IRPC to expand capacity at an investment of US$1.4 bln in the next five years

March 4 (plastemart) -- In a bid to meet rising demand, Thai major IRPC Pcl plans to invest US$1.4 bln in the next five years on expanding capacity. With annual capacity to produce 728,000 tons of olefins products and 367,000 tons of aromatics, IRPC is operator of Southeast Asia's biggest integrated petrochemical complex. It plans to upgrade facilities to be among the top quartile of integrated petrochemical complexes in Asia within four years.

By 2014, the company aims to boost return on invested capital (ROIC) to 22% vs last year's 9%, by focusing on diversification rather than size.
Under its five-year "Phoenix projects", IRPC will focus on maximising asset utilisation and 70% of its budget would be spent on capacity and product expansion, as its olefins capacity will rise significantly. The company plans to raise fund via bonds to refinance debt and finance expansion under the Pheonix scheme.

Petrochemicals should contribute more than 50% of profit this year and is expected to rise at least 8-10% in 2010, due to rising capacity as it had no major shutdowns this year. Its 2010 gross integrated margins, which includes both petrochemical and refinery operations, should be stable at around 2009's $9.9 a barrel given sustained demand for petrochemical products helped offset weakness in the refinery business.

IRPC expects its run rate of its 215,000 bps refinery to be around 70% this year, up from 66% last year, while its petrochemical complex would continue to run at 100%.


Dow to sell Styron business for $1.63bn

March 3 (prw) -- Dow Chemical has announced it is to sell its Styron division to US private equity group Bain Capital Partners for $1.63bn.

The deal is scheduled to close by August. As part of the transaction, Dow retains an option to keep up to 15% of Styron equity. It also includes a number of long-term supply, service and purchase agreements.

"This transaction is yet another step in our disciplined approach to portfolio management, and is consistent with both the timeline and value we previously communicated for these assets, said Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow.

Bain Capital Partners, a Boston, US-based private equity firm, is taking on a business with $3.5bn in annual sales, more than 40 manufacturing plants, and around 1,900 employees.

The Styron portfolio includes: Styrenics - Polystyrene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, styrene acrylonitrile and expandable polystyrene; Emulsion Polymers - paper and carpet latex; Polycarbonate Compounds & Blends; Synthetic Rubber; and Automotive Plastics.


MRC Reference

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.