Idemitsu restarts 150,000-bpd Hokkaido CDU on July 25 after maintenance

Idemitsu restarts 150,000-bpd Hokkaido CDU on July 25 after maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's second-biggest oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co restarted the 150,000 bpd crude distillation unit (CDU) at its Hokkaido refinery in northern Japan on July 25 after maintenance, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The company said last month that it had begun a minor turnaround at the Hokkaido refinery in late May, without indicating whether the CDU had been shut as part of the work.

An RIM Intelligence report said the unit was shut on May 30.

As MRC wrote before, in early February, Idemitsu Kosan had no plan to give fresh financial aid to Vietnam's Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical (NSRP), which ha cut production to 80% of capacity due to a funding problem. Vietnam's largest refinery avoided a lengthy shutdown that month after a major shareholder secured short-term funding following a disagreement between shareholders about financing for crude, having earlier cut its run rate.

We remind that in October 2018, Idemitsu Kosan finalized a deal to buy out Showa Shell Sekiyu through a share swap in a deal worth about USD5.6 billion.
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Borealis suspends construction in Kallo

Borealis suspends construction in Kallo

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis suspends construction in Kallo after serious allegations against contractor and continues to support Belgian authorities in investigation, said the company.

Restart of work on mega project postponed to allow time for investigation and additional social compliance measures
In light of recent developments and media reports of alleged misconduct by its contractor IREM at the construction site for the new propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant in Kallo, Belgium, on July 27 Borealis decided to halt the construction of its Kallo PDH for three days and suspended the contract with IREM-Ponticelli, the contractor responsible for the piping and mechanical work for the construction of the new PDH project. As the thorough investigation and implementation of additional compliance measures is ongoing, Borealis decided on 1 August 2022 to extend the shutdown for its PDH construction site in Kallo until further notice. Project work will be resumed step by step.

For large construction projects, Borealis works together with specialized construction companies and pays market prices according to Western European standards. Contracts concluded with business partners and contractors contain safeguard clauses that oblige them to comply with all applicable laws, in particular social legislation.

In the specific case, the mega-project PDH in Kallo, Borealis commissioned the company IREM with work and included the protective clauses applicable to all business partners, in particular the Business Ethics Code of Conduct, in the agreement. At the end of June 2022, Belgian social inspectors came to the site and carried out standard interviews on a number of works on the PDH site. The team involved in this review fully cooperated and was not aware of allegations of human trafficking at any time.

It was only after the intervention of the Belgian authorities in mid-July that Borealis realized that there might have been social fraud on a large scale. The extent of the social fraud and the possibility of human trafficking was not evident earlier and only became clear later in particularly alarming press reports end of July 2022.

Borealis has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to endangering the safety of its own and contractors' employees and strongly condemns any form of human rights abuse. As a result, Borealis immediately suspended the contract with IREM-Ponticelli on 27 July 2022 due to IREM's alleged breach of several terms of the contract and the ongoing investigation by the Social Inspectorate. Borealis is investigating this matter with the highest priority and is working closely with the Social Inspectorate to advance their investigation. At the same time, Borealis engaged an external law firm to analyse the case.

As per MRC, Borealis lifted the cracker products force majeure, declared on 23 June, on 9 July, following the successful restart of the cracker. A company spokesperson said the cracker was back in normal operations. Borealis (Vienna, Austria) has declared force majeure on all cracker products from its ethane-fed steam cracker at Stenungsund, Sweden, after encountering technical difficulties during a restart of the facility following a maintenance turnaround.
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Novoshakhtinsk refinery fully resumes operations

Novoshakhtinsk refinery fully resumes operations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery in Russia's southern Rostov region has fully resumed operations after it was struck by drones in June, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The plant said in June that it was hit by two drones flying from the direction of Ukraine, prompting it to suspend production.

We remind, Gazprom stopped supplying Latvia with gas, the Russian gas giant announced on Saturday citing a violation of the conditions for gas withdrawal. The move comes as a response to the announcement of Latvian energy firm Latvijas Gaze, which said it was buying gas from Russia, but not from Gazprom. During the last month, approximately one terawatt-hour of natural gas was delivered to Latvia from Russia and the payment was made in euros rather than in roubles as required by Gazprom.
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INEOS Styrolution sells its equity interest in INEOS Styrolution India

INEOS Styrolution sells its equity interest in INEOS Styrolution India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, announced today that it has entered into an agreement for the sale of its entire shareholding interest in INEOS Styrolution India to Shiva Performance Materials, said the company.

Shiva Performance Materials Private Limited is part of the Shiva Group, which has businesses in specialty chemicals for pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and other intermediates.

Upon completion of the transaction, Shiva Performance Materials will acquire INEOS Styrolution’s 61.19% equity interest in INEOS Styrolution India.

Steve Harrington, CEO INEOS Styrolution, comments: “The business continues in Shiva Performance Materials’ experienced hands, serving the existing customer base and seeking future growth potential to enhance the Company’s current position in the Indian market".

The transaction triggers a mandatory tender offer (MTO) and the completion is subject to fulfillment of customary conditions.

As per MRC, INEOS and Sinopec have today signed three back-to-back deals worth a combined value of USD7bn.
These landmark agreements are expected to generate a combined turnover of around USD10bn from 7 million tonnes of capacity. The three agreements will significantly reshape Ineos’ petrochemicals production and technology in China.
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Braskem acqured Wise Plásticos

Braskem acqured Wise Plásticos

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Braskem, the market leader and a pioneer in the production of biopolymers, entered into an agreement for the acquisition of shares and the subscription of new shares in Wise Plasticos S.A., a company engaged in mechanical recycling, said the company.

Braskem will acquire an equity interest of 61.1% in the share capital of Wise for an estimated amount of RD121 million, part of which will be used to expand its current production capacity by two-fold to around 50,000 tons/year of recycling by 2026.

The transaction, which is subject to approval by the applicable authorities, represents yet another step by Braskem in its strategy to invest in the circular economy by developing sustainable and innovative solutions based on opportunities to improve the plastics recycling chain, which includes the challenge of recycling in Brazil.

Wise, a relevant player in the recycling of polyolefins for consumer goods companies, is a Brazilian company based in Itatiba, Sao Paulo that has operated in the sector for over 15 years. Currently, it has nominal capacity to recycle approximately 25,000 of plastic waste per year and maintains important partnerships with companies such as Unilever and Natura.

The company has a strategic expansion plan to capture opportunities in this market over the coming years focusing on polypropylene (PP) resins using caps, housewares, home appliances and on high-density polyethylene (HDPE) using packaging for personal and home care and cosmetics, corrugated tubing, etc.

According to Edison Terra, vice-president of Olefins and Polyolefins at Braskem, the transaction demonstrates the solidity of Braskem's strategy to accelerate development of the chain and leverage recycling in Brazil: "The transaction with Wise contributes to our macro-goal of eliminating plastic waste, which includes projects focusing on education, recycling infrastructure, mechanical recycling and advanced recycling."

"Braskem and Wise share the same vision and goals, which are to develop the chain and leverage recycling in the country. The two teams will work together and with other players in the sector transparently to foster the market's growth, drive advances in the supply chain and improve products and customer service," said Bruno Igel, will stay on as CEO of Wise.

Until the transaction's approval by Brazil's antitrust agency CADE, nothing will change in the market, and Wise will continue to sell its portfolio normally. After approval of the acquisition of 61% of the company, Wise will maintain its own governance, team and management and will focus on meeting the needs of its current and future clients, now drawing on the support and potential synergies provided by Braskem's entry into its capital.

As per MRC, Braskem Q2 resin sales volume in Brazil increased by 11% compared to the same period last year due to higher market share, which had declined in 2Q21. Compared to Q1, sales volume fell by 1% on stable local demand for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
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