VCI questions EU Parliament's proposed 60% emission-reduction target by 2030

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Germany’s chemical industry association VCI (Frankfurt) says that it sees the upcoming vote of the European Parliament on a possible CO2 emission-reduction target of 60% by 2030 as an extremely ambitious project, about which most of the questions remain unanswered, reported Chemweek.

VCI’s announcement follows a call by the EU Parliament in September for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to be reduced by 60% in 2030 compared with 1990. It is also in line with an announcement by the VCI in September.

“It is completely unclear how the enormous reduction contributions from all areas of life and economic sectors will come about. We need more realism in politics as to how high we can raise the climate-protection target in the EU without the rest of the world pulling along,” says Wolfgang Gro?e Entrup, managing director at VCI.

He notes that a target as ambitious as 60% by 2030 requires the EU to reduce by five times the average amount of CO2 it has been reducing for the past 30 years. The European Commission recently announced an emission-reduction target of at least 55% by 2030.

The EU needs to show there is a way toward the 60% target, since it is not clear how it can be achieved, VCI says. Questions remain about how the EU-wide expansion of renewables and the necessary networks will be accelerated; energy-efficiency measures such as energetic building renovation can be massively ramped up; and the competitiveness of the European economy can be preserved to create jobs and invest in climate-friendly processes, Gro?e Entrup says.

The EU’s aim should be “to develop a concrete and realistic package of measures so that the necessary infrastructure can be built, climate-friendly technologies are further developed, and jobs are preserved,” Gro?e Entrup adds.

As MRC informed before, in September 2020, Shell announced that it will replace the ethylene steam cracker furnaces at its Moerdijk petrochemicals complex, The Netherlands, in a move that will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Shell will install eight new furnaces in place of 16 older units without reducing capacity at the facility. The investment significantly reduces both the site’s energy consumption and its operational greenhouse gas emissions. The CO2 emissions reduction is about 10 percent of Shell Moerdijk’s annual total.

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

According to MRC"s ScanPlast report, Russia"s overall PE production totalled 1,712,400 tonnes in the first seven months of 2020, up by 58% year on year. Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounted for the greatest increase in the output. At the same time, overall PP production in Russia increased in January-July 2020 by 24% year on year to 1,063,700 tonne. ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in the output.

Prices of European PP fell for CIS markets in October

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The contract price of propylene in Europe was agreed by EUR12,5/tonne lower than in September. However, some European producers went for a greater reduction in the export price of polypropylene (PP) than the reduction in the price of monomer for supply to the markets of the CIS countries in October, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

Negotiations over October prices of European PP began at the end of last week. All market participants said European producers decided to reduce the export prices of propylene polymers, and in some cases the price decrease is recorded more than the decrease in the price of propylene in the region.

Deals for October shipments of homopolymer propylene (homopolymer PP) were discussed in the range of EUR830-900/tonne FCA, whereas last month's deals were done in the range of EUR840-940/tonne FCA.

Deals for block copolymers of propylene for June delivery were discussed in the range EUR920-980/tonne FCA.
There were no restrictions on October shipments from European producers; moreover, for large volumes of purchases, some producers were ready to go for additional discounts.

ADNOC and Abu Dhabi-Based Group 42 launch AI joint venture

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has announced the launch of AIQ, its Artificial Intelligence (AI) joint venture (JV) company with Group 42 (G42), an Abu Dhabi-based AI and cloud computing company, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The completion of the formation of AIQ follows the signing of the JV agreement between ADNOC and G42 in November 2019 with ADNOC holding a 60-percent stake and G42 a 40-percent stake in AIQ. AIQ will focus on developing and commercializing AI products and applications for the oil and gas industry. The partnership brings together G42’s expertise in AI modeling, supercomputing and its world-class team of data scientists and software engineers with ADNOC’s world-class oil and gas industry know-how, domain experts and its vast amount of data.

H.E. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and ADNOC Group CEO, said: “Through this new joint venture, we are able to accelerate the development of new AI solutions to optimize processes, improve planning and increase profitability for ADNOC and the wider oil and gas industry. This partnership model allows ADNOC to develop AI solutions and applications in a cost-efficient way and strengthens Abu Dhabi’s and our nation’s position as a global hub for AI and technology driven industrial growth."

The chairman of the AIQ Board of Directors is Abdulmunim Saif Al Kindy (ADNOC), with Peng Xiao (G42) Mansoor Ibrahim AlMansoori (G42), Ahmed Al Kuttab (ADNOC) and Alan Nelson (ADNOC) being appointed as Board members. ADNOC’s partnership with G42 represents one of several digital transformation initiatives to embed cutting-edge technology across its entire value chain. Other digital initiatives include its AI and big data-driven “Panorama Digital Command Center,” its smart data analytics “Thamama Subsurface Collaboration Center,” its use of big data modeling tools for value chain optimization, computer vision technologies, predictive maintenance machine learning technologies and use of blockchain for hydrocarbon accounting.

Dr. Alan Nelson, ADNOC Group chief technology officer, said: “We are excited about the launch of our AI joint venture with G42 as it enables us to accelerate ADNOC’s adoption of advanced technologies and further digitalize our value chain to enhance efficiencies, performance and agility. The joint venture is testament to ADNOC’s drive to partner with local technology players to help grow the UAE’s innovation ecosystem and to drive long-term and sustainable value for the nation."

Peng Xiao, Group CEO, G42, said: “This partnership with ADNOC offers the potential to create the AI tools for the oil and gas industry of tomorrow and we look forward to leveraging our state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure and specialized team of AI experts to help develop these new cutting-edge solutions. The use of AI, combined with G42’s supercomputing capabilities, as well as ADNOC’s industrial expertise and breadth of data, will unlock efficiencies across the entire value chain, inspiring new approaches to exploration, production, transportation, processing, distributions and sales."

AIQ has started work on a number of key AI projects across the oil and gas value chain such as drilling performance, reservoir modelling, corrosion detection, and product quality. The scope of projects will be expanded to other areas as the JV progresses.

As MRC informed earlier, in early May, 2020, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) began a gradual restart of its Ruwais oil refinery complex after a scheduled maintenance shutdown. The Ruwais complex, which has capacity of 835,000 barrels per day, was shut down early this year, the ADNOC spokesman said. And in late July 2019, ADNOC said its Ruwais refinery west cracker was offline for maintenance.

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.

PVC prices increased in Europe for the markets of the CIS countries by EUR60/tonne and more

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Negotiations over prices of European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for October shipments to the CIS countries started in the end of last week. European producers announced an increase of EUR60/tonne or higher in their export PVC prices, despite a decrease of the ethylene price, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report.

October contract price of ethylene was agreed at the previous month's level, which theoretically allowed to talk about a slight decrease of the net cost of PVC production, compared to September. Nevertheless, shutdowns of several plants in Europe and good demand for PVC in the world helped European producers to talk about a significant increase in export prices for the CIS markets in October. An increase of EUR60-90/tonne in export PVC prices has been under discussion.

The demand for PVC from consumers from the CIS countries was still at a good level due to the seasonal factor, and the converters intend to purchase part of the volumes in Europe. European producers have already limited their export sales to the CIS countries during July - September.

But for October shipments, export quotas were cut even more due to planned shutdowns of plants and good demand from both the domestic market and export markets. Overall, deals for October shipments of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) to the CIS markets were negotiated in the range of EUR770-840/tonne FCA, whereas the previous month's deals were discussed in the range of EUR710-750/tonne FCA.


Vietnamese Binh Son restarted PP plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Binh Son Refinery and Petrochemical has restarted the polypropylene (PP) plant at the beginning of October 2020 following a major maintenance shutdown, reported CommoPlast with reference to market sources.

The 150,000 tons/year unit was taken off-stream on 12 August as the producer conducts overhaul at the upstream units.

As MRC wrote before, Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical took off-stream its PP plant in Vietnam for a maintenance turnaround in June 2017 for a period of around 7 weeks. The exact date shutdown could not be ascertained. Located in Vietnam,the plant has a production capacity of 150,000 mt/year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, overall PP production in Russia increased in January-July 2020 by 24% year on year to 1,063,700 tonne. ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in the output.