Shell to be prosecuted for ethylene oxide emissions, plant explosion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell will be prosecuted in relation to an explosion at its Moerdijk facility in the Netherlands in June 2014 and for exceeding ethylene oxide emission limits in 2015-2016, Dutch prosecutors said, as per Reuters.

An incident at the Moerdijk plant on June 3 2014 resulted in a series of explosions and a large fire. Shell is also facing separate court hearings over exceeding emissions of ethylene oxide in 2015-2016.

Shell said in a statement it had been informed by the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office that it had nearly concluded its Nigeria investigation and was preparing criminal charges directly or indirectly related to Shell’s 2011 settlement of disputes over the OPL 245 oilfield off the West African nation’s coast.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major already faces charges of bribery alongside its partner in the field, Italy’s Eni, in a trial in Milan over the same deal, in what is considered the oil industry’s biggest-ever corruption trial.

Prosecutors in Italy allege that the two oil companies knew that around USD1.1 billion used for the acquisition of OPL 245 would be used to pay politicians, businessmen and middlemen.

Both oil firms have denied any wrongdoing.

Meridian Energy Group signs major midstream firm for logistics facilities in support of Davis Refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Meridian Energy Group, Inc., the emerging growth refining firm and leading innovator in advanced technology and environmentally-beneficial petroleum processing facilities, has announced that the company has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with an industry-leading firm for the midstream logistics support for the Davis Refinery in Billings County, North Dakota, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Under the LOI, the midstream logistics firm will build, own and operate the crude oil and refined product midstream and logistics facilities for the Davis Refinery, enabling Meridian to focus on operations of Davis inside the battery limits (ISBL). The firm, who has asked to remain in the background pending development efforts on the assets associated with the LOI, has over 70 years of midstream experience focused on providing a full suite of turnkey solutions to producers across the US. Meridian has initiated site preparation and grading at the Davis Refinery site and is proceeding with final design and equipment fabrication and procurement with full construction resuming in Spring 2019.

Lance Medlin, Meridian Energy Chief Projects Officer on the LOI, "The award of this contract for the Davis terminal marks the end of a long and intensive bidding and vetting process, and the beginning of what will become an even longer working relationship between our two companies. This firm will execute a significant role in the Davis refinery as they develop and operate our crude and refined product terminals and logistics infrastructure. We’re excited to start this new phase together as the Davis Refinery nears its full production date.

Meridian Chairman and CEO William Prentice had this to say, "Meridian intends to be the most cost-effective and cleanest refined product producer in the industry, and that means that Meridian has to focus all of its energy and expertise inside the fence - ISBL. This emerging partnership allows Meridian to do just that – with this LOI in place Meridian is assured that the Davis crude and product handling systems operate in the safest and most efficient manner possible. In addition, the arrangement reduces the capital burden on Meridian substantially, furthering Meridian’s objective of seeing Davis become the quality and cost leader in its market."

As MRC informed previously, in late January 2019, Meridian Energy Group, Inc., announced that the company had signed an agreement with McDermott out of Houston, Texas under which McDermott will finalize the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) for the Meridian Davis Refinery in Billings County, North Dakota.

Sinopec Hainan refinery delivers first low-sulphur bunker fuel cargo

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Corp’s subsidiary refinery in the southern island province of Hainan delivered its first shipment of low-sulfur bunker fuel that meets the new International Maritime Organization (IMO) emission rules, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to state media reports.

A vessel carrying 2,200 tonnes of the fuel left the Hainan refinery in late February heading to Ningbo on the east coast. The fuel will be put to pilot use at a maritime institution in Shanghai, China Securities Journal reported

The Hainan plant is the second refinery under Sinopec to produce the low-sulfur marine fuel that meets IMO standards.

In January, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Corp shipped 6,000 tonnes of the fuel.

IMO will ban ships from using fuel oil with a sulfur content above 0.5 percent, compared with 3.5 percent now, unless they are equipped with exhaust “scrubbers” to clean up sulphur emissions, starting 2020.

As MRC wrote before, in September 2018, Sinopec Corp joined a group planning to build an oil refinery in Alberta, an enterprise that would strengthen demand for the Canadian province's heavily discounted crude. State-owned Sinopec, formally known as China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, along with an Alberta indigenous group, China State Construction Engineering Corp and Alberta management company Teedrum, plan to build a refinery to process 167,000 barrels per day of crude into gasoline and other products, the project's consulting firm Stantec Inc said in its statement.

Sinopec Corp. is one of the largest scale integrated energy and chemical company with upstream, midstream and downstream operations. Its principal business includes: exploring, developing, producing and trading crude oil and natural gas; producing, storing, transporting and distributing and marketing petroleum products, petrochemical products, synthetic fiber, fertilizer and other chemical products. Its refining capacity and ethylene capacity rank No.2 and No.4 globally. Sinopec listed in Hong Kong, New York, London and Shanghai in August 2001. Sinopec Group, the parent company of Sinopec Corp., is ranked the 5th in Fortune Global 500 in 2012.

Celanese to expand production of thermoplastic co-polyesters at Italy plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global chemical and specialty materials company, today announces the expansion of its Pibiflex and Riteflex TPC (thermoplastic co-polyester) production unit at the Donegani facility in Ferrara, Italy to support the continued growth of its global engineered materials business, said Businesswire.

Celanese continues to exhibit its leadership position in the manufacture and compounding of highly engineered materials, such as thermoplastic co-polyesters, by adding this capacity to support growth in sophisticated, functionalized polymers. The company will continue to partner with its customers to deliver innovative solutions to meet ever-increasing consumer and industrial needs and respond to the changing complexity in high-performance polymers.

Celanese recently added one more solid-state polymerization unit at the Donegani facility, which started up successfully in September 2018. Celanese expects to expand the production capacity of the unit further by adding another polymerization line to be completed in the next 15 to 18 months.

The expansion of this thermoplastic co-polyester unit further demonstrates the company’s ability to respond to global customer demand using the knowledge and expertise of world-class engineering capabilities which enable these types of projects and expansions.

Thermoplastic co-polyester (TPCs) are block co-polymers that combine favorable characteristics of vulcanized rubber with the easy processability of thermoplastics for toughness, tear and flex fatigue resistance over a wide temperature range. Besides thermoplastic co-polyesters, Celanese also offers a broad range of other thermoplastic elastomers like thermoplastic vulcanizate (Forprene TPV), thermoplastic olefines (Forflex TPO), thermoplastic elastomers based on SBC (Laprene and Sofprene TPS), and thermoplastic elastomer solutions for special markets like artificial turf infill (Holo, Forgrin, Terra XPS granules) and footwear (Sofprene TPR, Sofpur TPU) for a broad range of customer-oriented solutions, including functionalization and color.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Our businesses use the full breadth of Celanese's global chemistry, technology and commercial expertise to create value for our customers, employees, shareholders and the corporation.

LDPE prices continue to go down in the Russian market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Weak seasonal demand and oversupply continued to affect significantly low density polyethylene (LDPE) prices in the Russian market. Price reduction for March deliveries for some items reached Rb3,000/tonne, reported in the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

The same situation repeated in the Russian LDPE market again from year to year, the excess supply amid low demand made sellers cut prices. The current year was no exception, since the beginning of the year LDPE prices constantly become cheaper.

Some sellers announced a further price reduction for March deliveries last week. The most decrease will account for 108 LDPE, the price reduction for some suppliers was Rb3,000/tonne.

In order to balance the domestic market, some producers have increased export volumes in the past few months.

Angarsk Polymer Plant planned to reduce the capacity utilisation in 2019. However, all these factors did not help to balance the domestic market.

Some sellers still hope that in the second half of March, the situation with demand will improve and price rise will stop.
Restrictions of truck movement will be introduced in April, which can lead to a increase in the cost of delivery.

Kazanorgsintez plans to shut down some of its LDPE production capacities for almost a one-month maintenance from 12 April. In the meantime, sellers had to cut their prices.

March price offers for 108 LDPE in the late last week reached Rb81,800-83,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.
The price range was quite wide this week with prices heard at Rb88,800-94,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.