March 19 were 232,770 carloads, up 1.1 percent compared with the same week in 2021, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 266,592 containers and trailers, down 5.7 percent compared to 2021.

Also, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending March 12, 2022. For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 496,134 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.7 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week ending March 12 were 232,388 carloads, up 0.9 percent compared with the same week in 2021, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 263,746 containers and trailers, down 9.1 percent compared to 2021.