BASF appoints new Asia Pacific president

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has appointed Dr. Ramkumar Dhruva as President, South & East Asia, ASEAN, and Australia/New Zealand at BASF, effective July 1, 2018, said the producer on its site.

He succeeds Dr. Andrea Frenzel, who will assume responsibility for BASF’s global Intermediates Division.

Dhruva joined BASF in 1996. He has been Senior Vice President, Monomers, Asia Pacific, since 2013. Before assuming his current role, he headed BASF Polyurethanes, Asia Pacific and BASF Coating Solutions, Asia Pacific. Dhruva has held several positions at BASF in India, including Chief Executive of BASF Coatings India, Sales Manager and Product Manager. He previously worked in Product Development, Production and R&D in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Dhruva was born in India in 1968. In 1996 he earned a PhD in Organic Synthesis, Photo & Electro Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

As MRC informed before, in December 2017, BASF’s Coatings division inaugurated a new automotive coatings plant at its Bangpoo manufacturing site, Samutprakarn province, Thailand. The new plant is the first BASF automotive coatings manufacturing facility in ASEAN, and will produce solventborne and waterborne automotive coatings to meet growing market demand in the region.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat shut down PE production

MOSCOW (Market Report) -- Gazprom neftekhim Salavat, one of Russia's largest production complexes for oil refining and petrochemicals, shut down its polyethylene (PE) production for a scheduled turnaround, according to a ICIS-MRC Price report.

On Sunday, 1 July, Gazprom neftekhim Salavat took off-stream its low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) production capacities, in order to conduct scheduled maintenance works. The plant's representative and customers said the shutdown of HDPE production will be short and operations are planned to be resumed already in seven days.

At the same time, the plant's LDPE production was shut for a longer period, the resumption of LDPE output is planned only after 30 days.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's LDPE and HDPE production capacities are 45,000 and 120,000 tonnes per year, respectively.

OAO "Gazprom neftekhim Salavat" (formerly OAO "Salavatnefteorgsintez") is one of the leading petrochemical companies in Russia, carrying out a full cycle of processing hydrocarbon material. The list of products manufactured by the plant includes more than 140 items, including 76 grades of the main products: gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, fuel oil, toluene, solvent, liquefied gases, benzene, styrene, ethylbenzene, butyl alcohols, phthalic anhydride and plasticizers, polyethylene, polystyrenes, silica gels and zeolite catalysts, corrosion inhibitors, elemental sulfur, ammonia and urea, glycols and amines, a wide range of household products made of plastics, surfactants and much more.

Iran closer to fuel self-sufficiency, aims to export

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran was closer to its goal of self-sufficiency in gasoline production after inaugurating the second phase of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, reported Reuters.

Weeks after President Donald Trump pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran and threatened to reimpose sanctions on Iran, the United States told all countries on Tuesday to stop importing Iranian oil from November.

"When under threat of sanctions by our enemy, if we control and reduce our domestic consumption of gasoline ... we can say that we are self-sufficient in fuel production," Rouhani said in a televised speech.

OPEC member Iran has for years struggled to meet its domestic fuel needs due to a lack of refining capacity and international sanctions that limited the supply of spare parts for plant maintenance.

Iran's Persian Gulf Star Refinery converts light crude, known as condensate, into gasoline and naphtha. Rouhani said that with the inauguration of the new phase, the refinery would produce 24 million liters of petrol per day.

"If we can reduce our domestic consumption of 80 million liters of gasoline per day ... we can even export gasoline," Rouhani said.

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said the refinery, once fully operational, would produce 36 million liters of petrol per day.

"With the refinery becoming fully operational, we will have no concerns over sanctions," he said on Iran's Oil Ministry website SHANA.

Khatam al Anbia Construction Headquarters (KAA), the engineering arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), was one of the main contractors of the project.

Port Arthur LNG signs LNG supply agreement with Poland PGNiG

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sempra LNG & Midstream subsidiary Port Arthur LNG has signed an agreement with Polish state-controlled oil and gas company Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG) for the delivery of LNG from the Port Arthur facility, which is being developed in Jefferson County, Texas, US, as per Compello.

The agreement sets out terms and conditions of a long-term contract, which is planned to be finalized by the companies at a later date.

As per the terms of the deal, Port Arthur will supply two million tons per annum (Mtpa) of LNG, which equals about 2.7 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year of natural gas following regasification, over a period of 20 years starting in 2023.

Sempra president and chief operating officer Joseph Householder said: “The Port Arthur liquefaction project is one of three major LNG export projects Sempra Energy is developing in North America to meet the demand of global markets, including Poland.

“This agreement, along with PGNiG’s financial strength and experience in delivering natural gas to customers, is important to advancing the Port Arthur liquefaction project."

PGNiG intends to use the deliveries to consider further trading on international markets.

PGNiG CEO and management board president Piotr Wozniak said: “Starting in 2023, LNG deliveries from the Port Arthur terminal can not only help us to further diversify our import structure but will also help us in strengthening PGNiG’s activities on the international LNG market."

Scheduled to be commissioned in 2023, the Port Arthur LNG liquefaction facility will have capacity to export approximately 11 Mtpa of LNG.


Sovcomflot, Novatek sign partnership agreement on LNG shipping

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PAO Sovcomflot and PAO Novatek have signed a strategic partnership agreement to jointly develop the logistical support for the Yamal LNG, Arctic LNG-2 and other projects of NOVATEK, as per Compelo.

This agreement continues the strategic partnership between the two Russian companies, to develop an efficient logistics solution for shipping oil and gas products within Russia Arctic seas, optimising the number of vessels deployed as well as their technical specifications.

The partnership agreement was signed by Sergey Frank, President and Chief Executive Officer of PAO Sovcomflot, and Leonid Mikhelson, Chairman & CEO of PAO Novatek.

To ensure the highest quality of shipping services, whilst maintaining good control of capital expenditure and operating expenses, a centralised fleet management structure is envisaged, operating to unified technical management standards.

PAO Sovcomflot and PAO Novatek have a long history of cooperation. In 2010, the tanker SCF Baltica became the first large-capacity vessel to transit the Northern Sea Route with a cargo of gas condensate for Novatek. The aim of that pioneering voyage was to evaluate the ability to export products on the year-round basis across the Northern Sea Route, both East and Westbound. Both Sergey Frank and Leonid Mikhelson were onboard during this voyage.

In 2014-2016 the partners successfully implemented the construction project for Christophe de Margerie, the world’s first Arctic LNG carrier. In December 2017, this vessel transported the first cargo of gas from the Yamal Peninsular. During this work, a unique experience has been gained of operating vessels within the challenging conditions of the Kara Sea and the Gulf of Ob throughout the year.

Sergey Frank, CEO of PAO Sovcomflot, stated: "Working with Novatek on this new strategic partnership, which is of a major national economic significance, our experts will bring to the table their specialist knowledge and engineering expertise. Their skills have been honed, tried and tested over many years of efficient and safe operation of ice-breaking tankers – vessels purpose built for Sovcomflot to provide the mission critical logistics for major oil and gas projects in Russia’s Arctic, comprising Varandey, Prirazlomnoye, Novy Port, and Yamal LNG.