HollyFrontier beats profit estimates on higher refining margins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil refiner HollyFrontier Corp beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit, as refining margins were boosted by cheaper crude from U.S shale basins and Canada, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The company said refinery gross margins, or the difference between the cost of crude oil and the average selling price of refined products, surged 77 percent to USD22.17 per barrel in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

Refining margins for U.S. oil refiners have been fattening as transportation bottlenecks in Canada and the oil-rich Permian basin have ensured the flow of discounted crude.

Excluding items, the company posted a profit of USD2.25 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of USD1.92, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net profit attributable to the company's shareholders fell to USD141.9 million, or 81 cents per share, in the quarter, from USD521.1 million, or USD2.92 per share, a year earlier.

Sales and other revenue rose 8.8 percent to USD4.34 billion.

Repsol committed to the European commission's initiative to promote recycled plastics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Repsol has adhered to the "Circular Plastics Alliance" (CPA), an initiative launched by the European Commission on December 11, 2018, which aims to increase the volume of recycled plastic in the EU market to 10 million metric tons in 2025 compared to the 3.8 million metric tons registered in 2016, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Repsol presented its Reciclex project as a specific commitment in the CPA. With this project, the company aims to address the shortage of recycled material with the consistent quality required by the market. This limitation is one of the identified barriers to increase the use of recycled plastic materials.

With this project, Repsol intends to reach new markets and more technically demanding final applications, where recycling has hardly penetrated yet. To do so, Repsol aims to develop new polymers that incorporate recycled material while ensuring consistency in quality and functionality.

Additionally, Repsol has an undergoing initiative to incorporate recycled material in their 25 kg multilayer industrial bags used to transport pellets, which will directly increase the demand for recycled plastics.

As MRC reported before, Repsol allocated more than 25 million euros to the turnaround at its Tarragona’s petrochemical complex that began at the end of January 2018. The turnaround activities have allowed to perform inspection, maintenance and technological innovation and environmental tasks, as well as to carry out cleaning and repair equipment activities.

Sabic pioneers first production of certified circular polymers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has announced another major milestone in its ground-breaking project to pioneer the production of certified circular polymers using a feedstock from mixed plastic waste, as per the company's press release.

The latest achievement - the production of the first certified circular polymers - is part of what is known as a ‘market foundation stage’. Launched in January, this stage is an important step towards creating a new circular value chain for plastics, during which, initial volumes of pyrolysis oil from plastic waste are introduced as feedstock at Sabic’s Geleen production site in The Netherlands. The patented pyrolysis oil has been produced by Plastic Energy Ltd from the recycling of low quality, mixed plastic waste otherwise destined for incineration or landfill.

As part of the market foundation stage, Sabic has begun to produce and commercialize the first monthly volumes of certified circular polymers - polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP)-, prior to the projected start-up in 2021 of the commercial plants planned by Sabic and Plastic Energy in the Netherlands to manufacture and process the alternative feedstock.

“Certified circular polymers are a disruptive innovation and Sabic’s market foundation stage is a critical phase in their development”, said Frank Kuijpers, General Manager Corporate Sustainability at SABIC. "It will act as a bridge moving from a linear economy to a circular one and will enable the value chain to become familiar with the products and consider how they can best be implemented in their own markets. It will allow confidence in this pioneering product to grow before SABIC goes into full scale production."

The polymers are certified through the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification plus (ISCC+) scheme that certifies circular content and standards across the value chain from source to end product. The ISCC+ certification works on what is known as a “mass balance system”, meaning that for each tonne of circular feedstock fed into the cracker and substituting fossil-based feedstock, a tonne of the output can be classified as circular.

Certified circular polymers will help Sabic’s customers to meet consumer demand for more sustainable products and will contribute to closing the loop on reutilizing plastic waste.

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.

Naphtha cracker shuts for maintenance by Keiyo Ethylene

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Keiyo Ethylene has taken its naphtha cracker off-stream for a maintenance work, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Japan informed that the company has undertaken a maintenance shutdown at the cracker on February 15, 2019. The repair works is expected to remain in force for around 10-15 days.

Located at Ichihara in Chiba prefecture of Japan, the cracker has a production capacity of 740,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, last year, Keiyo Ethylene conducted maintenance turnaround at its naphtha cracker in Ichihara from 13 May to early-July.

Founded in 1991, Keiyo Ethylene Co. Ltd. produces and sells petrochemical products. The Company produces ethylene, propylene, and other petrochemical products.

ExxonMobil ships Group II Base Stocks from Rotterdam Refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -– ExxonMobil Basestocks has announced the commercial readiness of its EHC 50 and EHC 120 base stocks, following the on-time completion of the Rotterdam refinery expansion project, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Rotterdam refinery is the first world-scale producer of Group II base stocks in Europe, making ExxonMobil the only Group I and II base stocks producer with significant manufacturing assets in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

"By continuously growing our manufacturing network, we are strengthening our global supply capability, and providing customers with an efficient and robust product offer," said Nick Berthiaux, Vice President, Basestocks & Specialties. "Seeing the first shipment of our EHC base stocks gives us all great satisfaction, and reaffirms that our offer is unique, differentiated and valued by the market we serve."

Start up of EHC production at the Rotterdam refinery has begun following the completion of the USD1 billion hydrocracker expansion project in the fourth quarter of 2018. The project also increases the production of ultra-low sulfur diesel and improves the refinery’s energy efficiency by five percent.

Base stocks storage capacity at the Rotterdam refinery was increased with the expansion, helping ensure improved supply reliability, and ExxonMobil’s expanded collaboration with additive companies provides maximum product coverage. ExxonMobil’s EHC base stocks slate helps enable cost-effective blending of the majority of lubricant applications in the automotive, heavy-duty and industrial sectors. As a result of the expanded collaboration, a number of market-general formulations for EHC grades are available now from the main additive suppliers.

"Our goal is to provide customers with a reliable Group I and Group II offer alongside the highest standards in customer service and product integrity," said Ted Walko, Global Basestocks & Specialties Marketing Manager at ExxonMobil. "The successful completion of this expansion is the result of a lot of hard work and collaboration, and while this signals the end of the project, it is only the beginning for Group II production in Europe."

Following the September announcement of an additional hub terminal for vessel and truck loading in Valencia, Spain, now fully operational, ExxonMobil Basestocks will continue to expand its Group II supply capabilities with a hub terminal in Hamburg, Germany, scheduled for late summer of 2019.

As MRC informed before, in October 2017, ExxonMobil Chemical Company commenced production on the first of two new 650,000 tons-per-year high-performance polyethylene (PE) lines at its plastics plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas. The full project, part of the company’s multi-billion dollar expansion project in the Baytown area and ExxonMobil’s broader Growing the Gulf expansion initiative, will increase the plant’s PE capacity by approximately 1.3 million tons per year.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.