Neste to start Singapore SAF plant by 1Q 2023

Neste to start Singapore SAF plant by 1Q 2023

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Neste plans to produce its first batch of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Singapore by the end of 1Q 2023 after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its expansion project, reported Reuters with reference to a senior executive's statement on Wednesday.

"It's been delayed due to the pandemic as we were already hoping to be on stream in 2022," Neste's Executive Vice President for Renewable Aviation, Thorsten Lange, told Reuters.

"But the revised plan is now fully on track."

Neste produces renewable fuels, mainly from waste and residues such as used cooking oil, animal fat from food industry waste, fish fat from fish processing waste and residues from vegetable oil processing.

Neste plans to start SAF production at the end of 1Q 2023 and then onwards ramp up output to an annual capacity of 1 MMt, Lange said in an interview on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow.

The Singapore Airshow has opened to a limited crowd of trade visitors on Tuesday with the organizers expecting the biennial event to attract more than 13,000 trade attendees, much less than nearly 30,000 in 2020 and around 54,000 in 2018.

Aviation, which accounts for 3% of the world's carbon emissions, is considered one of the toughest sectors to tackle due to a lack of alternative technologies to jet fueled-engines.

Lange said he has had "very promising" discussions this week in Singapore, while Japan aiming for 10% sustainable jet fuel for airlines by 2030 is "very encouraging."

"What is typical for Asia is they may be lagging behind for the time being ... but that could massively change within the next two to three years," Lange added.

"Having a mandate in place provides demand certainty."

Singapore's flagship carrier Singapore Airlines will use blended SAF from ExxonMobil, which will be supplied by Neste.

As MRC wrote before, Neste has successfully concluded its first series of trial runs processing liquefied waste plastic at its Porvoo refinery in Finland. 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.

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.

Asian refiners aim to resume Iranian oil imports

Asian refiners aim to resume Iranian oil imports

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asian refiners, traditionally big buyers of Iranian oil, are keen to resume imports from Iran if there is an agreement to revive a 2015 nuclear deal, which could pave the way for more supply on global markets and soften prices, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Most Asian buyers halted Iranian oil imports in 2019 after former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran's oil exports. Indirect talks between Iran and the U.S. on the nuclear deal resumed last week. Western diplomats have indicated they hoped to have a breakthrough by now, but tough issues remain unresolved.

Oil prices are at their highest in more than seven years as fears of disruption in Russian energy supplies have boosted Brent and U.S. crude futures. Refiners are also paying record spot premiums for crude produced in Europe and the Middle East as producers struggle to meet a robust recovery in demand after the pandemic.

With the prospect of a new Iran deal, South Korea, previously one of Tehran's leading oil customers in Asia, said on Wednesday it had held working-level talks on resuming imports of Iranian crude oil and unfreezing Iranian funds. A major South Korean refinery is watching the developments at the nuclear talks, a company source said, as Iranian crude oil is cost-competitive and easy to process compared with other grades such as Mexican oil.

"As long as the two countries decide to resume oil trade, we can purchase crude from Iran," this source said. "Since we've previously used crude oil from Iran, we don't need to test the oil at our facilities," he added. Japan's top refiner Eneos Holdings Inc will consider resuming oil imports from Iran if an agreement to revive a 2015 nuclear deal is reached, its chairman said on Thursday.

"We have not begun such preparations yet, but we will consider resuming imports of crude oil from Iran as one of our procurement options if an agreement over the nuclear deal is reached," Eneos Chairman Tsutomu Sugimori told reporters. It will take about two-to-three months to resume oil imports from Iran if and after such an agreement on the nuclear deal is made as the refiner will need to make various arrangements such as insurance and shipping, Sugimori said.

A refiner from India, Iran's number two customer, is in talks with Iran for sourcing its oil, an Indian refining source said, adding that it was also waiting for more clarity on the nuclear deal. The sources declined to be identified due to sensitivity of the matter. Iran has kept some exports flowing despite sanctions as intermediaries find ways to disguise the origins of the imports and China, Iran's biggest customer, has been a big destination.

Last month, China's customs reported the first import of Iranian crude in a year. Russia-Ukraine tensions have raised volatility in global oil prices, but positive developments in the U.S.-Iran negotiations have raised hopes of Iranian oil returning to markets, helping to calm oil prices, Claudio Galimberti, Senior Vice President at Rystad Energy said in a research note.

As MRC informed earlier, Indian Oil Corp, the country's top refiner, said that it would resume purchases of Iranian oil if Washington lifts sanctions against Tehran over its disputed nuclear programme. The European Union official leading talks to revive Iran's nuclear deal said on Wednesday he was confident an agreement would be reached as the negotiations adjourned, although European diplomats said success was not guaranteed with very difficult issues remaining.

As MRC informed previously, in the first week of June, 2021, Eneos Corp restarted the 168,000-bpd No.1 CDU at its Kashima refinery, east of Tokyo, after it was shut on May 11 due to system trouble. The refiner, which is a unit of Eneos Holdings Inc, restarted the 105,000-bpd No.3 CDU at its Mizushima-B refinery, western Japan, in early June, 2021. The CDU was shut on Feb. 25 for turnaround.

Samsung Engineering receives EUR1 bn contract for its first petrochemical project in Russia

Samsung Engineering receives EUR1 bn contract for its first petrochemical project in Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Samsung Engineering, one of the world’s leading engineering, procurement, construction and project management (EPC&PM) companies, announced today, that it had signed a contract for the design of a plant for the Baltic Chemical Complex in Russia, said the company.

Baltic Chemical Complex LLC. (BCC), the original owner of the contract, previously signed an EPC contract with CC7 in 2019. The project is located at the Gulf of Finland near the seaport of Ust-Luga, Leningrad Oblast, 110 km southwest of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Samsung Engineering’s work of scope includes an Ethane Cracker Unit with a total design capacity of 2.8 million T/y (Ethylene 1.4 million t/y 2 Trains) and procurement for the project. The Ethane Cracker Unit is the core process element of the plant. The Baltic Ethane Cracker Project produces ethylene from separated C2 out of natural gas.

Ethane Cracker in Gas to Chemicals Project marks a major milestone for Samsung Engineering with its first project in Russia. Samsung Engineering entering the Russian market is achieving further diversification in their overseas markets. Russia is an energy-rich country with the world's largest resource reserves, such as natural gas and oil, and is steadily placing orders for large-scale plant construction. As it is known as a market with high growth potential for the plant business in the future, Samsung Engineering plans to take this order as an opportunity to advance into the Russian market.

A Samsung Engineering spokesperson said: "Technology competitiveness and our abundant track record for similar projects in markets such as India, Saudi Arabia and Thailand became the stepping stone for winning the Ethane Cracker in Gas to Chemicals Project. Marking our first project in Russia, we will insure that we provide a state of the art design for this project."

As per MRC, Samsung Engineering, one of the world’s leading engineering, procurement, construction and project management companies, has announced that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a green hydrogen & ammonia project with Lotte Chemical, POSCO and SEDC Energy SDN. BHD., a Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) subsidiary.

Samsung Engineering is one of the world's leading engineering, procurement, construction and project management (EPC&PM) companies.

Demand remained low in the Russian LDPE market with a surplus of supply from early year

Demand remained low in the Russian LDPE market with a surplus of supply from early year

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Demand for low density polyethylene (LDPE) has been low since the beginning of the year, due to objective reasons in the Russian market in conditions of oversupply, and this factor is putting serious pressure on prices. Prices continued to decrease in February, but not as significant as in January, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

LDPE market remained oversupplied significantly a serious surplus since January, and in the low season it puts additional negative pressure on demand and prices. Amid a great surplus, converters were trying to get the lowest possible prices for polyethylene (PE) from suppliers. Polyethylene fell in price most noticeably in January; in the last month of winter, the decline in prices continued, but not as significant as a month earlier.

The demand for LDPE in the spot was low in January due to the long New Year holidays. There were already no long holidays in February, but the volume of purchases from converters was still not large. Many converters replenished their stocks exclusively for current needs; in fact, no one built up additional stocks. Also, for the second month in a row, many large converters cover their needs for LDPE exclusively within the framework of annual contracts.
Buyers do not make purchases in the spot market.

Some sellers did not sell their January volumes of LDPE, and the balances were shipped this month, which creates even more pressure on the market. In conditions of low demand, some suppliers were trying to stimulate demand by reducing the price of polyethylene, but the volume of purchases from converters does not increase. Some sellers wre still hoping for the spring months.

From their point of view, demand for PE will grow under the pressure of seasonal factors. Scheduled maintenance works will begin at production facilities in Kazan and Belarus will start in April-May, which traditionally increased the demand for LDPE in previous years.

Last week, the prices of 158 LDPE at some sellers reached Rb145,000/tonne, including VAT, and delivery.
Polyethylene for the production of shrink films was offered from Rb154,000/tonne, including VAT, and delivery, and above.


January ethylene output down by 6.1% in Japan

January ethylene output down by 6.1% in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japanese ethylene production in January fell 6.1% from the same month a year earlier to 507,500 t, reported Reuters with reference to data from the Japan Petrochemical Industry Association showed on Thursday.

Ethylene, made from naphtha, is a basic feedstock for petrochemicals that are processed into products such as plastics.

As MRC informed before, Sumitomo Chemical is building additional production lines for its liquid crystal polymer (LCP) super engineering plastic at the company's site in Ehime, Japan. This expansion will increase the group’s production capacity of LCP by around 30%. The new production lines are scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2023. LCP has been used for a broad range of applications, including electronic components for PCs and smartphones.

We remind that last year, Sumitomo Chemical successfully conducted the first waste-based polyolefin production at its laboratory in Japan, by use of the ethylene produced by Axens ethanol-to-ethylene technology Atol. This process value chain is complemented with the upfront “Waste to Ethanol” technology by Sekisui Chemical.

Ethylene is the main feedstock for the production of polyethylene (PE).

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. supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.