PPG names Tim Knavish as its Chief Operating Officer

PPG names Tim Knavish as its Chief Operating Officer

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PPG has announced the appointment of Tim Knavish, executive vice president, as chief operating officer, effective March 1, 2022, according to BusinessWire.

Knavish will have executive oversight responsibility for all of PPG’s strategic business units and operating regions and for the information technology (IT), environment, health and safety (EH&S), and procurement functions. He will remain based at PPG’s global headquarters in Pittsburgh and will continue to report to Chairman and CEO Michael McGarry.

“Tim’s proven experience and leadership throughout his 35-year career at PPG have been instrumental in driving PPG’s performance as a leading coatings and specialty materials company,” McGarry said. “Tim has worked in virtually all of PPG’s businesses and has made structural improvements in each business that he managed. He also played a key role in the most recent Tikkurila and Ennis-Flint acquisitions. Plus, in his primary role as leader of our global architectural business, Tim is delivering further global collaboration, leading the adoption of new digital processes and delivering improved financial performance. In this new role, Tim’s broad operational expertise, global experience and demonstrated ability to lead our business strategies will play a key role in our continued focus to drive growth and deliver increased shareholder value.”

Since 2019, Knavish has served in his current role as executive vice president, where he has been responsible for the global architectural coatings businesses, excluding the Latin America business which was added to his responsibilities this year; the global automotive refinish business; the Latin America region; and the digital and information technology functions.

As MRC reported earlier, in September 2021, Roald Johannsen, PPG vice president of automotive coatings for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was elected chairman of the board of the European Council of the Paint, Printing Ink and Artists’ Colours Industry (CEPE). He succeeds Andre Vieira de Castro, CEO of Portugal-based Argacol - Tintas e Vernizes, who had been CEPE chairman since October 2020.

We remind that in June 2021, PPG announced an expansion of its coatings manufacturing capacity in Europe for packaging applications. The investments at sites in The Netherlands and Poland will support growing customer demand in the region for the latest generation of coatings for aluminum and steel cans used in packaging for beverage, food and personal care items. The projects include a further expansion of the company’s location in Tiel, The Netherlands, which will increase the plant’s production capacity for PPG INNOVEL non-BPA internal coatings for beverage cans by 30%. Expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022, the project follows a 50% expansion completed at the end of 2020.

BPA is the main feedstock for the production of polycarbonate (PC).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall consumption of polycarbonate (PC) granules (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus) decreased in January-October 2021 by 15% to 67,300 tonne from 79,500 tonnes a year earlier.

PPG Industries Inc. is an international American company manufacturing paints and varnishes, chemicals, optical components, specialty materials, glass and fiberglass. The company includes over 150 production units and representative offices in more than 60 countries around the world. PPG is one of the 500 largest US corporations by sales.

Crude oil prices rise on consumer demand, inventory declines

Crude oil prices rise on consumer demand, inventory declines

MOSCOW (MRC) -- :Oil prices edged higher on Wednesday, rebounding from early losses after US inventory data showed strong consumer demand and as the Federal Reserve said it would end its pandemic-era bond purchases in March to slow rising inflation, reported Reuters.

Prices had been pressured most of the day due to ongoing concerns that supply growth will outpace demand next year and worries that COVID-19 vaccines may be less effective against the spreading Omicron variant.

Brent crude futures settled up 18 cents, or 0.2%, to USD73.88 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude ended up 14 cents to USD70.87 a barrel.

The Federal Reserve said it would end its pandemic-era bond purchases in March and begin raising interest rates as unemployment remains low and inflation has risen.

Oil prices rose in line with other risky assets like US equities, which responded positively to the Fed’s statement.

US crude inventories sank by 4.6 million barrels last week and distillate and gasoline stocks also declined, weekly government data showed. Crude exports picked up sharply, while product supplied by refineries, a signal of consumer demand, hit a record 23.2 million barrels per day.

“The EIA data was very strong across all elements, record implied oil demand, large draw of crude and oil products,” said Giovanni Staunovo, commodity analyst at UBS.

That said, oil analysts anticipate the Omicron variant will curb demand in the coming months. The World Health Organization said preliminary evidence indicated vaccines may be less effective against infection and transmission linked to the Omicron variant, which also carries a higher risk of reinfection.

“As more information comes out about potential lockdowns or travel restrictions as a result of Omicron we could see a pullback from here,” said Gary Cunningham, director of market research at Tradition Energy.

On Tuesday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said a surge in COVID-19 cases would dent global demand for oil while crude output is set to increase, especially in the United States, and supply is set to exceed demand at least until the end of next year.

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.

EC submits new legislative proposal on reduction of methane pollution in energy sector

EC submits new legislative proposal on reduction of methane pollution in energy sector

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Environmental Defense Fund Europe welcomes the European Commission's new legislative proposal to reduce methane pollution in the energy sector, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

While the package offers important technical measures for operators within the EU, however, it is silent on the vast majority of Europe's methane footprint, which comes from imported natural gas.

"Imports make up 85% of European gas consumption, but most methane pollution from these sources occurs before the gas enters the EU. Yet under this proposal, these methane emissions remain unregulated. We have health and environmental rules for other imports, so why not natural gas?"

"Cutting methane pollution is our best, fastest opportunity to slow the rate of warming now, while we move to decarbonize the economy. Unfortunately, the new EU plan fails to seize the moment, said Jill Duggan, Executive Director, Environmental Defense Fund Europe.

"The onus now shifts to the European Parliament and Council to effectively address the bulk of Europe's methane footprint. Both can take inspiration from the international momentum generated around methane action in 2021.

"Environmental Defense Fund Europe still firmly believes that Europe has a leading role to play in reducing methane emissions. We look forward to working with MEPs, the Council and the Commission to make that a reality."

At the Glasgow UN Climate Talks, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden announced a global pledge with 100 plus countries to cut methane emissions 30% by 2030. Methane pollution from fossil fuels, agriculture and waste account for over one-quarter of today's warming. Heightened awareness over the need for climate actions that target the pollutants affecting both the scale and the speed at which the planet is warming has brought acute focus on methane.

As MRC wrote previously, the European Union plans to capture five MM tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year by 2030 through technologies, and create an EU system to certify carbon removals, according to a draft document seen by Reuters in early December. The EU has committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050, eliminating the more than 3 B tons of CO2 equivalent it currently emits each year. To help meet that target, Brussels wants to scale up carbon removals both by using technology to capture CO2 and place it in long-term storage sites, and by encouraging farmers and landowners to store more CO2 in trees, soil and wetlands.

We remind that in November 2021, a coalition of 19 countries including Britain and the United States agreed to create zero emissions shipping trade routes between ports to speed up the decarbonization of the global maritime industry.

We also remind that ExxonMobil last month offered to lease 500,000 acres off the Texas coast, securing space for what could become a massive project to capture and store carbon emissions. Under pressure by investors to address climate change, Exxon in April floated an up to USD100 B industry hub to collect planet-warming emissions from Gulf Coast petrochemical plants and bury them under the Gulf of Mexico.

Besides, ExxonMobil also said earlier last month it is on track to meet its 2025 emissions reduction targets by the end of this year - four years earlier than planned - and has vowed to ramp up investments to further cut emissions.

Arkema to double its photocure resins capacity in China

Arkema to double its photocure resins capacity in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema announces the project to double its UV curable resins production capacity at its Nansha plant in China. This expansion will support the fast-growing demand in Asia for cutting-edge solutions in electronics, driven by 5G technology, and in renewable energies, said the company.

This investment is fully aligned with the Group’s strategy to develop its Coating Solutions segment with high value-added solutions and reinforce its downstream acrylics activities in Asia. It will enable Arkema to grow its high-performance and solvent-free solutions portfolio for UV curing marketed under the flagship brand Sartomer.

This new expansion is scheduled to come on stream in the second half of 2023 and will provide best-in-class regional supply to customers in Asia. In addition to this new production capacity, which will leverage the most recent process and manufacturing standards, the plant aims at carbon neutral growth thanks to an energy efficiency program, green electricity purchasing and the installation of solar panels.

As per MRC, Arkema is further increasing its fluoropolymer production capacities in Changshu, China, by 35% in 2022. The increase in capacity is scheduled to come on stream before the end of 2022, the company said in a statement. Financial and overall capacity details of the expansion project were not disclosed.

As per MRC, Arkema has brought on stream new Kynar PVDF capacities in its Calvert-City plant in the United States. With this 20% increase in its US production capacities, Arkema will further support its customers’ strong demand in the region. Through this investment and following the successful start-up of a similar expansion at its Changshu, China plant in 2017, Arkema, which operates fluoropolymer production facilities on the three major continents - Europe, North America, and Asia, further consolidates its world-leading position in PVDF.

Arkema is one of the world's leading chemical manufacturers headquartered in Colombes (near Paris, France). Founded in 2004 as a result of the restructuring of the French oil company Total, Arkema, with a turnover of EUR6.5 billion, has operations in 40 countries, 10 research centers around the world, and 85 factories in Europe, North America and Asia.

BP and partners award first engineering contracts advancing major ‎UK power and carbon capture projects

BP and partners award first engineering contracts advancing major ‎UK power and carbon capture projects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP has issued the first front-end engineering and design (FEED) contracts covering the Net Zero Teesside Power (NZT Power) project and the Northern Endurance Partnership’s carbon compression infrastructure, said the company.

With up to 860 MW of capacity, NZT Power is the world’s first commercial scale gas-fired power station with carbon capture, and is being developed as a joint venture between BP and Equinor, with BP leading as operator. It will share CO2 transport and storage infrastructure with the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP) – a group comprised of BP, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell and TotalEnergies – which will gather and compress CO2 from NZT Power and other regional sources and export it offshore sub-surface storage in the Endurance carbon store.

The infrastructure forms a major component of the East Coast Cluster scheme to decarbonise industrial emissions around the Humber and Teesside. One FEED consortium is led by Technip Energies alongside General Electric, with Shell as a subcontractor for the provision of the licensed Cansolv CO2 capture technology and Balfour Beatty as the nominated construction partner.

Another is led by Aker Solutions, alongside Doosan Babcock and Siemens Energy, with Aker Carbon Capture as a subcontractor for the provision of licensed CO2 capture technology. The two groups will now design and submit development plans for the proposed power station and carbon capture plant, and NEP’s compression and export facilities.

Each will each deliver a comprehensive FEED package, led from their UK offices, over the next 12 months. Following the completion of the FEED process, the two consortia will then submit engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) proposals for the execution phase.

As part of the final investment decision (FID) expected in 2023, a single group will then be selected to take the project forward into construction, BP confirmed.

As per MRC, BP acquired US shale assets from BHP Billiton for USD10.5 billion in the largest deal since the 1999 acquisition of Atlantic Richfield oil company. British oil and gas company BP bought US shale assets owned by mining company BHP Billiton.

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 2,047,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2021, up by 17% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,226,530 tonnes in January-October 2021, up by 26% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding stat-copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.

BP is a British oil and gas company, one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world, headquartered in London. The company is engaged in oil and gas production. BP owns refining and petrochemical facilities, a network of filling stations, and produces oils under the Castrol brand. BP operates in over 80 countries. The total staff is about 86 thousand people.