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Chexpress - February 5, 2014

North America


Gerdau Ameristeel has entered into an agreement with Ameron International, Tokyo Steel and Mitsui & Co. to acquire all the issued and oustandig shares of TAMCO. TAMCO is a mini-mill steel producer of reinforcing steel bar and is one of the largest rebar mills in the western U.S. with an annual capacity of approximately 500,000 tons. The purchase price is approximately $165 million in cash and the deal is expected to close this quarter. With its divestiture of 50 percent of TAMCO, Ameron International will focus on its core pipe systems business involved in the transmission of water and corrosive fluids and gases.


Monsanto Co. is opening a wheat-breeding research center in Great Falls, Montana. The company is offering assurances that the facility will involve conventional research and not genetically modified organisms. The aim of the research will be to come up with better varieties that product better yield and products. Seed varieties will be developed at the company’s Wheat Technology Center in Twin Falls, Idaho, by cross-breeding different types of seeds. The resulting seeds will be grown in test plots north of Great Falls to study how well the varieties grow in various soils and environments to assess if they are commercially viable.


Hedge fund Third Point LLC has acquired a significant stake in Dow Chemical and wants the company to spin off its petrochemicals division. Third Point says Dow is now its biggest investment, but didn’t specify how many shares it had acquired other than to say it was a significant position.




The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says 14 private sector companies submitted bids to destroy chemicals removed from Syria as part of international efforts to dismantle Damascus’ poison gas and nerve agent program. The companies were from a number of countries including the United States, Britain, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia. The companies submitted tenders to destroy 500 metric tons of chemicals and waste material resulting from the destruction of other Syrian chemicals. The chemicals to be destroyed by the private companies are regularly used in the pharmaceutical and other industries and can be safely disposed of at civilian facilities. The OPCW is conducting technical and commercial evaluations of the bids before announcing which companies will be awarded contracts.


Repsol has agreed to sell its 10 percent stake in the Transporta dora de Gas del Peru gas pipeline in to Engas SA for $219 million. The deal will be completed in the coming months. TGP transports natural gas and liquids from Camisea fields inland to the Peru LNG liquefaction plant in Pampa Melchorita.


PetroChina has put off starting up two new refineries and delayed expansion of another to counter the threat of overcapacity as oil demand growth slows in China. China’s oil consumption last year grew at its slowest in more than 20 years as soft economic growth sliced demand for transportation and industrial fuels such as diesel. The company will now start up its 200,000 barrels/day Kunming refinery in the Yunnan province in 2016, two years behind the original schedule. Operation of a 400,000 barrels/day joint venture refinery in Jieyang of Guangdong province will be delayed to 2017 versus the original plan of 2013. The company will also delay expansion of its Huabei refinery in north China to 2015 from this year.

Ultra-low Sulfur

Exxon Mobil Corp’s new hydrotreater has started operations and is producing ultra-low sulfur diesel at the company’s 592,000 barrels/day Singapore refinery. The new unit will increase the facility’s daily low-sulfur diesel capacity to 25 million liters or about 157,000 barrels. About 36 percent of that, or 57,000 barrels/day, will meet ultra-low sulfur diesel specifications. With the new unit, the refinery is able to product both 50 and 10 parts per million low sulfur diesel.



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