Iranian state firms have started preparations to revamp largest oil refinery in Venezuela

Iranian state firms have started preparations to revamp largest oil refinery in Venezuela

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iranian state firms have started preparations to revamp Venezuela's largest oil refinery, the 955,000-bpd Paraguana Refining Center, four people close to the talks said, following a contract to repair its smallest facility, said Reuters.

A deal would deepen an energy relationship that has become a lifeline for Venezuela's dilapidated oil industry amid a crisis caused by decades of mismanagement and underinvestment, and aggravated by U.S. sanctions on the South American country.

The Middle Eastern nation, also sanctioned by the United States, has supplied President Nicolas Maduro's government with fuel and diluents for making exportable crude grades, and since 2020 has provided parts to repair and update Venezuela's 1.3 MMbpd refining network.

A unit of state-run National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) this month signed a 110 MM-euro (USD116 MM) contract with Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA to repair and expand the 146,000 bpd El Palito refinery, in the country's central region.

Its next project is Paraguana, a two-refinery complex that is among the world's largest, through a contract now being negotiated, the people said. The center, known as CRP, operated at just 17% of capacity in April, according to independent estimates. Earlier this year, Iranian state firms supplied Paraguana with parts for restarting a gasoline-making unit. The equipment, manufactured in North America, arrived in Venezuela from China after the Iranians handled procurement and transport, a person with knowledge of the purchase said.

Many Chinese firms avoid direct business with Venezuela to reduce sanction-related risk or unpaid bills, only agreeing to deals if a third-party handles orders and payments, that person added. PDVSA, which has not publicly disclosed details of recent pacts with Iran, did not reply to a request for comment. NIORDC did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

PDVSA has in recent years tried and failed to attract foreign investment for its refineries, including a scrapped deal with Chinese firms. It has been more successful with oilfield services and maintenance firms willing to accept payment in crude and fuel to avoid Venezuela's notorious unpaid invoices.

But million-dollar capital injections increasingly are needed to secure an adequate fuel supply for the country, whose demand is slowly recovering to pre-pandemic levels. As Iran Oil Minister Javad Owji was visiting Caracas in early May, two supertankers carrying Iranian oil were discharging in Venezuelan waters as part of a swap arrangement the state companies kicked off last year.

We remind, Venezuela has begun importing Iranian heavy crude to feed its domestic refineries, documents from the state-run oil company PDVSA showed, a deal that widens a swap agreement signed last year by the U.S. sanctioned countries. The two nations last year initially agreed to a swap deal, with PDVSA importing Iranian condensate to dilute and process its extra heavy oil for export. In return, Venezuelan crude is being shipped via the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

As per MRC, Venezuela's exports of oil and refined products last month recovered to mid-2021 levels, boosted by sales of its flagship crude grade and fuel oil bound for Asia, according to tracking data and documents from state-run oil company PDVSA. Higher exports come as Russia's invasion of Ukraine and resulting shipping bans and financial sanctions could spur demand for Venezuela's crude and residual products, traders said. Oil importers this week have rejected Russian vessels, sending buyers searching for new crude and fuel supplies.

Huntsman announced new USD1.2 bn sustainability-linked revolving credit facility

Huntsman announced new USD1.2 bn sustainability-linked revolving credit facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Huntsman Corporation announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Huntsman International LLC, entered into a new USD1.2 billion senior unsecured, sustainability-linked revolving credit facility (the "Credit Facility") to replace the existing USD1.2 billion senior unsecured revolving credit facility expiring in May of 2023, said the company.

The new Credit Facility is scheduled to mature on May 20, 2027, with improved terms and lower fees, as well as provisions to extend the maturity by up to two more years and to increase the facility size by USD500 million. Its sustainability-linked feature includes adjustments to the commitment fee and borrowing rate based on the company's performance in intensity reductions for both greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption.

Phil Lister, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, commented: "We take pride in the role we play in creating a more sustainable future. Linking our revolving credit facility to sustainability objectives supports our commitment to provide innovative solutions for a low-carbon and more sustainable economy."

As per MRC, Huntsman announced that it has launched a new range of low-emission MDI-based foam systems for automotive interiors. The ACOUSTIFLEX LE and RUBIFLEX® LE polyurethane product lines. These innovative technologies allow global automotive formulators and foam manufacturers to produce high-performance polyurethane foams, while significantly reducing interior emissions levels to meet OEMs’ requirements.

Also, Huntsman is expanding its performance products facility in Petfurdo, Hungary. The multimillion-dollar investment project will expand capacity for polyurethane (PU) catalysts and specialty amines, scheduled for completion in mid-2023.

Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals with 2020 revenues of approximately USD6 billion. Our chemical products number in the thousands and are sold worldwide to manufacturers serving a broad and diverse range of consumer and industrial end markets.

Hungary demands energy investment before backing EU ban on Russian oil

Hungary demands energy investment before backing EU ban on Russian oil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hungary on Monday stuck to its demands for energy investment before it agrees to a Russian oil embargo, clashing with EU states pushing for swift approval of more European Union sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The EU commission early this month proposed the new package of sanctions against the Kremlin but the measures have not yet been adopted, with Hungary being among the most vocal critics of the plan. "Solutions first, sanctions afterwards," Hungary's Justice Minister Judit Varga told journalists ahead of ministerial talks in Brussels on Monday.

That clashed with calls from several governments for a deal before a summit of the EU's leaders on May 30. Hungary, which is heavily dependent on Russian oil, has said it would need about 750 MM euros (USD800.8 MM) in short-term investments to upgrade refineries and to expand a pipeline bringing oil from Croatia.

It has also indicated that in the longer run the conversion of its economy away from Russian oil could cost as much as 18 B euros. The Commission last week offered up to 2 B euros in support to land-locked central and eastern European countries that lack access to non-Russian supply - effectively Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

These states have also been offered a longer transition period to wean themselves off Russian oil. To address longer-term concerns, the Commission has published a 210 B euro plan meant to end Europe's reliance on Russian fossil fuels by 2027, but has not indicated how the new investments would be shared among EU states.

One of the key stumbling blocks remains the amount the EU is ready to pay to Hungary to adapt two refineries that at the moment can only process Russian crude, an official told Reuters on Monday, confirming one of the key issues causing the deadlock.

At a meeting of EU diplomats last week, several envoys, including those from France, Lithuania, Belgium and Ireland, urged a compromise before the EU summit next week to avoid a political escalation of the controversy, diplomats said.

We remind, Poland is appealing to the EU to impose additional import tariffs on Russian oil and gas. The European Union wants to mobilise around EUR 300 billion by 2030, including around EUR 72 billion in subsidies and EUR 225 billion in loans, to end its reliance on Russian oil and gas, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

As per MRC, the price of Brent crude oil, the world benchmark, has increased in 2022, partly as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In addition, a strong U.S. dollar means that countries that use currencies other than the U.S. dollar pay more as crude oil prices increase.

INEOS Styrolution presented new PS grade containing mechanically recycled post-consumer waste

INEOS Styrolution presented new PS grade containing mechanically recycled post-consumer waste

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, has announced the introduction of its new Styrolution® PS ECO 260 MR85 grade containing mechanically recycled post-consumer waste, said he company.

This grade is available across markets in Asia at commercial scale with immediate effect. The new Styrolution PS ECO 260 MR85 contains 85 percent recycled post-consumer content from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). It offers identical mechanical properties as virgin HIPS equivalent, including very good mechanical performance, consistency and high fluidity, making it an excellent drop-in solution for application developers in the household and electronics industries.

Produced at INEOS Styrolution’s Foshan site in China, this new grade is currently available in standard black and grey, and in commercial quantities to customers across Asia. HyoungJoon Kim, Polystyrene Business Director APAC, comments: “We are very pleased to be able to offer our high-quality recycled PS grade to our customers in Asia, helping them reduce their carbon footprint and achieving their sustainability goals."

Johnson Lin, Research Development Centre & Technical Service Director APAC, adds: “We are very excited to introduce our first recycled PS grade produced here in Asia. This new grade can be used without any change in our customers’ processes or equipment, making it a convenient drop-in solution for our customers."

As per MRC, INEOS is to develop a dedicated acetonitrile unit at its Cologne, Germany site to capitalise on anticipated pharmaceuticals sector demand for the material. The company is to develop a 15,000 tonne/year production facility at the site to enhance supplies for its European customer base, on the back of anticipated demand from the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and bioscience sectors.

We remind that in April 2021, INEOS Styrolution, Recycling Technologies and Trinseo announced that they had reached a significant milestone in their plans to build commercial polystyrene (PS) recycling plants in Europe. Recycling Technologies has been selected as the technology partner.

INEOS Styrolution is the leading global styrenics supplier, with a focus on styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialties. With world-class production facilities and more than 90 years of experience, INEOS Styrolution helps its customers succeed by offering solutions, designed to give them a competitive edge in their markets. At the same time, these innovative and sustainable best-in-class solutions help make the circular economy for styrenics a reality. The company provides styrenic applications for many everyday products across a broad range of industries, including automotive, electronics, household, construction, healthcare, packaging and toys/sports/leisure. In 2020, sales were at 4 billion euros. INEOS Styrolution employs approximately 3,600 people and operates 20 production sites in ten countries.

Air Liquide CO2 reduction decision validated by the Science Targets Initiative

Air Liquide CO2 reduction decision validated by the Science Targets Initiative

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Air Liquide’s target to reduce its Scope 1 & 2 CO2 emissions by 2035 has been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as qualified and aligned with climate science, said the company.

The Group is the first in its industry to obtain validation from the Science Based Targets Initiative. This approval represents an important milestone towards the Group’s ambition to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Science Based Targets initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets.

Air Liquide's 2035 Climate Objectives address Scope 1 & 2 emissions. The Group aims at global carbon neutrality by 2050, and has therefore initiated an extensive review of its Scope 3 emissions. This is further illustrated by its participation in the SBTi-led project to develop a Sector Decarbonization Approach (SDA) for the chemical sector. This project sets out to develop standardized methods and best practices for emissions accounting, with a focus on critical Scope 3 categories for the chemical industry.

As per MRC, Air Liquide and Lhoist have signed a MoU with the aim to decarbonize Lhoist’s lime production plant located in Rety, in the Hauts-de-France region, using Air Liquide’s innovative and proprietary Cryocap carbon capture technology. In this context, Air Liquide and Lhoist have jointly applied for the European Innovation Fund large scale support scheme. This partnership is a new step in the creation of a low-carbon industrial ecosystem in the broader Dunkirk area.

We remind, Pertamina and Air Liquide Indonesia, signed a joint study agreement on capturing carbon emissions from its Balikpapan hydrogen production facility and storing the carbon in the Kutai basin area off East Kalimantan province. Some of the emissions would be converted into products like methanol, which can be used to produce low-carbon fuels, Pertamina said in the statement. Indonesia, which relies heavily on fossil fuels for its energy, aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060 and aims to nearly double the proportion of renewables in its energy mix to 23% by 2025.