China Oct crude imports rise to all-time high on record teapot buying

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's crude oil imports rose to all-time high on a daily basis in October, supported by record demand from private refiners and healthy margins, reported Reuters with reference to customs data showed Thursday.

Imports in October surged 32 percent from a year earlier to 40.80 million tons, or 9.61 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the General Administration of Customs showed, climbing from 9.05 million bpd in September. The previous daily record of 9.60 million bpd was touched in April 2018.

The imports rose 8.1 percent for the first 10 months of the year from the same period last year to 377.16 million tons, or 9.06 million bpd, on track for another record year of shipments.

The record volumes were a result of strong imports from China's private refiners, often known as "teapots".

These oil processors bought 8.22 million tons of crude during the month, the highest monthly amount ever since Beijing began issuing import quotas to them in 2015, according to Emma Li, an analyst with Refinitiv Oil Research and Forecasts.

"Independents bought record amounts of crude in October as they ramped up utilization rates to meet pent-up demand for gasoline and diesel," Li said.

"Many teapots also started stockpiling for January and February next year in a rush to use up their quota this year."

China's overall import volumes for October were in line with Refinitiv Oil Forecast's expectations of 40.95 million tonnes.

The imports might have been higher except CNOOC Ltd's Huizhou oil plant started a two-month long turnaround in October, curbing purchases from one of China's largest refineries.

Total natural gas imports in October via both pipeline and as liquefied natural gas (LNG) were at 7.3 million tons, up 25.6 percent from the same month last year, but easing from 7.62 million tonsin September.

TechnipFMC signs agreement to license Sumitomo’s HCI oxidation technology

MOSCOW (MRC) — TechnipFMC announced today that it has signed an exclusive collaboration agreement with Sumitomo Chemical Company to license and engineer Sumitomo’s hydrogen chloride (HCI) oxidation technology, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The technology is used to produce chlorine via the catalytic oxidation of hydrogen chloride.

Chlorine is utilized in a variety of petrochemical processes while hydrogen chloride is often an unwanted byproduct from those same processes. The HCl oxidation technology provides a route for recycling chlorine gas from hydrogen chloride.

The technology uses a unique oxidation catalyst and proprietary reactor system to produce chlorine at high conversion rates. The process requires very little external utilities compared to other options for producing chlorine, in line with the sustainability approach of the company. Pioneered by Sumitomo Chemical Company, the process has started up in seven trains located in eastern Asia and Europe.

This agreement brings together Sumitomo’s expertise in oxidation catalyst and reactor design with TechnipFMC’s global strength in technology licensing, engineering design, and procurement.

Stan Knez, President, Process Technology, for TechnipFMC, stated: “This HCI oxidation technology will be of interest to clients who want to avoid the high-power requirements of alternative technologies for producing chlorine. We are pleased to add it to our expanding onshore process technology portfolio.”

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat shut PE production

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

The plant's clients said the maintenance at Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's HDPE production began on Wednesday, 7 November. The start-up of polyethylene (PE) production after the outage is scheduled for 13 November.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's low density polyethylene (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.

Five-year Sabic deal goes to WorleyParsons

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) has awarded WorleyParsons a five-year framework agreement ot provide engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services, WorleyParsons reported Wednesday.

According to a WorleyParsons statement, the company will assist Sabic by optimizing operating efficiency at the Saudi Arabia-based company’s five production sites in Europe.

"We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with Sabic and working with them to optimize their European facilities’ performance," noted WorleyParsons CEO Andrew Wood.

WorleyParsons stated that it will execute the services from its offices in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. The company added that the EPCM deal bolsters its efforts to "establish a strong presence in the European chemicals sector."

"We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with Sabic and working with them to optimise their European facilities’ performance," said Andrew Wood, Chief Executive Officer of WorleyParsons.

As MRC wrote previously, in October 2016, the first product of a new generation of low density polyethylene (LDPE) foam grades from Sabic was designed to increase production efficiency at the foam manufacturer.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

WorleyParsons delivers projects, provides expertise in engineering, procurement and construction and offers a wide range of consulting and advisory services. We cover the full lifecycle, from creating new assets to sustaining and enhancing operating assets, in the hydrocarbons, mineral, metals, chemicals and infrastructure sectors. Our resources and energy are focused on responding to and meeting the needs of our customers over the long term and thereby creating value for our shareholders.

SIDPEC chooses Grace Unipol PP process for new PP facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Co. (SIDPEC) has selected W.R. Grace & Co.'s Unipol PP (polypropylene) process technology for a new 450,000 t/y world-scale PP facility in Alexandria, Egypt, as per GV.

Grace's all gas-phase Unipol process provides the "most advanced and broadest range" of homopolymers, random copolymers and impact copolymers in the industry, Grace noted.

"As the simplest of all PP process technologies, without any moving parts inside of the reactor and less equipment than any alternative, its reliable, safe and stable operation leads to lower capital, operating and maintenance costs," said Grace.

Earlier this year, SIDPEC chose Honeywell UOP's C3 Oleflex technology for a new 500,000 t/y propylene plant at SIDPEC's refinery in Amerya, near Alexandria. No other details of the projects were given.

We also remind that, as MRC wrote previously, 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.