Shell to shut Pernis, Netherlands oil refinery for five-month turnaround until late June

Shell to shut Pernis, Netherlands oil refinery for five-month turnaround until late June

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell said it plans to carry out major maintenance work at its Pernis oil refinery in the Netherlands in the coming five months, reported Reuters.

"We will inspect a large number of installations from the inside and out, clean them and replace parts", Shell said in a statement.

The work at Europe’s largest oil refinery, which has a capacity to process 404,000 bpd, will start at the end of January and is expected to last until the end of June, the company said.

As MRC informed earlier, Shell conducted a major maintenance on a unit at its Pernis oil refinery in the Netherlands from mid-October to end November, 2020.

We remind that Shell plans to reduce its refining and chemicals portfolio by more than half, it said in July 2020 without giving a precise timeframe. The move is part of the Anglo-Dutch company's plan to shrink its oil and gas business and expand its renewables and power division to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sharply by 2050.

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.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

China nets independent oil refiners, PetroChina unit in oil probe

China nets independent oil refiners, PetroChina unit in oil probe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China found three independent oil refiners evaded fuel tax and punished a unit of a state oil major for irregular crude oil trade following months of investigations, part of a broader clampdown to consolidate its massive refining sector, said Reuters.

Under a drive to rein in surplus refining capacity and cut carbon emissions, Beijing last year introduced measures such as cutting import quotas and slapping a hefty tax on imports of blending fuels. That has led to China's first annual fall in crude oil imports, the world's largest, in two decades.

The clampdown is also set to result in a shrinking market share of the small independent refiners in China's oil imports, while allowing state refiners such as Sinopec Corp to reclaim market dominance. "The crackdown on teapots and blenders and the emission policy led to the collapse in 2021 crude imports. These are long lasting effects and will continue into 2022." said Liu Yuntao, analyst with Energy Aspects.

In October, Reuters reported that Unipec, the trading arm of Asia's largest refiner Sinopec, had stepped in to supply crude oil to Liaoning Bora and Panjin Haoye Chemical. A senior official with Bora Group declined to comment when contacted by Reuters and deferred media queries to the Panjin city government. Calls to Haoye Chemical were unanswered.

The firm is a subsidiary under China National Petroleum Corp. PetroChina said earlier it has always been cooperating with the government probe.

As per MRC, global oil refining capacity fell for the first time in 30 years last year, as new capacity was outweighed by closures. Refining capacity was down by 730,000 bpd in 2021, the IEA said, but net additions were expected to amount to 1.2 MMbpd in 2022.

As MRC wrote previously, China's refinery output hit a fresh high in 2021, up 4.3% from a year earlier on robust fuel demand especially in the first half of the year, and as refiners ramped up processing to fill a supply gap after a hefty new tax closed loopholes in blending fuel imports. Total refinery throughput last year reached 703.55 MM tons, or 14.07 MMbpd, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday, roughly 620,000 bpd above the 2020 level.

Swiss Clariant opens oilfield chem facilities in Angola

Swiss Clariant opens oilfield chem facilities in Angola

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant opened two oilfield chemical facilities in Angola, said the Swiss specialty chemicals company.

One facility, near Soyo at the mouth of the Congo River, was opened earlier this month and has already supplied first chemicals to offshore customers, “a landmark for Clariant’s deepwater operations in Africa”, the company said. Processing capacity at Soyo is expected to reach up to 1,000 tonnes/month.

The 3,400 square-metre complex also comprises offices and a covered warehouse with decanting and filtering equipment. Clariant also opened a warehouse and laboratory complex in Viana, near the Angolan capital Luanda.

"Over the last few years, we’ve significantly grown our operational footprint and capabilities in Angola,” said Mark Swift, head of Oil Services Africa at Clariant. "This base is of strategic importance to Clariant in Angola and makes a statement that we are ambitious and determined to grow the business in this area," he added. Clariant did not disclose how much money it had invested.

As it was earlier said, Clariant, a focused, sustainable and innovative specialty chemical company, completed the sale of its Pigments business to a consortium of Heubach Group and SK Capital Partners.

As MRC informed before, in October 2020, Clariant (Muttenz, Switzerland) announced the construction of a new state-of-the-art catalyst production site in China. This project represents a significant investment which further strengthens Clariant’s position in China and enhances its ability to support its customers in the country’s thriving petrochemicals industry.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

GAIL suspends marketing director for alleged bribery charges

GAIL suspends marketing director for alleged bribery charges

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The government has suspended ES Ranganathan, Director (Marketing) of GAIL (India) Ltd, after his arrest by the CBI over allegedly taking bribes to give discounts to private companies buying petrochemical products from the state-owned gas utility, according to NDTV.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on January 17 issued orders suspending Ranganathan from service, pending probe, official sources said.

Ranganathan, who was appointed Director (Marketing) of GAIL in July 2020, was to superannuate in May next year.

The CBI had on Friday evening started searches in connection with discounts that Ranganathan had allegedly promised to private companies in exchange for a bribe of 50 lakh. On Saturday, it searched Ranganathan's residence in Noida and his office at GAIL's headquarters at Bhikaji Cama Place. The office was sealed and Ranganathan was questioned.

While CBI had arrested some persons of the private companies on Saturday itself, Ranganathan was arrested on January 16 after obtaining requisite sanctions, sources said.

Subsequent to his suspension, the ministry on Tuesday issued an order giving "additional charge of director (marketing) to M.V. Iyer, Director (Business Development), GAIL for a period of three months from January 18, 2022 or till appointment of a regular incumbent to the post, or until further orders, whichever is the earliest." GAIL in a regulatory filing on Tuesday said it has complied with the ministry order and entrusted an additional charge of the post of Director (Marketing), GAIL to Iyer.

On Monday, the company had informed the stock exchanges that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered an FIR against Ranganathan and other private persons on charges of criminal conspiracy, demand and obtaining undue advantage by public servant, taking undue advantage to influence public servant, bribing public servant etc.

As MRC reported earlier, GAIL (India) Ltd, India’s principal gas transmission and marketing company under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, is on track to start up its propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility and polypropylene (PP) plant in Usar, Maharashtra by 2024. GAIL has recently chosen Lummus Technology’s CATOFIN process and Clariant’s tailor-made catalysts for India’s first PDH plant. Its upcoming 500 kiloton per annum PDH facility in Usar will be integrated with the downstream polypropylene (PP) unit. The cost of PDH-PP project is estimated at USD1.2 B.

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.

GAIL India Ltd is the country’s largest natural gas company, and one of seven Maharatna Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under the Government of India. Founded in 1984, the Delhi-based company operates in India and abroad in various segments such as transmission services, natural gas, petrochemicals, liquefied petroleum gas and other liquid hydrocarbons.

ArcelorMittal Belgium awarded thyssenkrupp Uhde an order for a desulfurization plant

ArcelorMittal Belgium awarded thyssenkrupp Uhde an order for a desulfurization plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ArcelorMittal Belgium has awarded thyssenkrupp Uhde an order for a desulfurization plant to be installed at its Ghent site, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The main aim of this brownfield project is to enhance the existing coke oven gas treatment plant with a state-of-the art sulfur removal and recovery unit. The new units are planned to go into operation in July 2023.

The original coke plant was built by thyssenkrupp Uhde’s coke plant specialists 25 years ago, then under the name of Thyssen Still Otto company.

As in all brownfield projects, specific requirements had to be met. In this case, the existing gas treatment unit also required a new back-up system for the existing part. thyssenkrupp Uhde offered a solution, which links existing and new process trains of the CYCLASULF process. This well-established, advanced solution for coke oven gas desulfurization removes hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) from coke oven gas very efficiently. The acid gas stream is concentrated and prepared for further processing, either to sulfur or sulfuric acid. In Ghent, elemental sulfur will be recovered. Modern mass transfer elements significantly reduce the size of the required equipment, keeping the footprint low.

The same is true for the state-of-the-art MONOCLAUS process for sulfur recovery and ammonia decomposition. It enables the production of liquid pure sulfur utilizing a minimum number of equipment and pipelines compared to conventional Claus plants, which results in a very compact arrangement and footprint. By realizing this new back-up plant, ArcelorMittal Ghent will be able to operate a low-emission desulfurization plant during maintenance or inspection shutdowns, effectively replacing the former recovery plant which had a lower desulfurization capacity.

As per MRC, thyssenkrupp AG is rebranding its chlor-alkali electrolysis joint venture with Italy's Industrie De Nora SpA ahead of a potential initial public offering (IPO) that would help finance further growth. Previously known as thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers, the business is now called thyssenkrupp Nucera. One of its specialities is the alkaline water electrolysis (AWE) technology for green hydrogen production, having more than 10 GW of electrolyser capacity installed to date. The JV generated revenues of EUR 319 million (USD 366m) in 2020/21 and targets a top line of between EUR 600 million and EUR 700 million by 2024/25.

As per MRC, thyssenkrupp Uhde Thailand has been awarded a contract by a leading oleo and specialty chemicals producer in Asia for engineering services and proprietary equipment supply for an esterification plant. The plant will employ thyssenkrupp Uhde’s proprietary jet reactor technology and is designed for a batch size of 15 m3. Completion is planned within 2022. The main products are medium chain triglycerides used in the food and personal care industry.

thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers offers world-leading technologies for high-efficiency electrolysis plants. The company, a Joint Venture with Industrie De Nora, has extensive in-depth knowledge in the engineering, procurement, and construction of electrochemical plants and a strong track record of more than 600 projects with a total rating of over 10 gigawatts already successfully installed. With its water electrolysis technology to produce green hydrogen, the company offers an innovative solution on an industrial scale for green value chains and an industry fueled by clean energy – a major step towards a climate-neutrality.