LyondellBasell nominated a 10 cent/lb increase for April PP contracts

(ICIS) -- A major US polypropylene (PP) producer nominated a 10 cent/lb increase for April contracts, aiming to keep pace with a potential increase in propylene monomer prices, sources said on Friday. The 10 cent/lb (USD 220/t, EUR 154/t) increase nomination was at odds with another producer's announcement to raise April prices by 2 cents/lb in addition to the monomer price increase.

Most US domestic PP contracts are linked to polymer grade propylene (PGP) benchmarks, and PGP has been nominated up 10-11 cents/lb for April.

In mid March, resin buyers and sellers forecast April PGP and PP to increase by 5-8 cents/lb, but tighter propylene supplies have caused expectations to firm.

A PP producer said the shutdown of an Enterprise splitter was contributing to the propylene shortage. Splitters convert refinery grade propylene (RGP) into PGP.

PP demand will weaken with the higher prices in April, but unlike previous price spikes, the market could stabilise at the higher levels, a trader said.


Emaar announced construction of PP plant at KAEC

(US-SABC) -- Emaar, the Economic City (Emaar), has announced the commencement of construction of a new polypropylene manufacturing facility in the industrial area of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). U.S. industrial packaging manufacturer Greif, Inc., through a joint venture with the National Scientific Company of Saudi Arabia, is building the facility, which will produce polypropylene woven fabric for use in flexible intermediate bulk containers for the packaging industry. The facility will be more than 2.02 mln square feet (188.000 square meters) and is scheduled to begin production in 2012 and be operating at full capacity by 2016. Emaar is managing the planning and development of KAEC, the 65 square-mile (168 square-kilometer) city which is scheduled for completion in 2029.


Reliance Industries Limited to establish JV with D. E. Shaw group

(Reliance Industries) -- Reliance Industries Limited and the D. E. Shaw group announced
today that they have agreed to establish a joint venture to build a leading financial services
business in India. This joint venture will incorporate the D. E. Shaw group's investment and
technology expertise with Reliance's operational knowledge and extensive presence across
India to offer a comprehensive array of financial services to the Indian marketplace.

Reliance is delighted to partner with the D.E. Shaw group in the financial services domain.
The D.E. Shaw group is a natural partner for Reliance. Together, we look forward to
participating in the growing Indian financial services sector, said Mr. Mukesh Ambani, the
Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited.

⌠This joint venture will draw upon the core competencies of both firms to develop a platform
that can serve the growing needs of Indian companies and individuals, said Anil Chawla, a
Managing Director and head of the D. E. Shaw group's private equity activities in India.

The D. E. Shaw group is a global investment and technology development firm with more than
1.300 employees; approximately USD 20 bln in aggregate investment capital as of March 1,
2011; and offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Since its organization
in 1988, the firm has earned an international reputation for financial innovation, technological
leadership, and an extraordinarily distinguished staff.


Chemplast Sanmar to increase the production capcity of its PVC resin plant at Cuddalore

(Indian Chemical News) -- Chemplast Sanmar has sought the Ministry of Environment and Forest's clearance for increasing the production capacity of its PVC resin plant at Cuddalore from 170.000 TPA to 226.000 TPA. The company earlier appointed Business Consulting Group (BCG) to assess the domestic suspension of PVC market. The survey indicated that the future demand for PVC in India is expected to grow at the rate of 11 percent or more.


Ecom Energia to sign a purchase agreement with Braskem

(Braskem) -- Ecom Energia, the largest independent energy trader in Brazil has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Braskem, the largest thermoplastic resin producer in the Americas. "Our main advantage that helped us close the deal with Braskem was the certification of our energy balance. Agreements with durations longer than six months receive a certification issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers that guarantees that the power sold by Ecom is available in our portfolio," said Paulo Toledo, managing partner at Ecom Energia.

He also added that "it is very important to be recognized by a company like Braskem." The agreement ratifies the ethical conduct and commitment before clients and suppliers. The commitment, flexibility and solid experience of its management also was a factor in winning the contract.

According to Andre Gohn, Braskem's Energy Director, "this agreement increases the competitiveness of our portfolio and is aligned with our risk management and growth strategy."

Ecom has already reached the mark of more than 570 MW average of power sold to free consumers and market agents, which is sufficient to supply to a city with a population of 2.9 million people. Revenue in 2010 surpassed R$ 430 million, for growth of over 100% from 2009.