Tasnee in deal to develop new plastic solutions

Updated 18 August 2013

Tasnee in deal to develop new plastic solutions

Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, and Tasnee, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Saudi Arabia, have signed an agreement to establish a masterbatches joint venture in Saudi Arabia.
Within the framework of the agreement, through its 100 percent subsidiary Rowad National Plastic Company Ltd., Tasnee will acquire a 40 percent stake in Clariant’s masterbatches operations in the country, already operating under the name Clariant Masterbatches (Saudi Arabia) Ltd, described as a market leader and a pioneer in the region.
The joint venture will be operational following completion of customary merger control clearance procedures and will keep its main focus on the Arabic peninsula’s core market.
Clariant Masterbatches (Saudi Arabia) Ltd. began its masterbatches production in 1993.
Rowad National Plastic Company Ltd. is a regional leader in plastic conversion, and is a long-standing customer of Clariant Masterbatches.
Together, the companies will be able to develop new solutions for the plastics market.
In addition to the existing operations, the decision for the construction of a new plant for the production of white masterbatches has been taken.
“Our strategic partnership with Tasnee and the formation of the joint venture represent a first essential step for Clariant in strengthening its presence in one of the most important growth regions of the world,” said Hariolf Kottmann, CEO, Clariant.
“Clariant will contribute a high level of specialist know-how to the new company, whereas Tasnee has in-depth knowledge of the relevant regional markets, which will deliver major benefits to our clients. The link with Tasnee will also create additional value by facilitating access to feedstock. This partnership therefore represents another step in the implementation of our global growth strategy,” said Kottmann.
Hans Bohnen, head of business unit Masterbatches, added: “We are pleased to join forces with one of the leading industrial companies in the strategically important growth region on the Arabic peninsula and in Saudi Arabia in particular. The joint venture with Tasnee will open additional growth opportunities for Clariant and Tasnee in the Middle East region.”
“We are happy to join hands with Clariant, a world leader in the business. By this joint venture, Tasnee will enter into the important business of masterbatches, which will create further opportunities for serving the downstream plastic industry in the Middle East region,” said Saleh Alnazha, CEO of Tasnee.


Tankers defer retrofits to cash in on freight rates

Updated 19 October 2019

Tankers defer retrofits to cash in on freight rates

  • The rates for chartering a supertanker from the US Gulf Coast to Singapore hit record highs of more than $17 million and a record $22 million to China earlier this week

SINGAPORE: Tankers that had been scheduled to install emissions-cutting equipment ahead of stricter pollution standards starting in 2020 have deferred their visits to the dry docks to capitalize on an unexpected surge in freight rates, three trade sources said.

US sanctions on subsidiaries of vast Chinese shipping fleet Cosco in September sparked a surge in global oil shipping rates as traders scrambled to find non-blacklisted vessels to get their oil to market.

The rates for chartering a supertanker from the US Gulf Coast to Singapore hit record highs of more than $17 million and a record $22 million to China earlier this week.

By comparison, prior to the sanctions, shipping crude from the US Gulf to China cost around $6 million-$8 million.

The extraordinary spike in freight rates proved too good to miss for some shipowners who were due to send vessels to the dry docks for lengthy retrofitting and maintenance work.

“We can confirm several owners have postponed dry docking earlier scheduled for the months of October and November to take advantage of the skyrocketing freight rates,” said Rahul Kapoor, head of maritime and trade research at IHS Markit in Singapore.

The shortage of ships to move crude oil was so acute that some shipowners also switched from carrying so-called “clean” or refined fuels like gasoline to “dirty” cargoes that include crude oil, despite the costs of having to clean them later.

“Current rate levels are a no-brainer for pushing back scrubber retrofitting,” said Kapoor.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires the use of marine fuel with a sulfur limit of 0.5 percent, down from 3.5 percent currently, significantly inflating shippers’ fuel bills.

Only ships fitted with expensive exhaust cleaning systems, known as scrubbers, which can remove sulfur from emissions, will be allowed to continue burning cheaper high-sulfur fuels.

Ships must be sidelined for up to 60 days for fitting these, according to IHS Markit and DNV GL.

While freight rates have abruptly come off their recent highs, shipowners can still profit from the higher charges.

“One cargo loading at current elevated rate levels can not only finance the scrubber capex, but also account for extra costs incurred to install the scrubber at a later date,” said Kapoor, referring to the capital expenditure of fitting the scrubber.

Freight rates are expected to hold firm for the rest of the year.

“With seasonal demand support and tanker supply deficit still pronounced, we expect (fourth-quarter) tanker freight rates to stay elevated and end the year on a high note,” Kapoor said.