Ravago acquires stake in US-based Alterra Energy

Ravago acquires stake in US-based Alterra Energy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Luxembourg-based Ravago, a leader in polymer recycling and distribution, has acquired an equity interest in Alterra Energy, headquartered in Akron, Ohio, according to Recycling Today.

The companies say they plan to combine forces to provide integrated recycling solutions that support the transition toward decarbonization, decreasing virgin fossil resource dependency and increasing circularity for petrochemical and chemical partners. Additionally, Ravago will be a strategic partner in supplying preprocessed plastic scrap to Alterra Energy's Akron plant.

A spokesperson for the companies says they decline to provide figures on the stake Ravago is taking in Alterra or on the volume of scrap that will be supplied.

Alterra Energy says its Akron plant, which was commissioned last year, can liquefy up to 60 tons per day of mixed plastic scrap for use as a feedstock for the manufacturing of plastics and chemicals.

This is the second strategic partnership this year for Alterra Energy. In January, the company announced that Neste, a provider of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel that also helps deliver drop-in renewable and circular chemical solutions, acquired a minority stake in the company.

Alterra Energy, which has developed and commercialized a continuous, advanced recycling technology that uses pyrolysis to transform end-of-life plastics into petrochemical feedstock, will process the Ravago-supplied plastic scrap into ISCC PLUS certified material. Alterra will then market this material for further refining and conversion into circular building blocks for the plastics and chemicals producing industry.

As MRC reported earlier, The Ravago Group has carried out routine maintenance at its expandable polystyrene (EPS) plant in Schkopau, Germany. Thus, the turnaround at this plant with a capacity of 70,000/tonnes of EPS per year began on April 20, 2021, and was completed on April 28. Thus, the maintenance works at this plant lasted for one week.

Ravago represents more than 6.6 million metric tons of annual polymer sales, serving more than 50,000 active customers through more than 325 locations across more than 55 countries worldwide. Ravago's production capability consists of more than 45 manufacturing facilities, 19 of which are recycling and compounding plants in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa with a combined annual capacity of more than 775,000 metric tons; 13 of which are production plants in Europe that offer finished product solutions for the building sector; and seven of which are chemicals plants and 6 are application laboratories for its chemicals business.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 10.08.2021

1. Saudi Aramco Q2 profit surges almost 4 times

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company, said Aug. 8 that its hydrocarbons production fell 8% to 11.7 million boe/d in the second quarter from the year-earlier period due to OPEC+ cuts, but its profit surged almost four times thanks to higher oil prices and a recovery in worldwide demand, reported S&P Global. Net income soared to USD25.5 billion in the second quarter from USD6.6 billion a year earlier, the company said in an earnings statement. Aramco's total hydrocarbon production, which averaged 12.7 million boe/d in the second quarter of 2020, fell mainly due to OPEC+ cuts this year, CEO Amin Nasser said in a media call with journalists.


Crude oil futures up in Asia on bargain hunting, but rising COVID-19 case numbers continue to sap market sentiment

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures ticked higher during mid-morning trade in Asia Aug. 10 on bargain hunting following an overnight plunge, but rising COVID-19 case numbers continued to sap market sentiment, reported S&P Global.

At 11:18 am Singapore time (0318 GMT), the ICE October Brent futures contract was up 18 cents/b (0.26%) from the previous close at USD69.22/b, while the NYMEX September light sweet crude contract was 36 cents/b (0.54%) higher at USD66.84/b.

The markers had settled 2.35% and 2.63% lower Aug. 10 as the rapid spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus raised fears of further demand destruction.

An uptrend in COVID-19 infection numbers in oil-consuming behemoths China and the US were of particular concern to the market. China is battling its biggest outbreak of the coronavirus since it emerged in Wuhan in 2019.

Analysts at St. George Economics said in an Aug. 10 note that the pandemic resurgence has exacerbated concerns over China's economy that had arisen earlier due to global supply bottlenecks and higher raw material costs, and cautioned that lower domestic economic activity could weigh on oil and energy demand.

Crude oil prices were also pressured overnight by a stronger dollar buoyed by a rise in Treasury yields after the release of a better-than-expected US non-farm payrolls report and hawkish comments from some members of the Federal Reserve. At 11:06 am, the ICE Dollar Index was trading at 92.98, up 0.194% from the Aug. 6 close.

We remind that as MRC informed earlier, Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude oil exporter, will supply full contractual volumes of August-loading crude to at least five Asian customers. However, Saudi Aramco has turned down two of the buyers' requests for extra barrels.

We also remind that Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), said in June he expects the company's deal with Saudi Aramco to materialise this year. Meanwhile, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco and the Governor of the Public Investment Fund, joined the board of Reliance as an independent director.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,176,860 tonnes in the first half of 2021, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 727,160 tonnes in the first six months of 2021, up by 31% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased. Supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.

Accident at Gazprom Pererabotka plant may lead to lower supply of feedstock to ZapSibNeftekhim

Accident at Gazprom Pererabotka plant may lead to lower supply of feedstock to ZapSibNeftekhim

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The accident at Gazprom's Urengoy condensate preparation plant on 5 August might lead to a reduction in liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) production in Russia by about 15% and, as a result, to lower supply of feedstock for the production of LPG at ZapSibNeftekhim (part of SIBUR), the largest polymer production plant in the Russian Federation, reported Kommersant, citing experts' estimates.

Ethane is extracted from the condensate at the plant, after which the condensate is sent to the Surgut plant for stabilization (feedstock capacity - 12 mln tons per year), where lighter fractions - LPG and NGLs - are isolated from the feedstock.

As Anna Lishnevetskaya from Petromarket notes, if the Surgut plant completely stops, this will lead to a 12% decrease in the supply of feedstock for the production of LPG to the largest petrochemical complex in Russia - ZapSibNeftekhim. SIBUR told Kommersant that they are waiting for an estimate of the planned volumes of supplies from partners and that it is too early to make forecasts.

“In any case, we will strive to prevent a reduction in domestic sales and unloading of petrochemical plants,” they stressed. Also, Gazprom neftekhim Salavat (GNS, part of Gazprom) and TAIF will be deprived of some of the raw materials for the production of petroleum products.

As a result of the fire, one of the two deethanization lines of the Urengoy plant was apparently seriously damaged, and the second line was shut as a precaution. Gazprom Pererabotka announced on 8 August that condensate supplies to the Urengoy plant resumed from 7 August, without specifying the quantities. According to Kommersant's interlocutors, at best, the current capacity of the Urengoy plant will be cut by half.

As reported earlier, on 22 June, 2021, ZapSibNeftekhim produced 2 mln tonnes of polyethylene (PE) since the start of the plant. The complex's products are also shipped throughout Russia, to the CIS countries and Europe, Turkey and China. The Tobolsk plant produces 24 grades of PE used for the production of polymer films, packaging, blown containers, tubular products, and it is gradually replacing imported polymers in the domestic market, while increasing exports.

As MRC informed before, after the launch of ZapSibNeftekhim, SIBUR tripled its polymer capacities, Mikhail Karisalov, General Director of the company, said in December last year. Zapsibneftekhim was launched at full capacity on 1 December, 2020. M. Karisalov said the main result of the launch of ZapSibNeftekhim is the completion of SIBUR's transformation into a world-class petrochemical company.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 953,400 tonnes in the first five months of 2021, which virtually corresponded to the same figure a year earlier. High density polyethylene (HDPE) shipments decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 607,8900 tonnes in January-May 2021, up by 33% year on year. Shipments of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas deliveries of PP random copolymers decreased.

ZapSibNeftekhim is SIBUR's largest project, the construction of which was completed in May 2019. After reaching its design capacity, it became the largest modern petrochemical complex in Russia. The project is the plant for the production of various PE grades (1.5 mln tonnes) and PP grades (500,000 tonnes). The budget of the complex is USD8.8 bln.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim selects contractor for construction of new PP plant

Nizhnekamskneftekhim selects contractor for construction of new PP plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PJSC "Nizhnekamskneftekhim" (NKNKh, part of TAIF) has decided on a contractor for the construction of a new polypropylene (PP) plant, said the company.

Thus, on 6 August, 2021, in Kazan, in the head office of TAIF JSC, three contracts were signed between NKNKh and the Chinese company China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for the construction of a PP production with a capacity of 400,000 tonnes per year based on LyondellBasell's Spheripoll technology.

Contracts were concluded for the provision of design services and the supply of documentation; for the purchase and supply of equipment, as well as for the provision of technical consulting services. The documents were signed by Airat Safin, General Director of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, and Fan Yangshui, President of China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

These contracts are linked by a tripartite framework agreement, in which China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Co., Ltd. is the main design subcontractor for CMEC.

According to the statement, NKNKh is already one of the leaders in this segment in the Russian Federation. After the commissioning of a new PP production facility, Nizhnekamskneftekhim will almost triple its PP output and become one of the largest PP producers in Europe.

As MRC reported earlier, the construction of the NKNKh's olefin complex was completed by 30% in July, 2021. 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 works was signed with the Turkish company Gemont. The planned completion date for the construction and installation works of the olefin complex is July 2023.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 727,160 tonnes in the first six months of 2021, up by 31% year on year. Shipments of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) and block copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymer) increased. Supply of injection moulding statistical copolymer of propylene (PP-random) has decreased.

PJSC "Nizhnekamskneftekhim" (NKNKh) is one of the largest Russian manufacturers of petrochemical products. The industrial complex of the company includes ten major production plants and ten departments (Railway Transport, Ethylene pipelines, etc..). NKNKh produces more than 120 types of chemical products, including synthetic rubber, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, surfactants. Nizhnekamskneftekhim is a member of TAIF Group of Companies.

China HuanQiu Contracting and Engineering Corporation (HQC) is a subsidiary of China Petroleum Engineering Corp. Ltd. - China National Petroleum Corporation. The company specializes in the construction of refineries, petrochemical plants and chemical fertilizer plants associated with oil refineries and mining plants.