Mexico next leader puts flagship refinery project up for vote

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will scrap his own flagship infrastructure project to build a new crude refinery if it is not supported in a referendum this weekend, a top adviser said, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Leftist Lopez Obrador, who takes office on Dec. 1, is putting 10 campaign promises, including a railway line in southern Mexico and cash transfer plans to the young and elderly, up for vote in an informal public consultation on Nov. 24-25.

Rocio Nahle, who is set to assume the post of energy minister once Lopez Obrador takes office on Dec. 1, said the new government would heed results on the proposed refinery, which is planned to be built in the southern state of Tabasco.

“If the people say no, we’re going to abide by what the people say,” Nahle told reporters. In September, Lopez Obrador said the refinery would cost around $8 billion. Nahle said in a newspaper interview that investments in the first year would be USD2.5 billion.

An online poll of 1,094 people by Consulta Mitofsky taken Nov. 15-18 showed 69 percent of respondents backed the refinery. After holding another informal referendum that drew only around 1 percent of Mexican voters late last month, Lopez Obrador said he would cancel a partly built airport for the Mexican capital, which hit the peso currency.

Opposition politicians have criticized the consultations, which are being staffed by members of Lopez Obrador’s party, for lacking democratic controls. Lopez Obrador has pledged that future referendums will be run by Mexico’s electoral institute.

Lopez Obrador has promised to build a new refinery and overhaul existing plants to boost gasoline production and reduce crude exports.

Last month, credit rating agency Fitch put a negative outlook on the debt of state oil company Pemex, citing Lopez Obrador’s plans. On Nov. 8, the International Monetary Fund said that Pemex should improve its financial position before it invests in building new refineries.

Lopez Obrador’s team aims to get the new refinery operational within three years and increase output at Mexico’s six plants, which are currently operating at around 40 percent capacity. “We need to invest,” Nahle said.

GAIL halts production at HDPE/LLDPE swing plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) has shut its high density polyethylene / linear low density polyethylene (HDPE/LLDPE) swing plant at Pata-2 complex, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in India informed that the company has started maintenance turnaround at the plant on November 15, 2018. The plant is likely to remain off-line for around 2-3 weeks.

Located at Pata-2 complex in Uttar Pradesh, the swing plant has a production capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed earlier, GAIL India plans to import ethane from countries including the US, for its upcoming USD5 billion joint-venture Andhra Pradesh petrochemical plant. GAIL is seeking 1.3 million mt/year of ethane for 15 years for its JV ethane cracker with India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), located on the east coast of India beginning 2022.

Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) is the largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company in India. It is headquartered in New Delhi. It has the following business segments: natural gas, liquid hydrocarbon, liquefied petroleum gas transmission, petrochemicals, city gas distribution, exploration and production, GAILTEL and electricity generation.

Saudi Aramco says bonds issuance on table for SABIC deal, to make needed disclosures

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco said that all funding options, including the issuance of bonds, are being considered for its potential acquisition of a stake in petrochemicals firm SABIC, and that it would make related disclosures when it is appropriate to do so, reported Reuters.

"The company is actively pursuing a strategy of enhancing its portfolio by investing further into downstream and the petrochemical sector in particular. This includes discussions underway with the Public Investment Fund regarding the potential acquisition of a strategic interest in SABIC," Aramco said in a statement to Reuters.

"All funding options, including the issuance of bonds, are being examined. The company will make any related disclosures as and when it is appropriate to do so."

The statement came after the Wall Street Journal reported this week that Aramco no longer plans to launch what would have been one of the world’s largest-ever corporate-bond sales to fund its acquisition of a stake in Saudi Basic Industries.

As MRC informed before, Saudi Aramco’s potential acquisition of a stake in petrochemicals maker SABIC would affect the timeframe of its own planned initial public offering, the firm’s chief executive, Amin Nasser, said in a TV interview in late July 2018.

Saudi Aramco is an integrated oil and chemicals company, a global leader in hydrocarbon production, refining processes and distribution, as well as one of the largest global oil exporters. It manages proven reserves of crude oil and condensate estimated at 261.1bn barrels, and produces 9.54 million bbl daily. Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the company employs over 61,000 staff in 77 countries.

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.

Praxair signs long-term agreement to supply Fulcrum Sierra biofuels plant in Nevada

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Praxair, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Linde plc announced it has signed a long-term agreement to supply oxygen to Fulcrum BioEnergy’s Sierra BioFuels Plant in Storey County, Nevada, said Hydrocarbonprocesiing.

Praxair will build two vacuum pressure swing adsorption (VPSA) plants at the facility, which is under construction and expected to start up operations in early 2020.

"Praxair is proud to partner with Fulcrum at its Sierra waste to fuels plant in Nevada,” said Armando Botello, West Region vice president of Praxair’s U.S. industrial gases business. “This project will use our Hot Oxygen Burner (HOB) and VPSA technologies to deliver an innovative and reliable solution for our customer."

The Sierra BioFuels Plant will employ Praxair’s proprietary HOB technology for increasing syngas yield from the gasification process. HOB technology enables rapid partial oxidation of remaining hydrocarbons and tars in the produced syngas without the need for a catalyst or steam injection. The HOB technology, coupled with gasification in Fulcrum’s process, will help transform municipal solid waste into clean, high-quality syngas, which will then be converted to low-carbon transportation fuels such as renewable crude, jet fuel and diesel.

“Praxair is a leader in VPSA technology and we look forward to working with them on our innovative waste to fuels plant,” said Lee Rich, vice president of engineering and operations for Fulcrum. “From design to plant operation, Praxair has a strong record of providing safe, reliable and efficient service."

Henkel to build strategic alliance with RLE International

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Henkel and RLE International has announced that they have agreed to form a strategic alliance to drive automotive innovation, expand value creation opportunities and become the premier design-in engineering solution provider for the mobility industry, as per the company's press release.

Automotive megatrends and future mobility concepts driven by increasing environmental legislation, e-mobility and autonomous driving are shaping the engineering challenges of the industry: New architecture designs and solutions are required to reduce weight and increase safety. Furthermore, the integration and protection of batteries and electronic components play a crucial role in development and manufacturing.

"To design new e-mobility concepts and lightweight innovations, the combination of material science and engineering expertise is a significant competitive advantage", says Dr. Christian Kirsten, Corporate Senior Vice President, Henkel Transport & Metal. "Together with RLE International we will create ‘The Mobility Alliance’ with advanced simulation capabilities of full vehicle crash behavior to improve passenger safety, and component design competence to improve vehicle performance", adds Chuck Evans, Corporate Vice President, Henkel Automotive OEM Design.

RLE’s core business includes effective and technologically sophisticated engineering expertise in vehicle component development and design. "This involves the fields of concept development, vehicle and safety engineering, as well as electrics/electronics, e-mobility and lightweight design", says Ralf Laufenberg, CEO RLE International, "Once combined with Henkel’s advanced materials know-how in high performance adhesives and sealants, structural foams and sound-deadeners we will become the go-to engineering partner and preferred advanced material supplier in the industry."

This joint approach to market will grant customers access to a unique global combination of long-term engineering know-how and best-in-class material science which will enable next generation design solutions and new levels of lightweight structures.

Through a holistic development approach from concept to launch and series production, Henkel and RLE International will ensure process security and sustainability of all development, engineering and material processes.

As MRC informed earlier, in June 2015, Henkel Russia opened a new dry building mixes plant in the Novosibirsk region. The production site reportedly places the company closer to customers in the Siberian and Far East regions of Russia.

Henkel operates in three business units, including laundry and home care, beauty care and adhesive technologies.