Sipchem unit to establish conversion projects

Updated 23 July 2013

Sipchem unit to establish conversion projects

Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) has announced that its affiliate Sipchem Chemicals Company (SCC) signed on Monday an incorporation agreement with Hanwha Chemicals Corporation to form a new company — Saudi Specialty Products Company — for establishing conversion projects in Saudi Arabia. This, Sipchem stated, is in line with its commitment to implement fuel and feedstock volume allocation required to establish EA, EVA, WCC and conversion industries as issued by Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.
The joint venture between SCC and Hanwha comprises two manufacturing facilities; the first one located at Hail will produce 4,000 MTPA of EVA films whereas the second one located at Riyadh will manufacture plastic moulds up to 1000 tons.
SCC owns 75 percent of new company capital while Korean Hanwha owns 25 percent. SCC will use state-of-the-art technology of Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello (MCTI) Inc. Japan, for the EVA film project and Kiefer Werkzeugbau GmbH, Germany, know-how transfer and project services for moulds project.
Total investment for these conversion projects will be approximately SR225 million ($60 million) and will create employment opportunities for around 180 personnel.
EVA film is used for crystalline silicon and thin film solar photovoltaic module production. EVA film is selected to be the most optimum material for the encapsulation and it is widely used for solar cell encapsulation and perceived to be the most operating-friendly and cost-effective material for solar cell glass encapsulation. This project is the first-of-its kind in the region and illustrates Sipchem commitment toward the Kingdom objective to become a driving force in renewable energy.
On the other hand, Moulds Manufacturing Facility, located in Riyadh, has been designed to manufacture various types of moulds and dyes used in plastic and encapsulation plants.
The facility has infrastructure to design any industrial or commercial product and there-after make prototypes of the article, and produce the product in mass by building a mould or tool for the purpose. The facility can test the performance of the mould or dye to the required standards.
The Riyadh facility will help the converter industries of polymer, metal sheets, and aluminum to obtain tools and dyes to exact requirements. In addition to manufacturing new moulds and tools, the facility will assist in servicing and maintenance of existing moulds and dyes.
The knowhow provider, Kiefer, has vast experience in the tool and dyes manufacturing field.
Sipchem has indicated that these projects will play a major role in the Kingdom's industrial diversification and boost development in the conversion industry of the Kingdom.
Sipchem has confirmed its approach to join hands with major players in the global petrochemical business to support Saudi downstream manufacturing investments.
Sipchem stated it will announce financial impact and any other developments in these projects in due course.


New emissions blow for VW as German court backs damages claims

Updated 26 May 2020

New emissions blow for VW as German court backs damages claims

  • Scandal has already cost firm more than €30 billion; ruling serves as template for about 60,000 cases

KARLSRUHE, Germany: Volkswagen must pay compensation to owners of vehicles with rigged diesel engines in Germany, a court ruled on Monday, dealing a fresh blow to the automaker almost 5 years after its emissions scandal erupted.

The ruling by Germany’s highest court for civil disputes, which will allow owners to return vehicles for a partial refund of the purchase price, serves as a template for about 60,000 lawsuits that are still pending with lower German courts.

Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to cheating in emissions tests on diesel engines, a scandal which has already cost it more than €30 billion ($33 billion) in regulatory fines and vehicle refits, mostly in the US.

US authorities banned the affected cars after the cheat software was discovered, triggering claims for compensation.

But in Europe vehicles remained on the roads, leading Volkswagen to argue compensation claims there were without merit. European authorities instead forced the company to update its engine control software and fined it for fraud and administrative lapses.

Volkswagen said on Monday it would work urgently with motorists on an agreement that would see them hold on to the vehicles for a one-off compensation payment.

It did not give an estimate of how much the ruling by the German federal court, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), might cost it.

Volkswagen shares were 0.5 percent lower. The BGH’s presiding judge had signaled earlier this month he saw grounds for compensation.

Costs mount

“The verdict by the BGH draws a final line. It creates clarity on the BGH’s views on the underlying questions in the diesel proceedings for most of the 60,000 cases still pending,” Volkswagen said.

A lower court in the city of Koblenz had previously ruled the owner of a VW Sharan minivan had suffered pre-meditated damage, entitling him to reimbursement minus a discount for the mileage the motorist had already
benefited from.

The court at the time said he should be awarded €25,600 for the used-car purchase he made for €31,500 in 2014.

“We have in principle confirmed the verdict from the Koblenz upper regional court,” said BGH presiding federal judge Stephan Seiters.

Volkswagen had petitioned for the ruling to be quashed altogether by the higher court, while the plaintiff had appealed to have the deduction removed.

A Volkswagen spokesman said that outside Germany, more than 100,000 claims for damages were still pending, of which 90,000 cases were in Britain.

The carmaker also said it had paid out a total of €750 million to more than 200,000 separate claimants in Germany who had opted against individual claims and instead joined a class action lawsuit brought by a German consumer group.

The carmaker said last month it would set aside a total of 830 million for that deal.

In a separate court, Volkswagen agreed last week to pay €9 million to end proceedings against its chairman and chief executive, who were accused of withholding market-moving information before the emissions scandal came to light.