AkzoNobel expects lower Q3 earnings

AkzoNobel expects lower Q3 earnings

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel expects its third-quarter earnings to fall year on year, the Dutch paints and coatings major said.

Its adjusted operating income in the July-September 2022 is projected to be in the range of EUR195m-215m, down from EUR241m in the same period last year, the company said in a statement. AkzoNobel will announce its Q3 financial results on 20 October.

It said that “customers and channel partners in the paints and coatings industry are proactively destocking” in Europe and China. “Current demand trends are expected to continue in Q4, whilst benefits will come from the company’s own initiatives to reduce costs, improve working capital and ongoing pricing initiatives,” the company said.

“While Q3 will see the highest raw material cost impact since the inflation cycle started early 2021, pricing will continue to offset raw material and freight inflation,” AkzoNobel said. “Overall raw material supply is normalizing and raw material prices are starting to soften broadly,” the Dutch producer added.

In the second quarter, AkzoNobel's net income fell by 59.4% year on year to EUR106m, weighed down by higher raw material and freight costs.

We remind, AkzoNobel bolsters its performance coatings portfolio after reaching an agreement to acquire the wheel liquid coatings business of Lankwitzer Lackfabrik GmbH. Completion of which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected before end-2022. Lankwitzer's Rims and Wheel business operates out of a manufacturing site in Leipzig, Germany. Its products are approved for use by car manufacturers such as Daimler, Audi, VW, Opel, Fiat and Renault.

Selenis buys PET resin production lines in North Carolina

Selenis buys PET resin production lines in North Carolina

MOOSCOW (MRC) -- Selenis has acquired specialty PET resin production in North Carolina, said the company.

The batch production lines purchased by Selenis in Fayetteville, NC have an annual production capacity of 55 million pounds. They are used to manufacture Glycol Modified PET (PETG).

In a press release, Selenis officials said that given the continued development and growth of the North American market, the company “continues to pursue its expansion plans towards local production.”

“Our goal is always to take care of our employees, our customers and our shareholders,” said CEO Duarte Matos Gil. “This new agreement will help us expand the geographic and industry reach of our products.”

Officials added that Selenis is “very focused” on sustainability, centering its innovation on developing products with up to 50 percent recycled content and fully recyclable PET solutions. The company’s advances in molecular recycling “transform waste into the building blocks of their specialty resins, helping to fight climate change.”

Earlier this year, Selenis renewed its Recyclass certifications for the traceability of recycled content. The certifications attest to the use of 30 percent and 50 percent post-consumer recycled content in the company’s Eco Resins that it commercialized in 2019.

Also read: Selenis buys DAK's PET resin manufacturing facility in North Carolina.

We remind, Alpek, Indorama and FENC announced earlier that Corpus Christi Polymers (CCP) will resume construction on the facility in August. The plant is expected to begin production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in early 2025. Construction of the state-of-the-art plan is resuming following a period of pandemic-related disruptions.

Based in Portalegre, Portugal, Selenis manufactures specialty polyester, PET and copolyester resins. The company is owned by the investment firm IMG Group from Porto, Portugal. IMG also owns global polyester film manufacturer Evertis and is a 50:50 partner with Mexico’s Alpek Group in a PET bottle resin plant in Montreal.

Strike action, outages in France's refined product sector

Strike action, outages in France's refined product sector

MOSCOW (MRC) -- France's refined products sector is under strain as a result of strike action over pay and unplanned maintenance which have led to more than 40% of its refining capacity being taken offline, said Reuters.

The outages come at a time where Europe is looking to ease its dependence on Russian fuel. Here are the oil companies and sites affected by strike action and outages.

French unions CGT and Force Ouvriere called for a strike on Sept. 20 following wage negotiations with ExxonMobil related to rising inflation in Europe. Strike action continued on Sept. 27 with wage discussions still underway, an ExxonMobil spokesperson told Reuters.

"This unfortunate situation may impact our customers, contractors, suppliers, and employees, and affects the international reputation of Exxon Mobil activities in France," the spokesperson said. Exxon began gradually closing the 240,000 barrel per day (bpd) Port Jerome-Gravenchon oil refinery on Sept. 20, which was completed on the weekend of Sept. 24.

Exxon began closing the NGD petrochemical site on Sept. 20 as a result of strike action and completed the shutdown on the weekend of Sept. 24.

Strike action spread to Exxon’s 235,000 bpd Fos-Sur-Mer refinery on Sept. 21, leading to a gradual shutdown of the plant, which was completed on the weekend of Sept. 24.

Workers at Exxon’s Toulouse depot joined the strike on Sept. 22 but Exxon said on Sept. 27 that operations at its terminals have not been impacted.

French union CGT began a three-day strike over wages on Sept. 27 across TotalEnergies’ platforms, which has disrupted refined product distribution across the oil firm's five French refineries.

"In anticipation of the strike, TotalEnergies has taken the necessary logistical measures to be able to supply its service station network and its customers normally," a TotalEnergies spokesperson said.

No product is leaving TotalEnergies’ 240,000 bpd Gonfreville oil refinery, the 119,000 bpd Feyzin oil refinery, the 230,000 bpd Donges refinery and La Mede biorefinery, CGT union delegate Thierry Defresne said.

Very little product is currently leaving the 102,000 bpd Grandpuits refinery, and distribution will be halted on Sept. 28, a union official at Grandpuits told Reuters on Sept. 27.

Product transport from the Cote d’Opale fuel storage depots near Dunkirk has also stopped, CGT union delegate Thierry Defresne said.

TotalEnergies' 119,000 bpd Feyzin oil refinery in southern France was taken offline on Sept. 16 after a leak at the fluid catalytic cracking unit. The refinery is likely to remain closed for 4-6 weeks from that date, CGT union delegate Thierry Defresne said.

Indian Oil awards prestigious 400 TPD SRU Project to Nuberg EPC

Indian Oil awards prestigious 400 TPD SRU Project to Nuberg EPC

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian Oil Corporation Limited is expanding the petrochemical capacity of its Gujarat refinery (LuPech Project), said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Nuberg EPC, the leading Indian Global EPC and turnkey project management company today announced that it has been selected by Indian Oil for the construction of Rs 650+ crore Sulfur Recovery Plant consisting of Sulfur Recovery Unit (1 x 400 TPD) including control room and substation for sulfur block under international competitive bidding. Indian Oil, a Government of India Enterprise, is the country's top refiner and fuel retailer. The Sulphur Recovery Plant is being built with in Indian Oil's existing facility of Vadodra, Gujaratfor Petrochemical and Lube Integration Project.

Nuberg EPC shall be executing this project using the latest French technology to future proof Indian Oil's Environmental Sustainability and augmenting Sulphur production capability. The 1 x 400 TPD Sulphur Recovery Unit will enable Indian Oil to recover sulfur from Sour Gas a by-product of the refinery. The Plant is expected to be ready for production in just 28 months. The company is taking up the project on LSTK basis including the technology.

On being awarded the project, Mr. A. K. Tyagi, CMD, Nuberg Engineering commented, "We are thankful to Indian Oil Corporation Limited for entrusting another turnkey project to our engineering capabilities and EPC services and solutions. This partnership with Indian Oil is in addition to Nuberg EPC building and commissioning India's first commercial scale Hydrogen Purification (fuel cell grade), Compression, Storage Dispensing Facility for Indian Oil at Vadodara. The 1.5 TPD project involves generation of ultra-pure hydrogen and its storage at extremely high pressure."

This Sulfur Recovery Plant project from Indian Oilcomes as another milestone for Nuberg EPC. Nuberg EPC has in recent past bagged prestigious projects including Castic Soda Plant project for Lineer Kostik Soda Sanayi Anomin Sirketi in Turkey, Sulfuric Acid Project for Sprea Misr in Egypt, Sulfuric Acid Plant Project for Awash Melkassa Chemical Factory in Ethiopia, Sulfuric Acid Plant Project for International Company for Chemical Industry in Egypt,and Hydrogen Peroxide Plant for Uzbekistan Hydrogen JU LLC in Uzbekistan.

Nuberg EPC's proven global execution experience and in-house strengths of driving technology-oriented projects has already made her a global leader for executing turnkey projects worldwide. The company has also set-up and commissioned multiple plants in Chemicals Fertilizers, Hydrocarbon, Steel, and Nuclear Defense industries globally. Being a responsible global corporate citizen, Nuberg EPC is committed to innovating world class technologies and processes. The company is actively delivering projects globally leveraging its Indian strengths and is expanding its footprints in Hydrogen - Green, Grey, and Blue; 2G 3G Ethanol, Water Electrolysis, Water Soluble Fertilizers and Next Generation Nutrients, in addition to traditional strengths.

We remind, Indian Oil Refining and Marketing Company Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) plans to invest 1.4 trillion rupees (USD17.65 billion) in petrochemicals, city gas and clean energy businesses in the next five years, a new agency Press Trust of India (PTI). The investment is part of the firm’s efforts to develop its non-fuel business.

SIBUR launches production of PET granules with recycled content

SIBUR launches production of PET granules with recycled content

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR has launched production of PET granules using recycled feedstock. The new product, Vivilen rPET granules, contains up to 25–30% recycled polymers and will now be manufactured at POLIEF, said the company.

Once the facility reaches its design capacity, each year POLIEF will be able to produce up to 144,000 tonnes of Vivilen PET granules with a share of recycled content. The volume of polymers that can be involved in reuse amount to up to 34,000 tonnes, which compares with 1.7 bn used plastic bottles. To make this project a reality, SIBUR had to integrate the recycled feedstock supply line into the primary PET process in place at the facility in Bashkortostan. POLIEF’s total PET production capacity is expected at 252,000 tonnes per year.

The testing and homologation of the new equipment with the first potential customers have been successfully completed. The results of the tests confirm that Vivilen rPET is on a par with the primary polymer in terms of technical and operational qualities, it complies with the food safety standards and can be used in the production of packaging for food and beverages. Project costs totalled over RUB 4 bn. The initiative was also supported by Russia’s Industrial Development Fund, which provided a low-interest loan of RUB 1.2 bn.

We remind, in 2020 SIBUR's POLIEF site in Blagoveshchensk, Republic of Bashkortostan, launches the production of green PET granules, which, among other materials, will rely on some 34 kt of recycled plastics annually.

The Blagoveshchensk facility was SIBUR’s first asset to start manufacturing products containing recycled waste. Once completed, the project offers a wealth of opportunities for packaging manufacturers, who previously shied away from using recycled polymers because of the need to invest in additional equipment. With Vivilen rPET, no additional investment is required. SIBUR continues to develop new solutions and teams up with partners to explore the new ways of reusing other types of polymers, including widely popular polyethylene and polypropylene.