Covestro will showcase innovative material solutions in Germany

Covestro will showcase innovative material solutions in Germany

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro will showcase innovative material solutions for more sustainable future mobility at the combined trade show The Battery Show Europe and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo from November 30th to December 2nd, 2021 in Stuttgart, Germany, said the company.

The company is fully oriented towards the circular economy, focusing on an increased use of alternative raw materials and renewable energy as well as the development of innovative recycling technologies.

Demand for high-performance batteries is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Covestro brings extensive plastics processing expertise to the table and will showcase a battery module it has developed in-house at the show, allowing it to test its own materials. The company also performs CAE component simulations and provides support to customers with moldflow analyses and injection molding upon request.

The number of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids is growing significantly, and with it the need for charging stations. There is a wide range of charging equipment on offer, from fixtures in parking lots to wall-mounted charging points in private homes.

Charging stations require materials that meet a number of often very specific requirements. They have to withstand all types of weather and also withstand attacks of vandalism well. Added to this are the wishes of the operators of charging stations, for example manufacturing by means of mass production as well as high functionality, lightness, toughness and good electrical insulation of the materials. And last but not least, they must be easy to shape in order to offer as much design freedom as possible.

Polycarbonates from the Makrolon® range and polycarbonate blends from the Bayblend® series meet all these requirements. Together with the mass-balanced products of the Makrolon® RE series, they play their part in further reducing the carbon footprint of this more sustainable form of propulsion.

We remind that Covestro closed the sale of its European polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Munich-based Serafin Group effective January 2, 2020. This includes key management and sales functions throughout Europe as well as production sites in Belgium and Italy.

As per MRC ScanPlast, the overall estimated consumption of polycarbonate (PC) granules (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus) dropped in the first three quarters of 2021 by 15% year on year to 63,700 tonnes (75,300 tonnes a year earlier). And although in the extrusion grade sector, the market decreased by 21% year on year with consumption of 52,100 tonnes (65,600 tonnes a year earlier), it increased in the injection moulding sector by 43% year on year to 10,300 tonnes (7,200 tonnes a year earlier).

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc. With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

COVID-19 - News digest as of 25.11.2021

1. October crude imports to South Korea rise by 2%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korea's crude oil imports in October rose 1.9% from a year earlier, reflecting the country's rising refinery run rates as Seoul rapidly eases COVID-19 restrictions, while major refiners plan to actively purchase spot cargoes from non-OPEC producers amid tight Middle Eastern supply, reported S&P Global. The world's fifth-biggest crude importer received 11.419 million mt, or 83.7 million barrels, of crude oil last month, compared with 82.14 million barrels imported a year earlier, data from the Korea Customs Service showed. The October imports were also up 6.4% from 78.63 million barrels received in September.


Crude oil futures largely steady in Asia as risk sentiment remains firm despite US stock build

Crude oil futures largely steady in Asia as risk sentiment remains firm despite US stock build

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures were largely steady in mid-morning trade in Asia Nov. 25 as risk sentiment remained firm despite a build in US crude oil stocks in data released overnight, reported S&P Global.

At 10:25 am Singapore time (0225 GMT), the ICE January Brent futures contract was up 4 cents/b (0.05%) from the previous close at USD82.29/b, while the NYMEX January light sweet crude contract was 3 cents/b (0.04%) lower at USD78.36/b.

Total US commercial crude stocks rose 1.02 million barrels to 434.02 million barrels in the week to Nov. 19, the US Energy Information Administration said Nov. 24, leaving stockpiles around 7.2% behind the five-year average for this time of year.

US gasoline stocks fell 600,000 barrels to 211.39 million barrels, falling 5.2% behind the five-year average, while total distillate stocks fell 1.97 million barrels to 121.72 million barrels, the EIA data showed.

Demand was seen higher in the US across all major refined products, with both gasoline and distillate consumption rising around 1% on the week to 9.33 million b/d and 4.39 million b/d, respectively.

Investors will likely remain bullish on crude oil in the near term after announcements of strategic petroleum reserve releases by major oil-consuming countries fell far short of expectations, sending oil prices shooting higher by more than 3%. Colder weather in several parts of Asia will also keep a floor under energy prices, analysts said.

As MRC informed before, US commercial crude stocks fell 3.48 million barrels to 413.96 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 17, to more than 8% below the five-year average, Energy Information Administration data showed. Stocks were last lower Oct. 5, 2018.

We remind that in late August, 2021, US crude stocks dropped sharply while petroleum products supplied by refiners hit an all-time record despite the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide, the Energy Information Administration said. Crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 27 to 425.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.1 million-barrel drop. Product supplied by refineries, a measure of demand, rose to 22.8 million barrels per day in the most recent week. That's a one-week record, and signals strength in consumption for diesel, gasoline and other fuels by consumers and exporters.

We also remind that US crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 11.12 million bpd, EIA said in a monthly report earlier this year, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.

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.