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COVID-19 - News digest as of 27.11.2020

November 27/2020

1. Formosa Taiwan unit indefinitely delays USD9.4 billion Louisiana petrochemical complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- FG LA, a division of Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Group, has indefinitely suspended construction on a USD9.4 billion petrochemical complex in Louisiana until the global coronavirus pandemic subsides and/or a vaccine is widely available, reporte S&P Global with reference to a spokeswoman's statement Nov. 23. "The widespread impacts of a global pandemic, including the challenge it creates in evaluating construction costs and the restrictions it has placed on international travel, are being felt across all industries and businesses, including FG," said Janile Parks, director of community and government relations, said in an email. "As a result, FG has deferred major construction until the pandemic has subsided and/or an effective vaccine is widely available." Work on multiple major petrochemical projects in the US was temporarily suspended or slowed in April and May, during the height of pandemic-related shutdowns that stymied construction activity. Startup dates were pushed back as much as a year for some projects, while others saw delays of a quarter or more.

2. SABIC introduces new LEXAN anti-fog film for clear safety visors, lenses and goggles in high-humidity front-line work environments

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has announced the successful commercialization of LEXAN HP92AF Anti-Fog film, targeted especially at demanding COVID-19 protection equipment such as safety face shields and goggles in front-line work environments, as per the company's press release. The film product features a one-sided coating that extends the time-to-fog even at very high ambient humidity, ensuring long-lasting optical clarity. LEXAN HP92AF has confirmed its superior anti-fog performance in extensive testing under harshest conditions (see video) and does not exhibit any hazing at saturation as could be observed with competitive materials. Moreover, the anti-fog coating technology has no compromising effect on the abrasion resistance and impact strength of the polycarbonate (PC) film.

3. CureVac and Wacker sign manufacturing contract for COVID-19 vaccine candidate

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker will support production of CureVacs COVID-19 mRNA-based vaccine candidate at its biotech site in Amsterdam, with production scheduled to start in the first half of 2021, as per BioPharm. On Nov. 23, 2020, biopharmaceutical company CureVac and contract development and manufacturing organization Wacker Chemie jointly announced that they have signed a contract for the manufacture of CureVacs COVID-19 mRNA-based vaccine candidate, CVnCoV. Under terms of the initial agreement, Wacker will ramp up good manufacturing practice (GMP) production of the mRNA drug substance for the vaccine at its biotech site in Amsterdam in the first half of 2021.

4. Clariant Chemicals reports Rs 191.8 Cr net profit for Q2 FY20-21

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant Chemicals Limited., an Indian subsidiary of specialty chemicals giant Clariant AG, announced its results for the second quarter ended September 30, 2020, reported Kemicalinfo. The company reported a net profit of Rs 191.8 crores for the period ended September 30, 2020 as against net profit of Rs 2.7 crores for the previous quarter. Net sales grew 40% to Rs 180.8 crores during the period ended September 30, 2020 as compared to Rs 129.0 crores during the previous quarter. The company reported a net profit of Rs 191.8 crores for the period ended September 30, 2020 as against net profit of Rs 9.2 crores for the prior-year quarter.

5. Petrobras targets oil output of 2.7 mil b/d by 2025

MOSCOW (MRC) --  Brazilian state-led oil company Petrobras plans to spend USD55 billion over the next five years to develop subsalt fields that will boost the company's crude oil output nearly 20% to 2.7 million b/d by 2025, reported S&P Global with reference to the company's statement in a regulatory filing Nov. 25. "The capital allocation adheres to our strategic position, with a focus on world-class assets in deep and ultradeep waters," Petrobras said. Petrobras' latest five-year investment plan, which covers 2021-25, continued the company's strategic shift toward Brazil's subsalt region, where a single record-setting well at the Buzios Field recently pumped about 69,000 b/d of oil equivalent. The massive potential of the subsalt led to the sale of most of the company's high-cost legacy onshore and shallow-water production. Petrobras also reached antitrust agreements with local regulators to end monopolies in refining and natural gas. The asset sales and ongoing coronavirus pandemic likely mean a short-term retreat in output, Petrobras said. Petrobras estimated production of 2.23 million b/d in 2021, down from an expected 2.28 million b/d in 2020, the company said. Total hydrocarbons output was forecast at 2.75 million boe/d in 2021, down from an expected 2.84 million boe/d in 2020. "Oil production in 2021 reflects the impacts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the divestments that take place in 2020," Petrobras said.

6. Crude settles higher on OPEC+ expectations, weaker dollar

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil futures settled higher Nov. 25 as the US dollar tested multi-year lows and the market increasingly priced in an extension of the OPEC+ production quota into next year, according to S&P Global. NYMEX January WTI settled 80 cents higher at USD45.71/b and ICE January Brent was up 75 cents at USD48.61/b. Oil prices saw a boost from a continued slide in the US dollar. The front-month ICE US dollar index fell below 92 in afternoon trading and was on pace to close at the lowest level since April 2018.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PC, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, sheet extrusion, medicine, petrochemistry, clothes and accessories, adhesives, masterbatches, film, Clariant International, Formosa, Sabic, Wacker, COVID-19.
Category:General News
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