KMG in talks with PKN Orlen, Chimcomplex over potential Rompetrol sale

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Group "KMG International N.V." (which includes Rompetrol Rafinare and Rompetrol Well Services) takes note of the recent publications in the Polish and Romanian media regarding the interest shown by Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen SA (PKN Orlen) and Chimcomplex (CHOB) in regarding the business of "KMG International", said the company.

From time to time, the KMG International Group conducts discussions with various parties regarding potential deals and / or cooperation regarding various development opportunities, to the extent that such cooperation is capable of bringing additional value or synergy to the activities of KMG International.

At the moment, no deal is in the final stage and there is no certainty that there will be any deal with any potential partner.

As per MRC, PKN Orlen says it has signed a final contract with Hyundai Engineering and Tecnicas Reunidas for the engineering and construction of the main units for PKN Orlen's previously announced Olefins Complex III project at Plock, Poland. The project is due for completion in 2024. Following production launch, scheduled for early 2025, the share of crude oil used to manufacture petrochemical products in Plock will rise from 14% to 19%. This is all the more important given an expected drop in demand for refinery products and an expected increase, by as much as 80%, in demand for high-margin petrochemicals by 2050.

As per MRC, ORLEN Unipetrol (part of PKN Orlen), a large Czech manufacturer of petrochemical products, lifted force majeure circumstances on the supply of products from a polypropylene (PP) plant in Litvinov (Czech Republic) on June 22. Force majeure at this enterprise with a capacity of 345 thousand tons of PP per year was announced on May 28 of this year, and the plant was closed on May 25 due to a serious technical failure in the operation of the reactor and as a safety measure.

Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen S.A. (PKN Orlen) is the largest Polish oil and gas company and one of the largest oil and gas companies in Europe. In Plock, the nominal capacity of the polypropylene (PP) line is 400 thousand tons per year. PKN Orlen owns a majority stake (63%) of the Czech polyolefin manufacturer Unipetrol. In addition, the largest Czech chemical manufacturer Spolana is also part of the Polish PKN Orlen group. The enterprise produces PVC, caprolactam, sulfuric acid, mineral fertilizers.

Synthos plans to build butadiene production in Poland

Synthos plans to build butadiene production in Poland

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Synthos announced the final investment decision for the construction of a new Butadiene Extraction Unit with associated logistic infrastructure to be built in Plock, Poland, said the company.

Air Liquide Engineering and Construction licenses the BASF NMP Butadiene Extraction technology and has been awarded with the overall engineering, procurement and Construction services and supplies for the project. The commissioning of the Butadiene Extraction Unit and first production are scheduled for 2024. The Butadiene extraction Unit will have a BD capacity of 120 kt/y.

In view of Synthos’ continuous innovations and expansion, amongst others in the segments Synthetic Rubbers and Latexes, the New Butadiene Unit is a next step to safeguard Synthos’ strategic feedstock position close to its consuming assets in CEE.

Earlier it was reported that Synthos closed the production of polybutadiene rubber (PBK) in Kralupy nad Vltavou (Kralupy, Czech Republic) for scheduled repairs. This plant with a capacity of 100 thousand tons of PBK per year will be closed for one month.

Butadiene is one of the main raw materials for the production of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).

According to the ICIS-MRC Price Report, ABS imports to Russia grew by 19% in the first three quarters of 2021 compared to the same period last year and amounted to 30,000 tonnes against 25,300 tonnes. The share of South Korean supplies fell to 57% (17,100 tonnes) against 63% (16,000 tonnes) a year earlier.

Synthos S.A. is a chemical producer and a key player in the global synthetic rubber market. Synthos S.A Capital Group’s line of business involves the production and sales of chemical products used as raw materials and intermediate products in a wide range of industries, in particular, in the tire industry, the construction industry and the packaging industry.

NPP "POLYPLASTIC" was audited for the requirements of the standard

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The leading compounder on the domestic market became the first Russian company to certify both the development and production of compounds according to IATF 16949 standard. There were no compounders in Russia until now that passed this audit for complete production cycle, said the company.

The auditors from the international holding DQS performed R&P POLYPLASTIC certification. DQS headquarters are based in Frankfurt am Main, and official representative offices are located in 60 countries worldwide. The auditors worked at the sites of R&P POLYPLASTIC in November and made a positive report.

"We have been preparing for this certification for almost a year. We trained our employees to work according to IATF 16949 standard and made the required modifications in processes and documentation. The audit gave us the opportunity to look at our company through the eyes of the world leading automotive OEMs. We are glad that we passed the certification with minimum insignificant comments. The auditors themselves paid particular attention to the fact that only a few companies pass this certification with such a result”, says Alexander Pavlov, General Director of R&P POLYPLASTIC.

DQS specialists in German head office are currently preparing the official IATF 16949 certificate. It usually takes several weeks to issue it.

"To be a leader is not enough just to declare it. It is necessary to confirm your words with particular actions. For us IATF 16949 certification became a step to a new level of development and production of materials and process management. It also put us on a par with the world leading brands, and we will make every effort to improve our performance within this standard", - says Alexander Pavlov.

As per MRC, NPP POLYPLASTIC, the largest Russian manufacturer of thermoplastic composite materials, plans to commission two compounding lines in Engels this year. Investments in equipment amounted to EUR3.3 mn euros (Rb286 mn). After reaching the design capacity by 2022, these lines will produce 20,000 tonnes of material per year in addition to the volume that is already being produced today, and in 2023 it is planned to build a plant in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of the Volga region.

NPP "POLYPLASTIC" plans to modernize 50% of production lines by 2025 in terms of automation of the control system and traceability of production process data.

NPP "POLYPLASTIC" produces more than 250 grades of polymer compounds, providing localization of plastic materials in such industries as the automotive industry, household and electrical engineering, cable and construction industries. The company supplies materials for the manufacture of plastic auto components for models of leading car manufacturers: AvtoVAZ, UAZ, GAZ, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Skoda, Kia, and others. Global brands-manufacturers of white household appliances - Indesit, B / S / H, LG, BEKO - are also partners of the Russian compounder.

Tumble in spot premiums for February-loading cargoes spurs Asia refiners to purchase Mideast oil

Tumble in spot premiums for February-loading cargoes spurs Asia refiners to purchase Mideast oil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian and Chinese oil buyers are snapping up Middle East crude after spot premiums for February-loading cargoes slumped by more than half to three-month lows on improved supplies to Asia, reported Reuters.

The drop in crude differentials, also seen in some European and African crudes, comes as forecasters such as OPEC predict a supply surplus in 2022. Still, views differ on the extent and Goldman Sachs said on Friday average demand will still hit a record next year.

Easing concerns about the impact of the new coronavirus variant Omicron on Asia's fuel demand are also supporting Asian refiners' margins, trade sources said.

"It's quite a busy week as demand all came out," a Singapore-based analyst with a trading firm said.

Supplies to Asia are improving as pricing differences in crude grades make Atlantic Basin crudes become more attractive.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies have also agreed to continue ramping up output by 400,000 bpd in January.

The slide in spot premiums comes after they hit multi-year highs for January-loading cargoes.

India's Reliance Industries Ltd snapped up 4 MM bbl of Abu Dhabi Das supplies this week, while top refiner Indian Oil Corp has bought 3 MM bbl of Upper Zakum and Basra Heavy crude.

Fuel demand from the world's third-largest oil importer and consumer is robust as industrial activity picks up. Gasoil sales, which account for about two-fifths of India's overall refined fuel consumption, jumped nearly 18% in the first half of December from the same period in November.

In China, Rongsheng Petrochemical, the trading arm of top private refiner Zhejiang Petrochemical, bought 8 MM bbl of Abu Dhabi and Oman crude for February-March loading, on top of 1 MM bbl of February-loading Abu Dhabi's Upper Zakum last week. The refiner also purchased at least 2 MM bbl of Emirati and Iraqi crude for delivery between February or March and December.

Another mega Chinese refiner, Hengli Petrochemical, took three of four Qatari al-Shaheen crude cargoes in Qatar Energy's tender while the remaining cargo went to Japan's top refiner ENEOS Holdings.

But there has been less appetite from Chinese independent refiners which have been hit by restrictions on import quotas, increasing scrutiny on tax evasion and probes into unapproved refining units in Shandong province. That has caused spot premiums for Russian ESPO crude to slip to four-month lows.

As MRC wrote previously, Reliance Industries (RIL) has taken off-stream one of its polypropylene (PP) plants in Jamnagar, India for a scheduled maintenance. Thus, this unit with an annual capacity of 400,000 tons/year of PP was shut on 5 August 2021 and will remain idle for approximately one month.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, 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.

Aker bp acquires oil and gas business of Lundin Energy through statutory merger

Aker bp acquires oil and gas business of Lundin Energy through statutory merger

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Aker BP has announced its proposed acquisition of the oil and gas business of Lundin Energy, through a statutory merger, as per bp's press release.

This combination would create the largest exploration and production company focused exclusively on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Bernard Looney, bp chief executive said: “We welcome and support this proposed acquisition, which will strengthen and significantly enhance the long-term future of Aker BP and our continuing relationship with Aker.

“The combination of Aker BP and Lundin Energy’s Norwegian oil and gas business will create a world-scale independent oil and gas company with a leading position in very high-quality, resilient resources with best-in-class CO2 emissions intensity.

bp currently holds a 27.9% interest in Aker BP. Following the merger this would be expected to become a 15.9% interest in the combined company.

As MRC reported earlier, in October, 2021, BP announced plans for a USD269 million investment in three projects at its Cherry Point Refinery in Washington state, aimed at improving the refinery's efficiency, reducing its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and increasing its renewable diesel production capability. The investment is aligned with bp's aims to be net zero across its operations by 2050 or sooner and to reduce the carbon intensity of the products it sells by 50% by 2050 or sooner.

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 one of the world's largest oil and gas companies, serving millions of customers every day in around 80 countries, and employing around 85,000 people. BP's business segments are Upstream (oil and gas exploration & production), and Downstream (refining & marketing). Through these activities, BP provides fuel for transportation; energy for heat and light; services for motorists; and petrochemicals products for plastics, textiles and food packaging. It has strong positions in many of the world"s hydrocarbon basins and strong market positions in key economies.