Solvay expands China Research and Innovation Center and inaugurates its new building in Shanghai

Solvay expands China Research and Innovation Center and inaugurates its new building in Shanghai

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay announces the expansion of its China Research & Innovation Center (R&I), with the inauguration of a new research building in the Solvay Shanghai Technology Park, said the company.

The company has invested more than 4 billion RMB (approx 500M euros) in its Chinese R&I hub since 2005, to better support local customers and fulfill the booming demand for innovative and sustainable solutions in the region.

The new R&I building, Magnolia, marks a significant step forward for Solvay in advancing innovation in China, the world’s largest chemical market.

“The Chinese market is strategically important in our global strategy and we are willing to increase our investments to address the demands here,” said Ilham Kadri, Solvay CEO. “With a stronger research force in China, we will accelerate innovations that drive circular economy solutions and a sustainable future in response to the global megatrends and the ever-changing local needs.”

The new R&I building is home to several state-of-the-art laboratories. Among its notable features is a pioneering pilot hall dedicated to advanced materials applications. It is also home to purpose-built spaces customized for both industrial applications and consumer goods research. The new innovation platform serves critical sectors like green hydrogen, electronics, and semiconductors, and features an automation & robotics lab — a leap forward in Solvay’s transformative journey towards digital evolution.

“We are continuously expanding our research and innovation competencies in China to meet the evolving demands in the fast-growing sectors. The new capabilities empower us to speed up the delivery of research results in a series of markets and foster closer cooperation with customers in the region,” said Pascal Metivier, Solvay Head of Research & Innovation.

“By enhancing infrastructure and shoring up our R&I Center in China, we will also be able to enhance open innovation partnerships with leading Chinese universities, international research institutions and other stakeholders, to incubate breakthrough technologies in order to shape a more sustainable future together,” said Howard Hao, Solvay China Head of Research & Innovation.

In addition to the new research building inaugurated today, Solvay has recently launched its Material Application & Development Lab in Shanghai. This strategic move caters to the growing demand for tailored high-performance material solutions from major local end markets such as automotive, new energy, life solutions and pharmacy, smart devices and semiconductors.

We remind, Solvay, a leader of high-performance and sustainable polyamide 6.6 polymers, continues to drive innovation in its portfolio with the introduction of a new, specialized grade of Rhodianyl, made of 100% pre-consumer recycled polyamide, which is produced at its Santo Andre plant in Brazil.

Established in 1997, the Solvay China R&I Center has grown into the Group’s third largest research hub in the world, with a strong team of around 170 scientists, engineers and technicians. In the past five years, the center filed 89 patent applications, and published 84 papers on international scientific magazines, of which 15 pieces made to the covers. The R&I center’s key competencies include developing advanced materials applications; and strengthening synthesis & process to bring innovative solutions to key markets such as transportation, industrial applications, and consumer goods. It enabled strong partnerships with customers and conducted open collaboration with academia and universities around the world.

Oil falls as concerns about China outweigh extended cuts

Oil falls as concerns about China outweigh extended cuts

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices eased on Thursday as an uncertain economic outlook for China outweighed expectations of tighter supplies from extended supply cuts in Saudi Arabia and Russia, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Brent crude futures fell 18 cents, or 0.2%, to $90.42 a barrel by 1323 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) futures fell 21 cents, or 0.2% to $87.33. Both benchmarks had spiked earlier in the week after Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world's top two oil exporters, extended voluntary supply cuts to the year-end. These were on top of the April cuts agreed by several OPEC+ producers running to the end of 2024.

Market participants also digested mixed data from China. Overall exports fell 8.8% in August year on year and imports contracted 7.3%. But crude imports surged 30.9%. "The wind has been taken out of the bulls' sail overnight by rising Chinese product exports last month albeit crude oil imports rose," PVM Oil analyst Tamas Varga said.

Concerns about rising oil output from Iran and Venezuela, which could balance out a portion on cuts from Saudi and Russia, kept a lid on the market as well. "At present, it is really difficult for us to see any negative factors due to supply constraints," said CMC Markets' Shanghai-based analyst Leon Li.

"However, we need to consider possible demand risks such as in the fourth quarter, the market could slow into an off peak season for oil consumption after summer demand ends." Helping support prices, U.S. crude oil inventories were projected to have fallen by 5.5 million barrels in the week ending Sept. 1, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures.

Official inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is due at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) on Thursday.

We remind, Russia will extend its voluntary reduction in oil exports by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) until the end of the year "to maintain stability and balance" on oil markets, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in a statement on Tuesday. Russia, the world's second largest oil exporter, has been cutting output and exports in tandem with Saudi Arabia on top of existing OPEC+ supply reductions.

Nigerian state oil company says Eni unit did not obtain its consent in Oando sale

Nigerian state oil company says Eni unit did not obtain its consent in Oando sale

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nigerian state oil firm NNPC Ltd says a subsidiary of Italy's Eni did not obtain its consent prior to announcing a deal to sell onshore oil assets to local firm Oando PLC, a failure that could have breached terms of a joint operating agreement, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

The letter casts doubt on the speed of the transaction, announced on Monday, and underscores the difficulty international oil majors have faced in their years-long efforts to sell onshore oil and gas assets in Nigeria.

In the letter, dated Sept. 4, NNPC said that Eni subsidiary Nigerian Agip Oil Company Ltd (NAOC) did not seek its consent before it announced the deal, and that its consent was mandatory before transferring participating interest in a joint venture.

NNPC called failure to obtain prior written consent "a grave breach" of the joint operating agreement (JOA). The state oil firm's subsidiary NNPC Exploration and Production Limited (NEPL) holds a 60% stake in a NAOC joint venture.

Eni, which makes all comment on issues related to its NAOC Ltd subsidiary, said there had been no breach of the joint venture contract. NNPC has a pre-emption right on the JV shares, but Eni doesn't have any contractual obligation to inform beforehand NNPC about the deal, also because the information was price sensitive for the potential buyer," it said.

It said that pre-emption procedures and other consents will be "duly and carefully followed" at the applicable time. NNPC spokesperson Garba Deen Muhammad confirmed that NEPL sent the letter to NAOC, but said the letter did not indicate an objection to the transaction.

"NEPL is only drawing attention to certain important clauses in the JOA, which might have been overlooked in error. Adherence to those clauses will protect the transaction now and in the future," he said.

Oando declined to comment on the letter, but said "we trust that, as requested by NEPL, NAOC will engage accordingly to ensure that their concerns are addressed". Oando also said that Eni had not assigned its 20% interest in the NAOC JV to Oando, but had signed an agreement to sell 100% of the shares of NAOC Ltd, subject to all relevant regulatory and partner approvals and due diligence.

Oil executives say the conclusion of asset sales is crucial to boosting investment into onshore oil and gas assets, but legal and regulatory issues have snagged other deals, notably Exxon Mobil Corp's (XOM.N) asset sale to local firm Seplat.

Nigeria, typically Africa's largest oil exporter, has struggled to pump in the past several years due to theft and years of under-investment. Nearly all international oil majors, including Shell and Exxon, have onshore sales underway amid the theft and oil spills, perpetual clashes with communities and more focused exploration budgets.

We remind, Nigeria's average daily petrol consumption has fallen by 28% since President Bola Tinubu scrapped a popular but costly subsidy on the fuel at the end of May. Average daily petrol consumption fell to 48.43 million liters in June, down from the previous average of 66.9 million, according to figures released to Reuters by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

Brenntag Specialties acquires operating business of South Africa's Chemgrit

Brenntag Specialties acquires operating business of South Africa's Chemgrit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brenntag Specialties BNRGn.DE has acquired the operating business of South African specialty chemical distributor Chemgrit Group, the German chemicals distributor said Thursday.

Brenntag Specialties is to integrate Chemgrit's Personal Care operations into its Personal Care/HI&I business unit, it said, adding that the acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

We remind, Brenntag has signed an agreement to acquire the operating business of Chemgrit cosmetics (Pty) Ltd., headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company, part of the larger Chemgrit chemicals group, is an independent specialty chemical distributor in South Africa with a focus on personal care and cleaning markets.

ADNOC to Develop One of the Largest Carbon Capture Projects in MENA

ADNOC to Develop One of the Largest Carbon Capture Projects in MENA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Adnoc has announced a final investment decision (FID) to develop one of the largest carbon capture projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, said Process-worldwide.

The pioneering Habshan carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) project will have the capacity to capture and permanently store 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of carbon dioxide (CO2) within geological formations deep underground.

The announcement is part of Adnoc’s wider carbon management strategy, which aims to create a unique platform that connects all the sources of emissions and sequestration sites to accelerate the delivery of Adnoc and the UAE’s decarbonization goals.

Using best-in-class technology, the project will triple Adnoc’s carbon capture capacity to 2.3 mtpa, equivalent to removing over 500,000 gasoline-powered cars from the road per year. The project, to be built, operated and maintained by Adnoc Gas on behalf of Adnoc, will include carbon capture units at the Habshan gas processing plant, pipeline infrastructure, and a network of wells for CO2 injection.

We remind, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co has increased its buyout offer for Covestro AG to around 11 billion euros (USD12.3 billion). ADNOC's latest bid values Covestro at about 57 euros per share, the person said, up from a mid-50 euro per share range. Covestro had rejected ADNOC's initial takeover proposal last month, saying the offer was too low. A Covestro spokesperson declined to comment, while ADNOC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.