Vietnam's Binh Son to roll out USD1.2 bln refinery expansion plan in 2022

Vietnam's Binh Son to roll out USD1.2 bln refinery expansion plan in 2022

Vietnam's Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical will this year roll out a USD1.2 B plan to upgrade and expand its Dung Quat refinery, raising its processing capacity to 7.6 MMt of crude oil a year from 6.5 MMt, reported Reuters with reference to the company's statement.

The upgrade and expansion work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2025, the company said in a statement, adding that 60% of the funds needed for the plan will come from loans.

The refinery in Vietnam's central province of Quang Ngai plans to raise the proportion of imported crude oil it processes to 35%-46% this year from 21.4% last year, it said. It targets output 6.5 MMt this year, unchanged from last year.

As MRC informd earlier, in January 2022, Binh Son refinery said it was operating above capacity to address supply concerns, as top petroleum firms announced plans to boost imports amid fears of a shutdown of the country's biggest refinery. Binh Son, one of two refineries in the Southeast Asian nation, said it was operating at 103% of capacity and would also import two shipments of crude oil of between 85,000 and 90,000 tons each, during the first days of February.

The announcement comes after Vietnam's other refinery, Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical (NSRP), which provides 35% of its petroleum needs, cut its production to 80% of capacity, over what media reports and a source familiar with the issue said was a disagreement between shareholders about financing for crude oil. In late January, state oil firm PetroVietnam blamed NSRP for the recent production cut.

We remind that NSRP resumed operations at its new polypropylene (PP) plant in Vietnam on 17 October, 2021, after an unscheduled maintenance. The 400,000 mt year of PP plant was unexpectedly shut on 7 October, 2021, due to a technical glitch.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, 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, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

ExxonMobil estimates carbon capture market to be at USD4 T by 2050

ExxonMobil estimates carbon capture market to be at USD4 T by 2050

ExxonMobil estimates there will be a USD4 T market by 2050 for capturing CO2 and storing it underground, reported Reuters with reference to the company's statement in a presentation.

That is about 60% of the USD6.5 T market the US largest crude producer estimates for oil and gas by then.

Carbon capture is an important emissions reduction technology, according to the International Energy Agency. It involves the capture of CO2 from fuel combustion or industrial processes, transporting it via ship or pipeline, to be stored underground in geological formations or used as a resource to create products.

Large oil companies have been investing to make carbon capture and storage (CCS) a relevant business as international bodies such as Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) point the technology as key to mitigate the effects of global warming.

Exxon is under public pressure to reduce its total emissions as its energy transition strategy does not include renewable sources of energy like solar and wind. It has recently hired Dan Ammann, who led the Cruise self-driving unit of General Motors Co until December, to lead its low carbon business starting on May 1.

As MRC wrote previously, earlier this month, SEE, ExxonMobil, and Ahold Delhaize USA announced their collaboration on an advanced recycling initiative, the first of its kind in the US. The project recycles flexible plastics from the food supply chain and remakes them into new, certified circular food-grade packaging. The initiative is expected to begin this summer and scale over time.

We remind that 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 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.

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.

Strong progress towards net zero for Shell

Strong progress towards net zero for Shell

Shell published its Energy Transition Progress Report 2021 detailing the company’s progress over the past year, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This report will be put to shareholders for an advisory vote at the Annual General Meeting on 24 May 2022.
“In a time of great uncertainty, it is vital that our long-term energy transition strategy remains on track,” said Ben van Beurden, Shell’s Chief Executive Officer. “This report shows the strong progress we have made towards our target to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050.”

This progress includes critical investment decisions in the production of low-carbon fuels, solar and wind power, and hydrogen, and significant changes to Shell’s Upstream and refinery portfolios. The company has also simplified its share structure and moved its headquarters to the UK from the Netherlands. In 2021, Shell continued to work with customers across sectors, from aviation to marine and road freight, forming more than 50 collaborations with other leading companies.

Today’s publication shows Shell’s progress against concrete climate goals. Last year, the company set a new target to reduce absolute emissions from its operations and the energy it uses to run them by 50% by 2030, compared with 2016 on a net basis. By the end of 2021, Shell had made a reduction of 18%.

Shell also achieved its short-term target to reduce the net carbon intensity of the energy products it sells by 2-3% by the end of 2021, compared with 2016 as well. The company is now working towards a 9-12% reduction in net carbon intensity by 2024, and a 20% reduction by 2030, both compared with 2016.

“We are helping our customers to identify and use low- and zero-carbon alternatives to the energy products they have used for many decades,” said Andrew Mackenzie, Shell Chair. “We see great business opportunities for Shell in the fast-growing low- and zero-carbon markets where we are well positioned to provide the different products and solutions our customers need.”

Shell’s energy transition strategy was put to an advisory shareholder vote at the Annual General Meeting in 2021 where it secured around 89% of the vote. This year, Shell is asking shareholders to vote on its progress, as it will do every year until 2050. The vote on progress is purely advisory and not binding on shareholders.

We remind, Shell Plc started to withdraw staff from its joint ventures with Russia’s Gazprom PJSC as it moves forward with plans to exit investments in response to the war in Ukraine. Dozens of Shell employees on temporary assignment at the Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas export project in Russia were removed over the weekend to be relocated back to other offices, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Operations at the facility are unlikely to be affected by the move, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss private details.

In early March, Shell plc announced its intention to phase out participation in all Russian hydrocarbon projects, including oil, oil products, gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Earlier it was noted that in April 2019, Shell announced its withdrawal from the Baltic LNG project after Gazprom's decision to change the concept of the project development, fully integrating it with the gas processing plant in Ust-Luga. In 2015, Shell became the sole partner of Gazprom in the Baltic LNG, and in 2018, the development of a technical project began. Initially, Shell estimated the capacity of the plant at 10 million tons of LNG per year, with a possible subsequent increase in capacity to 13 million tons.

Shell is a British-Dutch oil and gas concern engaged in the extraction, processing and marketing of hydrocarbons in more than 70 countries.

Evonik presents new sustainability strategy

Evonik presents new sustainability strategy

Evonik’s Active Oxygens business line has released a new sustainability strategy today aimed at expanding the beneficial handprint and reducing the environmental footprint of hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid, and persulfates, as per the company's press release.

The strategy includes concrete steps to slash carbon emissions and increase resource efficiency in the production of these chemicals, with the goal of achieving climate neutrality across the business line by 2040. Active Oxygens also aims to promote these chemistries as environmentally friendly alternatives in diverse growth industries.

Hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid, and persulfates are powerful oxidants with a broad array of sector applications. Because they break down quickly into harmless substances - mostly just oxygen and water - they are considered some of the cleanest chemicals available. Yet upstream, conventionally producing these versatile substances leaves a carbon footprint.

“Global demand for hydrogen peroxide is rising by seven to eight percent every year, driven by growth fields such as chemical synthesis, environmental applications, nutrition, and electronics,” says Robert Katzer, head of Strategic Marketing for the Active Oxygens business line. “This makes it particularly urgent to reduce this product’s environmental footprint. Fortunately, the technology is there, and we have a step-by-step plan to meet this rising demand in a clean, green manner.”

One lever is through the use of renewables. By the end of 2021, over 80% of the electricity used at Active Oxygens’ production facilities worldwide was already being drawn from renewable sources. This share is intended to exceed 90% in 2023. According to the strategy, new solutions will also be implemented for heat pumps and efficient energy reuse over the next ten years. The business line aims to operate its first fully climate-neutral production facility by 2032.

In addition, Active Oxygens is pursuing ambitious plans to switch fossil-based raw materials in its production processes to, for example, bio-based acetic acid and green hydrogen. Green hydrogen is created through water electrolysis powered by renewable electricity. The business line is currently exploring options to locally source sustainable hydrogen at each of its sites around the globe. The first plant is scheduled to begin utilizing green hydrogen in 2026, with the rest following soon thereafter.

Resource efficiency is also in focus for a further important use for hydrogen peroxide: chemical synthesis. Conventional production of propylene oxide and propylene glycol, for example, can create unnecessary by-products. By using hydrogen peroxide for the direct synthesis of these in-demand products, Evonik Active Oxygens’ proprietary technology offers an innovative, sustainable, and efficient alternative.

As a business line within Evonik’s Smart Materials division, Active Oxygens’ sustainability goals particularly support the division’s “Eco Solutions” growth field. Eco Solutions are applications that save resources and enable environmentally friendly processes. Smart Materials aims to generate EUR 900 million in sales from Eco Solutions by 2027.

The new strategy also contributes to the Evonik group’s overall sustainability approach. This approach is based on ambitious targets and key activities to translate them into measurable actions. Sustainability forms an integral part of the strategy and commercial activities of Evonik and all of its business lines, with the company systematically focusing on the impact of its activities along the entire value chain, based on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Evonik is one of the leading companies in the chemical industry for sustainability, backed up by the results of important independent rating and ranking agencies such as MSCI, Sustainalytics, EcoVadis, and CDP.

As MRC reported earlier, in March, 2022, Evonik launched a new biosurfactant produced from renewable feedstocks.
The rhamnolipids are produced at Evonik’s plant in Slovenska Lupca, Slovakia following a triple-digit million-euro investment in the site, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023. The biosurfactant range is made using feedstocks which are locally sourced and fully biodegradable, meeting demand for low-emission, low-impact cleaning products in the market.

We remind that in February, 2020, Dow and Evonik entered into an exclusive technology partnership. Together, they plan to bring a unique method for directly synthesizing propylene glycol (PG) from propylene and hydrogen peroxide to market maturity.

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of EUR12.2 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of EUR1.91 billion in 2020. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. About 33,000 employees work together for a common purpose: to improve life today and tomorrow.

AkzoNobel completes Grupo Orbis acquisition

AkzoNobel completes Grupo Orbis acquisition

MRC) -- AkzoNobel has completed the acquisition of Colombia-based coatings producer Grupo Orbis for an undisclosed fee, the Netherlands-headquartered firm said.

Grupo Orbis has consolidated revenue of around EUR360m, with presence in 10 countries in Central America, South America and the Antilles, according to the statement by AkzoNobel.

The deal includes the company’s Pintuco paints and coatings subsidiary, resins business Andercol and Poliquim, and distributor Mundial.

The Pintuco portfolio consists of 75% decorative paints and 25% coatings, offering a range of products across 10 countries, thereby "creating several opportunities for revenue synergies”, AkzoNobel said.

The deal was first announced in June 2021.

AkzoNobel expects that its revenues from Russia will drop around 70% from the €210m generated in the country last year in 2022. The company has suspended the bulk of its business in the country in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war and ensuing EU sanctions. What remains of its operations in the country will be locally operated, according to AkzoNobel chief Thierry Vanlancker.

Also, AkzoNobel has launched a new GBP 10 M global research and development (R&D) facility at its site in Slough, UK. The new centre will house 120 specialists and will serve as a major facility within the firm's global R&D network and help to further advance its innovation capabilities, specifically in the decorative paints area. The UK project is the newest in a series of facilities launched by the company intended to advance its product development.