Dow Europe sells Russian subsidiary to Tula business

Dow Europe sells Russian subsidiary to Tula business

MRC -- Control of Dow Europe Holding's Russian subsidiary Finndisp LLC has been acquired by Sergei Bendenko and Tula Region company JSC Plastic, which now own respectively 51% and 49% of polymer dispersions producer, data from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities showed, said Interfax.

President Vladimir Putin signed an order in December allowing Dow Europe to sell 100% of Finndisp, which is based in Ramenskoye, Moscow Region. Bendenko has also been appointed CEO of Finndisp LLC, as well as Finndisp Uzlovaya LLC, a company established last October 25 that produces polymer-based paints and varnishes.

The shareholders of JSC Plastic (Uzlovaya, Tula Region), which received a 49% stake in Finndisp and controls 75% of Finndisp Uzlovaya LLC, are Maxim Kizimov, Lev Reznikov (40% each), Alexey Vinnichenko (12.5%), and Alexey Shilov.

The press service for Plastic told Interfax that the enterprise bought from Dow Europe Holding has been idle for a year and a half, and should be relaunched in Q1 2024.

"According to preliminary estimates, no equipment replacement is required at the moment, the company will continue to operate the existing machines. Plastic is currently supplying feedstock for the launch of the plant. Our plans for the development of the company envisage not only strengthening positions in the sectors of presence, but also entering the market with new high-tech products, mainly in import-dependent segments. Production will be carried out while retaining all personnel," the company told Interfax.

The press service also noted that the best practices of Finndisp will serve as a basis for launching a new production of styrene-acrylic dispersions of basic and special grades with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes at the Finndisp Uzlovaya (Uzlovaya, Tula Region) site. The tentative launch date is Q1 2025. Plastic's press service does not disclose the value of the Finndisp acquisition.

JSC Plastic's website said that the company is a leader in production of ABS and suspension polystyrene. The company's facilities have capacity to produce up to 60,000 tonnes of styrene, 12,100 tonnes of expandable polystyrene, 360,000 separators and 23,000 tonnes of ABS plastics per year, the website said. The ABS production line uses technology from Japan's Asahi Chemical. The company also has a production line to make auto components.

Finndisp, founded in 2003 in Ramenskoye, closed 2022 with a net profit of 123.6 million rubles compared to a loss of 223.1 million rubles a year earlier, although revenue fell by more than half to 748.1 million rubles.

KazMunayGas, Eni to build 247 MW hybrid power plant in Kazakhstan

KazMunayGas, Eni to build 247 MW hybrid power plant in Kazakhstan

MRC -- National Company KazMunayGas and Italian Eni have jointly approved the final investment decision for a 247 MW hybrid power plant project, the President of Kazakhstan's press service said, as per Interfax.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, during his official visit to Italy, met with Eni's Chief Operating Officer, Guido Brusco, to discuss ENI's plans for a gas processing plant, a 250 MW hybrid power plant and vegetable oil production-biodiesel processing facility in the Mangistau region.

The conversation also touched on the record-breaking oil supplies through the CPC pipeline in 2023 and the broader cooperation between Kazakhstan and Eni.

"In 2023, the CPC pipeline saw a record-breaking flow of 63.5 million tonnes of oil, while total oil production from the Kashagan and Karachaganak fields reached 30.8 million tonnes. The President attributed this accomplishment to the collaborative efforts of the Kazakh government and consortium members, including Eni," the press service said.

Tokayev met with Eni SpA CEO Claudio Descalzi in June 2023 to discuss the company's activities and major oil and gas projects in the Kashagan and Karachaganak fields.

"The President was briefed on the consortium's focus areas for advancing the country's oil and gas industry. Discussions included the potential construction of a 4 bcm capacity gas processing plant in Karachaganak," the press service said.

Eni operates in Kazakhstan's renewable energy sector via its Plenitude Arm Wind subsidiary with projects such as the Badamsha-1 and Badamsha-2 wind power plants in the Aktobe region and a 50 MW solar power plant in Shaulder, Turkestan region.

We remind, KazMunayGas (KMG) and China Gezhouba Group Company Limited (CGGC) could build gas processing plant at the Urikhtau field in Kazakhstan's Aktobe region. KMG Deputy CEO Serikkali Brekeshev held a meeting with CGGC Vice President Yinqi Deng at which they discussed prospects for cooperation in KMG's projects, KMG said in a press release.

Fire tied to Ukraine drones shuts Novatek Baltic Sea fuel plant

MRC -- A fire that halted fuel production over the weekend at Novatek PJSC’s plant in the Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga was linked by Ukrainian media to Kyiv’s special forces, said Bloomberg.

The websites of Ukraine’s Suspilne TV and Ukrainska Pravda cited sources in the nation’s Security Service as saying the attack was a special operation of Ukrainian security forces. Separately, the BBC, citing an official source in Kyiv it didn’t identify, said special forces struck the plant with drones.

The blaze was the result of “external influence,” Novatek said on Sunday, citing preliminary information and without elaborating. Fontanka, a local media outlet, said drones struck the facility, in the Leningrad region, early local time on Sunday morning, although Russia’s defense ministry reported no attacks in the area.

The incident comes days after Moscow said a Ukrainian drone was downed near St. Petersburg in the Leningrad region, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the border with Ukraine. That was the first known time that a UAV had been spotted in the territory since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost 23 months ago.

The Ust-Luga port is one of the country’s two main Baltic Sea energy-export outlets, located about 130 kilometers southwest of St. Petersburg, hometown of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and not far from the Estonian border.

According to Novatek, the Ust-Luga gas condensate-processing plant has ceased all technological operations. There were no casualties. The complex processes gas condensate into naphtha, jet fuel and gasoil, and ships the petroleum products to overseas markets. In 2022, the facility processed almost 7 million tons of gas condensate, according to Novatek. Condensate is a by-product of natural gas and oil production.

Ukrainian drones have regularly attacked areas in central Russia, including the Moscow region, and areas bordering Ukraine. On Saturday, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported that it had intercepted drones in the Smolensk, Tula and Orel regions.

We remind, Novatek has received Russian patents for large-capacity technologies for the production of low-carbon ammonia and ammonia cracking with pure hydrogen. The production technology of low-carbon ammonia was developed by Novatekom in collaboration with Russian design institutes and is based on the method of steam reforming of natural gas. Patented technological solutions allow for technological production line performance of more than 1 million tonnes of low-carbon ammonia per year. Energy efficient technological solutions were used to reduce the carbon trace, and more than 90% of carbon dioxide with subsequent underground storage is stipulated, the press release says.

Huntsman cuts Q4 earnings guidance, cites pressure on PU business

Huntsman cuts Q4 earnings guidance, cites pressure on PU business

MRC -- Huntsman has reduced its guidance for Q4 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to $40-45m, from $65m-90m, reflecting a 45% cut at midpoint, said the company.

The lower earnings are primarily due to continued pressure in the polyurethanes (PU) segment, including lower equity earnings and the negative impact of an unplanned outage during Q4 at a plant in Rotterdam, Netherlands, which has now been resolved, Huntsman said in an update on Friday.

The US-based chemical company will release its Q4 and full-year 2023 results on 21 February and hold a conference call on 22 February to discuss the results.

We remind, Huntsman is suspending a project that would produce ultra-pure ethylene carbonate (UPEC) used in the batteries of electric vehicles because of aggressive imports from China, which has caused pricing to fall by 75%. “The current level of pricing will not generate the returns we would expect, and we took the difficult decision to suspend the project,” the company said in prepared remarks about its Q3 earnings. Once Huntsman sees signs that pricing for UPEC will improve, it can complete the project within 12 months.

LG Chem breaks ground in Tennessee

LG Chem breaks ground in Tennessee

MRC -- LG Chem has started the construction of its nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminium cathode materials plant on a 170-ha site in Clarksville, TN, US, said Specchemonline.

The project is scheduled to come online in 2026. It will produce 60,000 tonnes/y of battery materials, enough for approximately 600,000 electric vehicles, and will be the biggest of its kind in the country. The project has an initial investment of around $1.6 bn.

LG Chem aims to expand the site's product portfolio via future-generation products and to raise production capacity as demand improves. Furthermore, the company intends to enhance the calcination process to offer each line 10,000 tonnes/y of capacity. It will also automate the whole manufacturing method and create a quality analysis and control system. The facility will use 100% renewable energy, including hydro and solar power, from local suppliers.

We remind, LG Chem, a leading petrochemical company in South Korea, has announced plans to halt operations at its caustic soda production line in Yeosu, South Korea. Scheduled for the 20th of February, this shutdown is part of a routine maintenance strategy. The affected production line has an annual capacity of 320,000 tons of caustic soda, contributing significantly to LG Chem's total annual capacity of 728,000 tons.