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COVID-19 - News digest as of 23.09.2020

September 23/2020

1. BASF to cut up to 2,000 jobs by 2022 from business services unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF says it will reduce the number of employees in its global business services unit, which it established at the start of this year, by up to 2,000, almost 24% of the unit"s total, by the end of 2022, said Chemweek. The decision follows the bundling of services and resources and the implementation of a wide-ranging digitalization strategy, BASF says. From 2023, the unit expects to achieve annualized cost savings of more than EUR200 million (USD235 million) from the move, the company says. Details of the planned worldwide workforce reduction will be worked out in the coming months with employee representatives involved, according to local rules and regulations, it says.

2. Odfjell swings to net profit on improved chemical tankers market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The continued revival of the chemical tanker market has driven a strong rise in second-quarter net earnings to USD30.9 million for Odfjell (Bergen, Norway) from a loss of USD10.2 million in the prior-year period, reported Chemweek. EBITDA rose 44% year on year (YOY) to ���81.9 million on sales that rose 4% to USD252.4 million. CEO Kristian Morch says the �continued firming� of the chemical tanker market and a firm spot market drove the results, but that COVID-19 �continues to cast high uncertainty about the future.� The company expects the third quarter to be impacted by more usual seasonal trends and says it anticipates reporting �weaker, but still positive, results in the next quarter,� Morch says.

3. Ineos to idle Grangemouth petchem complex in October

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Grangemouth, UK, petrochemicals plant operated by Ineos will shut down at the beginning of October, reported Chemweek with reference to sources with links to the plant Tuesday. The shutdown of the petchems facility in Scotland is planned to last between five and six weeks and has been pushed back from a provisional mid-September start date, those local sources say. Turnarounds at the nearby 210,000-b/d Petronineos-operated refinery as well as the petchem plant were originally scheduled for April this year, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic scotched those plans. One source told OPIS that a short period of maintenance work on a 110,000-b/d crude distillation unit at the refinery was about to end, and so many workers engaged in that project will be redeployed to work on the forthcoming petchems plant shutdown.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, PE, ethylene, petrochemistry, BASF, Ineos, COVID-19, UK, Germany, Norway.
Category:General News
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