North American weekly chem railcar traffic decreased by 6.7%

North American weekly chem railcar traffic decreased by 6.7%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical railcar traffic for the week ended 8 January fell by 6.7% year on year to 45,325 loadings, with decreases in all three countries - the US, Canada and Mexico, according to the latest data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

Total North American freight rail traffic for the week was down by 17.4% year on year, with shipments in all major commodity categories declining.

As per MRC, oil rose to nearly USD84 a barrel on Tuesday, supported by tight supply and expectations that rising coronavirus cases and the spread of the Omicron variant will not derail a global demand recovery. A lack of capacity in some countries has meant that supply additions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are running below the increase permitted under a pact with its allies.

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 last year, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.

Neste concludes first series of trial runs processing liquefied waste plastic at its Porvoo refinery in Finland

Neste concludes first series of trial runs processing liquefied waste plastic at its Porvoo refinery in Finland

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Neste has successfully concluded its first series of trial runs processing liquefied waste plastic at its Porvoo refinery in Finland, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

After kicking the series off with its first-ever industrial scale trial run with liquefied waste plastic in 2020, Neste has conducted additional runs in 2021. In the course of the trial runs, Neste has been able to upgrade liquefied waste plastic to drop-in solutions for plastic production and develop industrial scale capabilities to upgrade recycled feedstocks.

Trials pave the way for continuous and commercial activities. Neste has set itself the goal of processing more than 1 MM tons of plastic waste per year from 2030 onwards.

To achieve that goal, the company is advancing chemical recycling to turn plastic waste into a valuable raw material, strengthening circularity. For the first time ever, Neste completed a successful trial run with 400 tons of plastic waste in 2020, marking a milestone when it comes to Neste’s goal of driving a circular economy to reduce the depletion of fossil resources.

In the course of 2021, additional trials were conducted to gain further insights into the processing of liquefied waste plastic, including the processes’ impact on the refinery operations. In addition to that, Neste also focused on proving the concept of closing the loop in the plastics value chain and making circularity a reality: The tests validate that Neste is already able to process significant quantities of recycled raw materials to drop-in products for petrochemical use, while developing the capabilities to upgrade even larger quantities of waste plastic into even higher quality feedstock for the petrochemicals uses.

“There is strong interest in feedstocks from recycled raw materials in the polymers and chemicals market,” says Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President, Renewable Polymers and Chemicals at Neste. “By processing liquefied waste plastic and upgrading waste into valuable resources, we thereby not only contribute to combating the plastic pollution challenge, but we also provide chemical and polymer companies with the means to advance the circular economy. To do so at a larger scale going forward, we’ll also require regulatory support. On the one hand, this includes the acceptance of chemical recycling as a complementary technology to achieve ambitious recycling targets. On the other hand, we need similarly ambitious targets for increasing the use of more sustainable materials.”

As MRC reported earlier, in July, 2021, Finnish Neste and LyondellBasell announced a long-term commercial agreement under which LyondellBasell will source Neste RE, a feedstock from Neste that has been produced from 100% renewable feedstock from bio-based sources, such as waste and residue oils and fats. This feedstock will be processed through the cracker at LyondellBasell’s Wesseling, Germany, plant into polymers and sold under the CirculenRenew brand name.

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 2,265,290 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2021, up by 14% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 tonnes in January-November, 2021, up by 25% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

Neste (Helsinki) creates solutions for combating climate change and accelerating a shift to a circular economy. The company refines waste, residues and innovative raw materials into renewable fuels and sustainable feedstock for plastics and other materials. The company is the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, developing chemical recycling to combat the plastic waste challenge. In 2020, Neste's revenue stood at EUR11.8 billion, with 94% of the company’s comparable operating profit coming from renewable products.

INK insured the Irkutsk polymer plant for Rb204 bn

INK insured the Irkutsk polymer plant for Rb204 bn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SberSberia, a subsidiary of SberStrakhovanie, together with Ingosstrakh and Rosgosstrakh signed an agreement to insure the construction of the Irkutsk Polymer Plant (a project of the Irkutsk Oil Company, INK), Interfax reports.

"The insurance contract for a total insured amount of more than 203.6 billion rubles was concluded for six years and covers the risks both for the period of construction and commissioning, and during the warranty service of commissioned facilities," the report says.

The press service of the INC, citing Mikhail Volkov, CEO of SberStrakhovanie, notes that the parties have already agreed on the possibility of expanding insurance coverage by 10% in excess of the agreed amount. The Irkutsk Polymer Plant is the third and final stage of INK's own gas project, which the company has been implementing since 2014. Earlier, INC estimated the entire project at 450 billion rubles, and the IRP itself at about 250 billion rubles.

As reported, the Irkutsk Polymer Plant is scheduled to be launched in 2024.

At the end of December last year, the Irkutsk Oil Company (INC) attracted a loan for the construction of the Irkutsk Polymer Plant (IZP) in the amount of USD 871 million from a consortium of foreign banks.

The Irkutsk Oil Company is implementing the construction of a polymer plant in Ust-Kut as part of the creation of a gas chemical cluster that includes gas production, treatment, transportation and processing facilities. This is the first plant in Eastern Siberia for the production of polymers from ethane, provided with its own raw materials. The production capacity of the site will be 650 thousand tons of marketable products per year.

In April 2019, the Irkutsk Oil Company signed an agreement with Univation Technologies (USA) to use the UNIPOL polyethylene production technology. INK is implementing a gas utilization project with Honeywell UOP, under which gas is separated into fractions for further monetization through the construction of a plant for the production of HDPE and LDL with a capacity of 650 thousand tons per year.

In addition, the PRODIGY and ACCLAIM technologies for the production of bimodal HDPE will be included in the IRP product line, which is the raw material for the further production of ISO-certified products, such as PE 80 and PE100 tubular polyethylene, as well as PE for high-strength bimodal films and containers produced by blow molding used in everyday life and industry.

LLC "Irkutsk Oil Company" unites companies engaged in geological study, exploration and production of hydrocarbons at 41 licensed areas in Eastern Siberia. INK's main mining asset is the Yarakta field in the Irkutsk region. The main owner of INK through INK-Capital JSC (INKK) is Nikolay Buinov. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development owns 4.4% in the capital of INCC, Goldman Sachs - 3.75%.

Massive fire breaks out at Nan Ya plant in Wharton County, USA

Massive fire breaks out at Nan Ya plant in Wharton County, USA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Massive fire breaks out at Nan Ya Plastics' plant in Wharton County, USA, on Sunday night and Monday morning, reported Click2Houston with reference to officials' statement.

According to officials, the Wharton, Boling, Hungerford, Glen Flora, El Campo and East Bernard fire departments were called to the scene Sunday night.

The fire was blazing well into the night for hours, officials said. At one point, officers with the Wharton Police Department said Wilkes and Mattie streets had to be evacuated while crews were working to get the fire under control. Firefighters were able to eventually contain the blaze.

All employees and personnel have been accounted for, Wharton police said.

Officers said the fire was equipment-related. The fire was centred on a warehouse used to store polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin pellets and an area that contains some processing equipment.

PVC is a durable and versatile plastic used to make building products, including flooring, window frames, decking, wire insulation and pipe, as well as blood bags, auto interiors and other products.

We remind that, as MRC informed earlier, the restart of Formosa's ethylene cracker in Point Comfort, Texas, USA, completed the week of April 5, allowed Nan Ya Plastics, Formosa's sister company, to restart its new monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit at the same site. This plant with the capacity of 800,000 mt/year of MEG was shut im mid-February, 2021, because of deep freeze in the region.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of unmixed PVC was 911,400 tonnes in January-November 2021, up by 7% year on year. The market for emulsion and suspension PVC showed an increase in demand. November estimated consumption of SPVC in Russia totalled 79,340 tonnes versus 76,720 tonnes in October. Russian producers reduced export volumes, and production also increased after the completion of scheduled maintenance works.

Nan Ya is a division of Nan Ya Plastics Corp of Taipei, Taiwan, which, in its turn, is a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 12.01.2022

1. ExxonMobil Q4 2021 earnings poised to exceed pre-pandemic level

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil's fourth quarter profit should top Wall Street's consensus and surpass its pre-pandemic levels, lifted by better-than-expected earnings from oil and gas, reported Reuters with reference to analysts.Credit Suisse, Scotiabank and JPMorgan have raised their fourth quarter earnings estimates following Exxon's flagging of sharply higher oil and gas operating profit last week. Official results are due on Feb. 1.The higher earnings outlooks lifted Exxon shares 3.8% on Monday to USD63.51 on top of Friday's less than 1% gain. The stock rose 48% last year but remains below where it traded two years ago.