Trinseo to restruct its Executive Leadership Team

Trinseo to restruct its Executive Leadership Team

Trinseo, a specialty material solutions provider, today announced a restructuring of its Executive Leadership Team (ELT) to accelerate the Company’s continued transformation as a provider of more sustainable, highly engineered, specialty materials and solutions, said the company.

This new structure is focused on creating an environment that will further enable and enhance the Company’s strategic focus on strengthening transformative innovation, customer-centric solutions and increased sustainability across all its products and businesses.

The restructuring will include the departure of three members of the Executive Leadership Team and a corresponding reassignment of responsibilities for three existing members of the ELT. Francesca Reverberi, currently Senior Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer, will take on added responsibilities as head of Engineered Materials, a position she has held previously in the organization.

Andre Lanning, who previously held the position of Chief Commercial Officer, will be leaving the organization to pursue other opportunities, as will Nicolas Joly, SVP, Polystyrene & Feedstocks and Jean-Luc Beal who held the position of SVP, Engineered Materials. After a short transition period, these changes will be effective August 1, 2023.

We remind, Trinseo, a specialty material solutions provider, announced the inauguration of its polycarbonate (PC) dissolution pilot facility in Terneuzen, the Netherlands. The new pilot facility is a major step in Trinseo’s commitment to sustainability, part of the journey in realizing the company’s sustainability goals. The guests of honor at the inauguration ceremony included Jo-Annes de Bat, Provincial Executive (responsible for regional economy) of the Netherlands.

Air Liquide and KBR to offer ATR-based low-carbon ammonia and hydrogen technologies

Air Liquide and KBR to offer ATR-based low-carbon ammonia and hydrogen technologies

Air Liquide, through its Engineering & Construction Division, will work with KBR to offer fully integrated low-carbon ammonia solutions based on Autothermal Reforming (ATR) technology, said the company.

Air Liquide is a world leader in ATR technology, one of the most suitable solutions for large-scale production of low-carbon hydrogen (H2), which is then combined with nitrogen (N2) to produce low-carbon ammonia (NH3). The solutions provided with KBR, the world leader in ammonia technology, will also contribute to the development of a global low-carbon hydrogen market as, when transformed into ammonia, hydrogen can be easily transported over long distances.

Air Liquide will provide its unique and proprietary expertise in Autothermal Reformer (ATR), and KBR its mastery and world leadership in ammonia production technology. Air Liquide has established its leadership in oxygen-based ATR technology through nearly seven decades of experience. Since 1943, KBR has licensed, engineered, or constructed over 250 grassroot ammonia plants worldwide. The Air Liquide and KBR solutions can achieve outstanding energy efficiency and world-leading reliability with a production process which also allows for a carbon capture rate of up to 99% in highly integrated industrial facilities when combined with carbon capture technology.

The global ammonia market size reached Ca. 78 billion US dollars in 2022 and is projected to surpass 129 billion US dollars by 2030; it is expected to grow by 6.5% per year on average between 2022 and 2030, according to Precedence Research[1]. Today, ammonia is mainly used as a fertilizer for agriculture.

In the longer term, Air Liquide and KBR will work together to contribute to the development of low-carbon hydrogen as a key enabler of the energy transition. Ammonia can be easily transported over long distances and a global supply chain infrastructure is already in place for the production, transportation and utilization of ammonia at large scale. Once transported, ammonia can be converted back into hydrogen to contribute to the decarbonization of industry and mobility. In March 2023, Air Liquide announced the construction of an industrial scale ammonia cracking pilot plant in the port of Antwerp, Belgium. Using innovative technology, this plant will make it possible to convert, with an optimized carbon footprint, ammonia into hydrogen.

We remind, Air Liquide has signed its first long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with two China Three Gorges Corp subsidiaries for the supply of renewable electricity in China. Under the PPA, Air Liquide will purchase a total of 200-megawatt/y of renewable power to be supplied by China Three Gorges Renewables and China Three Gorges Corp Jiangsu branch, beginning in Jan 2024.

Vietnam approves USD11.4-bn plan to expand fuel storage capacity by 2030

Vietnam approves USD11.4-bn plan to expand fuel storage capacity by 2030

Vietnam has approved a plan to expand its national fuel storage capacity by 2030, with investment of up to USD11.4 bn, said Reuters.

The investment would raise the country's crude oil and refined fuel storage capacity to 75 to 80 days of net imports, according to the plan signed by Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha on Tuesday and reviewed by Reuters.

We remind, Long Son Petrochemicals, owned by SCG Chemicals, will start commercial production at its petrochemical complex in southern Vietnam in September. The company is in the process of testing each operating unit at the complex, Siam Cement Group's Roongrote Rangsiyopash said on the sidelines of an industry event. Siam Cement Group owns SCG Chemicals. Testing will be completed in July or August, so commercial operations could start around September, Rangsiyopash said.

Wacker Chemie lowers forecasts due to weak demand

Wacker Chemie lowers forecasts due to weak demand

Wacker Chemie has to make significant cuts to its annual targets after a weak second quarter, said Marketscreener.

The share price fell by a good two percent on Wednesday. "The decisive factors for our reduced expectations are the persistently weak demand from customers in numerous user industries, ongoing destocking on the customer side and the lower prices for many of our products compared to the previous year," said company CEO Christian Hartel, according to a statement the previous day. The hoped-for recovery in demand has not yet been seen, he added. Instead, the weakness in demand will continue in the second half of the year.

For the full year, the Executive Board now expects sales of 6.5 to 6.8 billion euros instead of the previously targeted 7 to 7.5 billion euros. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) are expected to be 0.8 to 1 billion euros. Previously, the Group's management had forecast 1.1 to 1.4 billion. The new figures are below average market expectations, Wacker announced.

For analyst Markus Mayer of Baader Bank, the lowered annual outlook came as no surprise. He said his estimate was already in line with the midpoint of the new target range for operating profit (Ebitda), but market expectations now had to be lowered by 19 percent. Meanwhile, he said, his talks with many investors in recent days had shown that unofficial expectations for operating profit this year had already been below one billion euros.

Based on preliminary calculations, the group made sales of 1.75 billion euros in the second quarter, down from almost 2.2 billion a year earlier. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization slumped by almost 60 percent to 255 million euros. The final results are to be published on July 27.

The chemical sector has been suffering massively from destocking by customers since the fall of 2022. On top of this, consumers are less inclined to spend in the gloomy economic environment, which is weighing on demand and prices.

This is making itself felt in the silicones business - these plastics are used primarily in the electronics industry, by textile manufacturers, medical technology companies and in the construction sector. The construction industry, an important sales market for Wacker's polymers, is also feeling the impact of reduced construction activity due to high interest rates. Polymers are a wide variety of chemical compounds; they are the basis for adhesives, for example, but are also added to flooring, paints and concrete to change properties.

In Wacker's Silicones division, operating profit slumped in the second quarter, falling from 277 to 50 million euros. In the Polymers division, operating profit fell 17 percent to 75 million euros. Business with polysilicon for photovoltaic systems also remained under pressure. In the division's day-to-day business, profits shrank by almost 28 percent year-on-year to 155 million euros.

The German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) had also recently expressed little optimism about economic developments.

We remind, WACKER has completed the capacity expansion measures for the produc-tion of vinyl-acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions and VAE dispersible polymer powders at WACKER’s Nanjing site in China.

Synthomer expects lower interim revenue amid lower customer demand

Synthomer expects lower interim revenue amid lower customer demand

Synthomer PLC expects to report lower revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the first half of the year but maintains a hopeful outlook, said Marketwatch.

The Essex, England-based chemicals manufacturer said in the first six months of the year, its revenue was GBP1.1 billion, down 17% from GBP1.33 billion a year prior. Ebitda is expected to be in the range of GBP72 million and GPB74 million, falling from GBP173.1 million the year before.

The company noted that "robust pricing" and a strong focus on margins helped it mitigate "substantially lower volumes." Net debt at June 30 was around GBP795 million.

Looking ahead, Synthomer said it does not anticipate material recovery in customer demand before the end of the year, but is confident of making sequential progress in the second half of the year. The company will report half year results on September 7.

We remind, Synthomer has agreed to sell its Laminates, Films and Coated Fabrics businesses to Surteco North America for a total enterprise value of about USD255m. The divestment is in line with Synthomer’s plans to increase the weighting of specialty chemicals versus base chemicals in its portfolio and create a more balanced geographic exposure, it said. The Laminates, Films and Coated Fabrics businesses, with plants in North America and Thailand, were part of Synthomer’s acquisition of OMNOVA Solutions in 2020.