BASF and Arcus partner on pyrolysis

BASF and Arcus partner on pyrolysis

BASF SE has concluded a framework agreement for the purchase of pyrolysis oil from mixed plastic waste with ARCUS Greencycling Technologies GmbH, a technology company based in Ludwigsburg, Germany, said the company.

The two companies want to contribute their respective know-how to the value chain in order to return plastic waste that is not recycled mechanically in the sense of a circular economy and reduce CO2 emissions. ARCUS will supply BASF with pyrolysis oil and expand its capacities in the coming years. BASF will use the oil in its production plants as a raw material for the production of Ccycled™ products.

The ARCUS process demonstration unit built in Frankfurt is the first of its kind on a commercial scale in Germany and produces pyrolysis oil from mixed plastic waste that is not recycled mechanically. “With the guaranteed purchase of the oil produced, ARCUS can build further plants with higher capacity and thus make a significant contribution to closing material cycles together with BASF,” said Daniel Odenthal, Chief Operating Officer of ARCUS Greencycling Technologies. The agreement foresees the take-up to be increased to up to 100,000 tons of pyrolysis oil per year.

“The collaboration with ARCUS underscores BASF’s commitment to conserving resources by using recycled raw materials in the chemical industry and to drive the transition to a circular economy,” said Christoph Gahn, Vice President Chemical Recycling Business & Technologies at BASF. “Partnerships with agile, innovative companies are key to achieving these goals. We are pleased to have found such a partner in Germany in ARCUS, who will be able to supply us with commercial quantities of pyrolysis oil for the production of Ccycled™ products in the future. In this way, we support our customers in achieving their sustainability goals."

The agreement is another building block in the expansion of BASF’s ChemCyclingTM business, which focuses on the chemical recycling of non-recycled post-consumer plastic waste on an industrial scale. BASF will feed the pyrolysis oil supplied by ARCUS into its production network in Ludwigshafen, replacing fossil resources. The proportion of recycled raw material is allocated to products manufactured in the Verbund using a mass balance approach. The attribution is checked by an independent auditor. The products that bear the name suffix “Ccycled™” have exactly the same properties as conventionally manufactured products. Customers can therefore process them in the same way and also use them in applications that place high demands on quality and performance, such as automotive parts. Commercial products have been on the market since 2020.

We remind, BASF, SABIC and Linde have started construction of the world’s first demonstration plant for large-scale electrically heated steam cracker furnaces. By using electricity from renewable sources instead of natural gas, the new technology has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions of one of the most energy-intensive production processes in the chemical industry by at least 90% compared to technologies commonly used today.

Guyana boosts oil profit outlook for 2022 by 30%

Guyana boosts oil profit outlook for 2022 by 30%

Guyana could bank about USD1.25 B this year from the sale of oil as its share of offshore production and royalties, up 30% from a prior estimate, the government’s finance ministry said over the weekend, said Reuters.

Historically one of South America’s poorest nations, Guyana this year expects proceeds from oil discoveries off its coast to jump on a tripling of output. An ExxonMobil-led consortium opened a second production facility this year, and four more are planned through 2027.

Guyana received through mid-year five cargoes of oil worth $307 MM from the two vessels and USD37 MM in royalties, the government said on Saturday. It expects eight more cargoes through year-end for a total of 13. Hess Corp, which holds a 30% share of the consortium, in July forecast it will receive about 26 cargoes of 1 MM barrels this year. The consortium’s total production is 360,000 barrels per day, it said.

Guyana's USD1.25 B revenue projection is up USD290 million from an earlier forecast of USD958 million here from oil production, royalties and interests. The amount could change with oil price fluctuations, it said. Oil is up this year on rising demand and turmoil from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Brent crude futures on Friday traded at about $93 per barrel, up 19.6% year-to-date. In April, Guyana received USD106 per barrel for one cargo, compared to $76 per barrel from a mid-2021 sale.

The country’s gross domestic product grew 36% in the first six months, led by a 73.5% gain from the petroleum sector. Total oil production reached 34.6 million barrels in the first half of the year, the ministry said. Guyana’s Natural Resource Fund, which collects the county’s oil proceeds, contained USD753.3 MM at mid-year, after withdrawing USD200 MM in May, the ministry reported.

We remind, Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras has bought its first cargo of Guyanese crude for refining domestically, the company told Reuters, as South America's newest producer expands its market reach. With the start of a second floating production facility in February, Guyana now sells two light and sweet oil grades with plans to pump up to 360,000 bpd this year. The sales are helping the tiny nation rapidly boost its revenue.

Eight injured in fiery blast at idled Canadian oil refinery

Eight injured in fiery blast at idled Canadian oil refinery

A fire and explosion at an idled oil refinery in Canada's Newfoundland and Labrador province injured eight people before the blaze was contained, Canadian police said, as per Reuters.

All eight people went to hospital, some with serious injuries, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesperson Corporal Jolene Garland. All other employees have been accounted for.

The Braya Renewable Fuels refinery, previously known as Come by Chance, has been idled for more than a year. Private equity firm Cresta Fund Management, which owns a controlling stake, is converting the refinery to produce sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel, but it was not yet producing fuel at the time of the explosion.

The investigation into the cause of the blast was continuing.

Braya Renewable Fuels said the incident occurred in the afternoon and that emergency personnel were on scene, but did not provide further details.

We remind, an explosion occurred at SK Geocentric in Ulsan on the 31st, resulting in multiple injuries. In April, two workers died on the job site, and they were classified as subject to the Serious Accident Punishment Act and were being investigated.

Surge in U.S. oil flows to China may curtail Middle East shipments

Surge in U.S. oil flows to China may curtail Middle East shipments

China's imports of U.S. oil are expected to rise to a 20-month high in September and may increase more in November as refiners take advantage of lower prices amid a surge in U.S. exports from rising output and stockpile releases, said Reuters.

The United States is gaining market share in the world's biggest oil importer in another sign of how crude trade flows are shifting in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which spurred the stockpile release and higher output. The increasing U.S. flows may eat into demand for other similar light crude grades from the Middle East, such as Murban from Abu Dhabi.

At least 14 tankers carrying a total of 1.51 MMt, or 11 MM barrels, of U.S. crude are forecast to discharge at Chinese ports in September and 8.82 million barrels to arrive in October, estimates from Refinitiv showed. That would be the highest since January 2021 when 1.98 MMt arrived.

"The Chinese increased U.S. crude purchases as the arbitrage window finally opened," said a Singapore-based trader associated with a Chinese firm.

Rising U.S. supplies caused the discount between U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude and Middle East benchmark Dubai to widen to USD10.72 a barrel in late August, Refinitiv data showed, the most since March 9, not long after the Ukraine war started on Feb. 24. China's state-owned refiners, such as Sinopec, are leading the purchases of U.S. crude, said three Singapore-based traders.

Sinopec did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Some of the cargoes moving to China are from releases out of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to counter rising prices after the start of the war which also prompted output increases.

The surging U.S. shipments pushed freight rates for Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) on the U.S. Gulf to China route to USD9 million per charter at the end of August, the highest since May 2020, according to data from shipbrokers Simpson Spence Young.

U.S. imports slumped to a 27-month-low in July at 128,527 tons, or 938,247 barrels, according to Chinese customs data, after the Ukraine crisis and post-pandemic recovery boosted demand in the west and made arbitrage supplies uneconomical for Chinese refiners.

However, with the arbitrage now open more U.S. crude should flow impacting the shipments of more traditional supplies from the Middle East. "There will also be more U.S. crude coming in November, because of the record amount of SPR release and poor Europe demand. All those surplus cargoes are pushed to Asia and pressured regional crude Murban in the recent trading cycle," said a Singapore-based trader.

Spot premiums for Murban averaged $6.10 a barrel against Dubai quotes in August, plunging from USD11.30 a barrel in July, according to Reuters calculations. Despite the increase of U.S. shipments, China's total crude imports may further dip in September, analysts said, as Beijing's persistent zero-COVID policy dampens fuel consumption.

An ongoing tax probe on independent refiners in Shandong, whose combined refining capacity accounts for a fifth of China's total, may also cap their crude purchases. Operating rates at these refineries have dropped to 60% in late August from about 70% in mid-July, according to energy consultancy Zhuochuang.

"Refining rates could further drop in the coming months as the tax probe continues and the Communist Party Congress takes place in mid-October," said a China-based trader.

We remind, Beijing has been stepping up efforts to tighten supervision and standardize operations of its refining sector. 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.

Fire breaks out at SK geo centric plant in Ulsan, injuring 7

Fire breaks out at SK geo centric plant in Ulsan, injuring 7

An explosion occurred at SK Geocentric in Ulsan on the 31st, resulting in multiple injuries, said Korea.postsen.

In April, two workers died on the job site, and they were classified as subject to the Serious Accident Punishment Act and were being investigated.

An explosion occurred at the SK Geocentric synthetic resin manufacturing plant (polymer plant) in Sanggae-dong, Nam-gu, Ulsan, around 3:42 pm that day. As black smoke rose from inside the factory with a strong explosion, local residents called 911. Witnesses said, “The shock was so severe that the surrounding buildings shook."

The fire department said that 7 people, including 4 regular employees of SK Geocentric and 3 employees of partner companies, were burned in the accident. They are now conscious and breathing normally, but are in critical condition with major surgical wounds and burns, fire officials said. It is believed that the explosion occurred due to excessive pressure during the maintenance of the polymer regeneration process valve in the plant.

The Ulsan Southern Fire Department has issued an emergency suspension of use for the SK Geocentric Polymer Plant. As a result, all hazardous materials general handling centers at the SK Geocentric Polymer Plant will be shut down. The company can resume operation only after implementing safety measures, inspecting facilities, and obtaining permission from the fire department.

At SK Geocentric Ulsan Plant, on April 20, while cleaning the toluene storage tank, an internal fire broke out, killing two workers. At that time, a fire broke out while cleaning the inside of a 10,000-barrel tank that was storing toluene, a petrochemical product, and two people suffered full-body burns. They were taken to a burn hospital, but all died during treatment.

We remind, under a MOU signed between Sabic SK Nexlene Company, a joint venture company between Sabic and SK Geo Centric, and the Ulsan Metropolitan City in South Korea, the firm will construct and expand its production plants for high-performance polyolefin elastomers.