Austria to tap fuel reserves again during refinery outage

Austria to tap fuel reserves again during refinery outage

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Austria said it plans to release fuel from its national reserves for a second time since an accident at the country's biggest refinery in June prolonged an outage that is set to continue at least for another month, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

On June 3, two people were injured at OMV's Schwechat refinery when a part at a crude oil distillation unit exploded towards the end of a planned turnaround that has halted output at the site since April 19. Having released petrol and diesel from the national reserves on June 4, the energy ministry said in a statement it now planned to release roughly the same amount of diesel again as well as a smaller amount of intermediate products from which finished petroleum products will be produced.

"Comprehensive security of supply for our country should thus be ensured, bridging the duration of the maintenance work in Schwechat," the statement said. The plan must be approved by the main committee of the lower house of parliament, which is meeting on Monday evening. Under the plan, 100,000 tons of diesel and 45,000 tons of intermediate products will be released. On June 4, the amounts released were 112,000 tons of diesel and 56,000 tons of petrol.

While there have not been obvious signs of fuel shortages - like long lines at petrol stations - there have been reports of retailers briefly running out of diesel or limiting the amount customers can buy. Earlier on Monday, the opposition Social Democrats accused the government of dithering in addressing a national fuel shortage and urged it to tap the reserves.

The ministry said the reserves of crude oil and various products generally amount to 90 days' average national consumption, and the level was now at 67.5 days' worth before the second release, which would remove another 5.8 days' worth.

As per MRC, Austria is following through on a "use it or lose it" threat to eject Russia's Gazprom from its large Haidach gas storage facility for systematically failing to fill its portion of the capacity there, said Reuters.
The country’s industry regulator, E-control, started the process for assuming control over the underground Haidach site using a law which entered into force this month that allows Austria to seize critical storage spaces if operators fail to fill them to at least 10% of capacity.

UK to examine petrol and diesel market in depth

UK to examine petrol and diesel market in depth

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Britain launched an in-depth study of the gasoline market to investigate a widening gap between crude oil and fuel prices, as well as the difference between pump prices in rural and urban areas, said Reuters.

Forecourt prices in Britain have risen to record highs since the start of the war in Ukraine, taking the cost to fill an average family car above 100 pounds (USD119). The government in May asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate the market as a matter of urgency on concerns that a cut in fuel duty had not been passed on to motorists.

The CMA said the main reasons motorists were paying more were the rising price of crude oil and a widening margin between crude and wholesale petrol and diesel, called the refining spread. It said the fuel duty cut appeared to have been implemented, with the largest fuel retailers doing so immediately and others more gradually.

"While there is no escaping the global pressures pushing up fuel prices, the growing gap between the oil price, and the wholesale price of petrol and diesel, is a cause for concern," said Sarah Cardell, CMA general counsel. "We now need to get to the bottom of whether there are legitimate reasons for this and, if not, what action can be taken to address it." An in-depth study allows the CMA to use compulsory information-gathering powers to investigate entire markets.

As per MRC, Hungary's cap on fuel prices should be lifted because it will lead to shortages "sooner or later". Zsolt Hernadi, in an interview on ATV late on Sunday, said Hungary was facing an "extremely dangerous" situation as the fuel price cap was driving up consumption. "This raises the question of how long this can be done," Hernadi said. MOL, which owns the largest network of service stations in Hungary, has previously called for the cap to be phased out. The limit was introduced last November and set the retail price for both 95-octane gasoline and diesel at 480 forints (USD1.20) a liter.

MHIENG wins contract for a FEED study relating to CO2 capture

MHIENG wins contract for a FEED study relating to CO2 capture

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd. (MHIENG), part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group, awarded a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study of a CO2 capture plant applied to natural gas fired gas turbines for a repowered combined cycle (GTCC) power plant in Alberta, Canada from Capital Power Corporation, a power generation company based in Canada, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

MHIENG has achieved the world’s top share of the market with its CO2 capture technology and has received high praise for its performance and expertise in this area. The objective of this FEED study is to implement the CO2 capture plant at the repowered Genesee Generating Station Units 1 & 2, owned by Capital Power in Alberta. MHIENG’s “Advanced KM CDR Process” will be deployed at these stations. The total expected amount of captured CO2 will be approximately 3 MMtpy. The captured CO2 will be transported and sequestered underground. For the execution of the FEED study, MHIENG partnered with Kiewit Energy Group Inc., a major North American construction and engineering company and both companies will work together with Capital Power for realization of the Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) project.

Capital Power is moving forward with repowering, deploying the GTCC system with MHI gas turbine toward the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the company’s fuel conversion from coal to natural gas. Operation with this system is scheduled in 2023 and 2024 at Generating Station 1 and 2 respectively. The entire MHI Group will collaborate together to support customer’s decarbonization strategy through the overall optimization between power generation facilities and CO2 capture system.

"We are excited to collaborate with MHI Group and Kiewit to advance our Genesee CCS Project,” said Steve Owens, SVP, Construction and Engineering for Capital Power. “The Project is expected to capture 95% of the CO2 emitted from our repowered, best-in-class Genesee 1 and 2 natural gas units. Undertaking this FEED study is a significant step forward in decarbonizing our Genesee Generating Station as we work to power a sustainable future for people and planet."

“The Genesee CCS Project highlights Capital Power’s commitment to the energy transition, and we are excited to be a part of this important work,” said Rob Medley, Vice President at Kiewit. “The Project will have a tremendous impact on the decarbonization of the facility and advance the CCS industry as a whole."

"We are proud to collaborate with Capital Power and Kiewit on this world leading project,” said Kenji Terasawa, President & CEO, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering. “We recognize Canada as highly proactive in pursuing environmental protection and is a promising market for decarbonization, and as an innovative solution provider, MHI Group is taking action to achieve a carbon neutral society by introducing our carbon capture technology. To realize this goal, we will work diligently with our partners to bring this project to fruition."

Canada, like other global markets including the U.K., Europe and the U.S., is actively promoting the deployment of Carbon dioxide Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS), including through policy and institutional frameworks. Business discussions regarding CO2 capture project have become increasingly active. In May 2022, MHIENG established a branch office in Canada for decarbonization business, enabling it to provide with swift response to customer needs. With our new organization, MHIENG will respond quickly to local market trends for CCUS business using its strong expertise and expand its business in Canada.

MHI Group is currently strengthening its position in the Energy Transition, and the development of a CO2 solutions ecosystem is a core component of that initiative. CCUS is garnering attention as an effective means for realizing a carbon neutral society. MHIENG, as a leading company in decarbonization and key to the group’s strategy regarding Energy Transition, will continue to help achieve wide-scale greenhouse gas emission reduction by introducing its high-performance CO2 capture technology globally. It will also press ahead in developing new solutions to contribute to global environment protection.

As MRC reported earlier, in February 2022, MCC and its subsidiary, Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates (MCM announced plans to design and build a pilot plant to further validate the technology. Three possible pathways to creating sustainable MMA, including the molecular recycling of acrylic resin; substituting conventional materials with drop-in plant-derived raw materials in the existing MMA monomer manufacturing process; and the direct production of MMA monomers from plant-derived raw materials by fermentation were explored. The promising results using the drop-in route have now led to the decision to commence with the design process for a new pilot plant using this technology.

Umicore to build large-scale fuel cell catalyst plant in China

Umicore to build large-scale fuel cell catalyst plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Umicore will invest in building a large-scale fuel cell catalyst plant in Changshu in China to capture the fast emerging growth in fuel cell technology, said the company.

The plant will enable the accelerated transformation to hydrogen-based clean mobility, serving demand through to 2030. The greenfield facility is planned and prepared to be carbon neutral from the start and will contribute to reducing scope 3 emissions in the value chain.

Located in the northwest of Shanghai, the facility is expected to become operational by the end of 2024 and will be scalable to align with the growth of our customers. It will reinforce Umicore’s leading technology and market position in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell catalysts and complement Umicore’s current pioneering production and R&D facilities in Germany and in Korea.

We remind, Umicore and Solvay their respective 50% stakes in joint venture SolviCore to Japanese chemical company Toray.

Umicore, as part of its circular business model, also recycles fuel cell catalysts to re-use their metals such as platinum, for fresh fuel cell catalyst production, reducing their Scope 3 CO2 footprint. Fuel cell catalysts will be mainly used for long-haul, heavy-duty vehicles and to a smaller extent in mid- to light-duty vehicles.

LG Chem floats USD300 million in green bonds

LG Chem floats USD300 million in green bonds

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LG Chem issued green bonds worth USD300 million to raise funds to improve its capability in materials for rechargeable batteries such as cathodes and separators, said Koreantimes.

The company said it succeeded in issuing global green bonds a type of international bond issued and distributed in the global financial market. "It is a body that is limited in its use in eco-friendly projects and infrastructure investments such as climate change and renewable energy," the company said in a statement.

LG Chem has revealed that it is making efforts to strengthen its business competitiveness after spinning off its battery cell-manufacturing subsidiary, LG Energy Solution. The company said it would invest 10 trillion won (USD7.7 billion) by 2025 in battery materials, eco-friendly plastic materials and the development of new drugs.

In the first quarter of 2021, it announced that it will implement 4 trillion won worth of facility investments every year. To that end, the company is expected to secure 3.5 trillion won worth of investment funds this year alone by issuing green bonds and borrowing facility loans.

As per MRC, LG Chem Ltd., South Korean petrochemical major, has reported its 2021 net profit of 3.95 trillion won (USD3.3 billion), up 479.4% from a year earlier. The company said in a regulatory filing that operating income for the year rose 178.4% on-year to 5.02 trillion won. LG Chem's annual revenue increased by 41.9% to 42.65 trillion won.

As MRC reported before, LG Chem plans to shut down its naphtha cracker in the Korean city of Yeosu for a scheduled turnaround this year. Thus, LG Chem is expected to put its Yeosu naphtha cracker under scheduled maintenance sometime in the second half of 2022. LG Chem's Yeosu naphtha cracker can produce 1.16 MMtpy of ethylene.

LG Chem Ltd., often referred to as LG Chemical, is the largest Korean chemical company and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. It has eight domestic factories and global network of 29 business locations in 15 countries. LG Chem is a manufacturer, supplier, and exporter of petrochemical goods, IT&E Materials and Energy Solutions.