BPCL to buy Iranian oil after 3-month gap

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India's state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) will import 1 million barrels of Iranian oil in February after a gap of three months, with the nation's overall purchases from Tehran remaining at 9 million barrels, reported Reuters with reference to three industry sources.

The United States in early November granted India a six-month waiver from sanctions on Iran's oil exports.

Under the agreement, New Delhi must restrict its Iranian oil purchases to 1.25 million tonnes, or 9 million barrels.

BPCL and Hindustan Petroleum Corp will lift 1 million barrels each of Iranian crude oil in February, the sources said. HPCL this month resumed purchases of Iranian oil after a gap of six months. The company halted Iranian oil purchases in July after its insurance company refused to provide cover for the crude because of US sanctions, although its chairman said HPCL may resume buying Iranian oil under sanctions waivers.

Indian Oil Corp, the country's top refiner, will lift 5 million barrels of Iranian oil in February, the same as this month. Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd will buy 2 million barrels compared with 3 million barrels this month, the sources said.

An IOC official had previously said his firm would lift 180,000 bpd - the full volume contracted under an annual deal with Iran for this fiscal year ending March 31, 2019.

India recently exempted rupee payments to the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) for crude oil imports from a steep withholding tax, paving way for pending dues to be cleared.

HPCL, IOC and BPCL did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while MRPL declined comment.

As MRC informed before, BPCL plans to build a USD3 billion petrochemical unit to serve the Mumbai region, a company official said in March 2018, to profit from the country's expected surge in demand for petrochemicals as its economy expands.

BASF to bundle development and marketing activities in the field of asphalt in one central hub

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF to bundle development and marketing activities in the field of asphalt in one central hub
Material-saving, resilient, long-lasting and easy to repair – the list of requirements to be met by the roads and streets of tomorrow is long, said the company.

Hence, great future challenges lie ahead of road construction companies. In order to offer comprehensive solutions for the production of asphalt and bitumen, BASF combines, from now on, the development and marketing activities in the EMEA region in one central hub.

"Road-based freight transport across Europe will continue to increase significantly in the future; sustainability is therefore a key issue when it comes to infrastructure. This is why we work on new solutions to meet customer needs such as longer durability and improved maintenance as well as energy and carbon-dioxide savings," said Christoph Hansen, head of the Dispersions & Resins Europe business unit where the central platform is going to be based.

"Additives for bitumen and asphalt are instrumental in making road surfaces more effective and longer-lasting. There are, however, great differences between one asphalt recipe and another. What matters therefore is to focus on the development of tailor-made, local solutions to meet customer requirements. I am very much looking forward to this exchange," underlined Dr. Mario Sandor, head of the new EMEA asphalt platform.

The current BASF portfolio includes asphalt modifiers of the Butona® brand, that will be marketed in future by BASF and BTC, the European distribution organization of BASF. The high-quality polymer dispersions that are based on styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) will primarily be used for asphalt emulsions providing them with superior durability among other things.

PVC imports to Russia fell by 3 times, exports grew by 1,5 times in 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) into Russia totalled 16,100 tonnes last year, down by almost three times year on year. At the same time, Russian producers increased their exports by more than one and a half times, according to MRC's DataScope report.
Imports of suspension were 1,300 tonnes in the last month of the year. Overall imports of resin to Russia were 16,100 tonnes in 2018 compared to 48,900 tonnes year earlier. Weaker demand for PVC from the domestic market and the increased domestic production was the main reason for lower imports. At the same time, export sales of Russian producers exceeded 149,700 tonnes over the stated period.

Chinese producers were the key foreign suppliers of resin last year, overall imports of acetylene PVC were 12,500 tonnes in 2018 versus 44,600 tonnes a year earlier. German producers with the amount of about 2,000 tonnes were the second largest foreign suppliers.

At the same time, demand for PVC, which has been subsiding for the past several years from the domestic market, and high utilisation rates of the existing production capacities became the main cause of Russian producers' record volumes of PVC exports last year. February, November and December were the record months in terms of exports.

Overall, 149,700 tonnes of SPVC were shipped to foreign markets in 2018 (excluding deliveries to Belarus and Kazakhstan) versus 100,700 tonnes a year earlier. RusVinyl and the Bashkir Soda Company accounted for the largest exports.


INEOS announces location for its new cracker and PDH units

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS has announced Antwerp as the location for its new petrochemical investment, as per the company's press release.

The EUR3 billion investment will be the biggest ever made by INEOS and is first cracker to be built in Europe in 20 years.

The investment is a game changer for the chemical sectors and will bring huge benefits to the Belgium and wider European economies.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Founder and Chairman of INEOS says: "Our investment in a gas cracker and world-scale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit is the largest of its kind in Europe for more than a generation and is an important development for the European petrochemical industry. We believe this investment will reverse years of decline in the sector."

INEOS has announced that Antwerp, Belgium will be the location for its multi-billion Euro project for an ethane gas cracker and world-scale PDH unit in Europe. The EUR3 billion investment is the largest investment in the European chemicals sector in 20 years and could be a game changer for the Belgium economy.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, CEO and Chairman of INEOS said: "Our investment in a gas cracker and world-scale PDH unit is the largest of its kind in Europe for more than a generation and is an important development for the European petrochemical industry. We believe this investment will reverse years of decline in the European chemicals sector."

The new petrochemical complex will be co-located with INEOS’ existing sites in Europe making polymers and will be connected by pipeline to a number of INEOS ethylene and propylene derivative units in the region.

INEOS already has a major presence in Belgium, employing 2500 people across 9 manufacturing sites, with 6 of these located in Antwerp and 3 Research and Technology centres.

John McNally, CEO of the Project said: "The selection of Antwerp as a location for these new assets is a significant step-forward for the development of this project. This decision builds upon our long-standing relationship with the Port of Antwerp, the City of Antwerp, and the governments of Flanders and Belgium."

Rob Ingram, CEO INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe. North said: "The addition of these world-scale assets, using cutting edge technologies that are also highly energy efficient, will give us a competitive and sustainable cost base. We believe this will significantly strengthen the whole of the ethylene and propylene derivative chains within INEOS and allows us to continue to support the growth and development of our customers for years to come."

As MRC reported before, in July 2018, petrochemicals company INEOS announced that it will invest EUR2.7 billion (USD3.15 billion) to build a new chemical cracker and PHD unit in northwest Europe. This is the first cracker to be built in Europe in 20 years and both facilities will benefit from US shale gas economics, adding that the location of the site will be announced soon and the project will be completed in four years.

BASF co-founds global Alliance to End Plastic Waste

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF co-founded a global alliance of nearly 30 companies to advance solutions that reduce and eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean, as per company's press-release.

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) has committed over USD1.0 billion with the goal of investing USD1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment. New solutions will be developed and brought to scale that will minimize and manage plastic waste. This also includes the promotion of solutions for used plastics by helping to enable a circular economy.

"We strongly support the aim to reduce plastic waste in the environment," said Dr. Martin Brudermuller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and Chief Technology Officer of BASF SE, who supported setting up the Alliance from the beginning. "We are co-founding the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, because we want to drive and promote solutions that will effectively help solve the world's plastic waste problem," explained Brudermuller. "Plastics are efficient materials that can save resources and enable health, safety as well as convenience benefits for society. These benefits could be contradicted, if plastics and their waste are neither used nor disposed nor recycled in a responsible manner."

Understanding where the plastic waste originates from is key. Research by the Ocean Conservancy shows that plastics in the ocean predominantly originate from litter on land. Most of the plastic waste is spread through rivers and can be traced back to ten major rivers around the world, mainly in Asia and Africa. Many of these rivers flow through densely populated areas which have a lack of adequate waste collection and recycling infrastructure, leading to significant waste leakage. The AEPW will initiate actions where they are most needed.

The following companies are the founding members of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste: BASF, Berry Global, Braskem, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Clariant, Covestro, CP Group, Dow, DSM, ExxonMobil, Formosa Plastics Corporation USA, Henkel, LyondellBasell, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals, NOVA Chemicals, OxyChem, PolyOne, Procter & Gamble, Reliance Industries, SABIC, Sasol, Shell, Suez, SCG Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical, Total, Veolia, and Versalis (Eni).

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 18,200 employees in North America and had sales of USD17.9 billion in 2017.