Pakistan, India hope to reap investment from Saudi prince's visit

MOSCOW (MRC) - Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to announce investments in energy and infrastructure during a visit to India and Pakistan in coming days as part of his efforts to wean the Saudi economy off oil exports, said Reuters.

He is also expected to visit China, Malaysia and Indonesia during a tour that will be his first through the region since the storm over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

Prince Mohammed is expected to sign agreements, mostly linked to a refinery and the power sector, during the trip to Pakistan this weekend, Pakistani officials said.

The memorandums of understanding will include renewable energy projects and investments in petrochemicals and mineral resources, Saudi state news agency SPA said.

The prince is expected in New Delhi next week, along with leading Saudi businessmen, at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was among a handful of leaders who attended an investment conference in Saudi Arabia in October, an event boycotted by many companies and world leaders in protest over Khashoggi’s killing.

India’s Modi met the prince in November when they were both in Argentina for a Group of 20 summit. Saudi Arabia is India’s top supplier of crude oil but the two countries have expanded ties beyond energy, and their governments have agreed to build a strategic partnership, the foreign ministry said.

In a statement, it cited cooperation in areas including energy security, trade and investment, infrastructure, defense and security.

India is expecting Prince Mohammed to announce an initial investment in its National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), a quasi-sovereign wealth fund, to help accelerate the building of ports and highways, an Indian official said.

Saudi state media said Saudi officials will discuss investment in NIIF.

Marathon, Galveston Bay workers to resume contract talks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Union workers at Marathon Petroleum Corp’s Galveston Bay Refinery are preparing to resume negotiations with the company after rejecting the last contract offer, a United Steelworkers (USW) official said, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Galveston Bay Refinery, located in Texas City, Texas, was the site of a bitter strike in 2015, which began over a breakdown in national contract talks but lasted almost five months because of disagreements on local terms.

On Monday, Marathon spokesman Sid Barth said: "Negotiations continue, operations continue."

No date has been set for the talks, said David Jankowski, vice president of USW Local 13-1, which represents workers at the refinery.

“We’re waiting on the company for dates and times,” Jankowski said.

The Galveston Bay workers rejected Marathon’s contract offer in voting last week.

One reason for the overwhelming vote against Marathon’s offer was a proposed change in leadership on the production units to salaried staff from hourly chief operators, Jankowski said.

Marathon is also seeking changes in time off and sick leave.

Negotiators for the USW International union reached agreement on Jan. 31 with Shell Oil Co, representing oil companies, on wages increases and benefits for 30,000 refinery, chemical plant, pipeline and terminal workers represented by the union, including the hourly employees at the Galveston Bay Refinery.

That agreement, which provides an 11 percent pay raise over its three-year length, will be paired with the agreement on local issues at Galveston Bay to make the contract for workers at the refinery.

Avery Dennison appoints Sam OKeefe vice president of R&D EMEA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Avery Dennison Corporation is pleased to announce the appointment of Sam O’Keefe as vice president of research and development (R&D) for its Label and Graphic Materials group in Europe (LGM-EU), effective 7 February, 2019, as per the company's press release.

She will be based at Oegstgeest, reporting to Pascale Wautelet, vice president of global R&D. She will become part of the European leadership team of LGM and have a dotted reporting line to Jeroen Diderich, vice president and general manager of LGM-EU.

"In this role," said Pascale Wautelet, "Sam will provide vision and direction to the R&D organization in the EMEA region and lead new-product development, material re-engineering and adhesive development for Avery Dennison’s LGM business across Europe."

This appointment reinforces Avery Dennison’s continued focus on innovation and sustainability, which includes ongoing investments and external partnerships with suppliers, universities, other business partners and new ventures.

Sam brings more than 25 years of industrial experience and materials science with major international companies. She joins Avery Dennison from Sensient Technologies, where she worked as technical director - Industrial Colors. Prior to Sensient, she held technical and leadership roles with several companies, including Unilever, InterfaceFlor, Ashland and Saint-Gobain.

As MRC wrote before, the recent launch, by Avery Dennison, of a portfolio using recycled PET (rPET) liners has received another important boost, with four labelling constructions now available across Europe. Three CleanFlake materials are now available on a thin rPET23 liner. The 'switchable' CleanFlake adhesive is designed to separate cleanly from PET bottles during the recycling process so that contamination of PET flakes is avoided - an important factor in ensuring that recycled PET can be recycled rather than downcycled. A fourth material - a high clarity ClearCut PP50 TOP CLEAR-S7000-rPET23 construction - is considerably thinner than today’s market reference (PP60 with PET30), and offers high speed conversion and dispensing using the same thin rPET23 liner.

Exxon Baton Rouge refinery shuts CDU for planned work

MOSCOW (MRC) - Exxon Mobil Corp shut the second-largest crude distillation unit (CDU) at its 502,500-barrel-per-day (bpd) Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery for a planned overhaul, said sources familiar with plant operations, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The overhaul of the 110,000-bpd PSLA 9 CDU is scheduled to last two months. The work was expected to begin this month.

“The Baton Rouge Refinery has shut down some of its units and associated operations for planned maintenance beginning Feb 11,” said Exxon spokeswoman Megan Manchester.

The sources said the 22,500 bpd coker was also shut on Monday for a planned overhaul.

Manchester did not identify the units shut at the Baton Rouge refinery.

CDUs do the primary refining of crude oil into feedstocks for all other production units, as well as producing unfinished motor fuels.

Cokers refine residual crude oil received from distillation units into motor fuel feedstocks.


Sinopec Shanghai took off-stream its No. 2 LDPE unit in China for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical has undertaken a planed shutdown its No. 2 low density polyethylene (LDPE) unit in Shanghai, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has halted operations at the unit on February 10, 2019. The unit is likely to remain under maintenance until end-March 2019.

Located at Shanghai in China, the No. 2 unit has a production capacity of 45,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical conducted a turnaround at its another LDPE unit in Shanghai from February 26 to March 26, 2018. Located at Shanghai in China, the LDPE unit has a production capacity of 100,000 mt/year.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, or Sinopec Limited is a Chinese oil and gas company based in Beijing, China. It is listed in Hong Kong and also trades in Shanghai and New York . Sinopec is the worlds fifth biggest company by revenue.