MRC suspends sale of ICIS/MRC data in Russia

MRC suspends sale of ICIS/MRC data in Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dear customers, partners and colleagues, in accordance with a joint business agreement with ICIS (RELX), MRC suspends activity for selling ICIS/MRC price data through the Russian legal entity MRC.

The current contracts will be executed according to commercial obligations. New contracts can be agreed in non-Russian jurisdiction, both ICIS or MRC, in accordance with the UK compliance rules.

Thank you for your understanding.
MRC team

ExxonMobil to build blue hydrogen production plant in Baytown

ExxonMobil to build blue hydrogen production plant in Baytown

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil says it is planning a hydrogen production plant and one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage projects at its integrated refining and petrochemical site at Baytown, Texas, supporting efforts to reduce emissions from company operations and local industry, according to SpecialCheim.

“Hydrogen has the potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in vital sectors of the economy and create valuable, lower-emissions products that support modern life,” said Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil low carbon solutions.

The proposed hydrogen facility would produce up to 1 billion cubic feet per day of “blue” hydrogen, which is an industry term for hydrogen produced from natural gas and supported by carbon capture and storage. The carbon capture infrastructure for this project would have the capacity to transport and store up to 10 million metric tons of CO2 per year, more than doubling ExxonMobil’s current capacity.

“By helping to activate new markets for hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, this project can play an important part in achieving America’s lower-emissions aspirations,” adds Blommaert.

Using hydrogen as a fuel at the Baytown olefins plant could reduce the integrated complex’s Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by up to 30%, supporting ExxonMobil’s ambition to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from its operated assets by 2050.

As MRC reported earlier, in February, 2022, ExxonMobil and SABIC successful started up Gulf Coast Growth Ventures world-scale manufacturing facility in San Patricio County, Texas. The new facility will produce materials used in packaging, agricultural film, construction materials, clothing, and automotive coolants. The operation includes a 1.8 MM metric tpy ethane steam cracker, two polyethylene (PE) units capable of producing up to 1.3 MM metric tpy, and a monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit with a capacity of 1.1 MM metric tpy.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of 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.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.

ABB to automate bioplastics plant

ABB to automate bioplastics plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ABB has been awarded a major contract by NatureWorks to automate their new, greenfield plant in Thailand, converting sugar cane to the polylactic acid biopolymer, Ingeo, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The plant will ferment and distill plant-based sugars—in a process similar to making beer or wine—converting the sugars first to lactic acid, then lactide and then polymerize them into Ingeo. In the new site, these three separate production processes will be fully integrated, resulting in improvements in energy and production efficiency. In addition, the integration of the fermentation phase will secure the supply of lactic acid. The Thailand facility will use sugarcane as feedstock and is set to produce 75,000 tpy of sustainable plastic when fully operational. The anticipated projected startup for this greenfield facility is in the second half of 2024.

ABB’s scope of work is a two-part order including a FEED study followed by detailed automation project execution, with ABB acting as the main automation contractor. ABB will deliver the hardware, software, control room design solutions, engineering and site support to fully develop NatureWorks’ greenfield system. ABB’s distributed control system Ability System 800xA will maximize plant efficiency and reliability through automation. Leveraging this technology, ABB will integrate inputs from all key systems into one single user-friendly overview. As a result, operators will be able to utilize data insights from all areas of the plant, delivered in real time, to drive efficiency, reduce risk and ensure production optimization.

The project will apply state based controls, enabling operators to take fewer interactions to start up a unit and reduce risk by having access to the right information at the right time. In addition, ABB’s automated engineering batch application tool will be implemented for this project.

Part of NatureWorks’ global expansion plan, the plant will help meet the growing global demand for sustainable materials. Bioplastics represent less than 1% of all plastic produced globally but production is expected to grow over 260% between 2020 and 2026.

Ingeo is an eco-friendly, biobased material used in a wide-range of plastic and fiber products from compostable food packaging - coffee capsules, tea bags, food containers – to 3D printing filament, diapers and even refrigerator liners. Compared to traditional fossil-based polymers, manufacturing Ingeo produces approximately 80% less GHGs and uses 52% less non-renewable energy.

As per MRC, ABB has been awarded the contract to improve asset integrity across MOL’s downstream assets, through changing mindset, standardizing processes and software and ensuring integrity management is focused on the right equipment. The project spanning MOL DS Production plants in Hungary, Slovakia, and Croatia, will implement standardized asset integrity procedures in a move to drive production efficiency, improve safety and reduce risk.

Braskem Q4 net profit falls amid lower margins

Braskem Q4 net profit falls amid lower margins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Braskem’s net profit fell 37.4% year on year in the fourth quarter amid higher feedstock costs, said the company.

The company reported strong Q4 and FY 2021 results with revenue growth and EPS improvement thanks to its strategic efforts. The growth was attributed to strong gains in both male and female merchandise categories. In addition, with changing consumer trends, the company's considerable growth in online sales from last year implies changes in purchase behaviour among consumers.

The company had a net income of USD83.9 million or USD1.71 per share in Q4 2021. In the third quarter, the company missed earnings estimates with actual EPS of USD1.7 versus estimated EPS of USD2.09. Additionally, for the full year ending January 29, 2022, the company reported a net income of USD254.8 million or USD5.20 per share. On a diluted share basis, the company reported FY2021 earnings of USD5.16.

Cost of goods sold (COGS) in Brazilian reais (R) terms surged by 56% year on year to R21.5bn in the fourth quarter due to higher prices for key petrochemical feedstocks naphtha, ethane and propane in the international market.

Q4 net revenue rose sharply on the back of higher prices for resins and main chemicals in the international market, as well as the higher sales volume of main chemicals.

We remind that Brazilian petrochemical producer Braskem's 450,000 mt/year PP plant in LaPorte, Texas, along the Houston Ship Channel completed its initial commercial production, as per the company's statement as of Sept. 10. "The launch of commercial production at our new world-class PP production line in La Porte clearly affirms Braskem's position as the North American polypropylene market leader," Braskem America CEO Mark Nikolich said in a statement. With a USD750 million investment, the new PP plant's construction started in October 2017 and was completed in June, 2020.

Braskem operates five other US PP plants in Texas, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, with a cumulative capacity of 1.57 million mt/year that the company acquired. The new plant in La Porte, Texas, is Braskem America's first PP new build.

Braskem S.A. produces petrochemicals and generates electricity. The Company produces ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, xylenes, butadiene, butene, isoprene, dicyclopentediene, MTBE, caprolactam, ammonium sulfate, cyclohexene, polyethylene theraphtalat, polyethylene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

N. America chemical rail momentum slows the first-half plateau

N. America chemical rail momentum slows the first-half plateau

MOSCOW (MRC) -- During the week ended 12 March, chemical railcar traffic in North America showed signs of nearing the first-half plateau, according to data of the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

The four-week moving average (4wma) totaled 47,504 loadings, a sequential increase of 0.21%, versus 1.20% for the period ended 5 March. Compared with previous years, the figure increased 17.8% from 2021 and 1.7% from 2020.

Weekly volume totaled 47,928 carloads, down 1.4% from the previous week, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR). For the year to date, chemical railcar traffic in North America is up 5.8%.

Chemical railcar traffic in the US contributed 35,933 carloads to the weekly total, up 19.9% year on year (YOY) and up 3.1% from the previous week. For the year to date, US chemical railcar traffic is up 10.1%.

Canadian chemical rail traffic totaled 11,140 carloads, down 9.5% YOY and down 12.3% from the previous week. For the year to date, Canadian chemical railcar traffic is down 5.4%. Chemical railcar traffic in Mexico totaled 855 carloads, a year-on-year increase of 25.0% and a sequential decrease of 17.5%. For the year to date, Mexican chemical railcar traffic is up 6.2%.

As per MRC, North American weekly chemical railcar traffic rose 11.6% year on year, led by the US where loadings rose 22.1% from depressed levels during last year’s US Gulf Coast winter storm. For the first eight weeks of 2022 ended 26 February, North American chemical railcar traffic was up 4.0% year on year to 372,286 railcar loadings.

We remind, U.S. President Joe Biden was expected to announce a ban on Russian oil and other energy imports on Tuesday in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine. The White House said Biden was scheduled to announce actions at 10:45 a.m. (1545 GMT) on Tuesday against Russia over Ukraine, but did not specifically mention oil imports. Oil prices jumped on the news, with Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 for May climbing by 5.4% to USD129.91 a bbl by 1345 GMT.