PrefChem may restart its petrochemical complex by late 2021

PrefChem may restart its petrochemical complex by late 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Malaysia's Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical (PRefChem), a 50:50 JV between Petronas and Saudi Aramco, hopes to restart its petrochemical complex by the end of this year after the initial plan to bring the plant online in August 2021 fell through, according to CommoPlast with reference to Petronas' executive vice president and CEO of downstream - Arif Mahmood.

PrefChem was taken offline on 16 March 2020 after an explosion hit the complex, causing severe damages. The company has been announcing several restart schedules since then, however, none has been materialized.

"When it comes to refining, petroleum products, we remain cautious. There's an oversupply of refining capacity and we'll see recovery hopefully towards the end of this year, early next year,” Arif Mahmood added.

Market sources remain cautious about the restart schedule claiming that it might take the complex of such scale up to the second quarter of 2022 to produce stable outputs.

PrefChem complex houses a naphtha cracker that produces 1.2 million tons/year of ethylene and 600,000 tons/year of propylene. Downstream units include a 450,000 ton/year homo-PP line, a 450,000 tons/year PP copolymer, and a 400,000 tons/year HDPE unit. The company also owns a C6-based metallocene PE plant with a capacity of 350,000 tons/year.

As MRC reported earlier, the explosion occurred at PRefChem complex at roughly 10.50 PM on 15 March 2020, which killed five people. The report confirmed that the incident took place at the 300,000 barrel per day refinery unit. All the stated above plants were shut down after the fire.

We also remind that the company received commercial ethylene and propylene at its new cracker in Pengerang on 13 September, 2019.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,868,160 tonnes in the first nine months of 2021, up by 18% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,138,510 tonnes in January-September 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.

PrefChem is a 50:50 joint venture between Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd, or Petronas, and Saudi Aramco. The Pengerang Refining development, part of Petronas’ USD27 billion Pengerang Integrated Complex, consists of a 300,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) oil refinery and a petrochemical complex with a production capacity of 7.7 million tonnes per year in the southern Malaysian state of Johor.

Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, is a Malaysian oil and gas company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. The Group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco"s value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world"s most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.

Toledo refinery operates normally, despite fire

Toledo refinery operates normally, despite fire

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PBF Energy's Toledo refinery is operating normally, despite the fire that broke out at one of its gasoline processing units on 23 November, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to the company's statement.

Crews tackled a large fire at Toledo Refining Company in Oregon Tuesday. Firefighters were seen working to get water on the site just before noon and the fire appeared to be dwindling around 12:30 p.m.

"We can confirm that a fire occurred on a gasoline processing unit there at approximately 11:00 am this morning. Refinery crews were actively responding with assistance from the Oregon Fire Department. Importantly, there have been no injuries, and everyone is safe and has been accounted for at the site. We have notified appropriate public officials and regulatory agency representatives, and at this time are unaware of any community impact," - said the company on Tuesday.

The refinery manager, Mike Gudgeon, said it happened around 11 a.m., following an incident at a gasoline-producing unit at the plant. Two processing units were shut down, but everything else operated as normal Tuesday.

As MRC wrote previously, in H1 September, 2021, US-based PBF Energy began the process of restarting aromatics production in Chalmette, southeast Louisiana, USA after an unscheduled maintenance, caused by Hurricane Ida. The plant's production capacity is 185,000 mt/year of benzene, 180,000 mt/year of toluene and 270,000 mt/year of xylenes. PBF Energy restarted most of the production at its refinery in Chalmetta around September 17, 2021. The facility was shut down due to a power outage when Hurricane Ida hit the coast on 29 August.

Benzene is feedstock for the production of styrene monomer (SM), which, in its turn, is the main raw material for the production of polystyrene (PS).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics totalled 420,690 tonnes in the first nine months of 2021, up by 16% year on year. September estimated consumption was 46,150 tonnes, down by 3% year on year.

HDPE production in Russia up by 7% in Jan-Oct 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's overall production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) totalled 1,618,000 tonnes in the first ten months of 2021, up by 7% year on year. At the same time, only one producer increased its output, according to MRC's ScanPlast report.

October total HDPE production in Russia dropped to 144,000 tonnes, whereas this figure was at 146,400 tonnes a month earlier; Kazanorgsintez and Stavrolen's production capacities were shut for maintenance. Thus, overall HDPE output reached 1,618,000 tonnes in January-October 2021, compared to 1,506,000 tonnes a year earlier. Only ZapSibNeftekhim's output increased, three other producers reduced their polyethylene (PE) production.

The PE production structure by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

SapSibNeftekhim's October total HDPE production reached 98,200 tonnes versus 98,900 tonnes a month earlier. The Tobolsk plant's overall HDPE output reached 984,100 tonnes in the first ten month of 2021, up by 35% year on year.

Kazanorgsintez's overall HDPE output rose to 25,000 tonnes last month from 19,400 tonnes in September, the Kazan producer shut its production for a turnaround in the second half of September-the first decade of October. Thus, the plant's overall production of this PE grade totalled 308,600 tonnes over the stated period, down by 24% year on year.

Stavrolen's October HDPE production was 9,500 tonnes versus 24,900 tonnes a month earlier, the Budennovsk producer shut its production for scheduled repairs in the second decade of the month. Overall HDPE output exceeded 247,700 tonnes in January-October 2021, down by 7% year on year.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat' total HDPE production was slightly less than 11,300 tonnes last month, its September output was 3,200 tonnes due to a long outage for maintenance works. Thus, the Salavat plant's overall output of this PE grade totalled 78,000 tonnes in the first ten months of 2021, down by 25% year on year.


Fire breaks out in fuel tank outside Umm Qasr port in Basra

Fire breaks out in fuel tank outside Umm Qasr port in Basra

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Fire broke out in a fuel tank outside Iraq's main Gulf Umm Qasr port near Basra, reported Reuters with reference to the state news agency reported on Wednesday.

Iraq exports most of its oil through its southern Gulf ports.

As MRC informed before, Lukoil has submitted to Iraq's oil ministry a preliminary development proposal for Eridu field, which may yield an estimated 250,000 b/d at peak, helping OPEC's second biggest producer in its efforts to boost crude production capacity. The proposal's submission will allow the ministry to study and approve the field's development, the ministry said in a Nov. 12 statement.

Lukoil currently operates Iraq's southern West Qurna 2, one of the world's largest oil fields with around 14 billion barrels of initial recoverable reserves, according to its website. The field pumps around 9% of Iraqi total oil production. Lukoil holds a 75% interest in West Qurna 2 and Iraqi state-owned North Oil Co. the remainder.

LLDPE production rose by 17% in January-October in Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's overall linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) production totalled 4,946,000 tonnes in the first ten months of 2021, up by 17% year on year. ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in the output, according to MRC's ScanPlast report.

October total LLDPE production in Russia decreased to 35,300 tonnes, whereas this figure was at 47,300 tonnes a month earlier, all producers decreased their capacity utilisation. Thus, overall PE output reached 4,946,000 tonnes in January-October 2021, compared to 4,242,000 tonnes a year earlier. All producers raised their output of PE, but ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for the greatest increase in production.

The structure of PE output by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

October LLDPE production at ZapSibNeftekhim's facilities reached 18,400 tonnes against 29,300 tonnes a month earlier. In general, the total output of linear polyethylene at the Tobolsk plant reached the level of 272,600 tonnes in January-October, up 21% year on year.

Last month, LLDPE production at the facilities of Nizhnekamskneftekhim decreased to 13,700 tonnes against 18,100 tonnes in September, the Nizhnekamsk producer stopped production in October for a short repair. Thus, overall production of this PE grade totalled 187,600 tonnes over the stated period, up by 4% year on year.

Kazanorgsintez for ten months of this year produced 34,400 tonnes of linear polyethylene against 19,500 tonnes a year earlier.