Preem plans September maintenance at oil refinery in Sweden

Preem plans September maintenance at oil refinery in Sweden

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Swedish refiner Preem is planning a partial closure of its 228,000 bpd Lysekil oil refinery in Sweden for maintenance in September for around one month, a company spokesperson said, said Reuters.

The spokesperson declined to comment on which units will be affected. Preem is also planning maintenance at its 120,000 bpd Gothenburg oil refinery in Sweden in the autumn of 2023, the spokesperson confirmed, without specifying further detail.

A full turnaround, or closure for maintenance, was planned at the Gothenburg refinery in 2021, but this was changed to a partial turnaround in the autumn of that year and an additional one next year for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the spokesperson said.

As per MRC, Honeywell announced the completion of a commercial refinery trial with Preem AB for co-processing of biomass-based pyrolysis oil in a fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) unit. Utilizing UOP’s proprietary bioliquid feed system with OptimixTM GF Feed Distributor, pyrolysis oil was successfully co-processed in the FCC at Preem’s Lysekil refinery to produce partially renewable transportation fuel. This test marks the 6th commercial co-processing trial conducted by UOP worldwide of this technology in an FCC and the first pyrolysis oil co-processing trial in Scandinavia using UOP’s Optimix GF Feed Distributor technology.

U.S. oil refiners aim to run full-bore, spurning recession fears

U.S. oil refiners aim to run full-bore, spurning recession fears

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. crude oil refineries plan to keep running near full throttle this quarter, according to executives and estimates, as refiners set aside worries about recession and sliding retail prices to deliver more fuel, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The operating levels will keep U.S. gasoline prices below their spring highs while providing strong earnings to refiners, analysts said. Many aim to run at rates similar to the second quarter's 94% average utilization rate. "Refiners will continue to run hard in Q3," Tudor, Pickering, Holt refining analyst Matthew Blair said in a note this week, adding he would not be surprised "if Q3 runs weren't higher" than June given past conservative forecasts.

"We currently barely above the five-year average and still well below the five-year high," Blair said. The largest refiner by capacity, Marathon Petroleum Corp , aims to run at 97% of its 2.9 MM barrels per date capacity with overhauls slightly trimming output. Its 13 plants ran at a 100% average rate last quarter.

Valero Energy Corp, the second-largest by capacity, expects to drive its 2.2 MMbpd system at 90% to 93% of capacity, down slightly from the second quarter's red-hot 94%. "There is really no indication of any demand destruction," Gary Simmons, a Valero executive vice president, said on a call with investors, explaining the decision to maintain high rates.

Chevron Corp said it does not disclose refinery operating targets. Exxon Mobil Corp spokesperson Julie King said the company's U.S. Gulf Coast refineries operated at maximum utilization in the second quarter of this year, but declined to provide guidance about plans for future production.

Citgo Petroleum, which ran its three U.S. refineries at 101% of their combined, 769,000 bpd capacity last quarter, said it does not issue forward-looking guidance. Historically, U.S. production peaks in the second or third quarter as the summer driving season winds down and companies begin autumn equipment overhauls.

U.S. refineries have run this year at record levels due to plant closings, the quick recovery of domestic demand and strong export demand over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Low U.S. stocks of gasoline and diesel have raised fears of diesel shortfalls as the winter heating season draws more distillates.

U.S. gasoline stocks were at nearly 24 days of supply last week, compared with the pandemic peak of 48.7 days in 2020. Inventories of diesel were 29.4 days, compared with the peak 54.3 days in 2020, according to government data.

Third-quarter targets do not incorporate any impact from the Atlantic hurricane season, now moving toward its peak activity period. Plants along the U.S. Gulf Coast have more than 47% of the nation's refining capacity and are most at risk of storm disruptions. Scheduled maintenance typically begins in the third quarter.

As per MRC, Honeywell announced it will upgrade ExxonMobil’s existing operations control systems to Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) at their downstream refinery and chemical plant operations worldwide. As the program’s main automation contractor, Honeywell will deliver systems and software, detailed engineering and lead procurement for the integrated control system and construction. The migration will utilize Honeywell technology to evolve the legacy system to Honeywell’s flagship control system, the Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS).

New diesel rules to affect valuation of Brazil's Petrobras refineries

New diesel rules to affect valuation of Brazil's Petrobras refineries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The valuation of refineries being sold by Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras might face additional pressure as the country's oil regulator mulls banning the use of S500 diesel, sources familiar with the matter said, said Reuters.

Brazil is expected to replace S500 with low-sulfur USD10 diesel in the coming years, requiring large investments in some refineries in order for them to produce the less polluting fuel. Two of the refineries put up for sale by Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the company is formally known, in particular face uncertainties - Refap and Repar, located in the Southern states of Rio Grande do Sul and Parana respectively.

Both have the capacity to process more than 200,000 barrels of oil per day, but are not focused on producing S10 diesel. Petrobras had expected to sign confidentiality agreements with interested parties this month to sell the plants, but questions are now mounting - including political ones, as presidential front-runner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva opposes selling refineries.

"Refap, and probably other refineries, will face problems (to be sold)," an executive in the sector said, adding that Refap did not have the required capacity to produce USD10 diesel. "Repar already makes a small amount of S10, so whoever buys it would need to invest in an adaptation - not in a conversion, which would require a lot more money," said a second executive, who asked for anonymity to discuss the matter.

The ban on the use of S500 diesel is expected to occur by 2025. Market participants told Reuters that oil regulator ANP is expected to present in the coming months a detailed schedule on the move. Asked if the change would affect refinery divestments, both Petrobras and ANP did not immediately respond. In a statement, Petrobras said that S10 already accounts for more than half of its total diesel sales.

As per MRC, Petrobras said it has signed a contract to sell the REMAN refinery in the northern state of Amazonas for USD189.5 MM to Ream Participacoes S.A., a subsidiary of distributor Atem. In a separate filing, however, the company formally known as Petroleo Brasileiro SA said it had failed to secure a buyer for the Abreu e Lima (RNEST) refinery after the interested firms declined to offer a bid. Petrobras said it would end the sale process, and analyze its next steps.

Azelis strengthens R&PA presence in Turkey

Azelis strengthens R&PA presence in Turkey

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Azelis, a leading global innovation service provider in the specialty chemicals and food ingredients industry, announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Dagalt Kaucuk San. (Dagalt), a specialty chemicals distributor active in the Turkish rubber and plastics additives (R&PA) market, said the company.

The acquisition of Dagalt? strengthens Azelis’ R&PA footprint in Turkey. Dagalt’s extensive product portfolio strategically complements the Group’s lateral value chain in industrial chemicals, enhancing the offerings and technical expertise Azelis provides to customers.

Established in 1980, Dagalt has grown to be a leader in rubber and rubber additives in the domestic market. With 14 employees, Dagalt supports over 400 customers with products and expertise. CEO Sadik Dagalt will continue leading the business to ensure a smooth transition into Azelis.

The transaction expects to close at the end of the third quarter, after fulfilment of customary closing conditions.

As per MRC, Azelis, a leading global innovation service provider in the specialty chemicals and food ingredients industry, announces that it has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Chemical Solutions Sdn Bhd (“ChemSol”), one of the leading distributors of raw materials in the Personal Care, Cosmetics and Household markets in Malaysia.

SK Geo Centric & Weixing to establish JV to build EAA production plant in China

SK Geo Centric & Weixing to establish JV to build EAA production plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Beijing SK Geo Centric has signed an agreement with Weixing Chemical to form a joint venture that will construct a new ethylene acrylic acid (EAA) manufacturing facility in China to respond to Asian demand, said Apic-online.

The joint venture plans to invest around KRW 290-billion to build a 40,000-t/y EAA unit in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province. The plant is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2025.

SK Geo Centric will hold a 60% stake in the new joint venture, while Weixing Chemical will hold the remaining 40% interest.

"We will preempt the demand in China and Asia through the only EAA manufacturing plant in China, said SK Geo Centric Chief Executive Na Kyung-soo.

We will actively utilize SK Geo Centric's technological prowess and marketing capabilities in Asia to strengthen our portfolio of high value-added chemical products and to be reborn as a global leader in the field of eco-friendly chemical materials.

SK Geo Centric currently has EAA production sites in Texas and Tarragona, Spain, which it acquired in 2017 through the acquisition of Dow's EAA business.

As per MRC, five major Chinese companies including two of the country's largest oil producers will delist from the New York Stock Exchange. Sinopec and PetroChina -- two of the world's biggest energy firms -- will apply for "voluntary delisting" of their American depositary shares, the companies said in separate statements. The Aluminum Corporation of China, also known as Chalco, as well as China Life Insurance and a Shanghai-based Sinopec subsidiary, announced similar moves on Friday.