Petrobras enters binding phase for sale of two fertilizer units

MOSCOW (MRC) — Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro said on Tuesday it has begun the binding phase for the sale of two fertilizer units, Araucaria Nitrogenados SA and Unidade de Fertilizantes Nitrogenados III, as per Reuters.

Interested buyers who were authorized in the prior phase will receive instructions on the divestment process, according to a statement from Petrobras, which is seeking to offload USD21 B in assets through 2018.

As MRC informed earlier, Petrobras’s (Rio de Janeiro) minority stakes in Braskem and Deten Quimica have been excluded from Petrobras’s divestment program.


PVC imports to Belarus rose by 37% in first ten months of 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into Belarus grew in January-October 2017 by 37% year on year, totalling 28,500 tonnes, according to MRC's DataScope report.

According to the statistical committee of the Republic of Belarus, local converters further reduced their purchasing of PVC in October, total imports were about 3,000 tonnes, compared to 3,200 tonnes a month earlier. Thus, PVC imports rose in the first ten months of 2017 to 28,500 tonnes from 20,800 tonnes in January-October 2016, with local windows producers accounting for the main increase in demand.

Russian producers were the key suppliers of resin to Belarus. They accounted for about 83% of the Belarusian market in January-October 2017. Producers from Germany with the share of about 13% were the second largest suppliers.


HDPE production in Russia fell by 9% in first eleven months of 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) decreased in January-November 2017 by 9% year on year to 824,300 tonnes. All Russian producers reduced their output, with Kazanorgsitez being the exception, according to MRC's ScanPlast report.

November HDPE production in Russia grew to 63,700 tonnes, whereas this figure did not exceed 46,400 tonnes a month earlier. Kazanorgsintez and Stavrolen increased their capacity utilisation after scheduled shutdowns for maintenance. Overall HDPE output reached 824,300 tonnes in January-November 2017, compared to 906,800 tonnes a year earlier. Only Kazanorgsintez increased its production, whereas other producers reduced their output because of different reasons.

The structure of HDPE production by plants looked the following way over the stated period.

Kazanorgsintez's total HDPE output grew to 46,500 tonnes in November from 16,800 tonnes a month earlier, the Kazan plant shut down its production capacities for a turnaround from 12 September to 19 October. The Kazan plant's overall HDPE production was 460,200 tonnes in January-November 2017, up by 5% year on year.

Stavrolen took off-stream its HDPE production for a two-month maintenance with modernization of some of its facilities since mid-September, the resumption of HDPE production began only on 15 November. The plant's HDPE output reached 214,900 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2017, down by 14% year on year.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat reduced its capacity utilisation in November, the plant shut down its production for a several-day turnaround at the beginning of the month. Last month's HDPE output was 7,700 tonnes, compared to 11,800 tonnes in October. Overall HDPE production at the Bashkir plant reached 83,700 tonnes in January-Novemer 2017, down by 16% year on year. This year's low production was caused by a long shutdown for maintenance in July-August.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim virtually completely focused on linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) production last month, whereas the plant's HDPE output was 17,800 tonnes in October. The plant's overall HDPE production was only 65,600 tonnes in January-November 2017, compared to 117,900 tonnes a year earlier. Such a noticeable reduction in the output was caused by an increase in the share of LLDPE in the total production.


Poland refiner buys another crude oil shipment from US‍​

MOSCOW (MRC) — Poland’s second-largest oil refiner Grupa Lotos has bought a second crude oil shipment from the United States as part of a plan to reduce its reliance on Russian oil supplies, as per Reuters.

The state-run refiner said it is waiting on a tanker carrying 650,000 bbl of oil, equivalent to around 80,000 t, which has already departed from Freeport in Texas.

Steeper Energy, Silva Green Fuel to build advanced biofuel project

MOSCOW (MRC) — Steeper Energy, a Danish-Canadian clean-fuel company, is partnering with Silva Green Fuel, a Norwegian-Swedish JV, to construct a EUR 50.6 MM (DKK 377 MM) industrial scale demonstration plant at a former pulp mill located in Tofte, Norway leading to a future commercial scale project, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Steeper will license its proprietary Hydrofaction technology to Silva, who will build the facility over the next 18 mos. The demonstration plant will use woody residues as feedstock that are converted to renewable crude oil and, in turn, will be upgraded to renewable diesel, jet or marine fuel.

Steeper’s Hydrofaction technology was selected by Silva after an exhaustive due diligence review of some 40 other technologies. Hydrofaction harnesses water brought to super-critical conditions, to cost effectively convert biomass to high-value liquid biofuels.

The partnership between Silva Green Fuel and Steeper will confirm engineering data and design protocols to de-risk future commercial scale facilities planned to be built by Silva and will be offered by Steeper globally to other biofuel project developers.

Silva is a joint venture between Norway’s Statkraft, a leading company in hydropower internationally and Europe's largest generator of renewable energy, and Sweden’s Sodra, a cooperative of 50,000 forest owners with extensive forestry operations and a leading producer of paper pulp, sawn timber and bioenergy.

With global trade growth, heavy and long-haul transport sector emissions are increasing, and low-carbon options for road diesel, marine and jet biofuels will help meet carbon reduction targets.

Steeper’s biofuel easily integrates into existing petroleum infrastructure and is physically comparable to fossil fuels. Hydrofaction utilizes many other feedstocks, including organic wastes, agricultural residues, and animal manure.

Steeper is entertaining partnerships with biomass aggregators or energy producers to develop similar commercial-scale projects, and is grateful to the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 SME program for financial support.