Archive | July, 2010

Time for a new US cracker as ethane advantage grows?

US ethane-based petrochemical producers such as Dow Chemical, LyondellBaselland Westlake Chemical will enjoy a long term feedstock advantage over Asian and West European naphtha exposed manufacturers such as BASF, Hanwha and Honam Petrochemical, according to US-headquartered analysts Alembic. New methods of extracting shale gas mean that the US should have enough natural gas to supply […]

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EBRD to bail out RusVinyl PVC project

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is injecting cash into RusVinyl, the 330,000 tonnes/year world scale PVC plant located at Kstovo, Nizhniy Novgorod region, Russian Federation. Why it’s doing this is an interesting question. Is the project running out of finance? The EBRD has also approved an 11 year E150m loan with a three […]

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Spolchemie restructures, signs JV with Japan’s DIC

Spolchemie CEO Francois Vleugels (pictured) has been extremely busy. He told me this week he is planning to split the company into several independent operating units with the aim or attracting financial partners, divestment, and even closure of uneconomic divisions.The troubled firm expects its lenders to approve a restructuring plan by the end of July […]

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EU clears Univar’s Quaron buy, but refers French business to competition authorities

EU competition authorities said today that they have cleared chemical distributor Univar’s acquisition of Eurochem’s – also known as Quaron – Belgian and Dutch activities, but have refered the purchase of the French business to the French competition authority. Could this result in Univar being forced to sell off the Quaron activities in France? The […]

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Ukraine gas price hike could boost urea market prices

A report from Bloomberg suggests that Ukraine’s government may increase natural gas prices by 50% as it bows to IMF pressure. Urea prices could rise, according to an analyst at Alembic, because Ukraine is the marginal producer of urea and therefore the price setter. This could benefit urea producers globally including Sabic, Industries Qatar, Orascom […]

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Poland sticks to chemical privatization plan

The botched privatization of parts of Poland’s chemical industry has been well documented by this blog. As a general pattern, the assets are touted for sale and attract little interest and low offers from domestic and international players and investors. Next, the government rejects the offer, and the process grinds to a halt. Now the […]

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See Polish ZAK’s highly polished fertilizer marketing video

Take a look at ZAK’s marketing video which gives a good overview of the Polish company’s product portfolio. Has anyone found other English language videos from CEE/Russian chemical companies? Let me know and I’ll put them on the blog. 

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Russia chemical markets on road to recovery

Russia’s economy and chemical industry were hit hard by the downturn, as oil and gas prices plummeted, the main generator of wealth for this country. Oil prices, though faltering slightly at present, have recovered well and with it the economy. Figures I’ve obtained from Andrew Sparshott at consultancy Cirec show much basic chemical production for […]

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Brenntag pulls out of acquiring Cheman from Poland’s Ciech

The somewhat farcical Poland chemicals privatization really is limping along and looks set to grind to a halt altogether. The latest bad news is that German distributor Brenntag has opted not to pursue its interest in acquiring the chemical distributor subsidiary Cheman from Polish chemical group Ciech.Brenntag’s due diligence must have thrown up some horrors […]

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Could Total, Shell, Honam, replace Exxon in Qatar cracker JV?

A report by MEED’s Peter Salisbury suggests that ExxonMobil may be pulling out of the next cracker project at Ras Laffan in Qatar. The report doesn’t state the reason for Exxon’s change of heart about the $6bn project. If the report is correct, I imagine Total, Shell, Honam and possibly others would be very keen […]

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