BP agrees to supply crude to St. Croix refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP Plc’s trading arm has entered a tolling agreement with the owners of an idled oil refinery in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, cementing plans to bring the plant back online six years after it was idled by previous owners, reported Reuters with reference to the company.

Under BP’s tolling agreement with Limetree Bay Refining LLC, owner of the idled Hovensa refinery, BP will supply the facility with crude and sell its products, low-sulfur fuels that will meet an International Maritime Organization mandate in 2020, it said in a statement.

BP declined to comment further. Limetree did not respond to requests for comment.

Limetree, owned by private equity firm ArcLight Capital Partners LLC, is investing USD1.5 billion to bring the Hovensa refinery, one of the largest such facilities in the world, back online by late 2019, with plans to process 200,000 barrels per day (bpd).

It aims to produce low-sulfur fuels that satisfy the International Maritime Organization rule calling for large vessels to switch by 2020 to fuels containing no more than 0.5 percent sulfur from 3.5 percent. The rule is widely expected to spur new demand for the distillates the refinery would produce.

Limetree’s facility has more than 1,100 construction workers on site and has brought online 25 million barrels of crude storage capacity.

As MRC wrote earlier, British oil and gas company BP will increase investment in the United States after the lowering of tax rates under President Donald Trump, Chief Executive Bob Dudley said in early February 2018. BP invested USD90 billion in the United States over the past decade, excluding USD65 billion in fines and clean up costs over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, making it the country's biggest investor in the energy sector.

PE imports to Ukraine down by 2% in Jan-Oct 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of polyethylene (PE) into the Ukrainian market dropped in the first ten months of 2018 by 2% year on year to 200,200 tonnes. At the same time, only the high density polyethylene (HDPE) and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) segments accounted for a reduction in imports, according to MRC's DataScope report.

Last month's PE imports to Ukraine rose to 21,100 tonnes from 16,500 tonnes in September, with HDPE accounting for the main increase in purchases. Overall PE imports reached 200,200 tonnes in January-October 2018, compared to 204,500 tonnes a year earlier. Imports of HDPE and EVA decreased, whereas demand for other ethylene polymers increased noticeably.

The structure of PE imports by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

Last month's HDPE imports grew to 8,200 tonnes from 4,900 in September, all PE grades accounted for the increase in shipments. Overall HDPE imports reached 63,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2018, compared to 81,500 tonnes a year earlier. Film grade HDPE accounted for the greatest reduction in imports (about 56%), which was caused by the resumption of the local production.

October imports of low density polyethylene (LDPE) rose to 5,600 tonnes from 4,500 tonnes a month earlier, local companies increased their LDPE purchases in Russia. Overall LDPE imports reached 62,600 tonnes over the stated period, up by 13% year on year.

Last month's imports of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) were 6,200 tonnes versus 5,800 tonnes in September, local producers of film products raised their purchasing. Overall LLDPE imports grew to 61,600 tonnes in January-October 2018 versus 54,300 tonnes a year earlier. Local films producers accounted for the main increase in imports.

Imports of other PE grades, including EVA, totalled 12,700 tonnes over the stated period, compared to 13,200 tonnes a year earlier.


Stavrolen suspended PP production for turnaround

MOSCOW (MRC) - Stavrolen, a major producer of polyolefins in Russia, shut production of polypropylene (PP) due to the technical problems, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report with reference to the producer's customers.

According to the company's clients, Stavrolen, shut the production of polypropylene from 19 November due to technical problems. The producer did not resume PP production on 21 November. The exact dates of the outage have not been announced yet.

It is also worth noting that according to the company's clients, the largest polypropylene producer in Russia - SIBUR Tobolsk continued to limit capacity utilisation due to problems in the production of propylene.

Stavrolen (part of the structure of Lukoil), the annual production capacity of polypropylene is 120,000 tonnes.
Overall production of propylene polymers exceeded 92,300 tonnes in the first ten months of 2018, up by 9% year on year.

PP imports to Ukraine increased by 11% in January-October

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ukraine's polypropylene (PP) imports totalled about 111,200 tonnes in the first ten months of the year, up 11% year on year. Demand for all PP grades increased, as per MRC DataScope.

October PP imports into Ukraine rose to 13,500 tonnes, compared with 11,000 tonnes in September; the main increase accounted for the supply of homopolymer PP. Overall imports of propylene polymers reached 111,200 tonnes in January-October 2018, compared to 100,500 tonnes a year earlier. Demand for all PP grades increased, but PP block copolymers accounted for the greatest growth.

The structure of PP imports by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

October imports of homopolymers of propylene to the Ukrainian market rose to 10,400 tonnes against 8,500 tonnes a month earlier, local companies increased the volume of purchases of homopolymer PP raffia in Saudi Arabia. Overall shipments of homopolymer PP reached 84,200 tonnes in the first ten months of 2018 versus 76,600 tonnes a year earlier.

Last month's imports of block propylene copolymers (PP block copolymers) were 1,300 tonnes, compared to 1,100 tonnes in September.
Demand for injection moulding propylene copolymers improved from local companies. Imports of PP block copolymers into the country were about 11,100 tonnes in January-October, compared with about 10,800 tonnes year on year.

October imports of PP random copolymers exceeded 1,500 tonnes versus 1,200 tonnes a month earlier, demand for PP increased from pipes producers. Overall imports of PP random copolymer reached 13,900 tonnes in January-October 2018, whereas this figure was 11,300 tonnes a year earlier.

Ukraine's imports of other propylene copolymers for the period were about 2,000 tonnes in the first ten months of the year.


Oxea declares force majeure for individual product groups

MOSCOW (MRC) -- As the result of a disruption in the operation of a raw material supplier at the site, Oxea will have to restrict the supply of certain products from its production plant in Oberhausen, Germany until further notice, as per Coatingsworld.

On the night of Nov. 18, 2018, the synthesis gas production of the site partner Air Liquide at the Oxea site in Oberhausen was disrupted. The affected plant was shut down automatically, people or the environment were not harmed.

Air Liquide produces technical gases in Oberhausen, including synthesis gas, which is supplied as raw materials to Oxea for further processing at the site.

Oxea is currently unable to provide more detailed information on the duration of the situation. The company has already informed its customers and will keep them informed about further developments and the ability to deliver.