Alpek to shut down Mexican filament plant

Alpek to shut down Mexican filament plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Alpek announced the shutdown of its textile and industrial fiber production facility (“filament”) located in Monterrey, said the company.

The site was built in 1962, has an installed capacity of 100,000 tons of polymer and filament, and has represented minimal contribution to Alpek’s total EBITDA in recent years.

Alpek is continuously looking for opportunities to create value by streamlining its operations to meet the demands of the competitive markets it serves and assure its financial strength. The production oversupply experienced globally in recent years for the filament industry, among other factors, has significantly reduced its profitability, and as this situation is not expected to change in the near future, the Company has made the challenging decision to close its operations at such facility and will not be substituting production.

“The Company will provide a comprehensive separation package for all collaborators and all necessary support as part of the closure,” stated Jorge Young, Alpek’s CEO. “Although efforts were made, unfortunately this is the only option available at the time. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each of the employees of this site for their commitment to the company throughout the years.”

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.

Covestro Provides Partly Biobased PU Dispersion to Huafeng for Its Textile Coating

Covestro Provides Partly Biobased PU Dispersion to Huafeng for Its Textile Coating

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro provides partly biobased polyurethane (PU) dispersion to Huafeng, a supplier in textile technology, to make more sustainably made athletic shoes and shorts for team Sonnenwagen, a student team from RWTH Aachen and FH Aachen, Germany, said Specialchem.

Team Sonnenwagen is committed to more sustainable mobility using renewable energy. The team attaches great importance to a more sustainable sports kit. Covestro is the main sponsor of Team Sonnenwagen.

The new official team equipment provided by Huafeng features shorts and sports shoes with designs using Huafeng’s newly launched HAPTIC® textile coating system, which contains partly biobased INSQIN® PU dispersions from Covestro.

In addition, fabrics for the garments and shoes are made by Huafeng based on Cyclone recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) yarns derived from post-consumer plastic bottles. The shoe upper material is made of 100 percent Cyclone rPET, while the shorts consist of 86 percent Cyclone rPET and 14 percent Spandex for ensuring a comfortable fit.

“Our new official equipment looks fantastic – and we’re particularly excited about its sustainability benefits! Combined with its excellent performance, it fits well with our vision for a more sustainable mobility future. We’re grateful for the continued support of Cyclone, Huafeng with its HAPTIC® products and Covestro as we pursue this vision,” said Lina Schwering, team manager of Team Sonnenwagen Aachen.

Developed by Huafeng using Covestro’s partly biobased PU Impranil® CQ DLS/1, the HAPTIC® Art textile coating system used for the shoes enables especially outstanding aesthetics, improved mechanical performance and reduced production-related emissions.

Thanks to its high solids content and thixotropic properties, the system allows manufacturers to achieve a high coating thickness, making it well-suited for creating coatings with detailed images and sophisticated 3D effects on apparel and footwear.

We remind, Covestro has started production in its new plant for polyurethane elastomers systems at its integrated site in Shanghai, China.

Saudi SABIC affiliate Yansab says plant shutdown impact estimated at USD40mln

Saudi SABIC affiliate Yansab says plant shutdown impact estimated at USD40mln

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia's Yanbu National Petrochemical Company (Yansab) said the temporary shutdown of its plants, which started on August 14, 2023, will continue for another 11 days, said Zawya.

Currently, the necessary repairs are being carried out to resolve the technical glitch, Yansab said in a statement to the Saudi stock exchange on Monday. The petrochemical company is a subsidiary of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).

The expected financial impact of the shutdown is estimated at 150 million Saudi riyals (USD39.99 million). The impact will be reflected in the company's financial statements for the third and fourth quarters of 2023.

Yansab shares closed slightly lower at SAR 43.5 on Tadawul on Monday.

We remind, Yanbu National Petrochemical Co (Yansab) posted a 90.5% year-on-year drop in its second quarter net profit amid lower average sales prices. Q2 net profit was also weighed by lower production and sales volumes, Yansab said in a filing on the Saudi stock exchange, Tadawul. Average prices for its products fell by 30% year on year in the second quarter while sales volumes were down by 34%. For the first six months of this year, the company's net loss was attributed to lower production and sales volumes as a result of "preventive maintenance" at its production complex, Yansab said.

Yansab, a subsidiary of chemicals major SABIC, operates a production complex in Yanbu in western Saudi Arabia which can produce around 4.4m tonnes/year of various products including ethylene, propylene, monoethylene glycol (MEG), high density polyethylene (HDPE), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and polypropylene (PP).

Kronos credit rating downgraded to CCC+ by S&P

Kronos credit rating downgraded to CCC+ by S&P

MOSCOW (MRC) -- S&P Global Ratings has downgraded the credit rating of titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Kronos Worldwide due to weaker-than-expected financial performance in three consecutive quarters, said the agency.

The credit rating was downgraded by two notches, from B to CCC+. The rating of senior secured notes was downgraded from BB- to B. The downgrades resulted from ongoing weakness in operating performance, as well as expectations for weak global macroeconomic demand.

S&P expects lingering weakness in demand in H2 2023, as well as downward pricing. North American TiO2 contracts settled lower in Q3. S&P's downgrade also occurred following minimal adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from Kronos thus far in 2023, and lower sales and higher production costs have continued.

TiO2 prices have fallen modestly, and sales volumes have declined across multiple end-use markets. Additionally, there were curtailments at production units, as TiO2 output was lowered to meet the slower demand levels.

S&P notes that since Kronos has notable liquidity, including about $170m in cash and cash equivalents, the company does have some protection. However, unlike fully integrated producers such as Tronox, Kronos is dependent on third parties to meet chloride process feedstocks. Therefore, it is in a more vulnerable position than some peers to increased volatility from feedstock prices.

Kronos is a TiO2 producer headquartered in Dallas, Texas, US. TiO2 is used as a white powder pigment in products such as paints, coatings, plastics, paper, inks, fibres, food and cosmetics.

We remind, Kronos Bio Inc, a company dedicated to transforming the lives of those affected by cancer, reported on 8 Aug 2023 its recent business progress and 2Q 2023 financial results. With its ongoing and currently planned clinical programmes and $219.7 M in cash, cash equivalents and investments as of 30 Jun 2023, the company reiterates its expected cash runway into 2H 2025. Research and development (R&D) expenses were $22.7 M for 2Q 2023, which includes non-cash stock-based compensation expense of $3.1 M.

Kureha to increase PVDF capacity in Japan

Kureha to increase PVDF capacity in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kureha Corporation announced its plan to increase production capacity for polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) at its Iwaki Factory in Fukushima, Japan, said the company.

PVDF is used as a binder material for lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) and as an engineering plastic in various industrial applications. In recent years, as electric vehicles rapidly expand on the back of heightened environmental awareness, demand for LiB binder is robust and growing in the automotive market.

The Kureha Group currently manufactures PVDF at the Iwaki Factory in Japan (6,000 tons/year) and its wholly-owned subsidiary in China (5,000 tons/year). To address growing customer demand and further expand the PVDF business, which is the most promising business at the Group, Kureha will undertake a capacity expansion project as outlined below. This project involves technologies to reduce the impact of manufacturing operations on the environment and is carried out with the Group's largest-ever investment.

New PVDF manufacturing facility: Location: Kureha Iwaki Factory (16 Ochiai, Nishiki-cho, Iwaki-shi, Fukushima, Japan) Assets to be acquired: Building and equipment. Completion of facility construction: March, 2026. Production capacity: 8,000 tons /year.

Paid-in capital: Approx. JPY 70 billion. Under the new mid- and long-term management plan 'Toward Creating a New Future,' Kureha has an expansion strategy, focusing on the Advanced Materials, in particular, PVDF, which is positioned as a key growth driver.

In addition to building the above new manufacturing facility, which will become operational a few years later, Kureha will until then implement measures to improve earnings in the business, such as debottlenecking and improving capacity at its existing facilities, developing new polymer grades, and strengthening and optimizing its global supply system. Kureha has been qualified to receive government grands for the above expansion project.

We remind, Solvay, a global market leader in high-performance polymer and composite materials, has signed a multi-million euro agreement with long-term partner Agru, a leader in engineered polymer applications, for the supply of high-purity Solef polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). With this multi-year contract, Agru secures the reliable supply of Solef PVDF for the manufacture of ultra-pure water piping systems used in the growing semiconductor industry.