EQUATE expects profits to rise in 2007

02 April 2007 07:40  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--EQUATE, the Kuwaiti joint venture, forecasts higher profits this year as it expects petrochemical prices to rise as demand grows in tandem with the world’s major industrial sectors, a senior company official told ICIS news late on Sunday.

This was especially so as the olefins producer didn't plan to carry out any maintenance works at its plants in 2007, said EQUATE president and chief executive Hamad Al-Terkait.

At a general assembly meeting held last week, the firm announced net profit of $566m for 2006 and exceeded sales targets by 6% despite suspending production at its units for a 30-day maintenance.

EQUATE didn’t disclose full financial results as it is not publicly listed.

Another factor which would directly influence profits this year, however, would be the stability of naphtha prices, said Al-Terkait.

"Stabilised or lower naphtha prices would ensure better profits in 2007, he said, noting that any changes in naphtha prices would have an impact on petrochemical prices.

"The prices of naphtha have always been the basics to determine the cost of producing ethylene, which is the feedstock for polyethylene (PE) and ethylene glycol production."

Equate sold more than 1m tonnes of products in 2006, Al-Terkait said last week, with higher market prices and increased operational efficiency boosting the company’s profit.

Dow Chemical and Petrochemical Industries Co (PIC) own 42.5% each in EQUATE, with Boubyan Petrochemical and Qurain Petrochemical holding the remaining 9% and 6% respectively.

By: Jeanne Lim
+65 6780 4359

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