Ineos and Sinopec sign three significant petrochemical deals with an aggregate value of USD7bn

Ineos and Sinopec sign three significant petrochemical deals with an aggregate value of USD7bn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ineos and Sinopec have today signed three back-to-back deals worth a combined value of USD7bn, said the company.

These landmark agreements are expected to generate a combined turnover of around USD10bn from 7 million tonnes of capacity. The three agreements will significantly reshape Ineos’ petrochemicals production and technology in China.

Firstly, Ineos has agreed to acquire a 50% stake in Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Company Limited, a subsidiary of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec). SECCO currently has a production capacity of 4.2 million tonnes of petrochemicals - including ethylene, propylene, polyethylene, polypropylene, styrene, polystyrene, acrylonitrile, butadiene, benzene and toluene. It is a 200-hectare facility, located inside the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park.

Secondly, INEOS has agreed to establish a new 50:50 joint venture with Sinopec with the intent to build production capacity of up to 1.2 million tonnes of ABS, to meet rapidly growing demand in China. The 600ktpa ABS plant in Ningbo, which is currently under construction by Ineos Styrolution and is planned to be operational by the end of 2023, will become part of the joint venture. INEOS and Sinopec also plan to work together on two additional 300ktpa ABS plants, which will also be built by the joint venture based on Ineos’ world-leading Terluran® ABS technology. One of these 300kt plants will be located in Tianjin, the location of the third unit is yet to be decided.

The third agreement will see INEOS and Sinopec also establish a 50:50 joint venture to build a new 500ktpa HDPE plant in Tianjin. In addition to the Tianjin plant Ineos and Sinopec shall build at least two additional 500ktpa HDPE plants in the future to produce Ineos pipe grade under license. The Tianjin plant is expected to be onstream by the end of 2023.

INEOS already has joint ventures in operation with SINOPEC following the acquisition of the Acetyls and Aromatics business from BP in January 2021, and both companies know each other well through two decades of commercial interfaces at various levels. They see a natural fit to working more closely in the future. Through this close relationship Sinopec gains access to some of the best downstream technology in the world from INEOS and INEOS achieves a substantial presence in China, the fastest growing market in the world.

Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman and CEO Ineos said “These agreements significantly reshape INEOS’ petrochemical production and technology in China. We are pleased to make these major investments with SINOPEC in areas that provide the best growth opportunities for both companies. Both parties recognise the potential for closer collaboration across a number of other areas as we look ahead.”

China is a key growth region for INEOS and the agreements significantly extend its petrochemicals business with a focus on products where it has some of the leading proprietary technologies. The transactions are all subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions. Each transaction is currently anticipated to complete before the end of the year and will be financed through a combination of internal cash resources and external financing.

In 2021, INEOS completes the acquisition of BP’s global Aromatics & Acetyls business. INEOS Acetyls
The acquisition consists of 15 sites across the world (5 in the Americas, 2 in Europe and 8 in Asia) as well as 10 leading joint ventures.

SK expects massive US investment will also create jobs in Korea

SK expects massive US investment will also create jobs in Korea

SMOSCOW (MRC) -- SK Group announced an additional USD22 billion investment in the U.S. market, emphasizing that its plan will create decent jobs in both Korea and the U.S., said Koreantimes.

The second-largest conglomerate in Korea said Wednesday that the money will be used mainly to support the U.S. semiconductor, green energy and bioscience industries. Considering its previous announcement of investing $7 billion to build electric vehicle battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky, SK Group will invest nearly USD30 billion in total in the world's largest economy.

In particular, USD15 billion will be invested in semiconductor R&D and construction of an advanced packaging and testing facility for the U.S. chip industry, while USD5 billion will be used for green energy sectors, including the construction of small modular reactors. The group will invest USD2 billion in cell and genetic therapies.

"Our countries fought side-by-side during the terrible conflict, and now we have worked side-by-side to build the technologies and infrastructures that will power the 21st century economy around the world," SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won told U.S. President Joe Biden at a teleconference at the White House, Tuesday (local time). "Our cooperation will make the supply chain in both our countries more resilient in critical technologies." Biden viewed SK Group's announcement as "historic," expecting its planned investments to increase its U.S. workforce to 20,000 workers from 4,000 by 2025.

"Today's announcement is also proof that America is back to working with our allies," the U.S. president said. "By uniting our skills and innovation, we will be able to manufacture the technologies that create the critical changes that are needed… for both our countries." Apologizing for not being able to meet with the chairman after having been diagnosed with COVID-19, Biden added jokingly that he will force Chey to have lunch with him in the Oval Office next time he visits.

Following their meeting, SK Group said in a statement that its 179 trillion won (USD136 billion) investment in the Korean market will also be made as planned by 2026, denying speculation that its planned investment in the U.S. will benefit American jobseekers only. Chey also told Biden that SK's commitment to growth and investment in Korea is "enduring."

SK Group noted that its investments in the semiconductor R&D will improve the technologies of SK hynix and the Korean chip industry. The conglomerate was also confident that its large-scale investment in the green energy sector will allow its subcontractors to enter the U.S. market, creating more jobs in both countries.

As per MRC, SK Capital Partners, LP, a private investment firm focused on the specialty materials, specialty chemicals, and pharmaceuticals sectors, announced the hiring of Asim Bhatia as Director, Business Development. Mr. Bhatia will be based in New York and brings nearly 25 years of strategic corporate development, M&A, investment banking, and corporate banking experience to SK Capital.

Cariflex began construction of polyisoprene latex plant

Cariflex began construction of polyisoprene latex plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global market leader in polyisoprene rubber latex for medical end markets, Cariflex Pte. Ltd. (Cariflex), broke ground at a 6.1 hectares site in Jurong Island, Singapore, said the company.

Cariflex will be constructing the world's largest and Singapore's first polyisoprene latex plant on this site. Driven by a strong commitment to better serve its global customers in medical and consumer products, this investment represents the largest capacity expansion in Cariflex's existing accomplishments.

Cariflex moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020 as a wholly owned subsidiary of DL Chemical Co., Ltd. DL Chemical Co., Ltd is a global petrochemical company and a part of DL Group [KRW 12.3T (USD10.8B) Revenue in 2021], a global developer, and Korea's first construction company established in 1939. DL Holdings is also the majority shareholder of DL E&C Co., Ltd, an affiliate company with expertise in civil engineering and construction and the lead contracting partner executing this project in Singapore.

"The full capacity potential of the Singapore plant will be delivered in two phases. The combined investment for the first phase and pre-investment of necessary infrastructures for the second phase is over US$350M. Pre-investing for the second phase will allow the additional capacity to rapidly and efficiently be made available in support of market growth. This will also continue to strengthen Cariflex's position as the number one supplier of polyisoprene latex with unmatched quality and diversity of supply sources," said Mr Jong-Hyun Kim, Chief Executive Officer of DL Chemical Co., Ltd.

Cariflex previously completed its latest major expansion in 2021, doubling its polyisoprene latex capacity at the Paulinia Facility, Brazil, with an investment of USD50m.

Orbia announces its second quarter 2022 earnings results

Orbia announces its second quarter 2022 earnings results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexican producer Orbia reported a year-on-year decline in Q2 earnings from its Polymer Solutions business, which makes polyvinyl chloride (PVC), said the company.

Orbia had a robust second quarter and strong first half of the year, delivering double-digit revenue growth year-over-year across most business groups. Polymer Solutions delivered a strong quarter amidst rising input costs. Data Communications was bolstered by increased demand and higher pricing. Fluorinated Solutions delivered strong performance driven by recovery in global pricing.

Net revenues of USD2.7 billion, up 19%, with higher sales across all business groups with the exception of Building and Infrastructure.

EBITDA of USD609 million increased 9%, driven by higher sales and profitability in the Data Communications, Fluorinated Solutions and Precision Agriculture business groups.

Net majority income of USD266 million increased 38%, driven by higher revenues.

Operating cash flow of USD134 million, driven by strong EBITDA growth, partially offset by higher taxes paid and increased working capital.

As MRC reported earlier, Orbia Advance Corp. said that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy and capital markets, it had decided to pause its efforts to divest or seek an alternative strategy for its Vestolit vinyls business.

Orbia is a global leader in specialty products and innovative solutions spanning the precision agriculture, building and infrastructure, fluorinated products and technologies, polymer solutions and data communications verticals, with broad experience in corporate and operational finance. The company has commercial activities in more than 110 countries and operations in over 50, with global headquarters in Mexico City, Boston, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv.

S-Oil to collaborate with Saudi Aramco on low carbon energy R&D

S-Oil to collaborate with Saudi Aramco on low carbon energy R&D

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korean oil refiner S-Oil has signed four MOUs with Saudi Aramco to collaborate in the alternative energy business, including Thermal Crude to Chemicals (TC2C) technology, research and development (R&D) on the production of lower carbon future energy, and investment in venture capital, said Fuelsandlubes.

Saudi Aramco became the single largest shareholder of S-Oil in January 2015, following its acquisition of Hanjin Group’s stake in S-Oil. The two companies signed the memoranda of understanding during the ‘Saudi Arabia-Korea Investment Forum for Smart Innovation & Growth’ held in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia.

Moving forward, S-Oil and Saudi Aramco are set to actively explore potential cooperation in building infrastructure to store, supply, and utilize competitive blue hydrogen and blue ammonia after bringing them into South Korea. The cooperation includes R&D on the import and supply of blue hydrogen and ammonia.

Moreover, both companies aim to pursue the production of hydrogen, the development of new carbon capture technology, plastic recycling technology as well as research on carbon neutral e-Fuel. Areas of cooperation include the potential joint investments into domestic venture companies specialized in new energy technology or decarbonization. "We articulated an ESG Roadmap and Green Initiative, to make sure our ESG practices not only serve the company well but also all our stakeholders and communities at large,” said Hussain A. Al-Qahtani, CEO of S-Oil, in his New Year speech.

Last year, the company bought a 20% stake in fuel cell venture company FCI to make inroads into the hydrogen business. Additionally, it participated in the clean hydrogen project consortium with Samsung C&T and Korea Southern Power Co., Ltd (KOSPO) to accelerate its hydrogen business in full swing. Moreover, S-OIL works on various fronts to secure a sizable amount of demand by switching into hydrogen fuel for its plant and putting hydrogen in the process of middle distillate cracking and desulfurization.

The MOUs also aim at enhancing the competitiveness of the company’s key business areas such as oil refining, petrochemical and lube base oil production. S-OIL is planning to apply TC2C, which is being developed and will be commercialized by Saudi Aramco for the first time, during phase 2 of its Shaheen petrochemical project. Saudi Aramco agreed to proactively collaborate for the successful completion of the project by providing its expertise in R&D of the olefin downstream process and petrochemical product. Final Investment Decision (FID) of the Shaheen project is expected this year, after completion of the Front End Engineering Design (FEED). If successfully completed, S-OIL will gain momentum to further pursue its growth strategies in the energy transition era by expanding beyond its vision of Oil to Chemicals.

As per MRC, Aramco is exploring further collaboration with Thailand’s national oil company PTT, as it expands its downstream presence in Asia. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding at a ceremony in Bangkok on May 11. The companies aim to strengthen cooperation across crude oil sourcing and the marketing of refining and petrochemical products and LNG. Other potential areas of activity include blue and green hydrogen and various clean energy initiatives.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco's value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world"s most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.