Kuwait’s EQUATE 2017 net income up 66% on stronger EG, PET

05 February 2018 10:59 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--EQUATE Group’s net income for 2017 rose 66% year on year to $1.13bn on the back of a rebound in ethylene glycol (EG) prices and improved demand for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in Europe, the Kuwait-based petrochemicals producer said on Monday.

The optimisation of the company’s polyethylene (PE) portfolio towards customer demand also buoyed profits during the year, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 47% year on year to $1.73bn, EQUATE said.

EG prices rose sharply across many regions in the second half of 2017, with EQUATE among the world’s largest producers of the material, with an annual capacity of 2.5m tonnes.

The company acquired former joint venture partner Dow Chemicals’ stake in EG producer MEGlobal in late 2015, and is planning to open a new 750,000 tonne/year production facility on the US Gulf Coast next year.

In 2016, weaker EG pricing drove an 8% drop in full-year net income in 2016.

“The year 2017 was indeed a milestone year. We maintained our leadership position as the second largest producer of EG globally,” said EQUATE Group CEO Ramesh Ramachandran.

“This market leadership will be further strengthened next year with an additional 750,000 [tonnes/year] in EG capacity as our new US Gulf Coast (USGC) facility comes on line,” he added.

Dow remains a stakeholder in EQUATE, and retains a position in MEGlobal through that investment.

EQUATE comprises Kuwait producers EQUATE Petrochemical and The Kuwait Olefins Group, with other shareholders including Petrochemical Industries Company (PICS) Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BPC) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company.

By Tom Brown