Plastics Industry Association Submits Comments, Disappointed with EPA Draft Strategy on Plastic Pollution

Plastics Industry Association Submits Comments, Disappointed with EPA Draft Strategy on Plastic Pollution

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) has submitted comments in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) request for public input on its Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution, said EPA.

“The plastic industry appreciates the opportunity to submit comments to the EPA, however, we are disappointed with the agency’s draft strategy,” said PLASTICS’ President and CEO Matt Seaholm. “The EPA was directed by Congress in an overwhelmingly bi-partisan way to focus on post-consumer materials management and infrastructure, and instead the agency’s first stated objective in this strategy is to reduce the production of essential materials rather than address plastic waste.”

“The strategy is not focused on improving infrastructure, meanwhile, the plastics industry continues to invest billions of dollars in innovations to expand recycling capacity. Understanding and addressing the essential nature of plastics and tackling environmental challenges should not be mutually exclusive.”

“We don’t recycle enough, and we need to improve recycling rates in the U.S., period. PLASTICS remains eager to collaborate with the EPA, stakeholders and anyone who is willing to work towards our common goal of effective solutions to keep plastic waste out of the environment,” concluded Seaholm.

It was reported earlier, European Union lawmakers plan to accept changes made by countries last week to the bloc's renewable energy law, to give assurances to France and others on potentially exempting ammonia plants. EU countries on Friday agreed late changes to the law, adding an amendment that said some ammonia plants would struggle to switch to renewable fuels, and a pledge from the European Commission to consider exempting them from renewable targets.

PPG appoints John Bruno, vice president, finance

PPG appoints John Bruno, vice president, finance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PPG announced that John Bruno, current vice president, investor relations, has been appointed vice president, finance. Bruno will continue to report to Vince Morales, PPG senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), said the company.

Bruno will also continue to serve as PPG’s primary investor relations contact until his successor is named.

In his new role, Bruno will influence key organic growth and strategy initiatives for all of PPG’s strategic business units. He will also help to drive manufacturing efficiencies, optimize cost structures and focus on improved working capital and cash generation across the entire enterprise.

Bruno has held a variety of diverse finance roles of increasing responsibility during his 28 years with PPG, including business-specific finance support as well as broad corporate roles. Prior to assuming the investor relations role in 2017, he served as PPG’s regional CFO for the Asia-Pacific region where he supported significant PPG expansion and profitable sales growth in the region. Bruno also spent several years in Europe serving as a key integration lead for PPG’s acquisition of SigmaKalon, where he helped to drive synergy capture and integration efficiencies. In prior finance roles, he was PPG’s director of internal audit and worked in other business finance leadership roles. Bruno also worked in various finance roles at U.S. Steel Corp. prior to joining PPG in 1995.

Bruno is a certified public accountant and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and a Master of Business Administration degree from Duquesne University.

We remind, PPG Industries Inc. (PPG) on Thursday reported second-quarter results that beat Wall Street's estimates and raised its full-year profit forecast, but management warned of continued "tepid" industrial production and lower home sales. PPG reported net income of USD490 million, or USD2.06 a share, compared with USD443 million, or USD1.86 a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue rose 4% to USD4.87 billion, up from USD4.69 billion in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted for acquisition and restructuring costs, PPG earned USD2.25 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected PPG to report adjusted earnings per share of USD2.14, on sales of USD4.84 billion.

Linde's revenue drops 3% to USD8.2 billion in Q2

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Linde PLC booked USD8.2 billion in revenue during the second quarter of fiscal 2023, which is 3% lower compared to the same period the year before, said the company.

Meanwhile, operating profit during the reported quarter climbed to USD2 billion, in comparison to USD589 million last year, while its net income skyrocketed by nearly 100% to USD1.6 billion. Its diluted earnings per share (EPS) surged 331% year on year to USD3.19 per share. The company projected its third-quarter diluted EPS to move in the range of USD3.48 to USD3.58.

"This performance is driven by our employees’ ability to continuously optimize the base business and increase network density, all while securing high-quality growth opportunities...Regardless of the geopolitical or economic uncertainty, we will continue to generate long-term shareholder value," CEO Sanjiv Lamba said.

We remind, Linde has signed a long-term agreement to supply green hydrogen to Evonik. Linde will build, own and operate a nine-megawatt alkaline electrolyzer plant on Jurong Island, Singapore. The plant will produce green hydrogen, which Evonik will use to manufacture methionine, an essential component in animal feed. The new supply agreement supports the planned expansion of Evonik’s existing facility and will help Evonik limit its greenhouse gas emissions in Singapore.

BASF, Huntsman, and Chinese partners agree to petrochemical deal in China

BASF, Huntsman, and Chinese partners agree to petrochemical deal in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF and Huntsman together with their Chinese partner companies – Shanghai Hua Yi (Group Company), Sinopec Shanghai Gaoqiao Petrochemical Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co., Ltd. – announce the planned separation of their joint MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) production at Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co., Ltd. (SLIC), said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Going forward, the companies will operate the two MDI plants located at the site in Caojing, China independently. Huntsman together with Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co., Ltd, and BASF together with Shanghai Hua Yi (Group Company) and Sinopec Shanghai Gaoqiao Petrochemical Co., Ltd will each take over one of the MDI plants.

“The SLIC joint venture has been an important partnership to establish MDI production in China as one of the pioneers at the Shanghai Chemical Park,” said Ramkumar Dhruva, President Monomers division at BASF. “The new organizational setup will allow BASF and our partners Shanghai Hua Yi and Sinopec Shanghai Gaoqiao Petrochemical Co., Ltd. to further develop our MDI operations in Shanghai while serving the demand of our customers in the region even more effectively.”

“Through the production of crude MDI in the SLIC joint venture over almost 20 years, Huntsman together with its partner, Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co., Ltd, has been able to successfully build its polyurethanes business in China. As we move to integrate these assets into our downstream operations, we will be even better positioned to meet the future innovation and growth needs of our customers,” said Tony Hankins, President of Huntsman Polyurethanes.

Huntsman, together with Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co., Ltd, will own and operate the original MDI plant that started commercial production in 2006, along with a hydrogen chloride recycling unit for the production of chlorine, a precursor for MDI, that was added in 2018. BASF will own and operate the MDI plant that was added in 2018, including the manufacturing facilities for the precursors aniline and nitrobenzene. All employees currently employed in the Joint Venture will be transferred to the respective organizations.

The new operational setup is in preparation and is expected to become effective during the fourth quarter of 2023, and is subject to pending regulatory authority approvals, permits and other customary closing conditions.

In addition to the plant in Caojing, BASF operates MDI production sites in Chongqing, China as well as in Yeosu, South Korea; Antwerp, Belgium; and Geismar, Louisiana. Following the restructuring of the joint venture, BASF’s global production capacity for MDI will total around 1.9 million tons.

Huntsman operates world-scale MDI production and splitting facilities in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Geismar, Louisiana, in addition to its Caojing facilities.

MDI is an important precursor in the manufacture of polyurethanes – versatile polymers that are used in the automotive and construction industries, in appliances such as refrigerators, and in footwear.

We remind, BASF and Zhejiang Guanghua Technology Co.,Ltd. (KHUA) have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for the supply of Neopentyl Glycol (NPG) from BASF’s Zhanjiang Verbund site to KHUA. This agreement marks a significant milestone in the long-term partnership between both parties. KHUA, a reputed manufacturer of saturated polyester resins for the powder coatings industry in China, is planning to build a 100 kilotons per annum (KT/a) production plant for high-end powder coatings resins in Donghai Island, Zhanjiang Economic & Technological Development Zone, where BASF is building a world-scale NPG plant with an annual production capacity of 80,000 metric tons.

Alpek posts comparable EBITDA of USD201mln

Alpek posts comparable EBITDA of USD201mln

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Alpek SAB de CV announced its 2Q 2023 results, said the company.

Comparable EBITDA of USD201 M, down 3% versus 1Q23, mainly due to lower-than-expected volumes across the product portfolio and a decrease in reference margins particularly for PET and EPS. Reported EBITDA of USD148 M, 21% lower quarter-on-quarter, due primarily to an inventory adjustment of -USD32 M and a carry-forward effect of -USD8 M caused by a decrease in raw material prices.

"Others" is driven primarily by a non-cash hyperinflation effect in Argentina. Revenues for the 2Q 2023 reached USD2.05 bn, 1% lower than in 1Q 2023, due to lower overall average prices, which was partially offset by stronger consolidated volume. Net income attributable to the controlling interest for the 2Q 2023 was USD31 M, an improvement when compared to a USD6 M loss primarily due to the footprint optimization one-time shutdown costs in 1Q 2023.

Net working capital (NWC) improved by USD284 M through various optimizations, including improvements in inventory management. CAPEX for the quarter totalled USD75 M, allocated primarily for the Corpus Christi Polymers (CCP) construction and towards scheduled maintenance, in line with Guidance.

Income tax during 2Q 2023 was USD97 M, 70% higher than the previous quarter, as it includes the majority of the fiscal payments for 2022. Consolidated net debt as of 30 Jun 2023 was USD1.88 bn, down 10% QoQ. Gross debt was USD2.31 bn and cash increased to USD436 M, including restricted cash. Financial ratios for the quarter were: net debt to EBITDA of 2.3x and interest coverage of 5.3x.

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. The new facility is expected to be the largest vertically integrated PTA-PET production plant in the Americas, with annual capacities of 1.1m tonnes of PET and 1.3m tonnes of PTA. It will employ three state-of-the-art technologies.