Rollover in October:
Covestro, the polymer business spun off from drugmaker Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY), rose as much 12.5% in its first day of trading today in Germany's largest IPO in more than eight years.
The sale was more than three times over-subscribed, Chief Financial Officer Frank Lutz declared.
The rise comes after Covestro was forced to scale down its IPO amid a turbulent period in global stock markets, seeking to raise €1.5B (instead of €2.5B) and slashing its price range to €24 (from an initial €26.50-€35.50).
Air Products has introduced the new Polycat™ 204 catalyst to its product portfolio for use in rigid polyurethane foams. Polycat 204 is a non-emissive catalyst specifically designed to help polyurethane foam producers maximise their foam performance and achieve up to six to eight months of system stability when incorporating ‘Next Generation’ Hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) Blowing Agents, such as Honeywell's Solstice LBA (HFO-1233zd(E)).
These new HFO Blowing Agents are being used and commercially adopted in response to increasing global regulation and, ultimately, the phase-out of Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Blowing Agents. HFO Blowing Agents have significantly reduced global warming potential (GWP) relative to HFC Blowing Agents and are typically used in polyurethane foam applications that require high insulation properties, such as spray foam insulation, refrigerator/freezer insulation, and panel insulation for building structures.
"Increasing environmental regulation of HFCs and the need to reduce building emissions while maintaining shelf stability in applications like spray foam can present a real challenge to the polyurethane foam industry. Relative to conventional amine catalysts, Polycat 204 catalyst provides significantly more shelf stability in rigid foam systems containing Solstice LBA. This innovative product is helping the industry adopt HFO blowing agents with reduced GWP footprint, while also reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions," said Steve Hulme, Vice President and General Manager, Polyurethane Additives, for Air Products.
"The Polycat 204 catalyst is a tool that can significantly increase the shelf stability of Solstice LBA based spray foam systems. This helps our customers achieve the product reliability they demand, while gaining the environmental and performance benefits of using Solstice LBA," said Laura Reinhard, Global Spray Foam Business Manager for Honeywell. Solstice LBA has an ultra-low GWP of one, which is 99.9% lower than traditional blowing agents and equal to carbon dioxide. It is non-ozone-depleting, nonflammable and is VOC-exempt per the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It has received approval under the EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program, the European Union's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program and other chemical registration requirements globally.
The Huntsman Polyurethanes facility in Mississauga, ON, Canada, which is known as the PEEL facility, recently celebrated its 42nd birthday – without a single recordable or lost-time injury. Huntsman associates and contractors have worked safely at the site since its founding in 1974, says the company. With 13 employees, the Mississauga site, which maintains a production capacity of 35 million lbs (16,000 t), manufactures insulation products for appliances and construction.
Loading terminal at the Mississauga site.
According to the company, the PEEL site currently holds one of the highest safety records in Huntsman, going 42 years without a lost time injury. “The associates at PEEL have kept the safety record intact by making safety their No. 1 priority,” said Ray Jackson, Plant Operations Manager. “When you truly have a good leadership team from the top down sending the same message on safety, it gets the results that we are all striving for,” Jackson said. “The PEEL site holds this record through continued support from these groups all cascading the same message.”
Shanghai-Cangzhou Coastal-port Economic and Technological Development Zone and Jilin Connell Chemical Industry Co. Ltd formally signed an agreement recently on the building of a 800 kt/year MDI facility in Bohai New District, Hebei province, China.
It is heard that the total investment of the project will reach RMB 7.57 billion, occupying an area of 1,830 mu (about 122 hectares). As the key part of PU chain in the development zone, this project could take advantage of nearby resources (including coal gasification plant of Cangzhou Zhengyuan Fertilizer, caustic soda facility of Cangzhou Dahua, etc) to cut its cost by estimated RMB 2 billion and could form a circulating economy chain by cooperating with other companies in the zone after the project is completed.
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US October propylene contracts were nominated at a rollover, sources said on Thursday, in line with market expectations.
Sources said two US producers have separately nominated 30.0 cents/lb ($661/tonne) for October polymer-grade propylene (PGP) and 28.5 cents/lb for chemical-grade propylene (CGP).
The September settlements were the lowest since April 2009, when PGP was at 29.0 cents/lb and CGP at 27.5 cents/lb.
US spot propylene prices have stabilisied in late September and early October, with market players saying supply should start to tighten as crackers shift more feedslate focus toward ethane.
Additionally, refinery-grade propylene (RGP) spot prices are also expected to firm throughout October on less production as gasoline demand slackens on seasonal factors.
US October PGP was recently traded at 27.625 cents/lb, up from the last reported September trade at 27.000 cents/lb.
Major US propylene producers include Chevron Phillips Chemical, Enterprise Products, ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell and Shell Chemical.
Major buyers include Ascend Performance Materials, Braskem, Dow Chemical, INEOS and Total.
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US October benzene contract price settled on Wednesday at $2.11/gal, up by 10 cents/gal from the September contract price, although at least one customer has not accepted the price, market sources said.
At least one customer would not accept the $2.11/gal contract price late in the day on Wednesday, with no indication of when a settlement would be reached. Most contracts were settled at $2.11/gal for October.
US benzene contract prices are typically settled on the last day of the prior month.
The October settlement ends a two-month downtrend in US benzene contract prices. The August contract price was a drop of 25 cents/gal over July and the September contract price was a drop of 79 cents/gal over August.
The increase also is one of the smaller month-on-month movements in 2015.
Contract prices generally take direction from the spot market prior to contract settlements. Late last week, US benzene spot deals were heard in a range of $2.07-2.12/gal FOB (free on board), compared with $1.88-2.15/gal FOB in late August prior to the September settlement.
Prior to that September settlement, benzene spot prices had been under pressure from record lows in upstream West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures, which fell below $40/bbl. The downtrend and volatility kept demand in the benzene market subdued in late August during negotiations for the September contract price.
However, upstream values have been higher and less volatile this month with WTI remaining in the mid $40s/bbl. The stability, along with increased buying activity in the benzene market, helped offset ample benzene imports and pushed spot prices slightly higher than a month ago.
Major US benzene producers include ExxonMobil, Flint Hills Resources, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, Shell and Phillips 66.
By CHAD BRAYOCT. 1, 2015
LONDON — The German drug maker Bayer said on Thursday that it would lower the expected price range for the planned initial public offering of its polymer business, Covestro, amid a volatile period in global stock markets.
Covestro, formerly known as Bayer MaterialScience, had originally hoped to raise 2.5 billion euros, or about $2.8 billion, in its I.P.O. The company is now aiming to raise about €1.5 billion.
Covestro’s shares are now expected to be priced at €21.50 to €24.50 a share. The prior price range was €26.50 to €35.50 a share.
Covestro expects to list its shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Tuesday. It had originally hoped to list its shares on Friday.
Last year, Bayer, which started as a chemical company in 1863, announced plans to spin off its high-tech polymer business, now known as Covestro, as Bayer shifts its focus primarily to health care. Polymers, or plastics, are used in a variety of industries, including the automotive, electronics and medical fields.
Bayer’s lowering of expectations for the offering follows a global sell-off in stock markets this week over concerns about weakness in commodities and growth worldwide, particularly in the Chinese economy. Markets bounced back on Wednesday but still declined over all in the third quarter.
“Since the start of the bookbuilding phase on Sept. 21, 2015, the capital market situation has deteriorated significantly,” Bayer and Covestro said in a news release.
“External factors such as uncertainty surrounding future economic growth in China or the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy have contributed to increased market volatility,” the companies added. “In addition, the stock market has been impacted by the negative headlines from the automotive sector.”
The company announced plans for an I.P.O. of Covestro last month.
Bayer said that it would contribute an additional €1 billion to Covestro, keeping its net debt with pension liabilities unchanged at €4 billion.
The offering is expected to consist of up to 69.8 million shares issued by Covestro, or about 33 percent of the company’s shares. Bayer will hold the remaining shares.
The shares are being offered publicly to retail and institutional shareholders in Germany and Luxembourg, as well as in private placements to institutional investors elsewhere.
The material science business was split off as its own division within Bayer in 2004, but it traces its roots to the beginning of the 20th century. One of its scientists, Fritz Hofmann, helped create the first synthetic rubber. Its plastics and coatings are used in passenger and commercial vehicles, in CDs and DVDs, and in the construction industry.
Covestro had sales of €11.7 billion in its 2014 financial year. It employs about 14,200 people.
Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley are acting as global coordinators on the offering.
THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Sept. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Huntsman Corporation (HUN) announced today that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $150 million of the company's common stock.
Peter R Huntsman, President and CEO, commented: "This share repurchase program is an expression of confidence in the company's long term future and ability to generate further shareholder value. We are reviewing our current capital plan for 2016 and 2017 and believe we can reduce capital expenditures and improve working capital commensurate with the costs of the repurchase program. As we complete our remaining cost reduction objectives of more than $100 million and complete various capital projects early next year, we will see the benefits of these measures as well."