ExxonMobil restores stable power at Beaumont, Texas, refinery, preps restart

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil Corp restored stable power to its 369,024-barrel-per-day (bpd) Beaumont, Texas, refinery as it prepares to begin restarting production units, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to sources familiar with plant operations.

Exxon’s Beaumont refinery and chemical plant were shut down on Tuesday as Hurricane Laura was menacing the southeast Texas coast.

In Beaumont, the company also operates a cracker with a capacity of 830,000 mt of ethylene and 195,000 mt of proplyelen per year, low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant with a capacity of 236,000 mt per year and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant with a capacity of 727,000 tonnes per year.

As MRC informed earlier, ExxonMobil has put off for a year work on its refinery expansion in Beaumont, Texas. The expansion project is now slated to be online sometime in 2023, versus the original 2022 proposal. Bloomberg first reported the delay. ExxonMobil declined to confirm the story, noting that it does not comment on the status of individual projects. The company "is evaluating all appropriate steps to significantly reduce capital and operating expenses in the near term as a result of market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and commodity price decreases," the company said in a statement.

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

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.

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.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 31.08.2020

1. Indian Oil nears first Mauritius fuels export deal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian Oil Corp, the country’s top refiner, is close to winning its first contract to export up to 720,000 tons of clean products to Mauritius under an annual deal from November, reported Reuters with reference to two sources familiar with the matter. IOC mostly stays away from participating in term tenders for fuel exports as the refiner sells most of its fuel in the local market, besides supplying its retail outlets in Nepal and Bhutan. This year because of falling local demand due to COVID-19 and weak margins, the company is attempting to lock in sales of its fuels. IOC this year also won its first contract to supply fuels to Bangladesh.


Ufaorgsintez began gradual shutdown of its PE production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ufaorgsintez (UOS, a petrochemical asset of Bashneft) has begun a gradual shutdown for maintenance, which will last until 11 October, at its high density polyethylene (LDPE) production capacities, according to the ICIS-MRC Price report.

The plant's customers said UOS shut some of its LDPE production capacities (158 and 153 grade PE) for a scheduled turnaround on 25 August. The outage will not be long and will last approximately until 17 September. And this is the first phase of the shutdown for maintenance.

The second phase of the turnaround involves shutting the first LDPE line (108 grade polyethylene) for maintenance from 12 September to 11 October. The plant's overall annual production capacity of the two LDPE lines is 90,000 tonnes.

It is also worth noting that Russia's two largest LDPE producers - Tomskneftekhim and Kazanorgsintez - will shut down their production capacities for a scheduled turnaround in September.

PJSC Ufaorgsintez produces phenol, acetone, synthetic ethylene-propylene rubber, high and low pressure polyethylene, polypropylene, more than 30 types of petrochemical products and over 25 consumer products.

Prices of Russian PVC to continue rising in September

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Negotiations over September shipments of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) to the domestic market began in the Russian market on Tuesday. Russian producers announced a further price increase of Rb1,000-3,000/tonne, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Demand for PVC remained good from Russian consumers. A similar situation was registered in foreign markets: strong demand was accompanied by price increases. On the back of this, Russian producers also intend to achieve a price rise of Rb1,000-3,000/tonne for September shipments. A long devaluation of the rouble against the dollar strengthened the bargaining position of Russian producers.

Demand for PVC has remained good from Russian converters since June. Despite a major increase in polymer prices in summer, and, as a result, a rise in prices of finished products, many consumers had optimistic expectations about demand for finished products in September.

Shutdowns for maintenance at SayanskKhimPlast and RusVinyl's production capacities significantly reduced the supply of resin in the market in July, but already in August, the situation with the PVC availability improved noticeably in the market. Resin with K = 70 was the exception because of technical issues at RusVinyl and Bashkir Soda Company's production capacities.

In September, there will be also no need to talk about oversupply of PVC in the market because of strong demand and lower imports. Moreover, the devaluation of the rouble and higher export prices in China are unlikely to help boost imports in the near future.

As in the previous month, converters were in no hurry to agree on deals for September shipments of Russian PVC, hoping to limit the price growth to the lowest possible value. September deals for Russian resin with K64/67 were negotiated in the range of Rb81,000-85,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, for quantities of less than 500 tonnes.

Shaanxi Yanchang Coal Yulin Energy and Chemical resumes production at PE plants

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shaanxi Yanchang Coal Yulin Energy and Chemical Ltd, has brought on-stream its high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) units following a turnaround, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that, the company resumed operations at the units on August 3, 2020. The units were shut for maintenance on June 22, 2020.

Located at Shaanxi province in China, the HDPE and LLDPE units have a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year each.

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports.

Shaanxi Yanchang Coal Yulin Energy and Chemical is a 70:30 joint venture company between Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (group) Co Ltd and China National Coal Group Corporation.