Qatar Petroleum and Shell Form LNG Marine fueling venture

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Qatar Petroleum’s Wave LNG Solutions and Shell Gas & Power Developments B.V. (Shell) have signed a framework agreement to develop liquefied natural gas (LNG) marine fueling - or bunkering - infrastructure at strategic shipping locations across the globe, as per Shell's press release.

LNG bunkering provides the shipping industry with a new fuel that helps meet the industry’s environmental and economic objectives. Increasing numbers of ship owners and operators are turning to LNG over traditional marine fuels in response to tighter sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions regulations. In October 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced the introduction of a global 0.5% sulfur cap from 2020.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar Petroleum’s President and CEO, said: "We are pleased to team up with our long-term partner and industry pioneer, Shell, on this important initiative. We view LNG bunkering as a promising opportunity for LNG to further grow as a clean energy source."

Mr. Al-Kaabi added: "LNG demand for bunkering is expected to increase significantly over the coming years and we believe there is real potential for such demand to reach up to 50 million tons per annum by 2030. Obviously, achieving this figure requires focused investments and the right partnership model, similar to the one we are establishing today."

On his part, Mr. Ben van Beurden, Shell’s Chief Executive Officer, said: "As two of the world’s leading LNG suppliers, Shell and Qatar Petroleum have the capability and experience to deliver LNG as a marine fuel to ship owners and operators who must meet tougher emissions regulations from 2020. We look forward to working with Qatar Petroleum to increase the availability of LNG as a fuel for transport."

This agreement follows two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) Shell and Qatargas signed with industry partners in 2016 to explore LNG bunkering opportunities in the Middle East. Pursuant to the agreement signed today, Qatar Petroleum and Shell will evaluate and progress the development of LNG bunkering facilities at various locations across Europe, the Middle East and East Asia.

As MRC informed previously, in October 2016, Royal Dutch Shell signed a preliminary memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Iran’s National Petrochemical Co. (NPC) for cooperation in the petrochemical industry.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Ineos plan to increase capacity at Grangemouth site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petrochemical giant Ineos intends to increase the ethylene capacity of its cracker facilities at Grangemouth in Scotland and Rafnes in Norway to over 1 million tonnes each, as per company's press-release.

The company currently produces nearly 4.5 million tonnes of ethylene and propylene annually across Europe, but remains the largest buyer of ethylene and propylene in the region.

Ineos Olefins and Polymers North CEO Gerd Franken said: "These are exciting times for Ineos as we plan to further increase the capacity of our crackers and at the same time to build an entirely new PDH plant in Europe. These expansions and new builds will increase our self-sufficiency in all key olefin products” Ineos founder Jim Ratcliffe added: “These projects represent the first substantial investments in the European chemicals industry for many years. It has only been made possible because of our USD2 billion investment in our Dragon Ships programme which allows us to import ethane and LPG from the US."

In combination, these three major projects will significantly increase the quantities of propylene and ethylene produced by INEOS in Europe, and will support the continued growth and future profitability of INEOS’ ethylene and propylene derivative businesses.

As MRC informed earlier, Ineos announced plans to construct a world-scale PDH (Propane Dehydrogenation) unit in Europe. The plant will produce 750,000 tonnes per annum of propylene for Ineos units across the continent. A number of possible locations are currently being considered including a number of Ineos sites at Antwerp in Belgium.

Group Limited is a privately owned multinational chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom. It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom.

Repsol winner at the Best Polymer Producer Awards for Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- On 1 June 2017, in Madrid (Spain), Repsol was bestowed the HDPE Best Polymer Producer Award for Europe 2017, said . The award ceremony took place during the Gala Dinner of European Plastics Converters (EuPC) and ANAIP (the Spanish association of plastic converters) Annual European Meeting, said Yourpetrochemicalnews.

The Awards are the result of an online customers’ survey launched by the Polymers for Europe Alliance, starting in February 2017. Users of polymers all over Europe rated their suppliers’ performances, from mid last year up to now, regarding five criteria: Polymer Quality, Regulatory Compliance, Delivery Reliability, Communication and Innovation.

If it was already an honour for Repsol to receive this award in 2016, it is even more so on this occasion as the customers of polymers from all over Europe express once again their trust in the company and their appreciation for the continued effort and good work carried out by the entire team involved.

Repsol wants to thank all the companies that participated in the voting for this acknowledgement and reaffirms its commitment to continue working on maintaining its clients trust.

China may impose anti-dumping duties on styrene monomer imports

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China said it was to look at imposing anti-dumping duties (ADDs) on styrene monomer imports from South Korea, as per Apic-online.

The proposed ADD was a result of a recent petition filed by Chinese producers to decrease competition from South Korea, sources said.

Market participants said despite news they were skeptical that ADDs would be imposed any time soon.

South Korea is the largest exporter of styrene monomer to China, shipping 1.23 million mt of styrene in 2016, or 35% of China's SM imports.

For comparison, China's domestic SM production stands at about 8.39 million mt/year, according to industry sources.

As MRC wrote before, in March 2016, The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has imposed anti-dumping duties (ADD) on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resins imported from Canada, China, India and Oman.

Dow and DuPont merger secures US DOJ antitrust approval

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chemical companies DuPont and the Dow Chemical Company have reached a proposed agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division that will enable the firms to advance the proposed merger of equals, said Chemicals-technology.

The companies received the approval on condition that DuPont will divest certain parts of its crop protection portfolio. Dow will therefore sell its global Ethylene Acrylic Acid copolymers and ionomers business.

Divestments in the proposed agreement are consistent with commitments already made to obtain the European Commission’s (EC) regulatory approval.

Dow's chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Andrew Liveris said: "With today’s DOJ clearance, we have taken a significant step forward in bringing together these two iconic enterprises, and in the subsequent intended separation into three leading, independent innovation-based science companies that will generate significant benefits for all stakeholders."

"We are on track to close our procompetitive merger in a manner that maintains the strategic logic and value creation potential of the transaction."

The proposed agreement with the DOJ is subject to court approval. The companies are not required to make any additional divestitures and no additional approvals are required in the US to close the merger.

DuPont's chair and CEO Ed Breen said: "With this review completed, we are on track to close our procompetitive merger in a manner that maintains the strategic logic and value creation potential of the transaction."

The all-stock merger will have a combined market capitalisation of nearly USD130bn. The transaction is expected to generate cost synergies of approximately USD3bn and growth synergies of around USD1bn.

Dow and DuPont have already secured clearance in several jurisdictions, including approvals in the US, Europe, Brazil and China. Currently, both the companies are working constructively with regulators to receive clearance from the remaining jurisdictions. The companies anticipate the merger will be completed in August this year with the intended spin-offs to occur within 18 months of closing.