Eni and Ramco sign agreement in principle on vinyls

March 3 (plasteurope) -- It seems that the Italian government has found a new buyer for Vinyls Italia, the former Ineos subsidiary, or - perhaps more accurately - someone to take the company off its hands. At a recent meeting at the Ministry for Economic Development in Rome, Italian state-owned oil and petrochemicals giant Eni and Qatar-based building contractor Ramco Trading & Contracting signed an ⌠agreement in principle for reviving Italy's PVC production.

The preliminary deal foresees Ramco taking over the VCM and PVC production facilities of Vinyls Italia, now in receivership, as well as Eni's chlor-alkali plants in Assemini, Porto Marghera and Ciro Marina.


BASF increases European prices for PVC modifiers

March 3 (plasteurope) -- Citing an increase in raw material costs, BASF has announced a price increase for several PVC modifiers. Effective 1 March 2010, the group raises the price of its ⌠Vinuran impact modifiers by EUR 120/t, whereas Vinuran processing aids will cost an additional EUR 80/t.

The hike applies to Europe and the CIS countries.

MRCMRC Reference

BASF. The share in the Russian market in 2008:
PS - 9.1% (GPPS - 5.9%, ABS - 11.4%, EPS - 10.6%).

Annual sales growth in Russia over the 5 years:
PS - 15%.

Imports by polymers processing technologies:
injection molding.

LyondellBasell rejects bid by Indian energy major Reliance Industries Ltd.

March 3 (plastemart) -- Bankrupt petrochemicals maker LyondellBasell has rejected a bid for takeover by India's Reliance Industries Ltd. The New York Post reported that a creditor group led by US private equity firm Apollo Management, which is controlling Lyondell's bankruptcy process in the United States, is expected to reject Reliance's latest bid. Reliance raised its offer twice, with chances for success clouded by the prospect that senior creditors may take a loss at the price Reliance has proposed and gain more from an independent Lyondell.

It seems likely that RIL will turn its attention to other acquisition opportunities.

MRC MRC Reference

LyondellBasell. The share in the Russian market in 2008:
PE - 1.4% (including HDPE - 2.5%, LDPE - 0.3%);
PP - 4.1% (including block-copolymers - 9.5%).

Annual sales growth in Russia, during the recent 5 years:
PE - 27%;
PP - 88%.

The leader in the following polymers processing technologies:

pipe extrusion;

film extrusion;

injection molding.

Polystyrene imports up 45% in Ukraine in January

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Polystyrene (PS) imports went up by 45% (to 1.57 kt) in Ukraine in January compared to the same period last year - according to MRC DataScope Report. Imports of Russian feedstock increased nearly 8 times.

HIPS imports went up by nearly three times (to 428 mt). At the same time, supplies fell by almost 3.5 times compared to last December due to weak buying activity at the beginning of the year. In January, the Ukrainian market was importing feedstock produced only by Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Polimeri Europa and Dwory.

In January, GPPS imports hiked by more than 2.5 times (to 424 mt). Ukrainian converters and traders began to import Kumho's material (the last imports of that producer's feedstock were recorded in May 2008).

EPS imports dropped by 43% (to 303 mt). In January, Ukrainian companies were not importing material produced by Dow and Nova Chemicals (in 2009, imports of feedstock of those producers moved at 2.17kt and 1.26 kt, respectively).

SAN imports fell by more than 7 times (to 21 mt), as well. At the same time, ABS and SBS supply went up by more than 4 and 8 times, respectively.


For more detailed information on the polystyrene market, see DataScope Report.

KPC expects nod to develop US$9 bln refinery and 1 mln tpa ethylene project in China

March 2 (plastemart) -- Kuwait expects to receive approval to develop a US$9 bln refinery and a 1 mln tpa ethylene project in China by the end of the year. After initial approval in 2006, the project has suffered years of delays, and still awaits approval from Beijing. State-owned KPC and Sinopec each hold a 50% stake in the joint venture, with KPC planning to hive 20% of its share to international partners. BP Plc was linked with the project in 2007, but appeared to be out of the running in 2008 when Kuwait shortlisted Royal Dutch Shell and Dow Chemical Co as potential partners for refining and petrochemicals respectively.