M&As: Sinopec takes 30% stake in PE project in Kazakhstan; Versalis completes Novamont acquisition

M&As: Sinopec takes 30% stake in PE project in Kazakhstan; Versalis completes Novamont acquisition

China's Sinopec has signed an equity agreement with Kazakh state-owned oil and gas firm KazMunayGas JSC for a 30% stake in a planned polyethylene project in Kazakhstan, Sinopec said recently.

The companies previously said they had agreed "key terms" for the project in May this year, on the sidelines of the China-Central Asia summit.

The project, located in western Kazakhstan's Atryau region, has a design capacity of 1.25 million tonnes/year, the statement said.

The total cost of the project is US$7.7 billion, Kazakh state news agency Kazinform reported recently.

The announcement comes during a visit by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to Beijing for the Belt and Road Forum, where Tokayev and China's President Xi met and discussed increasing cooperation in investment and trade.

Sinopec chairman Ma Yongsheng said the company planned to begin construction of the plant in the second half of 2024, Kazinform reported.

Sinopec and KMG also signed a pre-feasibility joint development agreement to study the possibility of investing in the construction of PTA (phthalic acid) and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plants in Kazakhstan, the Sinopec statement added.

China's three main state-owned oil firms Sinopec, PetroChina and CNOOC have all previously made investments in Kazakhstan's oil and gas sector. PetroChina is a member of the consortium that is currently developing the Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea - Kazakhstan's second-largest producing field, alongside Western oil majors and KMG.

Recently, CNOOC signed a memorandum of understanding with KMG, which included an agreement to conduct joint geological research as well as expand cooperation on existing oilfields, according to Chinese state media.

In other news, Italian chemical firm Versalis announces that it now holds the entire share capital of Novamont, of which it already owned 36%. The transaction, announced on 28 April and authorised by the relevant authorities, was completed recently with Mater-Bi, a subsidiary of Investitori Associati II and NB Renaissance, acquiring 64% of Novamont's shares.

Novamont, whose CEO remains Catia Bastioli, is a benefit company, certified B Corporation, and a manufacturer of the production of bioplastics and the development of biochemicals and bioproducts through the integration of chemistry, environment and agriculture.

Novamont has 650 employees and is headquartered in Novara. It has production plants in Terni, Bottrighe (RO) and Patrica (FR); research laboratories in Novara, Terni and Piana di Monte Verna (CE), as well as the Matrìca site in Porto Torres (SS) (in an equal joint venture with Versalis) and a company with Coldiretti for the development and distribution of agricultural solutions.

It holds around 1,500 patents and patent applications and has an international presence with offices in Germany, France, Spain and the US and a network of distributors in over 40 countries worldwide. Following the acquisition of a Norwegian company that specialises in the development, production and marketing of certified biodegradable and compostable applications, it now also has a production plant in Estonia.

Adriano Alfani, Versalis’ CEO said: “The acquisition of Novamont will allow us to drive our strategy towards chemistry from renewables through the integration of the two portfolios. Today the process of integrating our businesses begins, which will enhance the skills of our people and establish a business plan that will leverage a unique technology platform and an increasingly low-carbon product portfolio, in line with Versalis' strategy and Eni's energy transition journey”.


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