Sika waits for regulatory approvals for acquisition of MBCC

Sika waits for regulatory approvals for acquisition of MBCC

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Swiss construction chemicals firm Sika is still waiting for regulators to approve its planned acquisition of Germany-based MBCC Group, said the company.

Sika agreed to acquire MBCC in November 2021. Sika keeps co-operating closely with authorities and currently hopes to complete the deal by the end of 2022, it said.

MBCC Group is the construction chemicals business carved out from BASF. It was acquired for €3.17bn in 2020 by private equity firm Lone Star, which just a year later agreed to sell it to Sika.

As per MRC, Sika AG reported that its first-half net profit after taxes grew 21 percent to 598.8 million Swiss francs from last year's 494.7 million francs. Earnings per share were 3.76 francs, up 20.5 percent from 3.12 francs a year ago. Operating profit or EBIT grew 22.7 percent to 841.9 million francs. EBIT margin was 16 percent. Operating profit before depreciation or EBITDA grew 19.5 percent to 1.04 billion francs.

Johnson Matthey collaborates with ClimeCo

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Johnson Matthey (JM) has announced that it is collaborating with ClimeCo, a global climate solutions company, to accelerate the deployment of enhanced carbon capture solutions for industry, said the Hydrocarbonengineering.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the two companies will help syngas producers, initially in hydrogen and methanol, to build the business case for reducing CO2 emissions from existing processes by up to 95%.

Combining the expertise of the two companies will enable syngas producers to make immediate progress on complex carbon issues by supporting project economics development, de-risking the business case for decarbonisation projects, and providing a mechanism to create validated CO2 emissions reductions and creating compliance credits in many government-backed carbon markets.

Together, the companies aim to empower customers to make informed decisions on allocating capital for the deployment of JM's CLEANPACE solutions, accelerate emissions reductions, and future-proof their plants against the rising costs of carbon.

Syngas producers are responsible for approximately 70% of CO2 emissions in the chemicals sector. The opportunity for JM's Low Carbon Solutions to deploy existing technology to over 150 grey hydrogen plants in Europe and North America alone, could reduce CO2 emissions by over 100 million tpy by 2030.

"Companies around the world are under pressure to reduce carbon emissions and meet net zero targets," said Jane Toogood, Catalyst Technologies Chief Executive at JM. "Creating strategic partnerships allows us to offer our customers rounded and complete solutions. By working together with ClimeCo, we will enable industries such as chemicals and refining, who rely on syngas, to quickly understand the regulatory frameworks, accelerate capital decisions for decarbonisation programmes and easily deploy proven technology solutions that can have an impact today, to create a cleaner world."

"In order to decarbonise, industry is faced with a complex set of regulatory and financial hurdles," added Bill Flederbach, ClimeCo's CEO and President. "This alliance, leveraging ClimeCo's expertise in regulatory analysis along with advocacy and leadership in environmental credit creation and transactions, supports stakeholders across 'hard to abate' industrial sectors by identifying technically and economically viable decarbonisation pathways, helping them go beyond conceptual studies to deploy technology solutions that make a difference today."

As per MRC, Johnson Matthey will build an GDP80.0m gigafactory at its existing site in Royston as part of an effort to scale up the manufacturing of hydrogen fuel cell components. Johnson Matthey said on Monday that the gigafactory will initially be capable of manufacturing three gigawatts of proton exchange membrane fuel cell components for hydrogen vehicles per annum and will be supported by the UK Government's Automotive Transformation Fund.

Yansab witnesses 44% lower profits in H1-22 interim results

Yansab witnesses 44% lower profits in H1-22 interim results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Yanbu National Petrochemical Company (Yansab) has posted net profits after Zakat and tax worth SAR 571.50 million in the first half (H1) of 2022, an annual drop of 43.80% from SAR 1.10 billion, said Mubasher.

The company's revenues soared by 8.81% to SAR 4.03 billion in H1-22, compared to SAR 3.70 billion in the year-ago period. Furthermore, the earnings per share (EPS) settled at SAR 1.02 in the first six months (6M) of 2022, lower than SAR 1.81 during the same period a year earlier.

In the second quarter (Q2) of 2022, Yansab registered SAR 288.50 million in net profit after Zakat and tax, a 51.62% year-on-year (YoY) plunge from SAR 596.30 million. Meanwhile, the Q2-22 revenues stood at SAR 2.06 billion, a 3.96% YoY growth from SAR 1.98 billion.

Last June, the Saudi listed firm paid cash dividends worth SAR 843.75 million, accounting for 15% of the capital, for H1-22. During the January-March 2022 period, the petrochemicals manufacturer's net profits after Zakat and tax plummeted by 32.66% YoY to SAR 283 million, compared to SAR 420.30 million.

As per MRC, Yanbu National Petrochemical Company (Yansab), part of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), restarted its cracker after a planned turnaround. The cracker in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, which can produce 1.38 mln mt/year of ethylene and 400,000 mt/year of propylene, resumed operations on 15 February, 2021. It was shut for a turnaround on 5 February 2021.

The company also has polyolefin plants at the same site with production capacity of 400,000 tons/year of polypropylene (PP) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) each. They were also taken off-line for maintenance on 5 February 2021.

Yansab is the most recent SABIC, (Saudi Basic Industries Corp), affiliate in Saudi Arabia, and will be the largest Sabic petrochemical complex. It will have an annual capacity exceeding 4 million metric tons (MT) of petrochemical products including: 1.3 million MT (metric-tons) of ethylene; 400,000 MT of propylene; 900,000 MT of polyethylene; 400,000 MT of polypropylene; 700,000 MT of ethylene glycol; 250,000 MT of benzene, xylene and toluene, and 100,000 MT of butene-1 and butene-2.

Yips Chemical sells 51% stake in Handsome Chemical

Yips Chemical  sells 51% stake in Handsome Chemical

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Yip’s Chemical said that it has signed an agreement to sell a 51% effective interest in Handsome Chemical, a subsidiary of its solvents business, to investment firm PAG for around Chinese yuan (CNY) 2.3bn, said the company.

Solvents producer Handsome Chemical will leverage its partnership with Hong Kong-based PAG to construct a 600,000 tonne/year acetic acid plant at Jingmen Chemical Recycling Industrial Park in Hubei, China, it said in a statement. The project is expected to cost around CNY1.74bn.

"The added capacity of acetic acid production will ensure the sufficient supply of raw materials for Handsome Chemical, and also allow for flexible operations by adjusting the amount of acetic acid consumed internally or sold to the market," it said.

We remind, Jiangmen Handsome Chemical Development has commissioned its new 200,000 tonne/year ethyl acetate (etac) plant at Taixing in Jiangsu province, after achieving stable operations during a trial run. The producer has also closed its older, 120,000 tonne/year etac plant at Taixing, as planned. This means a net etc capacity increase by 80,000 tonnes/year. Meanwhile, Jiangmen is continuing to run its 60,000 tonne/year butyl acetate (butac) plant at Taixing. At Jiangmen in the southern province of Guangdong, Jiangmen Handsome operates a plant that can produce 300,000 tonnes/year of etac and 120,000 tonnes/year of butac.

Handsome Chemical is the world's largest acetate solvents producer, with an annual production capacity of more than 1.6m tonnes, according to Yip's Chemical. Handsome Chemical will source carbon monoxide, one of the key feedstocks for acetic acid, from Yingde Gases, part of PAG-controlled AirPower Technologies Group, China’s largest supplier of industrial gases, which is also located in Jingmen Park. The strategic gas supply agreement between the two parties is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Yip's Chemical Holdings Ltd. operates as an investment holding company, which engages in the production and selling of petrochemical products. It operates through the following segments: Solvents, Coatings, Inks, Lubricants and Properties. The Solvents segment engages in the manufacturing and trading of solvents and related products such as ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, ethanol, and thinners.

Global gasoline cracks collapse, blow to refiners profits

Global gasoline cracks collapse, blow to refiners profits

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A sudden crash in global gasoline prices in the past two weeks has dented refiners' profits, pushing up inventories in key trading hubs around the world while looming exports from China and India also add to pressure on growing stockpiles, said Reuters.

Refiners will be forced to cut gasoline output to safeguard themselves against losses and switch to producing more profitable fuels, traders say, but summer demand is also being hurt by high pump prices in the United States and Europe, and by instability and easing seasonal demand in some parts of Asia.

This has led to a rise in inventories from Singapore to Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp and the United States, according to traders, analysts and inventory data. Asia's top fuel exporter Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp could reduce operating rates at their residue fluid catalytic cracking (RFCC) units, which are now running at full capacity, by 5% in the coming weeks.

"We will sell more VLSFO (very low sulphur fuel oil) because their margins are better," Formosa's spokesperson K.Y. Lin told Reuters. VLSFO can be used as a feedstock for RFCC units to produce gasoline or sold as marine fuel. Asian gasoline margins have plunged more than 102% in July to a discount of 14 cents a barrel to Brent crude after hitting a record at a premium of USD38.05 a barrel in June, Refinitiv data showed. They are also at the lowest for this time of the year since at least 2000.

That has depressed Asian refining margins to 88 cents a barrel over Dubai crude on Monday, tumbling from a record USD30.49 in June. Chinese state refiners are expected to raise refinery runs in August-September and increase exports to lower high domestic stocks after receiving new quotas, industry sources said.

One of the sources estimated national crude throughput could claw back to 14 million barrels per day or higher, after staying under that level for most of the past 12 months partly because of COVID-19 lockdowns. India's gasoline exports could rise by 15,000-20,000 bpd, bringing August and September exports to an average of 260,000 bpd, consultancy FGE estimates, following the removal of gasoline export duty last week.

Meanwhile, first-half July gasoline imports into Asia dropped 240,000 tonnes from second-half June levels led by Indonesian declines, Asia's largest gasoline importer, FGE said in a note. In Sri Lanka and Pakistan, demand has been hit by economic and political turmoil, further exacerbating the thinning of regional margins, traders said.

FGE expects Asian gasoline demand, excluding China, to improve only marginally between July and September, averaging 80,000 bpd lower than levels seen during the same period in 2019, as high retail prices weigh on demand.

As per MRC, The U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) eased by 0.1% in June following gains of 0.5% in May and 1.0% in April. Chemical output was mixed across regions. The U.S. CPRI is measured as a three-month moving average (3MMA). On a 3MMA basis, chemical production within segments was mixed in June. There were gains in the production of synthetic rubber, industrial gases, coatings, manufactured fibers, synthetic dyes and pigments, adhesives, other organic chemicals, crop protection chemicals, other specialty chemicals, and fertilizers. These gains were offset by lower production of plastic resins, organic chemicals, and consumer products.