Chemical Industry News – September

The View from Jamestown - The Chemical Company

Scotland Votes ‘No’ to Independence—Good News for the Chemical Industry

Early Friday morning, Sept. 19, the announcement was made denying Scotland a majority vote for independence. The ‘No’ vote was good news for the chemical industry because business can continue without the interruption of a changing government. Establishing laws and policies concerning everything from taxes and duties to trade agreements and a new currency could have caused a serious downturn in business for the duration of the transition.

Scotland has quietly grown to be a major player in the chemical industry on a global scale, boasting more than 200 chemical companies employing 14,000 people. These companies manufacture £9 billion and export around £3.7 billion worth of goods to the rest of the world every year, making it Scotland’s second top exporter.

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Bayer Announces Plans to Float Bayer MaterialScience as Independent Company

Natasha Alperowicz, a reporter for Chemweek, wrote and article announcing Bayer’s plans to separate its polyurethanes and polycarbonates unit, Bayer MaterialScience (BMS), and float it on the stock exchange as an independent company. If all goes as plans the company will be listed within the next 12-18 months.

Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers said, “”Our intention is to create two top global corporations: Bayer as a world-class innovation company in the life sciences businesses, and MaterialScience as a leading player in polymers.”

According to Chemweek, Dekkers went on to say that both companies have excellent prospects for success in their respective industries. Employment levels are expected to remain stable over the next few years, both globally and in Germany.

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$3 Billion Natural Gas Project Proposed by Spectra for the Northeast

A Bloomberg article by Jim Polson and Alex Nussbaum announced that Spectra Energy Corp. and Northeast Utilities proposed a $3billion pipeline expansion in New England. This is the latest attempt to fix a natural-gas bottleneck that sent energy prices soaring during a frigid winter.

Tom May, chief executive officer of Boston and Hartford Connecticut-based Northeast Utilities, said in today’s statement, “New England wholesale electricity costs were nearly double compared to the previous year, largely due to pipeline constraints.” He went on to say, “These challenges will remain the same for the next several years, and our customers will feel the effects, if we do not act.”

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Polyethylene—Prices, News and Analysis

Polyethylene (PE) production in Europe has been cut back for many months to avoid oversupply in a fragile market. In China PE prices may strengthen during the third quarter on improved downstream demand, particularly in the food, gift packaging and agricultural sectors. In Southeast Asia, tightness in supply for imported PE resins is expected to continue and could exert upward pressure on prices. In the U.S., PE prices are expected to remain relatively flat.

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