Europe needs North America LNG - Solvay CEO

14 February 2013 15:15  [Source: ICIS news]

BRUSSELS (ICIS)--Europe should be in a position to benefit from the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from North America if supplies become available from shale gas exploration, Solvay CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu said on Thursday.

Solvay is benefitting from the shale gas revolution as demand for its guar gum based and other oil-field chemicals in North America rises sharply. It expects to benefit, particularly, from the search for unconventional oil.

The company is being hit, however, by high natural gas costs in Europe on its adiponitrile production and from high prices for the butadiene it uses in the polyamide chain.

Clamadieu also warned of a possible cap being put on European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices as competitors in North America take advantage of their ethane-led lower cost position.

Solvay said that it had generated more cash than expected in 2012, and that cost savings and integration synergies had helped it match profit targets despite difficult trading conditions in its cycle sensitive businesses.

It re-iterated its 2016 €3bn ($4bn) recurring earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (REBITDA) target. Its 2012 adjusted REBITDA was €2.07bn.

Europe should take advantage of its own shale deposits, Clamadieu said, but should also make sure that it accesses exported LNG.

“There is a great need for a clear European energy policy and a position on natural gas,” he said.

($1 = €0.74)


By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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