Fire at Kuwait National Petroleum refinery kills several people

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire erupted in Kuwait during maintenance work at a major oil refinery of Kuwait National Petroleum on Friday, killing two workers and critically injuring five others, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The company said, two contract workers died. Their bodies were discovered on site. According to ABC News, initially the company had said that 10 workers were injured in the fire, with five being treated at a nearby hospital for severe burns and another two for moderate burns. Others received treatment at an on-site clinic. The company later said that the five with severe burns were transferred to another hospital in critical condition.

The company said the fire broke out at a gas liquefaction unit that had been out of service for maintenance work. It said the fire was extinguished and that operations at the refinery were not affected because the unit damaged was already out of service.

As per MRC, Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) successfully started full operation of an environmentally friendly project to expand refining capacity and produce fuel that generates lower emissions and less pollution.

As per MRC, Kuwait National Petroleum Company restarted the steam production system in Kuwait’s Mina Abdulla refinery. The steam production system was shut down temporarily as it was replaced hot circulation system.

Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) was established in 1980, as the State owned asset and all other oil companies in Kuwait, including KNPC, became KPC subsidiaries. Currently, KNPC has two state-of-the-art Refineries, namely Mina Abdullah Refinery (MAB) and Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery (MAA). Shuaiba Refinery was shut down in March 2017 after the kick-off of the Clean Fuels Project (CFP). The total production capacity of both Refineries is 736,000 bpd of crude oil, and a gas processing capacity of 2.5 billion scfpd.

OMV to make Q4 value adjustments of about EUR1.7 bn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- OMV is to make Q4 2021 cash-neutral writedowns and value adjustments of around EUR1.7bn (USD1.95bn), said the company.

The group said the adjustments related to exploration and production, the fertiliser business of wholly-owned subsidiary Borealis and the fixed assets of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's (ADNOC’s) refining unit. OMV holds a 15% stake in the unit. Fertiliser production across Europe has been affected in recent months by all-time-high natural gas prices.

OMV said in its update that the average realised price of natural gas in the final quarter of last year was up 190% year on year. For crude oil, the average realised price grew 80% from a year earlier, the company added. OMV previously announced it will attempt to sell the Borealis fertiliser unit.

Also in the update, OMV said its Q4 polyethylene (PE) indicator margin for Europe grew to EUR458/tonne from Q4 2020’s EUR378/tonne. The Q4 polypropylene (PP) indicator margin for Europe increased to EUR690/tonne from Q4 2020’s €405/tonne, it added. OMV will publish its fourth-quarter results, including the adjustments, categorised as special effects, on February 3.

As per MRC, OMV reported utilization of 83% at its European refineries in H1, 2021, down by 3% on the year yet "relatively resilient in light of the COVID-19 impact". It expects the utilization rates at its European refineries to remain at the 2020 level this year. Last year its refineries reported 86% utilization. The company's refineries in Europe ran at 85% utilization in Q2, up from 81% in the year-ago quarter.

As MRC wrote before, OMV is investing EUR40 million (USD48 million) to expand and modernize a steam cracker and associated units at its refining and petrochemicals complex at Burghausen, Germany. The upgrade will increase the site’s ethylene and propylene production capacity by 50,000 metric tons/year. Following a planned turnaround of the refinery, the revamped cracker and petchem units are expected to start operations in the third quarter of 2022. Initial groundwork is already underway ahead of the upgrade.

OMV produces and markets oil and gas, innovative energy and high-end petrochemical solutions – in a responsible way. With Group sales of EUR 23 bn and a workforce of around 20,000 employees in 2019, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies.

Wacker expects 2021 earnings to beat expectations

Wacker expects 2021 earnings to beat expectations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker Chemie expects full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to come in at EUR1.5bn for 2021, compared to EUR666m in 2020 ahead of its own forecasts and market consensus, said the company.

In an ad-hoc disclosure released after markets closed on Thursday, the company said earnings for 2021 are likely to beat the EUR1.2bn-1.4bn guidance it had set out in its third quarter results that year, which at the time had represented a hike on its original EUR900m-1.1bn forecast.

Representing nearly a billion euros over EBITDA generated in 2020 and a substantial hike on the EUR783m posted in 2019, Wacker did not set out the reasons for the anticipated jump in growth in the announcement, but had seen strong momentum for silicones and polymers I the third quarter. Third-quarter silicones division EBITDA stood at €160.5m, a 77% year on year increase and substantially above earnings posted in the second quarter of 2021, driven by volume and pricing growth.

The company’s polymers division generated earnings of EUR84.5m in the third quarter of 2021, a modest year on year dip, but significantly up quarter on quarter. Polysilicon earnings for July-August 2021 came in at EUR200.8m compared to EUR7.9m during the same period a year earlier on the back of higher solar-grade pricing, while biosolutions also saw EBITDA increase year on year.

The third-quarter rally saw the company upgrade full-year earnings guidance to EUR1.2bn-1.4bn on the back of high polysilicon pricing and strong chemicals demand, but cautioned that negative currency effects and higher raw materials pricing would be substantially higher than expected.

As per MRC, Wacker Chemie AG is moving forward with “Shape the Future,” its efficiency program initiated last November. The Munich-based chemical company has recenly announced that company management and employee representatives have agreed on a framework for the planned job cutbacks.

As MRC reported earlier, Wacker Chemie operates a 90 ktpa EVA compounding plant at the Ulsan site, consisting of two lines. The second line with a capacity of 40 thousand tons of products per year was launched in 2013.

Wacker Chemie manufactures and markets EVA dispersions under the VINNAPAS brand name. VINNAPAS polymer dispersions are used in a wide range of industries: for the production of complex thermal insulation systems, building and tile adhesives, plaster, building mixtures and mortars, cement sealing slurries and nonwovens.

Lukoil selects Lummus ether and alkylation technologies for its Perm refinery

Lukoil selects Lummus ether and alkylation technologies for its Perm refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lummus Technology announced it has been awarded a contract from Lukoil Permnefteorgsintez for a new integrated methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and alkylation plant at Lukoil's refinery in Perm, Russia, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The MTBE unit will use Lummus' CDEtherol technology and the alkylation unit will use Lummus' CDAlky technology.

Lummus processes will produce MTBE and alkylate, delivering clean, high-octane gasoline blend components improving fuel efficiency and reducing vehicle emissions. Lummus' scope includes technology licensing, basic engineering, technical services and proprietary equipment supply.

Lummus' CDEtherol and CDAlky technologies provide significant benefits to operators, including superior product quality, reduced utility and energy consumption, reduced maintenance requirements and the flexibility to produce biofuels in the future.

As MRC reported earlier, Honeywell announced last week that Lukoil -Permnefteorgsintez, a subsidiary of Lukoil, will use a range of Honeywell UOP process technologies at its refinery to convert low value vacuum gasoil into high value products such as gasoline and propylene.

Propylene is the main feedstock for the production of polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, 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.

Lukoil is one of the leading vertically integrated oil companies in Russia. The main activities of the company include exploration and production of oil and gas, production and sale of petroleum products. Lukoil is the second largest private oil company in the world in terms of proven hydrocarbon reserves. The structure of Lukoil includes one of the largest petrochemical enterprises in Russia - Stavrolen.

MEGlobal nominates ACP for February 2022 at USD880 per tonne

MEGlobal nominates ACP for February 2022 at USD880 per tonne

MOSCOW (MRC) -- MEGlobal has announced its Asian Contract Price (ACP) for monoethylene glycol (MEG) to be shipped in February 2022, according to the company's press release.

Thus, on 11 January, 2022. the company said ACP for MEG would be at USD880/MT CFR Asian main ports for arrival in February 2022, up by USD30/tonne from the previous month.

The February 2022 ACP reflects the short term supply/demand situation in the Asian market.

As MRC reported earlier, MEGlobal announced its January ACP for MEG at USD850/MT CFR Asian main ports, down by USD50/tonne from December.

MEG is one of the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, the situation in the Russian domestic PET market was steady in the first working week of the year. Prices of PET chips for contract buyers decreased from December at the beginning of the year, whereas spot prices generally remained the same.

MEGlobal is a fully integrated supplier of monoethylene glycol (MEG) and diethylene glycol (DEG), collectively known as ethylene glycol (EG).