ADNOC Global Trading commences trading of ADNOC refined products

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has officially launched its second trading arm, ADNOC Global Trading (AGT), a joint venture between ADNOC (65%), Eni (20%) and OMV (15%) which focuses on the trading of refined products globally, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The AGT virtual launch event brought together leaders from ADNOC, Eni and OMV, as well as the leadership from several ADNOC Group companies, including ADNOC Logistics and Services (L&S), ADNOC Refining, ADNOC Trading and ADNOC Global Trading.

H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and ADNOC Group CEO opened the virtual forum alongside CEO’s, Claudio Descalzi of Eni and Rainer Seele of OMV.

H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “The go-live of ADNOC Global Trading marks another important milestone in the delivery of our 2030 smart growth strategy, and our focus on providing a better and broader service to our customers while driving growth and adding incremental value to our operations. Together with our partners Eni and OMV, our new trading entity expands the reach of our products to new markets and new customers. AGT will enhance the skills of our people by combining experienced traders with the next generation of bright home-grown talent, creating new and exciting opportunities for UAE nationals while unlocking additional revenue streams for ADNOC and the UAE.”

Eni CEO, Claudio Descalzi commented: “In our recent past, Eni have developed many new initiatives along the value chain alongside ADNOC and we started a collaboration aimed at achieving new solutions for energy transition. The launch of this new global trading company represents an additional strategic step in our partnership with ADNOC and OMV, a partnership that is stronger and better able to face market dynamics. Our contribution in terms of know-how, operational experience in trading processes and qualified people has accelerated the launch of the venture to quickly reach this important milestone.”

Dr. Rainer Seele, OMV CEO said: “The launch of AGT shows the strength of our partnership across refining and trading. At OMV we strongly believe in the value of integrated business as a platform from which to achieve maximum efficiency and the best possible performance. ADNOC Global Trading will unlock an additional level of integrated value creation for its partners. This is especially important as we expect the oil, gas and derivatives markets to remain challenging and volatile.”

From go-live, AGT offers a broader range of integrated services to its customers and enables ADNOC to further commercialize its refined product sales with new delivery, pricing and hedging options. AGT will work closely with ADNOC L&S, the UAE’s leading shipping company, to provide greater access to ADNOC’s global network of shipping and storage solutions. Traders will be able to offer bespoke arrangements including global delivery, shipping and storage of refined products where they are needed.

AGT is ‘born big’ with refined products from ADNOC Refining available to trade and sell, extending the reach of ADNOC products to new markets and customers. The ADNOC Global Trading teams will trade light and middle distillates on their trading books, including jet, naphtha, diesel, and gasoline as well as speciality products.

In addition and in coordination with ADNOC Trading, the 100% owned ADNOC entity focused on crude trading, AGT will ensure non-system feedstock supplies to ADNOC Refining.

In the ramp up to go-live, AGT has developed the policies, IT systems and procedures that will allow safe and responsible trading activity. AGT is already working closely with ADNOC Refining to actively support refinery optimization, enhancing decision-making for production flows and providing greater insights into pricing and market opportunities.

AGT has attracted global and local talent of the highest caliber from the local market, from international trading houses, ADNOC Group companies and from partners Eni and OMV. Each trading team consists of a combination of experienced traders and local talent, such as refined products experts who have in-depth knowledge of the markets, longstanding relationships with existing customers and knowhow of ADNOC production and export systems.

The state-of-the-art trading systems and expert teams oversee the full life cycle of every trade and provide risk management solutions. The teams will employ market and price intelligence and the full spectrum of trading tools, such as hedging to manage and control risk.

Khaled Salmeen, ADNOC Executive Director of Marketing, Supply and Trading said: “Trading allows ADNOC to offer our customers new and additional services and tools, ultimately enabling both ADNOC and its customers to better manage pricing risks and derive more value from every barrel that we produce, refine, ship, and sell. ADNOC Global Trading has the right systems, policies, procedures and people in place to start trading. We look forward to offering new, integrated solutions to our local and international customers, while unlocking value to ADNOC and its partners.”

ADNOC Global Trading becomes part of the growing International Financial Center at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), alongside ADNOC Trading, which completed its first derivatives trade earlier this year and ICE Futures Abu Dhabi (IFAD), which will launch Murban Futures on the 29th March 2021, subject to the completion of remaining regulatory approvals. The opening of two ADNOC trading offices at ADGM reinforces its status as a leading commodities trading hub for the Middle East region.

As MRC reported previously, 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 ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,760,950 tonnes in the first ten months of 2020, up by 3% year on year. Only high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 978,870 tonnes in January-October 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports minus producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply of exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.

EU conditionally approves DIC acquisition of BASF pigments business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The European Commission says it has approved, under EU merger regulation, the proposed acquisition of BASF's worldwide pigments business, BASF Colors & Effects, by DIC Corp. (Tokyo, Japan), reported Chemweek.

To address the Commission's competition concerns, DIC offered to divest a pigment manufacturing facility operated by its wholly-owned subsidiary Sun Chemical at Bushy Park, South Carolina. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by DIC, including the Bushy Park divestment, the Commission says.

The Commission says it had concerns that the proposed transaction, as originally notified, would have reduced competition on the market for the supply of perylene and quinacridone pigments. DIC’s commitment to divest the Bushy Park facility, which manufactures a large majority of the company's perylene and quinacridone pigments, removes almost entirely the overlap between DIC's and BASF's activities in the relevant pigments, the Commission says.

The commitments ensure that the same number of suppliers will remain active on these markets and that customers retain the same level of choice, the Commission says. DIC’s divestment commitment includes the full transfer of the Bushy Park plant, including technology, brands, manufacturing equipment, and other intangible assets, to a manufacturer with proven expertise in pigment production, according to the Commission.

“Pigments are essential inputs for many consumer products that require a coloring process, for example in the automotive and advanced plastics value chains. There are only a few alternative producers for these products and the combination of DIC and BASF Colors & Effects risked depriving customers of high-quality pigments. This merger is approved on the condition that the companies divest DIC's main manufacturing facility for pigments, thereby preserving effective competition in the market,” says Margrethe Vestager, Commission executive vice president.

BASF Colors & Effects and DIC are market leaders in the production and sale of pigments and other colorants, and the two main suppliers of perylenes and quinacridone pigments worldwide, the Commission says. DIC is mainly active in pigments and colorants through Sun Chemical, the Commission says.

As MRC informed previously, German chemicals maker BASF said in early November it had put a project to build a petrochemicals complex in India worth up to USD4 billion on hold due to the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. BASF signed a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Adani Group and Borealis AG in October 2019 to evaluate a collaboration to build the chemical site in Mundra, in India’s Gujarat state.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,760,950 tonnes in the first ten months of 2020, up by 3% year on year. Only high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 978,870 tonnes in January-October 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports minus producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply of exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Halix to provide drug substance for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine candidate

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Halix (Leiden, Netherlands), a biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), says it has signed an agreement with AstraZeneca to provide large-scale commercial manufacturing of drug substance AZD1222 for the COVID-19 vaccine candidate co-invented by the University of Oxford, UK, and its spin-out company Vaccitech, said Chemweek.

Halix says it has expanded production at its 6,700 square-meter current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) facility at the Bio Science Park at Leiden with two additional viral vector production lines, to meet the increased demand.

Halix continues its role as one of the original partners in the University of Oxford’s consortium for the manufacture of AZD1222, the company says. “Through the consortium, the partners are bringing their collective expertise and manufacturing capabilities to support vaccine production and combat this evolving crisis,” says Alex Huybens, COO at Halix.

As MRC informed earlier, Wacker will support production of CureVac’s COVID-19 mRNA-based vaccine candidate at its biotech site in Amsterdam, with production scheduled to start in the first half of 2021.

As MRC reported earlier, Wacker Chemie operates a 90 ktpa EVA compounding plant at the Ulsan site, consisting of two lines. The second line with a capacity of 40 thousand tons of products per year was launched in 2013.

According to MRC's DataScope, September EVA imports to Russia fell by 30,32% year on year to 2,38 tonnes from 3,420 tonnes a year earlier, and overall imports of this grade of ethylene copolymer into the Russian Federation dropped in January-September 2020 by 9,85% year on year to 26,340 tonnes (29,220 tonnes a year earlier).

Valero McKee refinery Sunray, Texas, shuts CDU, other units for work

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Valero Energy Corp shut the large crude distillation unit (CDU) and other units at its 195,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) McKee refinery in Sunray, Texas, for planned work, reported Reuters with reference to sources familiar with plant operations.

The 95,000-bpd CDU, 30,000-bpd hydrocracker and 28,000-bpd reformer were shut for planned work expected to take at least two weeks to complete, the sources said.

A Valero representative was not immediately available to discuss operations at the McKee refinery.

CDUs do the initial breakdown of crude oil into feedstock for all other units. Hydrocrackers convert gas oil into diesel and other motor fuels. Reformers convert refining by-products into octane-boosting components added to gasoline.

As MRC wrote before, Valero Energy Corp restarted the large crude distillation unit (CDU) at its 335,000-bpd Port Arthur, Texas, refinery the first week of September, 2020. The 268,000-bpd CDU was shut with all other units at the refinery on Aug. 25 because of the threat from Hurricane Laura.

We remind that in June 2020, Valero Energy Corp’s Memphis, Tennessee, crude oil refinery was operating at two-thirds of its 180,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) capacity because of low demand in the COVID-19 pandemic. The Memphis refinery cut production by as much as 50% in early April and has been raising production gradually since then.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,760,950 tonnes in the first ten months of 2020, up by 3% year on year. Only high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 978,870 tonnes in January-October 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports minus producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply of exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.

SIBUR starts manufacturing new PP grades to produce raffia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR started manufacturing new PP grades to produce raffia, specifically PP H043FF/3 and PP H063FF/3, which boost equipment performance and processing stability while being used for the high-speed production of flat film thread for soft woven packaging such as bags and big bags, waterproof roofing underlays, and twines, said the company.

The new grades greatly speed up the processing equipment performance owing to an improved melt flow rate, thus boosting production by up to 15% for heavy threads and by up to 23% for light threads. Processing companies can save on electricity costs on the back of a 5% lower temperature across extruder layers, pressure reduced by 10 bar for the extruder die and filter, and a better mix of chalk concentrate.

A selection of special additives developed by SIBUR PolyLab’s Compounding division helps bring reject rates down to zero when manufacturing film threads. The range of controlled parameters of PP batches is quite narrow, which ensures processing stability, reduces the frequency of process mode adjustments and results in a consistently higher quality of finished products. The new grades have also been praised by equipment manufacturers for their efficiency.

"We at Starlinger and also our customers who use new SIBUR polypropylene grades H043FF/3 and PP H063FF/3 for raffia production on Starlinger equipment report excellent processing capabilities. Together with SIBUR, the Starlinger extrusion specialists tested the new grades on the company's tape lines and circular looms. The grades achieved the best results in the extrusion process on Starlinger high-speed tape production lines: they ensure very stable production even at the top speeds of 550 m/min and the highest quality in raffia tape production. The excellent tape quality pays off during the weaving process: less tape ruptures and machine downtime greatly increase production efficiency. We recommend PP H043FF/3 and PP H063FF/3 to our customers, especially for AD*STAR block bottom bag production and other lightweight woven bags."

Peter Schmalholz, Head of R&D at Windmoller & Holscher Machinery: "The new SIBUR PP grade H063FF/3 for raffia has proven to run very well in test production on TIRATEX high-speed tape lines, offering excellent process reliability and achieving good tape quality at production speeds of 550 m/min, matching today’s increasing demands for economical production. Windmoller & Holscher Machinery therefore decided to include this grade in our reference list of recommended materials for the manufacturing of AD PROTEX® LS box-shaped sacks and other PP fabric products."

Pavel Lyakhovich, member of the Management Board, Managing Director at SIBUR’s Basic Polymer Division, said: “The new grades are our regular products which have already secured a loyal customer base and enjoy appreciation both in Russia and beyond. We are delighted to have been able to provide our partners with a solution that ensures a consistently high quality of their products and enhances manufacturing efficiency."

As MRC informed earlier, SIBUR, Russia’s top petrochemicals company, has ramped up its ZapSibNefteKhim plant in western Siberia to full capacity, signaling a shift in supplies of LPG away from Europe as more products are sold to Asia, said the company. SIBUR signed a deal in June to sell up to 1 million tons of polyethylene a year to China’s Sinopec from ZapSibNefteKhim, which uses LPG as a feedstock. The Russian company, one of the biggest petrochemical companies in the world, has been gradually cutting LPG exports to Europe as it boosts ZapSibNefteKhim’s capacity.

MRC's ScanPlast report said, Russian plants' total PP production dropped to 152,000 tonnes in October from 158,200 tonnes a month earlier ZapSibNeftekhim and Poliom"s production capacitites were shut for maintenance. Russia"s overall PP production reached 1,529,000 tonnes in January-October 2020, compared to 1,170,300 tonnes a year earlier. Six out of eight producers raised their capacity utilisation, with a new producer - ZapSibNeftekhim - accounting for the main increase in the output.