Chevron and USW to meet next week in an effort to end strike at California refinery

Chevron and USW to meet next week in an effort to end strike at California refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Negotiators for Chevron Corp and the United Steelworkers union (USW) are scheduled to meet next week in an effort to end a strike at a San Francisco-area refinery, reported Reuters.

The negotiators are scheduled to meet on Monday, said B.K. White, first vice president of USW Local 12-5, which represents about 500 workers at Chevron's Richmond, California, refinery, who went on strike on Monday.

"We look forward to joining USW Local 5 in discussions next week and at work again soon," Chevron spokesperson Tyler Kruzich said.

Workers were removed from the refinery on Sunday by Chevron after Local 12-5 issued a strike notice to the company following the collapse of talks after union members twice rejected company contract proposals.

The strike began shortly after 12 a.m. PDT on Monday. The previous contract expired on Feb. 1, but was being extended on a rolling 24-hour basis.

The local sought an additional 5% pay increase on top of a 12% raise over four years negotiated by USW International officials and oil refinery owners in February.

As MRC wrote earlier, in August 2021, Chevron and other partners said they are investing in a startup to build modular waste-to-green hydrogen and renewable synthetic fuel facilities in northern California with tentative plans to eventually grow worldwide. The USD20 million investment in Wyoming-based Raven SR is focused on technology to develop combustion-free, green hydrogen for transportation that is cleaner than so-called blue hydrogen derived from natural gas.

We remind that Chevron Phillips Chemical, a joint venture of Phillips 66 and Chevron, will make a final investment decision on a new cracker in far southeast Texas in 2022, followed by an FID in 2023 on an USD8 billion joint venture petrochemical complex along the US Gulf Coast in 2023.

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.

Headquartered in San Ramon, California, Chevron Corporation is the the second-largest integrated energy company in the United States and among the largest corporations in the world. Chevron is involved in upstream activities including exploration and production, downstream activities including refining, marketing and transportation, and advanced energy technology. Chevron is also invested in power generation and gasification processes.
MRC

Neste appoints new President and CEO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Neste Corporation’s Board of Directors has appointed Matti Lehmus (born 1974) as President and CEO as of 1 May 2022, as per the company's press release.

He succeeds Peter Vanacker, who will hold the position until 30 April 2022.

Matti Lehmus holds a M. Sc. in chemical engineering and an eMBA. He joined Neste in 1998, and has held several key leadership positions during his career in both the oil products business and renewables. He has been a member of the Neste Executive Committee since 2009, and currently serves as Executive Vice President, Renewables Platform.

“The Board of Directors commenced an international recruitment process immediately after Peter Vanacker’s resignation in December last year. The Board has carefully evaluated several candidates for their suitability to lead Neste’s next steps in delivering profitable growth. I am pleased to note that we found an excellent internal successor who is very well equipped to take over the role,” says Matti Kahkonen, the Chair of Neste’s Board of Directors.

“Matti Lehmus has the right experience and expertise to continue executing Neste’s proven growth strategy of becoming a global leader in renewable and circular solutions. His proven track record of major investment projects and M&A, along with his solid leadership and interpersonal skills, will be an excellent combination to ensure Neste’s further success,” continues Kahkonen.

As MRC informed before, earlier this month, Neste Corporation signed definitive agreements for the establishment of a 50/50 JV with US-based Marathon Petroleum. The JV will produce renewable diesel following a conversion project of Marathon's refinery in Martinez, California (the Martinez Renewable Fuels project). The closing of the JV is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including obtaining the necessary permits, which depend upon certification of a final Environmental Impact Report.

We remind that 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 2,487,450 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.

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.
MRC

Westlake receives ISCC+ Certification at its Netherlands site

Westlake receives ISCC+ Certification at its Netherlands site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Westlake Corporation announced that Westlake Epoxy’s Pernis, Netherlands site has received International Sustainability & Carbon Plus (ISCC+) certification, said th company.

The site received mass balance certification for its tracing and handling of sustainable materials in the production of epoxy products. This is a significant step in Westlake Epoxy’s strategy to integrate renewable carbon materials into its raw material supply chain while reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

ISCC+ provides an international, practical, transparent system for the certification of bio-based, bio-circular and circular raw materials at each level of the supply chain. The ISCC+ certification recognizes Westlake Epoxy’s (formerly known as Hexion BV) commitment to environmentally, socially and economically sustainable production by tracking its existing mix of feedstocks and replacing fossil materials with renewable resources.

Aromatic monomers for the liquid epoxy resins produced at the Pernis location have been certified by mass balance to be replaceable by bio-based alternatives. These include the phenol and acetone used to manufacture Bisphenol A (BPA), a critical building block in the manufacture of epoxy resins.

This recent certification reflects Westlake’s ongoing commitment to operating in a more environmentally responsible manner. Recently, Westlake Epoxy’s European operations also received a Platinum rating from EcoVadis, the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. Westlake Epoxy serves a variety of industries including adhesives, aerospace, automotive, civil engineering and construction, composite and wind energy, electronics, electric laminates and marine and protective coatings.

As per MRC, Westlake Chemical Corporation, the world's petrochemical major, has officially changed its name to Westlake Corporation. Westlake is now organized under one unified brand name with two financial reporting segments: Housing & Infrastructure Products and Performance & Essential Materials.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of unmixed PVC was about 999,300 tonnes in 2021, up by 7% year on year. The emulsion and suspension PVC market showed stronger demand, despite over a twofold price increase. December estimated SPVC consumption was 81,200 tonnes (excluding deliveries to the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Kazakhstan) versus 74,690 tonnes a month earlier.

Westlake Corporation is a global manufacturer and supplier of materials and innovative products that enhance life every day. Headquartered in Houston, with operations in Asia, Europe, and North America, we provide the building blocks for vital solutions — from housing and construction, to packaging and healthcare, to automotive and consumer.
mrchub.com

Covestro expanding its range of more circular raw materials

Covestro expanding its range of more circular raw materials

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro is again expanding its range of more circular raw materials and now offers customers in various regions renewable toluene diisocyanate (TDI) which provides a significant reduction of the CO2 footprint from cradle to factory gate2 – with the same high quality as fossil-based products, said the company.

TDI is an important raw material for flexible polyurethane foam, and provides a high level of comfort in mattresses and upholstered furniture, but also in car seats and shoes. Covestro manufactures the renewable TDI both in Dormagen, Germany, and in Caojing, China, using the mass balance method. Both sites are certified according to the ISCC PLUS standard.

For Covestro, offering renewable TDI via mass balance is only a logical next step of making this important chemical raw material even more sustainable, as Dr. Klaus Schafer, Chief Technology Officer of Covestro, explains: "Already years ago, our unique gas phase technology was a milestone towards more energy efficiency in the production of TDI. After that we committed ourselves to ensure a further reduction in emissions from our production by switching to green electricity. This additional improvement now makes it clear how consistently we are pursuing our path to climate-neutral production3 and the circular economy: By using mass-balanced renewable raw materials, we are now also striving to significantly reduce our indirect emissions in the supply chain and to offer products with a reduced carbon footprint."

Flexible PU foams made with TDI and long-chain polyols are important materials in the manufacture of seat cushions and mattresses. Renewable TDI meets demands for more sustainable production while ensuring the good quality, optimal comfort and high breathability known from fossil-based TDI. It also meets the expectations of the automotive industry, which is looking for alternative raw materials for car seat cushions with a lower carbon footprint.

As MRC informed before, in April 2021, DSM completed the sale of the resins & functional materials businesses to Covestro for EUR1.6 billion (USD1.9 billion), including EUR1.4 billion in cash.

We remind that Covestro closed the sale of its European polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Munich-based Serafin Group effective January 2, 2020. This includes key management and sales functions throughout Europe as well as production sites in Belgium and Italy.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PC granules (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus) totalled about 82,300 tonnes in 2021, down by 8% year on year (89,200 tonnes a year earlier).

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc. With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).
mrchub.com

MOL Group opens new biofuel plant in Hungary

MOL Group opens new biofuel plant in Hungary

MOSCOW (MRC) -- MOL Group (Budapest, Hungary) has announced that Rossi Biofuel (a joint venture wherein MOL Group and Envien Group are the 25-75% owners) inaugurated a new plant in Komarom, Hungary, which will significantly increase the biofuel production volume in the country. With this investment, MOL Group and Envien Group launched a technology in Europe that can boost greenhouse gas savings by more than 85%, according to Chemical Engineering.

With a capacity of 50,000 tons per year, the plant is the first in Europe to use the RepCat technology offered by Austrian firm BDI-BioEnergy International GmbH, which is highly flexible in terms of raw materials - it allows the processing of greasy wastes of different types and origins, such as used cooking oils, trap grease, animal fats or residues from vegetable oil production. Biodiesel produced in this way is one of the most climate-friendly fuels.

“We have brought a unique technology to Europe that allows us to produce biofuel from almost any type of fats. This is a huge success for all of us, as circular economy is one of the cornerstones of MOL Group’s updated strategy. We have made a commitment to recycle waste in an efficient way, and to meet the world’s growing energy needs with increasingly sustainable solutions. Energy transition is a long and complex process, but this investment clearly shows that conventional fuels can be turned into more environmentally friendly with the right technology and by using waste” – said Oszkar Vilagi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of MOL Group.

With the construction of the plant, the MOL Group and Envien Group are aiming to respond to both consumer and regulatory demands: the aim is for Rossi Biofuel to comply with EU rules on renewable transportation fuels. Rossi Biofuel’s product is used as a bio-component in the production of diesel at Danube Refinery and Slovnaft refinery.

“This new modern plant is the Envien Group’s first major investment in the production of advanced biofuels, where waste is processed into useful products. In our opinion, a plant that uses waste and mainly domestic raw materials, contributes to the greenhouse gas savings of transport and at the same time boosts and stimulates the local economy and employment, a way forward and a priority for the group. Due to the Hungarian subsidies, we decided to locate the plant in our production base in Komarom, Hungary, and we are confident that this is not our last project of this kind” – said Ing. Robert Spisak, PhD., Chairman of the Board of Rossi Biofuel.

As MRC reported earlier, The MOL transformation story began in 2016 when it was one of the first within the oil and gas sector to admit that there were gloomy days ahead and that it was essential to begin the transformation. To plot out the path to a low-carbon future, the company published MOL Group 2030+. Five years after the launch of that transformation plan, the Hungarian energy company has revised its goals with an updated strategy.

We remind that in March 2021, MOL became a biofuel producer through the realization of an investment in the Danube Refinery. Bio feedstock will be co-processed together with fossil materials increasing the renewable share of fuels and reducing up to 200,000 tons /year CO2 emission without negatively affecting fuel quality.

MOL is the largest Hungarian oil, gas and petrochemical group, engaged in exploration and production, transportation of hydrocarbons, as well as the operation of a network of trunk gas pipelines. TVK is a 100% subsidiary of MOL. TVK manufactures HDPE, LDPE, and PP.
MRC