ALPLA acguired Polish packaging producer Apon

ALPLA acguired Polish packaging producer Apon

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ALPLA Group (Hard, Austria) is boosting the presence of its pharma division in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) with the acquisition of the Polish company APON, said Chemengonline.

APON produces plastic packaging for the pharma industry at its site in Zyrardow near Warsaw. The acquisition continues the growth and expansion course of the ALPLApharma business division established in 2019.

Bottles, containers, caps, dosage systems and accessories in certified clean-room quality – ALPLA has been producing plastic packaging for pharma products since 2016. The rapidly growing segment was consolidated under the brand ALPLApharma in 2019 and has been gradually expanded. ALPLA is continuing this expansionary course with the acquisition of the Polish company APON. ‘We are increasing our presence in Central and Eastern Europe and are providing the emerging market in Poland and the Baltic states with high-quality products right there in the region,’ explains Walter Knes, Managing Director, ALPLApharma.

APON was founded as a family business in 1985. Its workforce of approximately 45 at the site in Zyrardow near Warsaw currently produces bottles with fill volumes of 5 to 100 milliliters, containers with screw caps or snap lids and medical accessories with dosage aids. The pharmaceutical primary packaging is produced in a clean room in accordance with ISO 15378.

The company also produces packaging for food supplements and for the e-liquid sector. The plastics used as packaging materials are HDPE, LDPE, PP and PET. It has a total annual production of over 200 million units. Its integration into the ALPLA Group is beneficial for both parties – in addition to the development of new markets, it will allow for access to technological expertise and packaging innovations. All of the APON staff will be kept on.

ALPLApharma has its main sites in Egypt, Greece, Romania, South Africa and Poland, as well as production plants in nine other countries. Further expansionary steps are planned in the months and years to come. Its portfolio will also be expanded. In addition to standard products for the pharma industry, it focuses on packaging for over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals and food supplements. ALPLApharma recently added flexible EBM (extrusion blow molding) technology to its production because of this, making it possible for sustainable, weight-reduced and cost-effective containers to be produced.

‘The Pharma division has huge future potential. As well as above-average market growth, the segment is characterized by strong customer loyalty. With our global capacities and quality standards, we make reliable and long-term partnerships possible,’ emphasizes ALPLA CEO Philipp Lehner.

As per MRC, Alpla is expanding its recycling capacity in Germany following the acquisition of Texplast and PET Recycling Team Wolfen. Focussing on the German bottle-to-bottle market, the acquisition of the two companies will increase Alpla’s annual processing volume of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles in Germany to 75,000 tonnes/year.

Arkema reinforces its commitment to the climate

Arkema reinforces its commitment to the climate

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema has set itself an ambitious target, based on an SBT (Science Based Target) approach, to reduce its scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and its scope 3 emissions by 46% by 2030 relative to 2019, said the company.

Thus, the Group is raising its level of commitment from well below 2°C to 1.5°C, and now also includes all scope 3 emissions. This decarbonization target is based on energy efficiency and the evolution of the energy mix of Arkema’s industrial activities for scopes 1 and 2. Regarding scope 3, it includes the reduction of the most emissive activities, innovation contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and suppliers’ commitment upstream of the value chain.

It will be supported by an increase in investments contributing to decarbonization, which could reach EUR400 million by 2030 and which will be included in the Group's recurring capital expenditure envelope.

"As a responsible manufacturer, Arkema is strongly mobilized to address the major societal challenge of decarbonization. With this new ambitious climate plan, the Group is taking a new step forward in its action for the fight against global warming. In particular, our cutting-edge expertise and innovation benefit our partners and customers in their own quest for sustainable performance, and we act on a daily basis to limit our carbon footprint," highlights Luc Benoit-Cattin, Executive Vice President Industry and CSR.

We remind, a graduate of Chimie ParisTech and Ecole Nationale Superieure du Petrole et des Moteurs, Emmanuelle Bromet has been appointed Sustainable Development Vice President at Arkema effective 28 July 2022.

Also, Nippon Shokubai and Arkema are joining forces to launch feasibility studies and establish a joint venture for the construction of an industrial plant for the production of LiFSI (Lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide) ultrapure electrolyte salts, a key component of battery cells for electric mobility.

North America chemical rail volume increased by 2.7%

North America chemical rail volume increased by 2.7%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- For the year to date, chemical railcar traffic in North America is up 2.7% from 2021 and up 7.6% from 2020, said AAR.

U.S. railroads originated 1,157,555 carloads in June 2022, down 1.5 percent, or 17,970 carloads, from June 2021. U.S. railroads also originated 1,323,119 containers and trailers in June 2022, down 4.6 percent, or 63,483 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in June 2022 were 2,480,674, down 3.2 percent, or 81,453 carloads and intermodal units from June 2021.

In June 2022, eight of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with June 2021. These included: crushed stone, sand & gravel, up 7,028 carloads or 7.3 percent; grain, up 4,794 carloads or 4.5 percent; and motor vehicles & parts, up 3,839 carloads or 6.2 percent. Commodities that saw declines in June 2022 from June 2021 included: coal, down 10,226 carloads or 3.1 percent; all other carloads, down 7,532 carloads or 23.1 percent; and primary metal products, down 5,388 carloads or 11.6 percent.

“As conjecture grows about the direction of the U.S. economy, June rail traffic doesn’t offer definitive answers on whether a recession is looming or not,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “Like many other economic indicators today, rail traffic is a mix of red, yellow, and green with some traffic lines, such as automotive, providing generally positive indicators while others, such as chemicals, being a bit more subdued than they were earlier in the year."

Excluding coal, carloads were down 7,744 carloads, or 0.9 percent, in June 2022 from June 2021. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were down 12,538 carloads, or 1.7 percent. Total U.S. carload traffic for the first six months of 2022 was 5,993,917 carloads, down 0.1 percent, or 8,823 carloads, from the same period last year; and 6,878,726 intermodal units, down 6.2 percent, or 453,282 containers and trailers, from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 26 weeks of 2022 was 12,872,643 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 3.5 percent compared to last year.

We remind, for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 493,374 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.4 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week ending June 25 were 229,857 carloads, down 3.1 percent compared with the same week in 2021, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 263,517 containers and trailers, down 5.5 percent compared to 2021.

EIA estimates show a decrease in global surplus crude oil production capacity in 2022

EIA estimates show a decrease in global surplus crude oil production capacity in 2022

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The EIA's new report, titled Global Surplus Crude Oil Production Capacity, provides estimates of global surplus crude oil production capacity in both OPEC countries and non-OPEC countries, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Preliminary estimates for these data show that, as of May 2022, surplus capacity in non-OPEC countries decreased by 80% compared with 2021. The data show that, in 2021, 1.4 MMbpd of surplus production capacity was available in non-OPEC countries, about 60% of which was in Russia. As of May 2022, we estimate that all surplus production capacity in Russia was eliminated due to the sanctions implemented after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. We determined that excess oil production capacity declined in other non-OPEC producing countries as well. We estimate that, as of May 2022, producers in non-OPEC countries had about 280,000 bpd of surplus production capacity.

We define surplus capacity as the maximum existing capacity that can be brought online within 30 days and sustained for at least 90 days. Our assessment of surplus crude oil production capacity does not include volumes of oil that are offline because of unplanned outages and disruptions, including sanctions, because these volumes cannot be brought to market voluntarily. For that reason, we exclude crude oil production that is offline in Iran, Libya, Venezuela, and now Russia, from surplus capacity estimates.

Since 2003, we have tracked OPEC surplus capacity in a separate publication: the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). Global Surplus Crude Oil Production Capacity includes information about surplus production capacity located in both OPEC and non-OPEC member countries, based on STEO data. Our estimates of global surplus crude oil production capacity now date back to 1970 and provide a longer history of this measure. We define OPEC in terms of its current membership.

In our June STEO, we estimate that OPEC surplus capacity declined to 3.0 million b/d by May 2022 from 5.4 million b/d in 2021. As a result of the declines of surplus production capacity located in both OPEC and non-OPEC countries, global surplus crude oil production capacity in May 2022 was less than half of its 2021 average.

We remind, more than 5 MM barrels of oil that were part of a historic U.S. emergency reserves release to lower domestic fuel prices were exported to Europe and Asia last month, according to data and sources, even as U.S. gasoline and diesel prices hit record highs.The export of crude and fuel is blunting the impact of the moves by U.S. President Joe Biden to lower record pump prices. Biden on Saturday renewed a call for gasoline suppliers to cut their prices, drawing criticism from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Shell gets USD1 bln refining boost, upgrades oil and gas assets

Shell gets USD1 bln refining boost, upgrades oil and gas assets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell said surging demand for oil products that had almost tripled refining profits in the second quarter would boost earnings by up to USD1.2 bn, said Reuters.

In an update before second quarter results on July 28, Shell also said it would reverse up to USD4.5 B in writedowns on oil and gas assets after it raised its energy prices outlook following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Earnings from oil and refined products trading were expected to be strong in the quarter but lower than the first quarter of 2022, Shell said.

Shell's indicative refining margin rose in the second quarter to USD28.04 per barrel from USD10.23 in the first quarter and USD4.17 a year earlier, driven by a recovery in demand after the pandemic, limited global refining capacity and lower fuel exports from Russia to Western economies.

The increased refining margin is expected to boost the division's earnings by USD800 million to USD1.2 B in the second quarter compared with the first quarter. Shell shares were up 2.7% at 1040 GMT, lower than the 3.3% gains to the broader energy index.

Shell, which posted a record quarterly profit of more than USD9 B in the first quarter, said its cash flow in the second quarter was hit by an outflow of about USD6 B. It said current market volatility would hit cash flows. "We see the statement as neutral given a number of offsetting impacts to results, with the main uncertainty being around the magnitude of working capital outflows," RBC Capital Markets analyst Biraj Borkhataria said in a note.

Oil and gas prices remained elevated in the quarter, with benchmark Brent crude averaging about USD114 a barrel. Shell increased its assumed price for Brent to USD80 a barrel in 2023, up from USD60 in its 2021 annual report. For 2024 and 2025, the Brent price was rose to USD70 a barrel compared with USD60. The long-term price was USD65, compared with USD63.

The upgrade will result in post-tax impairment reversals of USD3.5 billion to USD4.5 billion. Shell wrote down more than USD22 billion in 2020 when the pandemic led to an oil price collapse. Shell said it completed its USD8.5 B share buyback program during the second quarter.

Shell's oil and gas production, expected to reach as much as 2.93 MM barrels of oil equivalent per day, would be its lowest in at least seven years because of maintenance issues. Shell, the world's largest trader of liquefied natural gas (LNG), said its quarterly LNG production was expected to be in a range of 7.4 MM to 8 MM tons.

The figure reflects the removal of LNG volumes from the Sakhalin-2 plant in eastern Russia which Shell plans to exit. Shell's larger rival Exxon Mobil signaled last week that skyrocketing margins from fuel and crude sales could generate a record quarterly profit.

As per MRC, Shell and Dow have started up an experimental unit to electrically heat steam cracker furnaces at the Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This represents a key milestone in the companies’ joint technology program to electrify steam cracking furnaces, bringing the companies one step closer to decarbonizing one of the most carbon intensive aspects of petrochemical manufacturing.