North American weekly chem railcar traffic increased by 2.3%

North American weekly chem railcar traffic increased by 2.3%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical railcar traffic rose by 2.3% year on year to 46,132 loadings for the week ended 20 August, said Association of American Railroads (AAR).

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 501,548 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.1 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week ending August 20 were 237,404 carloads, up 2.9 percent compared with the same week in 2021, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 264,144 containers and trailers, down 2.4 percent compared to 2021.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2021. They included coal, up 4,321 carloads, to 68,280; grain, up 2,825 carloads, to 20,974; and farm products excl. grain, and food, up 2,128 carloads, to 17,031. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2021 were miscellaneous carloads, down 1,951 carloads, to 8,600; metallic ores and metals, down 1,248 carloads, to 22,270; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 627 carloads, to 9,681.

For the first 33 weeks of 2022, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,606,648 carloads, down 0.01 percent from the same point last year; and 8,707,653 intermodal units, down 5.5 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 33 weeks of 2022 was 16,314,301 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 3 percent compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending August 20, 2022, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 334,389 carloads, up 2.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 354,588 intermodal units, down 1.7 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 688,977 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.2 percent. North American rail volume for the first 33 weeks of 2022 was 22,296,729 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.8 percent compared with 2021.

Canadian railroads reported 75,585 carloads for the week, up 1.2 percent, and 74,484 intermodal units, up 1 percent compared with the same week in 2021. For the first 33 weeks of 2022, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 4,747,008 carloads, containers and trailers, down 3.2 percent.

Mexican railroads reported 21,400 carloads for the week, down 1.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 15,960 intermodal units, down 2.5 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 33 weeks of 2022 was 1,235,420 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 1.1 percent from the same point last year.

We remind, North American chemical railcar traffic rose by 1.0% year on year to 46,133 loadings for the week ended 13 August. Increases in Canada and Mexico more than offset an 0.2% decline in US shipments. The week before, North American chemical railcar traffic fell by 1.1%.
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Indorama Q2 earnings almost double

Indorama Q2 earnings almost double

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama Ventures Limited (IVL)’s second-quarter sales and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) rose sharply, year on year, on the back of strong sales volumes and improved profit margins, said the company.

Net profit, which the company reports in its home currency, more than doubled during the quarter to baht (Bt) 20.3bn (USD571m). IVL said it had managed to offset high energy prices in Europe and the US thanks to the “combination of strong sales and improved margins".

By division, the company said its largest unit producing polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and derivatives had posted 35% higher earnings during Q2, year on year, though they fell by 1% quarter on quarter. “[The division, called Combined PET] delivered strong EBITDA … on high margins driven by seasonally strong demand, supply chain constraints and overall market tightness,” said IVL.

IVL’s Integrated Oxides and Derivatives (IOD) division also posted higher earnings, both year on year and quarter on quarter. However, sales and earnings fell year on year and quarter on quarter in the Fibers division as it took a hit from China’s lockdowns to contain the pandemic as well as disruption in Russia.

We remind, seasonally strong demand, supply chain constrains, overall market tightness and production in key locations like the US has driven Indorama's polyethylene terephthalate (PET) business to a 35% year-on-year growth. As a domestic producer in western premium markets, the heightened freight rates and longer lead times for imported goods allowed Indorama to re-price domestic sales at attractive margins, allowing them to reach this growth year on year.
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Olin to permanently cut chlor-alkali capacity at Texas plant

Olin to permanently cut chlor-alkali capacity at Texas plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Olin said that it plans to permanently shut down 225K ECU tons of diaphragm-grade chlor-alkali capacity at its Freeport, Texas, facility by the end of this year, said the company.

Following the closure, Olin (OLN) said it will have rationalized more than 1M ECU tons of diaphragm-grade chlor-alkali capacity in less than two years.

"These actions demonstrate our commitment to lift and maintain our ECU values, while developing a more sustainable asset configuration," the company said.

Olin (OLN) recently reported Q2 adjusted earnings of USD2.76/share on revenues of USD2.62B.

MRC reported earlier, that Olin is temporarily curtailing a "significant portion" of its ethylene dichloride and related chlor-alkali production at its Freeport, Texas, complex.

In June Olin restarted half of its chlor-alkali unit at its Plaquemine, Louisiana, complex, and expects to bring up other operations at the complex in August. The chlor-alkali facility can produce up to 970,000 mt/year of chlorine and 1 million mt/year of caustic soda. The site's EDC unit can produce up to 420,000 mt/year.

Chlorine reacted with ethylene makes EDC. Caustic soda is a byproduct of chlorine production and a key feedstock for alumina and pulp and paper industries.
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PetroChina’s Dagang refinery commissions new alkylation unit using Ionikylation Technology

PetroChina’s Dagang refinery commissions new alkylation unit using Ionikylation Technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PetroChina Dagang Petrochemical Company successfully commissioned a 150,000 tpy Ionikylation unit for the production of high octane alkylate. Start-up activities were completed on August 14, 2022, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Dagang alkylation unit is the third Ionikylation unit in PetroChina’s portfolio and the seventh commercial Ionikylation project to date.

The Dagang refinery has an annual crude processing capacity of 5,000,000 tpy and it produces 1,500,000 tpy of gasoline. According to PetroChina, Ionikylation was selected for its proven ability to achieve quality and efficiency of alkylate production, enabling the company to meet National VI gasoline specification requirements while improving its environmental and operational safety profile. Alkylate RON from the newly commissioned unit is reported at 98.

The Dagang Ionikylation unit occupies a plot space of 159m x 71m and is located at the site of a previously dismantled catalytic reforming unit. The total cost for the project was reported as ?330 MM RMB.

Ionikylation is the leading ionic liquids-based alkylation technology for the production of high octane alkylate that is free from sulfur, benzene, olefins, and aromatics. The inherently safe and sustainable process allows a refiner to transition away from using hazardous and corrosive acid catalysts and additives. All Ionikylation process equipment is manufactured using carbon steel and the process eliminates the need for costly containment systems for handling hazardous chemicals.

In 2020, Ionikylation achieved an industry milestone as the first ionic liquids-based technology to be used to revamp an existing hydrofluoric acid alkylation unit at Sinopec’s Wuhan refinery. Well Resources Inc. is the global licensor of Ionikylation.

As per MRC, PetroChina Urumqi Petrochemical is planning to revamp and upgrade its refining facilities by adding some new refining as well as petrochemical units. A 450,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP), a 300,000 tonne/year styrene monomer (SM), a 200,000 tonne/year polystyrene (PS), and a 1.2m tonne/year purified phthalate acid (PTA) unit will be installed as the petrochemical part. The refining part will mainly include a new 1.2m tonne/year solvent deasphalting (SDA), a 2.2m tonne/year fluid catalytic cracking (FCC), and a 1m tonne/year gas fractionation units.The company is seeking environment approval for proceeding the project.
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Private refiners in China on tenterhooks as Beijing kicks off fresh round of inspection

Private refiners in China on tenterhooks as Beijing kicks off fresh round of inspection
MOSCOW (MRC) -- Beijing has been stepping up efforts to tighten supervision and standardize operations of its refining sector, said S&P.

It launched a series of investigations on refineries beginning April 2021.

The latest round of inspections this month will focus mainly on tax issues, as small-scale private refiners often fail to fulfill their tax obligations in an attempt to stay competitive.

We remind, Wanhua Chemical, a major petrochemical producer in China, says it will spend USD3.6 billion to build a chemical complex in Penglai, China, by 2024. The project’s centerpiece will be a propane dehydrogenation plant (PDH) with 900,000 metric tons per year of capacity. The complex will also make propylene oxide, polyether polyols, ethylene oxide, acrylic acid, polypropylene (PP), and other products.

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