Archive | September, 2010


Shell Chemicals moves on from “cracker plus one” strategy

Integrated oil and chemical producers such as Anglo-Dutch Shell can make good money out of petrochemicals if they can capitalise on their ­in-built feedstock advantage. This was the key message from Shell executives at a media briefing I attended this week in London. The company has subtly changed its chemicals strategy away from the previous […]

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Saudi Kayan delay is good news for US/European chemical producers

Reports that Saudi Kayan will delay the startup of its 1.5m tonnes/year Al Jubail petrochemical complex until late 2011 will be heartening news for many in Europe and the US.  In the short term it means less downward pressure next year on pricing for commodity chemicals as Middle East capacities come onstream and exports ramp, […]

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Czech Unipetrol downgraded on lack of growth potential

Raiffeisen Centrobank has downgraded its rating on the stock of Czech petrochemical producer Unipetrol to ‘Reduce’ from ‘Hold’ noting its lack of growth potential, according to ICIS news. “We like Unipetrol’s restructuring and debt reduction track record and we think that with its specialisation in niche petchem products, the company will be able to tackle […]

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ITAR-TASS: MOSCOW, RUSSIA. SEPTEMBER 9, 2010. Russian PM Vladimir Putin (C) at a session of the Russian government s presidium. (Photo ITAR-TASS/ Maxim Shemetov) Photo via Newscom

Putin commits to Russian petrochemical development

Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, pledged yesterday to speed up development of the country’s petrochemical sector by removing barriers to new project development. ICIS news reports Putin said the authorities should remove “all administrative and infrastructure barriers” that hinder development of the petrochemical industry, speaking to a top-level meeting in the Nizhny Novgorod region on Monday. The […]

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ICIS Top 100 chemical company list reveals sales dip to below $1 trillion

Revenues for the world’s 100 biggest chemical companies fell sharply to below $1,000bn in 2009 for the first time since 2005, according to the Top 100 chemical company listing published by ICIS today. As the financial and economic crisis sent the global economy into recession, the chemical sector was hit hard, suffering a 19.7% fall […]

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Chemical Week update: IHS is a major print publisher!

After having stated in my last post that I thought IHS, the new owners of Chemical Week, are not print publishers, I’ve now discovered they really are. Jane’s Defence Weekly, for example, is a major weekly print title focussed on the military. Perhaps IHS will focus and invest in Chem Week’s print side after all. The […]

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Does the sale of Chemical Week spell the end for its print title?

The sale was announced this week of our competitor, Chemical Week, to IHS a US-headquartered business information publisher. A quick glance through the IHS website does not show any evidence that they publish conventional, weekly, print magazines. Even more tellingly, perhaps, is the description of Chemical Week in the IHS press release:  “Chemical Week – e-subscription […]

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ICIS Top 100 chemical companies list out next week

Next Monday 13 September ICIS publishes its annual Top 100 chemical companies listing. 2009 was an incredibly tough year for the industry and the results reflect that. Will there be any new entrants? Will any of the global superstars – BASF, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, LyondellBasell Industries, Shell, INEOS, SABIC, Sinopec, DuPont and Mitsubushi Chmical – […]

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Azerbaijan’s Azerkimya in desperate need of modernisation

A new report suggests that Azerbaijan’s leading petrochemical producer, Azerkimya, needs to undergo a serious modernisation programme if it is survive in the global chemical arena.  According to Business Monitor International , Azerbaijan is likely to be plagued by volatility and low capacity utilisation until Azerkimya undergoes restructuring and expansion. We write very little at ICIS on […]

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Russia’s Sibur reveals plans for 1m tonne/year gas cracker

I’ve just interviewed Dmitry Konov, the young president of Russian petchem giant, Sibur. He celebrates his 40th birthday tomorrow (2 September) and has been in charge at Sibur since 2006. I also turned 40 this year but have not had quite so meteoric a career so far. Konov has really put Sibur into a period […]

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