In the Chemicals business, we produce and commercialize a wide range of products, with activities ranging from basic petrochemicals to derivative petrochemicals. We commercialize products in more than 90 countries and lead the market in the Iberian Peninsula.
Our production is concentrated in three petrochemical facilities located in Puertollano and Tarragona (Spain) and in Sines (Portugal), where there is a high level of integration between basic chemicals and chemical derivatives. Refining activities are also carried out in the industrial facilities in Spain.
We also have different subsidiaries and affiliated companies, through which we have plants that engage in the manufacture of polypropylene compounds, synthetic rubber, and specialized chemical products. These specialized chemical products are developed through Dynasol, a 50% partnership with Mexican Group KUO. There are plants in Spain, Mexico, and China, the last two together with local partners.
In 2016, a year characterized by the good international situation both in terms of demand and margins, our Chemicals division exceeded the already high earnings obtained in 2015.
In 2016 the volume of sales to third parties amounted to 2.9 million metric tons, compared to 2.8 million metric tons in the previous year, representing a growth of 2.5%. This increase in volume was due to the good market situation and the higher operational reliability of the plants, in a year in which historic record production values were achieved in various units. Margins achieved all-time highs, slightly above the values recorded in 2015.
Last year, Repsol confirmed its commitment to product differentiation with the launch of a new range of metallocene polyethylene with Chevron-Phillips technology, which, marketed under the Repsol Resistex® Brand, offers great value to end products.
In September, Repsol's Chemicals business licensed the co-production technology for propylene oxide and styrene monomer to the Chinese company Tianjin Bohua Chemical Development for the construction of a plant in Tianjin with an annual production capacity of 200,000 metric tons of propylene oxide and 450,000 metric tons of styrene monomer.
With regard to investments, they were mainly aimed at improving and optimizing assets, driving efficiency, reducing costs, differentiation, and improving quality, safety, and environmental standards.
The main investments of the year were made in projects for adapting the Tarragona High Density Polyethylene plant to produce grades of metallocene, in addition to other projects that will make it possible to make progress in adjusting the feedstock.
In recognition of the significant improvement in the Chemicals business over recent years, our company received the award for the Best High-Density Polyethylene (HDPP) producer in Europe and the Overarching Award on Innovation in polymers. The awards were based on a customer survey conducted by the European Plastics Converters (EuPC) association. Likewise, in September, the prestigious magazine Petroleum Economist named Repsol the best petrochemical company of the year.
|Thousands of metric tons||2015||2016||Variation|
|Sales by product|
|Sales by market|
|Rest of the world||426||464||9.1%|