Solvay, Orbia sign agreement

Solvay, Orbia sign agreement

MRC -- Orbia’s Fluorinated Solutions business and Solvay have signed their joint venture agreement to create the largest polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) production facilities for battery materials in the North America region, said the company.

This partnership brings security of supply with Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) compliant materials and leading-edge PVDF technology together for solutions that are critical to the North American electric vehicle (EV) transition.

With significant expected growth of the U.S. EV and stationary energy storage market, demand for lithium-ion batteries will grow considerably and necessitate a robust, secure and local supply chain. The Orbia-Solvay partnership secures supply of critical minerals and intermediate materials from Orbia, from which Solvay will manufacture suspension-grade PVDF: a lithium-ion binder and separator coating in electric vehicle batteries. Solvay brings process technology and global market know-how to this venture. In combination, Solvay’s Solef® PVDF innovations and Orbia’s material assets and production expertise will enable delivery of PVDF that allows electric vehicles to go further on each charge, extends battery life and improves battery safety in turn.

Said Ilham Kadri, CEO of Solvay, "We are proud of this important project, which is a key milestone in our electrification strategy, emphasizing our global commitment to sustainable mobility. Our partnership with Orbia puts us in the driving seat to shore up an independent, sustainable EV battery supply chain in North America and create clean energy jobs."

"Our partnership with Solvay underscores our continued commitment to enabling the clean energy transition with our investments in energy materials. Orbia has a unique 'mine-to-market' position with integration in key battery materials needed to bolster North America's EV supply chain and be IRA- compliant," said Sameer Bharadwaj, CEO of Orbia.

Orbia and Solvay intend to use two production sites: one in Augusta, Georgia for finished products and one in St. Gabriel, Louisiana for raw material conversion to needed intermediates. Both plants are expected to be operational in 2026.

The company’s participation in this joint venture contributes to the company’s overall strategic position as a key supplier of battery materials, including electrolyte salts such as LiPF6, custom electrolyte formulations, specialty battery additives and recycled anodes.

We remind, Solvay, a global leader in the soda ash market, and Vancouver Bulk Terminal, a bulk commodity shipping and logistics expert, announced today a strategic partnership to collaborate on the redevelopment of Terminal 2, Berth 7 at the Port of Vancouver USA, in Washington state.

Westlake Chemical announces Q3 results

Westlake Chemical announces Q3 results

MRC -- Westlake Chemical Partners LP reported net income of USD13.2 million in Q3 2023, compared to USD14.8 million in Q3 2022, said the company.

Cash flows from operating activities decreased to USD100.9 million from USD115.5 million. MLP distributable cash flow was USD13.6 million, down from Q3 2022.

The reduction in Partnership net income in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the third quarter of 2022 was the result of higher interest expense attributable to higher interest rates on floating rate debt. Cash flows from operating activities in the third quarter of 2023 were $100.9 million, a decrease of $14.6 million compared to third quarter 2022 cash flows from operating activities of $115.5 million. The decrease was primarily due to lower Partnership net income and less favorable working capital changes.

For the three months ended September 30, 2023, MLP distributable cash flow was $13.6 million, a decrease of $3.1 million compared to third quarter 2022 MLP distributable cash flow. The decrease in MLP distributable cash flow was attributable to higher interest expense and changes in the timing of maintenance capital expenditures.

Third quarter 2023 net income attributable to the Partnership of $13.2 million increased by $1.3 million compared to second quarter 2023 net income of $11.9 million due to increased sales volume as a result of the completion of the Calvert City turnaround in the second quarter of 2023. Third quarter 2023 cash flows from operating activities of $100.9 million increased by $2.4 million compared to second quarter 2023 cash flows from operating activities of $98.5 million due to higher net income at OpCo.

Third quarter 2023 MLP distributable cash flow of $13.6 million decreased by $1.4 million compared to second quarter 2023 MLP distributable cash flow of $15.0 million, primarily due to higher maintenance capital expenditures, which are weighted towards the second half of the year in 2023.

We remind, Westlake's Performance and Essential Materials (PEM) income from operations for 2Q 2023 of USD215 mln decreased by USD750 mln from 2Q 2022 income from operations of USD965 mln. PEM's segment operating margin declined from 31% in 2Q 2022 to 10% in 2Q 2023 and EBITDA margin decreased from 37% in 2Q 2022 to 20% in 2Q 2023. Sequentially, Performance and Essential Materials income from operations decreased by USD188 mln as compared to 1Q 2023.

Borealis completes acquisition of Italian PP recycler Rialti

Borealis completes acquisition of Italian PP recycler Rialti

MRC -- Borealis announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire Rialti S.p.A., a polypropylene (PP) compounder of recyclates based in the Varese area of Italy, subject to regulatory approvals, said the company.

Today, the parties announce the successful closing of the transaction. Rialti is one of the European market leaders specialized in production of sustainable polypropylene (PP) compounds with a focus on mechanically recycled PP feedstock from post-industrial and post-consumer waste.

Based in the area of Varese, Italy, Rialti has over thirty years of experience. The company utilizes its annual capacity of 50,000 tons to make injection moulding and extrusion PP compounds with applications in different industries, including automotive, appliances and construction.

The acquisition will bring significant expertise and capacity to Borealis, expanding its PP compounding business and, in particular, increasing its volume of PP compounds based on mechanical recyclates. The improved capacity will strengthen Borealis’ speciality and circular portfolios, enabling the company to meet customer demand for an ever-wider range of sustainable, high-performance solutions.

By adding Rialti’s expertise in compounding of mechanically recycled PP to Borealis’ know-how and innovation leadership, we contribute to close the loop for a more circular economy. The move also represents a proof point of Borealis’ EverMinds™ commitment to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, and progress towards its ambitious targets.

We remind, Borealis, one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and sustainable polyolefin solutions and a European market leader in base chemicals, has entered into a long-term PPA with Alpiq, a leading Swiss energy services provider and electricity producer in Europe, to source renewable electricity from the Finnish wind farm Merkkikallio, owned by Renewable Power Capital.

Brenntag acquires OWI Chlor Alkali, one of the largest independent distributors of caustic soda in North America

Brenntag acquires OWI Chlor Alkali, one of the largest independent distributors of caustic soda in North America

MRC -- Brenntag, the global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution, today announced the acquisition of OWI Chlor Alkali (Old World Specialty Chemicals, LLC, and Old World Logistics, LLC) from Old World Industries, LLC in Northbrook, Illinois, said the company.

The business units will be integrated into Brenntag Essentials’ existing network in North America, significantly expanding Brenntag Essentials’ local and regional footprint.

Ewout van Jarwaarde, CEO of Brenntag Essentials, commented: “OWI Chlor Alkali will boost our regional supply chain and sourcing capabilities in North America, in particular for caustic soda and potassium hydroxide. By joining forces we gain access to tollgates and infrastructure in the region, supporting growth in our last mile service operations in order to serve both Brenntag and OWI Chlor Alkali customers better and more efficiently.”

WI Chlor Alkali is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, and was first established in 2016 as distribution business, with the logistics division being subsequently established in 2020. The OWI Chlor Alkali product portfolio includes caustic soda, potassium hydroxide, methanol, sulfuric acid and glycols. In 2022, OWI Chlor Alkali reported annual sales of USD 279.7 million.

Scott Leibowitz, President for Brenntag Essentials North America, added: “We are delighted to welcome OWI Chlor Alkali to the Brenntag family. Together, we will form a stronger business and create more value for our employees and customers, focusing our efforts into making Brenntag the easiest to do business with.”

Tom Armstrong, Managing Director of Old World Specialty Chemicals, commented: ”Joining the global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution is an exciting opportunity for us, and a chance to leverage our setup and market position to reach additional customers with our products and service offering. Brenntag’s global sourcing and market intel capabilities will significantly enhance our market position, to which we can contribute as well.”

Old World’s CEO, Greg Noethlich added: “We are extremely proud of the work our Specialty Chemicals team accomplished and know Brenntag is the right move in taking the business to the next level.”

We remind, Brenntag, the global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution, today announced the expansion of the partnership with Cooperatie Koninklijke Avebe U.A. (“Royal Avebe”). The expanded distribution agreement now offers Royal Avebe potato starch and protein products to Brenntag customers in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands in addition to the initial region of Turkey.

Saudi Arabian petrochemical giant SABIC reports Q3 net loss

Saudi Arabian petrochemical giant SABIC reports Q3 net loss

MRC -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the world’s biggest petrochemical companies, posted an almost 17% fall in third-quarter revenue and a net loss, said Reuters.

In a filing, SABIC reported a net loss of 2.88 billion riyals ($768 million) for the three months to Sept. 30, compared with a profit of 1.84 billion riyals a year earlier.

The loss was mainly driven by an impairment charge of 2.93 billion riyals on the fair value of Saudi Iron and Steel Company (Hadeed) after Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund acquired SABIC’s entire stake in the company.

SABIC’s divestment in Hadeed was agreed to in September, allowing the Saudi petrochemicals giant to “optimise its strategic portfolio and focus on its core business,” it said.

Revenues fell to 35.98 billion riyals from 43.32 billion a year earlier, but was up almost 6% quarter-on-quarter. The global petrochemical market continues to witness weak global demand and an increase in supply for most products, SABIC said. Its average selling price fell 5% quarter-on-quarter while prices for agri-nutrient products increased by 11%.

The company said it remains disciplined in managing its capital expenditure which for 2023 it estimates at $3.5 billion to $3.8 billion.

We remind, SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has partnered with three specialists in the field of in-mold labeling (IML) to demonstrate the use of certified renewable polypropylene (PP) resins in high quality mono-PP thin-wall container packaging without compromising quality, processability, safety or convenience.