Saras invests in new bunkering terminal ahead of IMO switch

MOSCOW (MRC) - Italian refiner Saras is constructing a ship-refueling terminal at its Sardinia plant and will market a new, cleaner marine fuel ahead of a major regulatory change in 2020, its chief executive told Reuters.

From January 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will ban ships from using fuels with a sulfur content above 0.5 percent, compared with 3.5 percent now, in one of the biggest changes in the oil market in decades.

Refineries around the world have been gearing up for the switch by reducing output of high-sulfur fuel and upgrading plants to maximize production of the cleaner, more expensive fuel, which is similar to diesel.

Saras is investing in infrastructure that will allow ships to dock outside its 300,000-barrels-per-day Sarroch refinery in Sardinia to directly load ultra-low-sulfur marine fuel oil (ULSFO), in what is known as bunkering, CEO Dario Scaffardi said.

"Today, bunkering is based mainly on blending. In the Mediterranean you have Malta, where people bring different fuels and blend it. With the new specs, this (blending) will be very difficult to achieve for technical reasons so people like us, who will be able to produce directly the new fuel, will have the competitive advantage," Scaffardi said. "With a small investment, we will have bunkering infrastructure and a lightering vessel and start selling locally fuels to expand the market."

The company did not disclose the size of the investment. Saras, one of Europe's most modern refineries which also has a trading desk in Geneva, is developing its own ULSFO that the company will start marketing directly to shippers. The plant will initially produce 500,000 to 600,000 tons of ULSFO per year, he said.

Celanese implemented sales control measures for polyacetal product deliveries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global specialty materials company, has announced it is implementing sales control measures in the European, Americas and Asia regions for its polyoxymethylene (POM) engineered materials product, including all grades and specifications, as per the company's press release.

Factors impacting the company's ability to meet POM product demand include: Rhine river levels are at the lowest on record, restricting the supply of key raw materials into the company's Industriepark Hochst (IPH) facility in Frankfurt, Germany, the largest POM unit in the world; a series of required turnarounds at Celanese-owned and co-supplier POM units.

While any existing placed order is acknowledged, future POM orders could be subject to adjustment or denial.

As MRC informed previously, Celanese Corporation has increase October list and off-list selling prices for Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) sold in Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Americas. The price increases below were effective for orders shipped on or after October 1, 2018, or as contracts otherwise allow, and were incremental to any previously announced increases.

Thus, VAM prices rose, as follows:

- by EUR50/mt - for Europe, Middle East & Africa;
- by USD0.03/lb - for the USA and Canada:
- by USD65/mt - for Mexico & South America.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 7,600 employees worldwide and had 2017 net sales of USD6.1 billion.

Pucheng Clean Energy starts turnaround of LLDPE plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Pucheng Clean Energy has undertaken a planned shutdown at its linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed the plant was taken off-line for a maintenance turnaround on October 21, 2018. It is slated to remain off-line for around two weeks.

Located at Shaanxi province in China, the plant has a LLDPE production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, on May 28, 2018, Pucheng Clean Energy restarted its polypropylene (PP) plant following an unplanned shutdown. The plant remaind off-line for around one week owing to technical issues. Located at Shaanxi province in China, the plant has a PP production capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

Neste MY Renewable diesel launched in Sweden

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Neste is launching Neste MY Renewable diesel for the Swedish transport market, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

It is made from 100% renewable raw materials and emits up to 90% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fossil diesel.

With 2.7 million tons, Neste is responsible for the majority of total renewable diesel production globally. Neste MY Renewable Diesel reduced climate emissions by 8.3 million tons of CO2 in 2017. This is equivalent to taking more than 3 million fossil-fuel cars off the roads or making a city the size of Stockholm car-free for 8 years. Neste is targeting to produce about 4 million tons of renewable fuels by 2022. In 2017 renewable fuels accounted for 21.4% of the total transportation fuel usage in Sweden, and consumption of renewable fuels is growing rapidly, by 19% in 2018 compared to 2015 and the most of this increase is due the use of HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) such as Neste MY Renewable Diesel.

"Sweden has incredibly ambitious climate targets, not least that the country should be fossil-free by 2045. We and other companies which produce renewable fuels need clear policies and predictable forecasts, if we are to secure new investment and increase production, which is required to significantly reduce emissions from the transport sector and achieve our climate goals”, says Carl Nyberg, Neste’s Vice President in Sales Scandinavia.

Neste MY Renewable Diesel can be used in all diesel engines and existing fuel distribution systems. The fuel is being launched in Sweden under the motto "Five minutes to fossil-free".

Neste MY Renewable Diesel sales in Sweden is aimed initially at the transport industry and other business customers and is sold via the distributors Swea Energi, Biofuel Express, Ecobransle, Colabitoil and Energifabriken. But the fuel works just as well in private cars and can easily replace traditional diesel here as well.

Neste MY Renewable Diesel is produced from 100% renewable raw materials. A large number of different waste fats are used in the production, including waste and residues from meat, fish and vegetable oil industry. Neste MY Renewable Diesel has the same chemical composition as fossil diesel and easily replaces conventional diesel or can be blended in any proportion.

Indorama to start maintenance at PET plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama is in plans to shut a purified terephthalate (PET) plant for a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Thailand informed that the company has schedule turnaround at the plant in November 2018 for a period of around two weeks. The exact date of the shutdown could not be ascertained.

Located at Lop Buri, Thailand, the PET plant has a production capacity of 180,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, in June 2018, Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemical producer, entered into a joint venture agreement with Dhunseri Petrochem Ltd. (Dhunseri) to acquire its Egyptian Indian Polyester Company S.A.E. (EIPET) PET facility located in Ain Sokhna free trade zone, North West of the Gulf of Suez in Egypt. This plant has a manufacturing capacity of 540,000 tonnes per annum.

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, listed in Thailand, is one of the world's leading petrochemicals producers, a global manufacturing footprint with 59 sites in 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. The company's portfolio is comprises necessities and high value-added (HVA) categories of polymers, fibers, and packaging. Indorama Ventures has approx. 15,000 employees worldwide and consolidated revenue of USD 8.4 billion in 2017. The company is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).