MOSCOW (MRC) -- Spanish energy firm Repsol said it will furlough up to 830 workers at its A Coruna and Puertollano refineries in Spain as pandemic restrictions have led to an "unprecedented" slump in demand for fuels, reported Reuters.
"It is a sustained situation that has kept fuel consumption for transport much lower than expected," Repsol said in a statement.
In Q1 2021, the profit Repsol makes on refining products that come into its refineries in Spain decreased to USD0.2 per barrel from USD4.7 in the first three months of 2020, its trading statement released on Thursday showed.
Uncertainty generated by the broad global shift towards clean energy and away from fossil fuels contributed to the decision to furlough the workers, Repsol said.
As MRC informed previously, Repsol is seeking European pandemic recovery funds to support projects including new biofuel plants and 'green' hydrogen production made from renewable sources in a pivot away from oil and gas to supplying low-carbon energy.
We remind that Repsol's refinery at Puertollano in central Spain has recently carried out an upgrade of its olefins unit. The modernization was a part of planned maintenance of the cracker and chemical derivative plants at the end of 2020.
We also remind that Spain’s Repsol shut down its cracker in Tarragona (Spain) for maintenance in the fourth quarter of 2019. The turnaround at this steam cracker, which produces 702,000 mt/year of ethylene and 372,000 mt/year of propylene, was pushed back from Q3 2019. The exact dates of maintenance works were not disclosed.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 241,030 tonnes in January 2021 versus 217,890 tonnes a year earlier. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 141,870 tonnes in January 2021 versus 123,520 tonnes a year earlier. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.
Repsol S.A is an integrated Spanish oil and gas company with operations in 28 countries. The bulk of its assets are located in Spain.