Univar acquires US Gulf Coast distributor Valley Solvents

Univar acquires US Gulf Coast distributor Valley Solvents

Univar Solutions LLC, a global specialty ingredients and chemicals solutions provider, has officially announced its acquisition of Valley Solvents & Chemicals, a pivotal move that significantly broadens its distribution network and enhances environmental services in key North American regions, said the company.

This strategic acquisition not only strengthens Univar's position in the chemical distribution market but also underscores its commitment to growth and innovation in the Texas Gulf Coast and northern Mexico areas.

Valley Solvents, with a history spanning over seven decades, has been a cornerstone in the regional chemical distribution sector, known for its comprehensive range of products and services. Its integration into Univar Solutions is expected to fortify the latter's Chemical Distribution division and propel its environmental services capabilities forward.

According to David Jukes, president and CEO of Univar, this acquisition aligns with the company's strategy to enhance its footprint in the solvents and inorganics market, thereby facilitating growth for both suppliers and customers.

We remind, Univar Solutions, a solution provider to users of specialty ingredients and chemicals, announces that it is expanding its longtime distribution partnership with Dow into Germany. With the addition of a wide variety of DOWSIL™ Silicone Additives and DOWSIL™ Silicone Resins, Univar Solutions continues to strengthen its coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers (CASE) and industrial products portfolio in the region for paint and coatings applications.


Borouge expands global presence with new offices in Kenya and South Korea

Borouge expands global presence with new offices in Kenya and South Korea

Borouge announced that it has established offices in Kenya and South Korea as part of its strategic initiative to expand its market share in high-growth geographies, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

With a sales and marketing office in Singapore, Borouge’s expanded, on-the-ground presence in Kenya and South Korea enhances its extensive international sales and supply chain infrastructure. Its global footprint now includes 14 international offices across key markets in the UAE, China, Egypt, India, Japan, and Southeast Asia. The Company’s latest expansion aligns with Borouge’s distinct business approach, focused on close value-chain collaboration with both customers and end-users.

Rainer Hoefling, CEO of Borouge Pte, said: “Our decision to open offices in Kenya and South Korea underscores our commitment to driving sustainable growth and value creation in strategically important, high-growth markets. By expanding our global reach with more local representation, we aim to strengthen relationships with customers, gain deeper market insights, and reinforce Borouge’s position as the preferred partner for sustainable solutions. The opening of our new offices marks a significant milestone in our journey to boost our presence in Africa and Asia, regions that are bright spots with robust market and commercial potential. Leveraging our technical expertise, innovation capabilities and differentiated product suite, we are confident that we are well-positioned to deliver the critical and innovative solutions addressing the needs of our international customers across a wide range of dynamic sectors.”

In Kenya, Borouge has established a presence to capitalize on East Africa’s strong growth prospects in a region that boasts a population of nearly half a billion people. Through its new office in Nairobi, the company is committed to fostering closer relationships with existing customers while actively pursuing opportunities to expand its customer base in the region. Moreover, establishing a presence in Kenya will enable closer collaboration with brand owners and local manufacturers, driving the sale of infrastructure, energy, advanced packaging, as well as recyclate, or recycled raw material, supporting Borouge’s strategy to promote the circular economy.

Borouge’s presence in Kenya will also enable the Company to gain a deeper understanding of the region’s unique market dynamics, allowing it to deliver tailored solutions that meet the evolving needs of its customers. The total market size for polyolefins in East Africa is approximately 1.5 million tons annually and is projected to grow at 4% per year in the next 10 years. The largest market is in Kenya, followed by Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda. In 2020, Borouge opened an office in North Africa, in Egypt’s Cairo, to support its customers in the Arab world’s most populous nation.

Meanwhile in South Korea, Borouge has inaugurated a new office to bolster its position as a leading total solutions provider for energy businesses. The Company offers high-quality cables and solar energy solutions. Through strategic partnerships and value-added solutions, including the sale of products from Borealis’ majority-owned DYM Solution Co. Ltd in South Korea, Borouge aims to meet the fast-changing requirements of its customers in South Korea while unlocking new avenues for business growth in a country of more than 51 million people. In the short term, Borouge will focus on its premium solutions applications in the energy sector, with long-term plans to expand into other key areas such as the infrastructure and advanced packaging segments.

The Company’s financial strength, coupled with Borouge 4, one of the largest industrial projects in the UAE, will play a pivotal role in supporting the Company’s expansion efforts by providing high-quality and sustainable tailored solutions. This strategic project is set to drive a significant increase in production capacity and supports the company’s efforts to supply critical solutions in high demand across growth markets. As investments in energy and infrastructure-related projects grows, Borouge is uniquely positioned to foster commercial growth through the delivery of its durable, differentiated and innovative product offering.

We remind, Borouge, a leading petrochemical company that provides innovative and differentiated polyolefin solutions, today announced that the Borouge 4 project, one of the largest industrial projects underway in the UAE, is over 50% complete. During a recent visit to the site by H.E Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, ADNOC Managing Director and Group CEO, and Chairman of Borouge, he witnessed the strong construction progress including the installation of the world’s largest, first-ever UAE built Borstar® gas phase reactor.


Westlake Epoxy receives ISCC PLUS Certification at its Duisburg

Westlake Corporation announced that its Westlake Epoxy Duisburg, Germany manufacturing site has received the International Sustainability & Carbon Plus (ISCC PLUS) certification, said the company.

The site received mass balance certification for its tracing and handling of sustainable materials in the production of epoxy specialty products. This is the second Westlake Epoxy site in Europe to receive ISCC PLUS certification. The goal is to achieve this certification for all Westlake Epoxy sites in Europe in the near future.

“This marks a significant step in Westlake Epoxy’s strategy to integrate renewable carbon materials into its raw material supply chain while reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Ann Frederix, Vice President - Epoxy. “The ISCC PLUS certification creates opportunities for our customers to access a wider range of innovative, renewable attributed and lower-carbon footprint products. The mass balancing concept ensures equivalent performance to traditional epoxy products while supporting our customers in fulfilling their sustainability objectives.”

This recent certification reflects Westlake’s ongoing commitment to operating in a more environmentally responsible manner. The Westlake Epoxy strategy is aligned with other businesses in Europe such as Westlake Vinnolit, whose sites are all ISCC PLUS certified.

Westlake Epoxy serves a broad variety of industries, including adhesives, aerospace, automotive, civil engineering and construction, composite and wind energy, electronics, electric laminates, marine and protective coatings.

We remind, Westlake Chemical Partners LP reported net income attributable to the Partnership in the third quarter of 2023 of USD13.2 million, or USD0.37 per limited partner unit, compared to third quarter 2022 net income of USD14.8 million. 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.


Singapore's middle distillates inventories cross 10 MMbbl

Singapore's middle distillates inventories cross 10 MMbbl

Singapore's middle distillates inventories surged more than 1MMbbl week on week to more than a three-month high level despite gains in net exports for both jet fuel, kerosene, diesel and gasoil, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Stockpiles of gasoil/diesel and jet fuel/kerosene at key oil storage hub Singapore were at 10.175 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 28, up from 8.845 million barrels last week, the data from Enterprise Singapore showed.

Net exports of diesel/gasoil climbed by around 20% week on week, a reflection of the decline in total imports for the week.

Total imports fell by around 39% from a week ago, with volumes from China and South Korea absent for the week.
India and the Middle East were key contributors for this week's total imports. Arrival cargoes from India were at its highest level since the year started, the data showed.

This came largely in line with earlier expectations given better economic sense for sellers to send their cargoes east instead of west owing to high freight costs in most parts of end-January and early February, one source said.

India-origin diesel arriving into Singapore for February is slated to hit around a six-month high, Kpler and LSEG shiptracking data showed.

However, analysts are expecting this trend to change in March given an improvement in seller profits to northwest Europe in recent days. "Towards the end of March, Singapore should experience a reduction in diesel flows from the AG/WCI, as these shipments are increasingly directed toward Europe," said Sparta Commodities' James Noel-Beswick.

Total diesel/gasoil exports declined at a slower pace this week, with exports continuing to notable regional destinations such as Indonesia and Malaysia. The city-state returned to a net exporter position for jet fuel/kerosene, following last week's net importer situation, as total imports declined almost 100% with China arrival volumes missing.

Total exports of the heating and aviation fuel also fell by 31% week on week, with regional destinations still being the key contributor.

We remind, Idemitsu Kosan has agreed with Mitsubishi Corporation and Proman to participate in the development of the proposed clean ammonia production project in Lake Charles, Louisiana, (U.S.). The Project targets to produce approximately 1.2 MMt of ultra-low carbon clean ammonia per year by FY2030 and will adopt the SynCOR of Topsoe A/S and the Advanced KM CDR Process developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. in collaboration with Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc, which is state-of-the-art low-carbon technology of Japanese company.


OQEMA and BASF collaborate on amines in the UK and Ireland

OQEMA and BASF collaborate on amines in the UK and Ireland

BASF has strengthened its partnership with OQEMA, one of Europe’s leading chemical distributors, with regard to BASF’s standard amines portfolio excluding ethanolamines in the UK and Ireland, effective January 1, 2024, said the company.

The companies, which have enjoyed a productive partnership in Germany and Eastern Europe for over two decades, will now join forces in the UK, combining OQEMA’s extensive distribution and sales network and in-depth local market knowledge with BASF’s ability to deliver high-quality, competitively priced products at scale.

“We are thrilled about the expanded partnership with our long-standing partner BASF in the UK. This new venture provides us with an opportunity for joint growth, allows us to offer our customers an extended product portfolio in amines, and strengthens our market position,” said Tobias Hinz, Head of Technical Applications, OQEMA GmbH.

Kristina Yeates, Director Sales Standard Amines Europe, BASF, added, “Broadening our regional scope by adding the UK and Ireland will support our collective goal to grow in the coming years by leveraging our mutual strengths. Our partnership with OQEMA allows us to manage supply chain complexities and customer service and enables us to focus on our core competencies. Having worked with OQEMA in various countries over two decades, I am convinced that this enhanced level of cooperation will open up numerous business opportunities for BASF’s standard amines portfolio and beyond.”

BASF’s Intermediates division develops, produces and markets a comprehensive portfolio of more than 600 intermediates globally. The division’s key product groups include amines, diols, polyalcohols, acids and specialties. These intermediates are used as precursors for coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textiles, detergents and crop protectants. Innovative intermediates from BASF help to improve both the properties of final products and the efficiency of production processes. The ISO 9001 certified Intermediates division operates plants at production sites in Europe, Asia and North America.

We remind, BASF is utilizing its extensive global expertise in chemical recycling, employing pyrolysis technology known as ChemCycling, to introduce International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) Plus certified "Ccycled" materials sourced from the BASF TotalEnergies Petrochemicals facility located in Port Arthur, Texas, said the company. This facility operates as a joint venture between BASF and TotalEnergies, with a ownership split of 60/40 respectively, with TotalEnergies headquartered in France.