Shell is first oil major to trial use of hydrogen fuel cells for ships

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell said on Wednesday it was conducting a feasibility study with partners to trial the use of hydrogen fuel cells for ships in Singapore, the first such move for the oil major, reported Reuters.

If successful, the trial will pave the way for cleaner, hydrogen-powered shipping, the company said, adding that its analysis points to hydrogen with fuel cells as the zero-emissions technology having the greatest potential to help the shipping sector achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The trial will involve the development and installation of an auxiliary power unit fuel cell on an existing roll-on/roll-off vessel that transports goods, vehicles and equipment on lorries between Singapore and Shell's Pulau Bukom manufacturing site located on an island near the mainland.

A roll-on/roll-off vessel is a cargo ship designed to carry wheeled cargo such as cars, which are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels. Shell will charter the trial vessel and provide the hydrogen fuel. It is also working with SembCorp Marine Ltd and its unit LMG Marin, which will design the fuel cell and retrofit the vessel, owned by Penguin International Ltd).

The team will first carry out a feasibility study with the intention to install the fuel cell next year and the vessel will operate for a trial period of 12 months, Shell said.

To achieve the goals for the shipping industry set by the United Nations, industry leaders say the first ships with net-zero emissions must enter the global fleet by 2030. Ships powered by hydrogen could help meet the target.

As MRC informed earlier, Royal Dutch Shell Plc restarted the small crude distillation unit (CDU) on 2 April at its 318,000-bpd joint-venture Deer Park, Texas, refinery. The 70,000-bpd DU-1 CDU was shut on Feb 14 by a pump seal failure. All other units were shut the following day by severe cold weather. DU-1 is the last unit shut in February to restart at the refinery.

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.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim continues construction of the olefin complex on schedule

MOSCOW (MRC) - Nizhnekamskneftekhim continues construction of the Ethylene-600 olefin complex in accordance with the schedule, despite the claims of Rostechnadzor due to adjustments to the project documentation, Kommersant reports, citing the words of the company's CEO Ayrat Safin at the international forum on energy efficiency and ecology in Kazan.

"Everything is being done in accordance with the working schedule. There is no delay," he said. Earlier it was reported that the Volga department of Rostekhnadzor, during an inspection in February-March, revealed violations of the requirements for urban planning activities during the construction of the complex, drew up protocols on a temporary ban on activities and sent the materials to the Tatarstan Arbitration Court.

In this regard, Nizhnekamskneftekhim explained that the adjustment of the project was caused by "objective necessity" and assured that the construction is being carried out in full accordance with the working documentation developed by the German company Linde with the involvement of Russian design institutes and "meet the requirements and standards of the Russian Federation."

A. Safin believes that Rostekhnazdor's claims arose because of "a slight misunderstanding" and now "the questions are being removed." "I can immediately assure that we have never built with a deviation from the design documentation, everything is in accordance with the design documentation," he said. The general director said that the company plans to submit the necessary documents "both to Rostekhnadzor and to the court."

Earlier, Nizhnekamskneftekhim announced that it intends to complete the main stage of construction of the Ethylene-600 complex in December 2022, which will allow it to start production in the second half of 2023. The complex plans to annually produce 600 thousand tons of ethylene, as well as 272 thousand tons of propylene, 246 thousand tons of benzene, 88 thousand tons of butadiene.

The construction of the olefin complex is carried out within the framework of a memorandum of strategic cooperation concluded in June 2017 between TAIF Group, which includes Nizhnekamskneftekhim, and the German company Linde AG. The basic agreement on the design, supply of equipment and provision of services for the commissioning of the first stage of the future plant was signed between Nizhnekamskneftekhim and the Linde Engineering division. In February 2019, a contract for construction and installation work was signed with the Turkish company Gemont.

According to MRC's ScanPlast, Russiaэs 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.

PJSC "Nizhnekamskneftekhim" (NKNKH) is one of the largest Russian producers of petrochemical products. The production complex of the company includes ten factories of the main production and ten departments (railway transport, main ethylene pipelines, etc.). NKNKh produces over 120 types of chemical products, including synthetic rubber, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, surfactants. Nizhnekamskneftekhim is part of TAIF Group.

Polyef continues to implement the project for the production of "green" PET granules

MOSCOW (MRC) - Blagoveshchensk Polyef continues to implement a project to launch the production of "green" PET pellets containing secondary raw materials, the company said.

The enterprise loaded the first pile into the base of the production foundation. It is planned to launch the line in the first half of 2022.

It is noted that the production of PET containing recycled resources is an important part of SIBUR's strategy for sustainable development until 2025. The technology that is planned to be used at Polief is environmentally friendly and belongs to the advanced methods of involving recycled PET in the production cycle.

The "green pellet" produced by Polyef will contain up to 25% recyclable materials and will meet the highest regulatory requirements, meeting the growing market demand for packaging using recycled materials, and will provide its manufacturers with a complete solution that combines both primary and secondary PET. SIBUR also continues research and development work in order to increase the proportion of secondary PET in pellets without losing quality in the future.

Now the collection of used PET bottles in Bashkiria is 4 thousand tons per year. When implementing a set of measures aimed at increasing collection and sorting, according to expert estimates, the potential volume may be 20 thousand tons per year.

Earlier it was reported that in December last year, SIBUR Holding (Moscow) signed the first contract for the supply of raw materials for the project for the production of "green" polyethylene terephthalate (PET) granules at the Polief enterprise in Blagoveshchensk (Republic of Bashkortostan).

According to MRC ScanPlast, in February of this year, the estimated consumption of PET in Russia decreased by 3% compared to the same indicator a year earlier and amounted to 53,890 tonnes. According to the results of January - February 2020, 100,830 tonnes of PET chips were processed in Russia.

PJSC "SIBUR Holding" is the largest petrochemical company in Russia and Eastern Europe with full coverage of the industry cycle from gas processing, production of monomers, plastics and synthetic rubbers to plastics processing.

Thyssenkrupp Uhde to build new world-scale PET plant in Turkey

MOSCOW (MRC) -- thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions’ subsidiary Uhde Inventa-Fischer signed a contract to build a new world-scale polymer plant for Yurek Polimer Bursa, Turkey, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The plant is planned to produce 300 metric tons per day (108,000 tons per year) of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for low viscosity applications. The PET melt produced by thyssenkrupp technology will then be converted into PET Chips, as well as pre-oriented yarn.

Alim Yurek, Member of Board of Directors of Yurek Polimer A.S. said: “We chose a well-proven technology which could be seamlessly integrated into the further production. With this PET investment, the Yurek group will become an integrated textile group.”

Scope of delivery will be basic and detail engineering, the delivery of all necessary components as well as technical services regarding Supervision for Erection, Pre-Commissioning and Commissioning.

As MRC reported previously, in July 2020, German machine engineering company Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions said it had won an order from Turkish packaging producer Koksan Pet Packaging Ind Co to build a PET plant in Gaziantep, in the southeast of the country. The plant will be built next to an existing production site built by Thyssenkrupp back in 2013. The two facilities are expected to have a production capacity of 432,000 tonnes of PET resin per year. The plant will use the Melt-To-Resin (MTR) process patented by Thyssenkrupp's subsidiary Uhde Inventa Fischer to produce various grades of resin. Completion and commissioning are planned for 2022.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estmated PET consumption increased to about 57,760 tonnes in February 2021, up by 7% year on year. Overall PET consumption in Russia totalled 115,210 tonnes in the first two months of 2021.

ExxonMobil explores sale of elastic polymer business aiming reduce its debt pile

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corp, one of the world's petrochemical majors, is exploring a sale of its Advanced Elastomer Systems (AES) division, potentially valuing the elastic polymer maker at around USD800 million including debt, reported Reuters with reference to people familiar with the matter.

The deal would allow the oil major to nibble at its debt pile, which totaled USD45.5 billion at the end of December. Its shares are up around 37% year-to-date on investor expectations that the company will benefit from a recovery in energy prices.

Exxon has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to solicit interest in AES from potential buyers, including private equity firms, the sources said. The sources cautioned that no deal is certain and requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. Exxon and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Exxon incurred a historic loss of USD22.4 billion last year. It is trying to convince a skeptical Wall Street that it can rebound after years of overspending left it deeply indebted and lagging rivals better geared for a world demanding cleaner fuels.

AES is known for its Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs), which are elastic polymers used in automotive, industrial and consumer products. The business was launched in 1991 as a limited partnership between ExxonMobil Chemical and Solutia. Exxon became the sole owner of AES in 2002.

The global TPV market is seen growing from USD1.6 billion in 2019 and to USD2.6 billion in 2027, though the industry has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to factory shutdowns and supply chain issues, according to a report by

As MRC informed previously, Sinopec Engineering (Group) and ExxonMobil (Huizhou) Chemical (EMHCC) have just entered into a BEPC (basic design, engineering, procurement and construction) contract for the proposed Huizhou Chemical Complex Project (Phase I). The main units of the project include a 1.6 million tonnes/year ethylene flexible feed steam cracker, downstream polymer and derivative units and utilities. The main product units include two performance polyethylene (PE) lines and two differentiated performance polypropylene (PP) lines.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated polyethylene (PE) consumption totalled 356,370 tonnes in the first two month of 2021, down by 9% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market was 246,870 tonnes in January-February 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.

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.