Oerlikon orders fall as soft China demand hits polymers

Oerlikon orders fall as soft China demand hits polymers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Swiss industrial group OC Oerlikon said its orders fell nearly 14% in the first quarter, as weak filament demand in China led to postponements at its polymer business, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Oerlikon shares were up more than 2% in early trading, however as despite the drop in order intake, the company still managed to beat market forecasts on sales and operating income.

Its first quarter revenue rose 5.4% to 735 MM, driven by a 12.5% increase in its surface solutions division, while its operational core earnings (EBITDA) fell 3.8% to ?116 MM.

Analysts had forecast revenue of ?694 MM and an operational EBITDA of 111 MM, according to a company provided poll. "Sales comfortably beat market expectations and EBITDA too, but to a lesser extent," Baader Helvea analyst Michael Roost said in a note.

The margin development was "a touch underwhelming" and polymer processing orders well below expectations, Roost added.

Oerlikon said in February it planned to cut 800 jobs from the polymer processing division after the unit's earnings dropped by more than a fourth in the final quarter of 2022.

Finance chief Philipp Mueller told reporters the layoffs would start in September, but whether they would reach 800 depended on order intake. Mueller added he was confident the situation in China would improve soon.

The polymer processing business, which supplies the textile, automotive and chemicals industries, saw a 28% drop in first-quarter orders to ?298 MM. This took Oerlikon's total order intake to ?681 MM in the quarter, down from ?790 MM last year.

We remind, Oerlikon Nonwoven has commissioned a two-beam meltblown plant featuring ecuTEC+ electro charging system at Wolf PVG GmbH & Co KG in Spenge, Germany. The plant enables Wolf PVG to manufacture meltblown nonwovens for use in FFP2 and surgical masks.

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Solvay raises outlook as Q1 results beat expectations

Solvay raises outlook as Q1 results beat expectations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay’s net profit rose by 24.7% year on year to €460m in the first quarter as margins rose on the back of higher prices, the Belgian producer said.

Higher prices were offset by lower volumes and higher fixed costs amid an inflationary environment.

Pricing measures of EUR421m more than offset the €127m impact from variable cost inflation resulting in EUR294m of net price benefit in Q1 2023.

EBITDA margin was at a record 26.5% in the quarter, 320 basis points higher than in Q1 2022.

The company raised its full-year underlying EBITDA organic growth estimate from the previously indicated guidance of between -3% and -9% to a range of between +2% and -5% versus 2022.

We remind, Solvay announces the completion of the sale of its 50% stake in the RusVinyl joint venture to its joint venture partner Sibur. At the time of closing, Solvay received €433 million in cash proceeds in Belgium which will be reported in the first quarter as cash flow from investing activities (Consolidated statement of cash flows). A capital loss of EUR174 million will be recognized in the first quarter of 2023, mainly reflecting the crystallization of historic currency translation balances.

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Borealis launches a new class of engineering polymer

Borealis launches a new class of engineering polymer

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis, one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and a European market leader in base chemicals, fertilizers and the mechanical recycling of plastics, is launching Stelora, a new class of sustainable engineering polymer offering increased strength, durability and a step change in heat-resistance capability, said the company.

Borealis, the world’s leading producer of cyclic olefin copolymer (COC). It is created using a unique process that combines COCs, which are a relatively new class of clear, high-purity polymer, with polypropylene (PP). The result is a state-of-the-art material called ethylene-propylene-norbornene (EPN) that is suitable for a wide range of technically advanced applications, primarily used in e-mobility and renewable energy generation. This solution offers a sustainable alternative to replace conventional engineering polymers, which meet the high temperature requirements required for the new generation of energy-saving power semiconductors for invertors.

“Stelora is a unique solution that combines enhanced sustainability with elevated performance. We are confident that, within a short time, it will replace existing engineering polymers in a wide range of applications, providing our customers with a cost-effective, high-performance solution that also drives circularity and energy efficiency.” explains Ilkka Pentilla,CEO, Tervakoski Films Group, a long-standing Borealis customer of capacitor grades.

The first commercially available application of Stelora is within a high-heat-resistant capacitor film. This dielectric capacitor film made with Stelora offers all of the benefits of the equivalent made using PP resin as a dielectric, but with significant performance enhancements including exceptional heat resistance, superior electrical properties at high temperatures, and increased efficiency. Stelora-based film is also fully compatible with existing converting lines, so it can be processed by customers without the need for investment in new equipment, infrastructure or assets.

We remind, Borealis will implement Honeywell’s UniSim Live software as early adopters to build process models for optimizing operations through virtual process simulation. UniSim Live will allow Borealis to extend the utility of process models to near real-time process monitoring and focus on early event detection by using digital twins to improve plant reliability.

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Petrochina Guangxi Selects Grace PP Technology for New Reactor Line

Petrochina Guangxi Selects Grace PP Technology for New Reactor Line

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petrochina Guangxi has entered into a license agreement with Grace to use its Unipol PP technology for its new 400 kilotons per annum single reactor line in China, said Process-worldwide.

With this move, Petrochina Guangxi aims to deliver higher value PP products to the local market. Grace has announced the signing of a new license with Petrochina Guangxi to develop a 400-kilotons per annum single reactor line using its Unipol PP technology.

W. R. Grace & Co. (Grace) has recently announced the signing of a new license with Petrochina Guangxi Petrochemical Company (Petrochina Guangxi) to develop a 400-kilotons per annum (KTA) single reactor line using its Unipol PP technology. The anticipated start up is in 2026. This marks the second Unipol PP technology reactor line that Petrochina Guangxi has licensed and the fifth that Petrochina Group has licensed from Grace for a total licensed capacity of 1,850 KTA.

This Unipol PP technology line in China can take advantage of the full product capabilities to produce homopolymer, ethylene random copolymer, impact copolymer, butene random copolymer, and terpolymer polypropylene resins. As a result, Petrochina Guangxi will be at the forefront of advanced PP production in China.

Petrochina Guangxi chose to use Unipol PP technology again because of the broad catalyst and product capabilities, robust production, advanced PP technology, and excellent services they have received with their current plants.

Grace's Unipol PP technology is a state-of-the-art process technology for producing high-performance polypropylene resins used in a variety of applications such as automotive parts, packaging, consumer goods, and infrastructure materials.

We remind, W.R. Grace & Co has licensed its Unipol PP process technology to Gail India Ltd for its 60,000 tonnes/y polypropylene (PP) plant at Gail's existing petrochemical complex in Pata, Uttar Pradesh, India.

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Solvay Technology selected for hydrogen peroxide plant in China

Solvay Technology selected for hydrogen peroxide plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Guangxi Chlor-Alkali Chemical has selected Solvay’s proprietary hydrogen peroxide technology for its new plant in China, said Process-worldwide.

Under the license agreement, Solvay will also provide a dedicated process design package, operating expertise and a range of services for the project.

Solvay has signed a license agreement with Guangxi Chlor-Alkali Chemical (Ghcac) which will enable the Chinese partner to build and operate a hydrogen peroxide mega plant at Qinzhou (Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) designed to support its 300 kilotons propylene oxide (PO) production and other units on site.

Under this license, Solvay will provide its proprietary hydrogen peroxide mega-scale, high productivity process technology to Ghcac, including a dedicated process design package, operating expertise and a range of services to ensure the optimized and reliable production of the new mega plant. In addition, the company will also supply Ghcac with proprietary 2-amylanthraquinone (AQ), the key chemical contributing to the high productivity and environmentally-friendly chemical processes of Solvay’s mega plant technology.

We remind, Solvay announces the completion of the sale of its 50% stake in the RusVinyl joint venture to its joint venture partner Sibur. At the time of closing, Solvay received €433 million in cash proceeds in Belgium which will be reported in the first quarter as cash flow from investing activities (Consolidated statement of cash flows). A capital loss of EUR174 million will be recognized in the first quarter of 2023, mainly reflecting the crystallization of historic currency translation balances.

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