Clariant forecasts above-market 2022 growth with H2 slowdown

Clariant forecasts above-market 2022 growth with H2 slowdown

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant expects strong growth in local currency in 2022, particularly in the first half, the Swiss speciality chemicals group said as it released 2021 results delayed by whistleblower allegations that staff manipulated accounts, said Reuters.

High uncertainty amid geopolitical conflicts, suspension of business in Russia and the resurgence of COVID-19 in China were expected to impact economic growth and consumer demand in the second half, it said on Thursday.

“Clariant expects the high inflationary environment with regard to raw material, energy and logistic cost as well as supply chain challenges to persist in the second half of 2022,” it added. Clariant aimed to improve its 2022 year-on-year EBITDA margin levels via volume growth, cost discipline, and pricing.

It confirmed its 2025 ambition to deliver a 4–6% compounded annual sales growth rate and an EBITDA margin of 19–21%. It proposed a regular distribution of 0.40 Swiss franc per share to be made by reducing the par value of shares.

Clariant last month concluded its probe of allegations that some staff manipulated accounts in 2020 and 2021 to help meet financial targets, finding no impact on sales and cash previously reported.

We remind, Clariant (CLN.S) and its main shareholder Saudi Basic Industries Corp (2010.SE) are to end a so-called "governance agreement" defining their relationship, stirring speculation SABIC could launch a full takeover bid for the Swiss chemicals firm.

We remind that in October 2020, Clariant announced the construction of a new state-of-the-art catalyst production site in China. This project represents a significant investment which further strengthens Clariant’s position in China and enhances its ability to support its customers in the country’s thriving petrochemicals industry.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

U.S. House passes bill to fight oil and gas price gouging

U.S. House passes bill to fight oil and gas price gouging

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The U.S. House passed a bill on Thursday that allows the U.S. president to issue an energy emergency declaration, making it unlawful for companies to excessively increase gasoline and home fuel prices, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The bill must pass the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future, and be signed by President Joe Biden to become law.

As per MRC, the price of Brent crude oil, the world benchmark, has increased in 2022, partly as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In addition, a strong U.S. dollar means that countries that use currencies other than the U.S. dollar pay more as crude oil prices increase.

We remind, oil prices fell on Monday as concerns over weak economic growth in China, the world's top oil importer, overshadowed fears supply might be crimped by a potential European Union ban on Russian crude.

Slovak refiner Slovnaft to start two-month outages

Slovak refiner Slovnaft to start two-month outages

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Slovak refinery Slovnaft, part of Hungarian oil and gas group MOL, will launch a planned outage for maintenance and upgrades on Friday, with a record number of 21 production units in two blocks being affected, said Reuters.

The outages will take place in both its refining and petrochemical units, Slovnaft said, while it planned to invest 36 MM euros in the summer maintenance, which is due to end on July 20.

We remind, in September 2019, Slovnaft refinery has completed its historically largest turnarounds on 21 production units. The refinery is in full operation after modernization and maintenance.

As MRC wrote before, in July 2019, Tatneft and Slovnaft announced they had signed a cooperation agreement for the development of joint projects in the downstream sector.

Slovnaft is a crude oil refining enterprise located in Bratislava, Slovakia. The maximum annual refining capacity is 6 million tons of crude oil, which is primarily supplied via the "Druzhba" pipeline. The dominating place in the production portfolio belongs to motor fuel (about 4.5 million tons/year), chemicals (200 thousand tons/year) and primary plastic materials (400 thousand tons/year).

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polyprolypele (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption was 1,081,100 tonnes in the first half of 2019, up by 8% year on year. Deliveries of all PE grades increased. Meanwhile, the estimated consumption of PP in the Russian market totalled 694,210 tonnes in January-June 2019, up by 14% year on year. The supply of propylene block copolymers (PP-block) and propylene homopolymers (PP-homo) increased.

Slovnaft is one of the most technologically equipped oil refineries in Europe. One third part of the motor fuel produced is sold in Slovakia, and two thirds are exported mainly to the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland and Germany. Plastic materials are sold throughout Europe. The Slovnaft share of the wholesale motor fuels market in Slovakia accounts for more than 60%, while it is about 20% in the Czech Republic and Austria. Slovnaft operates 253 filling stations in Slovakia under the company’s own brand, while the total share in the retail market for the sale of petroleum products is about 35%. In addition to operating the oil refining and petrochemical production complex in Bratislava, the company is running the wholesale business in CEE, retail activities in Slovakia and Slovnaft also owns and operates the product pipeline and several trading terminals in Slovakia. The annual turnover of Slovnaft amounts to about 3-4 billion Euros. There are more than 3,400 employees on the company’s payroll.

Sadara earnings decreased by 97%

Sadara earnings decreased by 97%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sadara Chemical Co., the parent company of Sadara Basic Services Co., reported a 97% slump in Q1 2022 net profit after Zakat and tax to SAR 45.9 million, compared to SAR 1.617 billion in the year-ago period, said Argaam.

The company attributed the profit drop primarily to the recognition of SAR 1.05 billion gains from debt restructuring in Q1 2021. Sadara also cited a decline in higher production costs due to higher feedstock prices despite a rise in average sales price compared to the first quarter last year.

Compared to the previous quarter, the company attributed a decrease in net profit to higher production costs and feedstock prices.

As per MRC, Sadara Basic Service’s first-quarter profit jumped year on year on the back of firmer pricing and debt re-profiling. Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara) announced its first quarter financial performance for 2021, stating that the company’s revenues reached more than SR4.4 billion — 30.5% higher compared to the previous quarter in 2020 and an increase of more than 80% compared to the same quarter last year.

We remind, Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara) resumed operations at its naphtha cracker in Jubail, Saudi Arabia oin 11 April, 2021, after unscheduled repairs. The company announced an emergency shutdown of its cracker with a capacity of 1.5 million tons/year of ethylene and 400,000 tons/year of propylene im mid-March due to an issue at the compressor.

Pertamina, Air Liquide to study carbon capture

Pertamina, Air Liquide to study carbon capture

MOSCOW (MRC) - Indonesia's state energy company PT Pertamina said it will jointly study carbon capture technology at its refinery in Balikpapan with a local unit of French gas company Air Liquide, said Reuters.

Pertamina and Air Liquide Indonesia, signed a joint study agreement on capturing carbon emissions from its Balikpapan hydrogen production facility and storing the carbon in the Kutai basin area off East Kalimantan province.

Some of the emissions would be converted into products like methanol, which can be used to produce low-carbon fuels, Pertamina said in the statement. Indonesia, which relies heavily on fossil fuels for its energy, aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060 and aims to nearly double the proportion of renewables in its energy mix to 23% by 2025.

Pertamina aims to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% and increase its renewable energy mix to 17.7% by 2030. "We hope...the agreement between Pertamina and Air Liquide will have a positive impact on accelerating the implementation of low-carbon technology and providing low-carbon energy resilience in Indonesia," chief executive Nicke Widyawati said in the statement.

Pertamina has been exploring carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology to offset emissions as it boosts oil and gas production, Nicke said. The company has signed a deal to explore lower carbon business opportunities in Indonesia with U.S. energy company Chevron Corporation. It also has a deal with ExxonMobil Corp to assess the potential for large-scale implementation of CCUS and hydrogen production at three of Pertamina's facilities.

As per MRC, Mitsui & Co and Indonesian state-owned energy and petrochemicals company Pertamina are looking at commercial opportunities for carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) in Indonesia. CCUS infrastructure is a factor in decisions where to locate new chemical plants. The companies have launched a feasibility study to evaluate the carbon dioxide (CO2) subsurface storage capacity of Indonesian oil and gas fields whose production volume has been declining.

We remind, PT Pertamina said on Wednesday that ensuring fuel supply was its “top priority” as workers plan a ten-day strike next week, just when fuel demand typically increases as people travel for year-end holidays. After the union failed to reach a deal with management over labour terms, workers at the country’s biggest fuel supplier are set to hold a national strike from Dec. 29 to Jan. 7.