North American chem rail traffic rises for sixth week

North American chem rail traffic rises for sixth week

MRC -- North American chemical rail traffic rose for a sixth consecutive week, with railcar loadings for the week ended 16 December rising 8.8% year on year to 48,215, according to the latest freight rail data on Wednesday.

Increases in the US and Canada more than offset a decline in Mexico. For the first 50 weeks of 2023 ended 16 December, total North American chemical rail traffic rose 0.4% year on year to 2,273,390. US loadings, however, were down 1.0% to 1,556,438.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

We remind, North American chemical rail traffic rose for a fifth consecutive week, with railcar loadings for the week ended 9 December rising 9.3% year on year to 45,470. Increases in the US and Canada more than offset a decline in Mexico.

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Brenntag to acquire Solventis Group, a glycols and solvents distributor with access to key tollgate infrastructure in EMEA

Brenntag to acquire Solventis Group, a glycols and solvents distributor with access to key tollgate infrastructure in EMEA

MRC -- Brenntag, the global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution, today announced the agreement to acquire Solventis Group, a glycols and solvents distribution company operating from Antwerp, Belgium, and from the UK, said the company.

Ewout van Jarwaarde, Chief Executive Officer Brenntag Essentials, commented: “Brenntag Essentials combines a cost-efficient network of last mile service operations with regional sourcing and supply chain services, and global sourcing. Solventis Group is a highly compatible fit to our strategy, adding tollgate capabilities and volume optionality via their Antwerp state-of-the-art site to our regional capacities, while opening interregional optimization potential. The acquisition will support our integration with increasingly global supply markets while strengthening our regional market position and customer proximity in EMEA.”

Established in 2002 and based in the United Kingdom, the family-owned company encompasses multiple entities, including Solventis, Kilfrost Europe, Antwerp Distillation Company, Solventis Solutions, and Solvenox. In 2022, the group reported annual sales of over 300 million EUR. Specialising in the distribution of glycols and solvents, Solventis Group provides tailored solutions to a diverse global customer base. Alongside a site in Scunthorpe, UK, the company operates a purpose-built facility in the port of Antwerp, Belgium, a major European chemicals hub, engaging in advanced blending, storage, packing, distribution, and chemical recycling.

The acquisition, especially with its strategically positioned Antwerp site, also improves Brenntag Essentials’ sustainability profile with increased sourcing via ships and barges, as well as expanded supply and delivery options through rail transport. In addition, Solventis’ proficiency in glycol recovery and recycling further enhances Brenntag’s sustainability profile.

David Lubbock, Owner and Chief Executive Officer of the Solventis Group, states: “Our global network of suppliers and customers stands to gain significant advantages from Brenntag’s extensive global reach and diverse product and service portfolio. We eagerly look forward to becoming part of the expanding Brenntag Essentials platform, offering our extensive product range encompassing glycols, solvents, and automotive products, including coolants, antifreeze, brake fluids and de-icing fluids, to a broader customer base worldwide.”

Financial details of the deal are not being disclosed. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions including regulatory approvals and is expected in Q2 of 2024.

We remind, Brenntag, the global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution, 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. The business units will be integrated into Brenntag Essentials’ existing network in North America, significantly expanding Brenntag Essentials’ local and regional footprint.

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Britain's Harbour Energy strikes $11.2 billion deal for Wintershall Dea assets

Britain's Harbour Energy strikes $11.2 billion deal for Wintershall Dea assets

MRC -- Britain's Harbour Energy on Thursday agreed to acquire Wintershall Dea's non-Russian oil and gas assets in a $11.2 billion share and cash deal with co-owners BASF and LetterOne that creates one of the world's biggest independent producers, said Reuters.

London-listed Harbour, the largest British North Sea oil and gas producer, has sought to expand beyond the United Kingdom after the government imposed a windfall tax on the sector following the spike in energy prices in 2022, pushing Harbour into a loss in the first half of this year.

Harbour shares closed 21% higher, while BASF's stock ended the day flat. The deal, expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2024, is the latest in a number of large oil and gas acquisitions in recent months including Exxon Mobil's $60 billion deal for Pioneer Natural Resources and Chevron's $53 billion deal for Hess Corp in October.

It is the fourth major acquisition Harbour, and its predecessor Chrysaor, has done since 2017.

We remind, Samyang Corporation, a chemical/food business subsidiary of Samyang Group (CEO Ho-sung Kang), recently announced that nine types of their recycled fishing net plastic (nylon) material, "TRIECO 4D," have acquired global certification for ocean plastic recycling, "ECV Ocean Plastic (2809-3)," from the international testing and certification agency, UL Solutions.

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Grupa Azoty continues to climb in TOP 500 CEE 2022 ranking of leading companies in Central and Eastern Europe

Grupa Azoty continues to climb in TOP 500 CEE 2022 ranking of leading companies in Central and Eastern Europe

MRC -- Grupa Azoty continues to climb in TOP 500 CEE 2022 ranking of leading companies in Central and Eastern Europe, said the company.

In this year’s edition of the ranking, prepared by Coface – the leading business intelligence group in the CEE region – Grupa Azoty has climbed three places to the 37th position. Since 2021, Grupa Azoty has climbed 19 positions.

The TOP 500 CEE ranking is created in collaboration with Forbes magazine and showcases a list of the 500 companies and groups from the region with the highest turnover in absolute terms in 2022. For groups of companies, the ranking considers the consolidated data of the group companies, providing insights into the real significance and strength of the region’s largest business organisations.

‘Grupa Azoty’s advancement in the latest ranking affirms its strong position in the CEE region. Despite the challenges in the European fertilizer and chemical industry amid Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Grupa Azoty achieved record results in 2022, marking continuous improvement in its standing among the top 500 companies in Central and Eastern Europe for another year,’ said Tomasz Hinc, President of the Management Board of Grupa Azoty S.A.

We remind, Grupa Azoty S.A. has received state aid under the ‘Aid to energy-intensive industries related to natural gas and electricity prices in 2023’ programme administered by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. The amount of the financial support granted to Grupa Azoty S.A. is PLN 12m, with compensation for the Grupa Azoty Group companies totalling PLN 173m.

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Nextchem awarded licensing, process design and catalyst supply for biodegradable plastics intermediates in China

Nextchem awarded licensing, process design and catalyst supply for biodegradable plastics intermediates in China

MRC -- Maire announces that Nextchem, through its biodegradable plastics technology licensor CONSER, has been awarded technology licensing and catalyst supply by a prominent client, as part of a larger project located in Northwestern China, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The scope of work entails licensing, process design package for CONSER proprietary Duetto technology and technical assistance during project execution, up to commissioning and start-up. As part of the agreement, CONSER will also supply the hydrogenation catalyst. The Duetto technology offers a valuable solution in terms of CapEx, OpEx and energy efficiency to produce, with the same process, both butanediol and dimethyl-succinate, the two intermediates needed to obtain biodegradable polymers.

Alessandro Bernini, MAIRE CEO, commented: “Since the acquisition of CONSER in April 2023, we have been working to further strengthen our technology package for the production of biodegradable polymers, which now spans from technology licensing and high-value process design services to the supply of catalysts. This award is a further demonstration of our top-class and broad portfolio of leading technologies that support our clients in the energy transition process.”

We remind, MyRechemical, part of the Sustainable Technology Solutions business unit led by NEXTCHEM, and Dimeta B.V. have agreed to carry out a study to explore the feasibility for the development of plants to produce renewable and recycled carbon Dimethyl Ether (DME), a low-carbon sustainable liquid gas from waste, that can be used as a clean-burning fuel, based on MyRechemical’s Waste-to-Chemicals technologies and expertise.

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