Exactly a year ago this week, the INEOS petrochemical business at Grangemouth in Scotland was facing closure. This would have been a disaster for the thousands of people employed directly and indirectly, as well as for Scotland. The blog was very closely involved in helping to achieve a successful outcome alongside the Scottish and UK governments, INEOS and the UNITE […]
Tag Archives | INEOS
A blog reader has kindly forwarded an interesting paper from AT Kearney, which looks at the amount of debt due to be refinanced in the chemical industry over the next 5 years. As ATK note: “The restructuring and debt buildup that occurred in the chemicals industry from 2006 - 2008 was extraordinary—more than $330bn in deals […]
European cracker margins are currently “at top of cycle levels” according to INEOS last week. But as the above chart shows (based on APPE data), they remain supported by supply issues rather than demand. Operating rates actually slipped to 81% in H1, a figure more normally associated with a downturn. Detailed output figures for Q2 […]
INEOS have today announced that PetroChina have made an “irrevocable offer of $1.015bn for a 50% share in its European refining business“. This is an excellent price, given the current weak performance of the European refining industry. INEOS’ negotiating team have clearly done a superb job in ensuring that PetroChina looked beyond these difficulties, and […]
The Falkirk Herald, INEOS’s local newspaper in Scotland, has had to wait a long time for its ‘scoop’ of June 2009 to be confirmed. It had reported then that INEOS was in talks with PetroChina about the future of the Grangemouth refinery. As PetroChina noted at the time, “downstream business has a poor margin nowadays […]
The styrene business has been increasingly difficult in recent years: • CD and video sales went online, removing the need for polystyrene (PS) packaging • Prices for the main feedstock, benzene, leapt in the mid-2000′s, due to US gasoline market changes, forcing convertors to look at alternatives such as polypropylene • Recycling became an essential […]
The blog’s former ICI colleague, Tom Crotty, aptly summarised the mood of most petchem players at this week’s meeting in Budapest, Hungary, when telling ICIS’ Nigel Davis that “2011 is a very tough call to forecast”. Crotty is this year’s president of EPCA (European Petrochemical Association), and it was clear from the blog’s discussions that […]
The blog is delighted to see that Ineos is to build its first European BioEnergy Process Technology plant at Teesside, UK. The £52m ($75m) plant will produce 30m litres (24 million tonnes) of bioethanol, and 3MW of electricity on start-up in 2012. It will fuel 250k autos running on E10 blend, and provide electricity for […]
INEOS CEO Jim Ratcliffe has told the Sunday Times that the UK government “refused financial help” last year, when sales collapsed. He revealed that: • The company had approached the UK government for help with liquidity, including deferral of VAT (sales tax) payments, but “got absolutely nowhere“. • Ratcliffe had even found it “quite difficult […]
A week ago, the BBC carried a report that PetroChina had completed “preliminary work” on a possible bid to buy a stake in Ineos’ Grangemouth refinery. The BBC quoted Ineos as confirming it was in talks with “a number of parties” over the future of Grangemouth, whilst cautioning that “the discussions with interested parties are […]
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Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry.
The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts.
Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.