Dow targets carbon neutrality by 2050

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow Inc. announced new sustainability targets today, including a commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and ambitious plans to collect, reuse, or recycle 1 million metric tons of plastics within a decade, reported Chemweek.

The new goals - aligned around protecting the climate, stopping waste, and “closing the loop” - also include a target for 100% of Dow products sold into packaging applications to be reusable or recyclable by 2035.

“Climate change and plastic waste are among the greatest technical, social, and economic issues the world has ever faced, and our products and technology are critical to addressing both,” says Jim Fitterling, Dow chairman and CEO. “At Dow, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to lead in addressing these global challenges. A sustainable future is attainable, but only if we continue to tackle these issues head-on, hold ourselves accountable, and work together to enable new science- and technology-based solutions that directly address both climate change and plastic waste.”

Its climate-neutrality efforts include an interim target to reduce annual carbon emissions by 5 million metric tons, or 15% its 2020 baseline, by 2030.

To meet its 2030 waste goal, Dow is investing and collaborating in key technologies and infrastructure to significantly increase global recycling. “Dow’s plastic waste goals are designed to ensure that its investments and collaboration, including its commitments to and investments in the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and Circulate Capital, have clear targets to stop waste from getting into the environment and to lead the materials science industry toward a circular economy,” the company adds.

Dow has also entered into new renewable power agreements for its manufacturing facilities in Argentina, Brazil, Texas, and Kentucky, securing 338 more megawatts of power capacity from renewable sources, representing an expected reduction of more than 225,000 metric tons of CO2e. The company says it is on track to exceed its target to source 750 MW of renewable power capacity by 2025.

“Reducing the impact of climate change and eliminating plastic waste are societal challenges that are closely linked. As a producer of technologies that are essential to a low carbon economy, we are developing and investing in new production processes that are low-emission and optimally efficient. And we’re now looking at waste as a resource that will enable us to continue to innovate sustainable materials,” said Mary Draves, Dow vice president and chief sustainability officer.

As MRC wrote earlier, Dow and Shell have teamed up to accelerate the development of technology that can potentially electrify steam cracker.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 721,290 tonnes in the first four month of 2020, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments grew partially because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 347,440 tonnes in January-April 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Supply exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene (PS), polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.

China is stockpiling crude oil and exporting fuel, not boosting consumption

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The rebound in China’s crude oil refinery processing and record imports of the fuel in May would seem to be bullish indicators that the world’s second-largest economy is recovering strongly after the hit from the coronavirus lockdowns, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

For sure, the numbers are robust. But there are some other factors within the data that give rise to caution against becoming too optimistic about the real strength of the crude oil sector in China. The two main factors worth looking at are the amount of crude flowing into commercial and strategic storage tanks, and the amount of crude that is ultimately being exported back out of China in the form of refined fuels.

China doesn’t release official data on flows into strategic and commercial stockpiles. But an estimate can be made by subtracting the amount of crude processed by refineries from the total volume of oil available from both imports and domestic output.

Imports in May were 11.296 million barrels per day (bpd), while domestic output was 3.88 million bpd, giving a total amount of 15.18 million bpd available. Refinery throughput was 13.69 million bpd, up 8.2% from May last year and the fourth-highest on record on a barrels per day basis.

Subtracting refinery throughput from total available crude leaves a gap of 1.49 million bpd, presumably going into commercial storage or the strategic petroleum reserve in May. The May flows into storage continued a trend so far this year of rising inventory builds: some 1.88 million bpd will have gone into tanks in the first five months of the year, according to calculations based on official data of crude imports and domestic output, and refinery processing.

To put that storage number into perspective, it’s about 300,000 bpd more than Britain’s total pre-coronavirus crude oil demand. The flows into storage in the first five months of 2019 were 1.21 million bpd. That means they have jumped by about 670,000 bpd in the same period this year, as China took advantage of the collapse in prices earlier this year amid a producer price war and the worsening pandemic.

The increase in storage actually exceeds the rise in imports in the first five months, up by about 620,000 bpd.

This shows that actual consumption of fuels in China has been soft in 2020 - unsurprising given the hit to demand in February and March, when much of the country was under some form of economic lockdown in a bid to contain the coronavirus.

While the rate of storage did slow in May compared to the previous four months, it was still higher than in the first five months of 2019, perhaps illustrating that consumption may not be quite as strong as suggested by strong headline numbers for crude imports and refinery processing.

As MRC informed earlier, China’s daily crude oil throughput rebounded in April from a 15-month low in March as refiners cranked up operations to meet renewed fuel demand after lockdowns imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak were eased. The country processed a total of 53.85 million tonnes of crude oil last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Friday, equivalent to about 13.1 million barrels per day (bpd). That was some 11% higher than 11.78 million bpd in March.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing PE and PP.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 383,760 tonnes in the first two month of 2020, up by 14% year on year. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased due to the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 192,760 tonnes in January-February 2020, down by 6% year on year. Homopolymer PP accounted for the main decrease in imports.

Portugal Galp partially resumes production at Sines refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Portugal’s Galp Energia partially resumed production at its Sines refinery, the company said, after a lack of storage space for unused fuel amid a drastic drop in demand because of the coronavirus outbreak brought it to a halt, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Galp suspended output at its Sines refinery on May 4 and its smaller refinery in Matosinhos on April 10 and with it all of its domestic oil and gas operations that make up 20% of refining capacity in Iberia.

On Tuesday, a spokesman said the company was gradually resuming production as planned. “Galp will continue to monitor the evolution of the national, Iberian and international markets to adjust its refineries to the challenging and uncertain global context,” the spokesman said.

Galp reported a 72% slump in first-quarter net profit as sales of oil products fell around 13% due to government-imposed lockdowns which confined people to their homes in both Portugal and Spain.

Still, Portugal’s lockdown imposed on March 18 has largely been lifted, with Spain loosening restrictions region by region.

Demand for gas has fallen by 21.1% in Portugal since the beginning of the year, the Association of Petroleum Companies told news agency Lusa.

As MRC informed earlier, Galp Energia said on Tuesday it will kick off its green business by installing renewable energy capacity of 10 gigawatts in the decade ahead. Galp, which last month bought solar power projects from Spain's ACS for 2.2 billion euros (USD2.38 billion), hopes to install 3.3 gigawatts of solar energy in Portugal and Spain alone by 2023, generating more than 10% in equity returns.

As MRC informed earlier, Russia's output of products from polymers grew in April 2020 by 11.2% year on year due to quarantine restrictions. However, this figure increased by 3.4% year on year in the first four months of 2020. According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, April production of unreinforced and non-combined films decreased to 107,000 tonnes from 110,400 tonnes a month earlier. Output of films products grew in the first four months of 2020 by 12.5% year on year to 402,800 tonnes.

Denmark to make decision on Nord Stream 2 permit request within four weeks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Denmark expects to rule "within four weeks" on a request from the developer of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany for permission to lay the line in Danish waters using ships with anchors, a spokesman for the Danish Energy Agency said June 17, reported S&P Global.

Nord Stream 2 has asked - as a precautionary measure - for an amendment to its Danish pipelaying permit to allow the potential use of pipelay ships that use anchors for positioning.

"The Danish Energy Agency expects to be able to make a decision on Nord Stream 2 AG's request within four weeks," the spokesman said.

The Gazprom-owned company had hoped to bring Nord Stream 2 online by the end of 2019, but first permitting issues in Denmark and then the US sanctions meant the project has been delayed.

The 55 Bcm/year pipeline is crucial to Russia's plans to scale down from 2021 the use of the Ukrainian transit corridor in its gas supplies to Europe.

Just 160 km (99 miles) of Nord Stream 2 is left to lay in Danish waters out of the total 2,460 km length.

According to the Danish permit from October last year, pipelaying ships, such as the Pioneering Spirit used by Switzerland-based Allseas to lay much of the pipeline before the US sanctions forced it to halt work, should have dynamic positioning capabilities.

Nord Stream 2 said the technique of using anchored ships was used successfully during the installation of the already operational Nord Stream pipelines in Danish waters, and for the Nord Stream 2 pipelines already installed in German waters.

However, being anchored would slow significantly the progress of a ship laying the pipeline, while ships with dynamic positioning are able to lay pipe at a much faster rate.

With the uncertainty ongoing over how the line will be finished, the US is also pressing to introduce expanded sanctions against the project.

At the start of June, a new US Senate bill was introduced that aims to block completion of the project by expanding existing sanctions to target more companies involved in building the line's final segment.

As MRC informed earlier, Gazprom neftekhim Salavat shut down its dioctyl phthalate (DOP) production for a scheduled maintenance. Market participants and a plant"s representative said Gazprom neftekhim Salavat took off-stream its DOP production for a long scheduled turnaround. The outage began on 12 May and will last for about 30 day.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russian producers of unmixed PVC decreased capacity utilisation in April. However, Russia's overall PVC output totalled 351,000 tonnes in January-April 2020, up by 2% year on year.

Shenhua Ningxia delays restart of LLDPE unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry, has postponed the restart process at its linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) unit till this weekend, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that, the company is likely resume operations at the unit on June 20, 2020. The unit was shut for maintenance on May 3, 2020 and was supposed to restart on June 12, 2020.

Located at Ningxia, China, the LLDPE unit has a production capacity of 450,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported previously, SNCG brought on-stream its linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant on January 19, 2019, following an unplanned outage. The unit remained off-line for around one week owing to technical issues. Located at Ningxia province of China, the plant has a production capacity of 450,000 mt/year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, April LLDPE shipments to Russia rose to 42,830 tonnes from 36,790 tonnes a month earlier, production increased. Russia's overall LLDPE shipments totalled 152,840 tonnes in the first four months of 2020, up by 13% year on year. SabSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in shipments.

Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Co., Ltd. engages in coal mining and washing, coal deep processing, coal chemical industry, electric power, real estate, and other businesses.