Neste replaces Russian crude with North Sea oil due to the crisis in Ukraine

Neste replaces Russian crude with North Sea oil due to the crisis in Ukraine

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Finland's Neste has replaced most of its Russian crude oil purchases with other crudes such as North Sea oil due to the crisis in Ukraine, reported Reuters with reference to the company's statement on Monday.

Previously the Finnish refiner purchased from Russia some two-thirds of the crude oil it uses.

"In case of eventual gas disruptions Neste can partially use alternative fuels and optimize our production according to the situation," an executive in charge of Neste's oil products business, Markku Korvenranta, told Reuters by email, adding the company was able to deliver products to its customers normally at the moment.

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.

Export purchases of Kiyanly Polymer Plant PP resumed

Export purchases of Kiyanly Polymer Plant PP resumed

MOSCOW (MRC) -- On 18 February, after almost a two-year break, the export trades for Kiyanly Polymer Plant 's polypropylene (PP) were resumed at the State Commodity and Raw Materials Stock Exchange of Turkmenistan, Demand for PP was strong, all quantities of PP put up for auction were sold out during one trading day, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

According to market participants, back in early February, 5,000 tonnes of Kiyanly Polymer Plant's PP raffia to be exported to the CIS countries were put up for auction at the State Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange of Turkmenistan. But active purchases were only on 18 February, all PP quantities were sold out during one day.

5 deals for a total of 5,000 tonnes were done. Deals for shipments to the CIS markets within the following 5 months were done under the formula with a discount of USD490/tonne FOB/FCA.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 28.02.2022

1. Fitch downgrades Petkim and Tupras to negative

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Fitch Ratings has revised its outlooks on Turkey’s major petrochemical producer Petkim and largest Turkish refiner Tupras to negative from stable, said American corporation. The move follows Fitch’s recent sovereign rating action that downgraded Turkey to 'B+', four notches below investment grade, with a negative outlook. Turkey is mired in an economic crisis that sent the official annual inflation figure to 49% at the end of January. The Turkish lira struggling to hold ground against the US dollar. The Turkish currency lost 44% of its value against the dollar in 2021. Fitch, in a notice released on Thursday, revised the outlook on Petkim’s long term foreign currency (LT FC) issuer default rating (IDR) to negative from stable, while also affirming the company’s 'B+' rating. “Petkim's LT FC IDR is constrained by the Country Ceiling, due to the company's sizeable exposure to the Turkish economy,” Fitch said.


Russia economy to contract 20% in Q2 on intensified sanctions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia’s economy is expected to contract 20% in the second quarter and by around 3.5% for the full year following intensified sanctions, reported Reuters with reference to JPMorgan's statement on Monday.

“If these new sanctions are indeed imposed, the impact on the Russian economy would be severe,” Jahangir Aziz at JPMorgan said in a note to clients.

“The two pillars of the economy even in the midst of slowing growth, rising inflation, and high interest rates were the ‘fortress’ FX reserves of CBR and Russia’s current account surplus. Not anymore.”

JPMorgan also lowered its forecast for Russia’s trend growth to 1.0% from 1.75% as growing political and economic isolation will crimp expansion in years to come.

As MRC informed before, Russia's invasion of Ukraine will disrupt the global movement of energy commodities, even if Western powers don't impose sanctions on exports from Russia, reported Reuters on February 25. So far none of the retaliatory measures against Moscow have been targeted at exports of crude oil, coal or natural gas, the latter either by pipeline or by ships as liquefied natural gas (LNG).

We remind that earlier this month, Samsung Engineering, one of the world’s leading engineering, procurement, construction and project management (EPC&PM) companies, announced that it had signed a contract for the design of a plant for the Baltic Chemical Complex in Russia. 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.

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 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas.shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

Axens, Univation partner to improve efficiency of linear alpha olefins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Axens and Univation Technologies have entered into a cooperation agreement to develop improved capital and operating efficiencies for the production of on-purpose linear alpha olefins (LAO)—including both butene-1 and hexene-1—for use in manufacturing polyethylene resins with the UNIPOL PE process, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The alliance is expected to identify and deliver quantifiable synergies to benefit polyethylene producers globally for new UNIPOL PE projects as well as provide for retrofit opportunities for UNIPOL PE plants already in operation.

Univation and Axens will collaborate to identify and capture capital and operating cost reduction opportunities as well as optimize process requirements for both Axens LAO technology platforms—AlphaButol and AlphaHexol—and Univation’s UNIPOL PE process to deliver value to polyethylene producers. These synergies and optimization will be carried out during the early process design phase of the project.

Jean-Luc Nocca, Executive Vice-President at Axens said, "We look forward to cooperating with Univation Technologies and bring additional values to our customers by developing synergies."

Luis Cirihal, President of Univation Technologies said, "Univation is pleased to collaborate with Axens to enhance value to our mutual customers by enabling even greater cost advantaged production of polyethylene resins with the UNIPOL PE process".

As per MRC, Axens launched new P/PR 200 Series of its catalyst technology. This year, Axens celebrated the tenth anniversary of Symphony, Axens’ suite of high performance reforming catalysts, which gave Axens a unique position in reforming technology. Symphony consists in industrially proven, high-performance, top-stability reforming catalysts together with an outstanding hydrothermal resistance, covering continuous catalyst regeneration (CCR), semi-regenerative and cyclic applications.

We remind, Sumitomo Chemical has successfully conducted the first waste-based polyolefin production at its laboratory in Japan earlier this year, 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.