Repsol sells 25% of oil and gas unit to EIG for USD4.8 bn

Repsol sells 25% of oil and gas unit to EIG for USD4.8 bn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Spanish energy group Repsol is selling a 25% stake in its oil and gas exploration division to U.S. fund EIG for USD4.8 B, building up a warchest for renewables projects as the energy industry moves to a lower-carbon future, said Reuters.

The deal, first reported by Reuters earlier this year, values the whole business at USD19 B including debt, and may lead to a U.S. stock market listing of a stake in the unit after 2026, Repsol said in a statement.

The process started with an unsolicited offer from EIG, Reuters reported in June, sending Repsol's shares to a 14-year high.

As per MRC, Repsol will build a new plant in Tarragona, with an investment of over EUR35 M for the manufacture of Cross-linkable Polyethylene (XLPE), a polymer used in cable insulation, located between the conductor and the outer protective layers. The plant will have an annual capacity of 27 kt and is scheduled to start in mid-2024. The LSHC (Linear Short Hyperclean) new technology selected for the plant, from Buss AG, will provide a product with very competitive properties, enabling Repsol to complete its product range for cables by incorporating materials for HV (high voltage) and EHV (extra-high voltage) cables.

Repsol is currently the leading producer and consumer of hydrogen on the Iberian Peninsula, and has renewable hydrogen as one of its key transformation pillarsfor achieving its goal of being a company with zero net emissions by 2050. The multi-energy company has its own renewable hydrogen strategy to deploy projects throughout the value chain, with a planned investment of 2,549 million euros by 2030.

BASF and Samsung Heavy Industries collaborate on CCS onboard maritime vessels

BASF and Samsung Heavy Industries collaborate on CCS onboard maritime vessels

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF and Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (SHI) will carry out a collaborative feasibility assessment of capturing CO2 onboard maritime vessels using BASF’s OASE blue technology for flue gas applications, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Towards this end, both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Onboard Carbon Capture and Storage (OCCS) technology at the trade show Gastech 2022 in Milan, Italy. The scope of the collaboration includes a marinization study as well as engineering design and construction of the carbon capture unit. BASF will support with its expertise on floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) and with its well proven OASE blue technology contributing to sustainability by substantial energy savings compared with conventional technologies. SHI will evaluate the feasibility of installing the gas treatment technology onboard maritime vessels.

The joint effort is in line with the strategy of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40% by 2030. Vasilios Galanos, Senior Vice President, Intermediates Asia Pacific, BASF, said, “Leveraging our state-of-the-art OASE technology, we are pleased to expand our cooperation with SHI and support it in navigating through tightening carbon emission regulations. We will join hands with our partner to sail towards a greener future."

“Through cooperation with BASF, Samsung Heavy Industries has developed efficient Onboard Carbon Capture system, which will help gain a competitive advantage in a low carbon shipping market,” said Youngkyu Ahn, Head of Shipbuilding Sales Engineering at Samsung Heavy Industries.

“As one of the ‘accelerators’ in BASF’s portfolio, the suite of OASE technologies is perfectly tailor made to help our customers to achieve their sustainability targets. In this particular case, we have combined our knowhow and experience in both CO2 capture and motions study in offering a unique solution for OCCS,” added Lawrence Loe, Director, OASE Gas Treating Excellence, Intermediates Asia Pacific, BASF.

BASF’s accelerator products make a substantial sustainability contribution in the value chain. To assess the sustainability performance of its products and identify accelerator solutions, BASF conducts regular reassessments of its product portfolio.

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.

SIBUR expects to launch Amur GCC in 2025-26, change configuration and suppliers

SIBUR expects to launch Amur GCC in 2025-26, change configuration and suppliers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR in 2025-2026 expects to launch the Amur Gas Chemical Complex that will refine liquid hydrocarbons from the Amur Gas Processing Plant, changing the configuration of technology and suppliers, the petrochemical holding's CEO Mikhail Karisalov said during the Eastern Economic Forum 2022, said Interfax.

"According to the information that we have from Gazprom , the Amur GPP has more than 80% progress, respectively, and we are in the wake of the project [to implement construction of the Amur GCC]. We will accept more than 3.5 million tonnes of liquid hydrocarbon feedstock for processing in 2025-2026. We expect that we will be able to reconfigure the processing technology on site despite the current situation, taking into account the sanctions of a number of licensors and equipment suppliers. We will be able to launch the plant and become Gazprom's reliable partner in this general line as well," Karisalov said.

We remind, SIBUR has partnered with the global engineering company Technip Energies to licence out its technology for producing 1-hexene, a co-monomer used to make LLDPE and HDPE. The technology, known as HEXSIB, was developed by NIOST – one of SIBUR’s main R&D centres. 1-Hexene can be used to make LLDPE and HDPE and is an essential component of speciality polyethylene grades that offer premium quality and boast much better properties than commodity grades. For example, 1-hexene helps reduce the amount of plastic used in each end product and lower the environmental footprint by providing the same barrier properties to a thinner film.

SIBUR Holding is the leader of the petrochemical industry in Russia and one of the world's largest companies in the sector with more than 23,000 employees. Over the past 10 years, SIBUR has implemented a number of large-scale investment projects worth about 1 trillion rubles.

European chloralkali utilization rates in July fell to below 70

European chloralkali utilization rates in July fell to below 70

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In July, the average chlor-alkali plant utilization rate dropped below 70% for first time this year; daily production of chlorine in Europe is down to 22,234 metric tons, as per Eurochlor.

European chloralkali utilization rates in July fell to below 70% for the first time since 2013, according to the most recent Eurochlor figures, as high electricity costs and low demand for chlorine derivatives weighed on production.

At 22,234 tonnes, the July 2022 average daily production was 2.3% lower than in the previous month, and 19.2% lower than in July 2021.

Caustic soda stocks rose both year on year and month on month; they were were 6.4% higher than in the previous month, and 10,638 tonnes above the level of July 2021. This indicates that lower output did not cause stock depletion or a sharply tightening market in July.

Average utilization rates have fallen by 5.8 percentage points in the first half of 2022 compared to 2021, according to Eurochlor figures, with some market players predicting that rates will fall as low as 60-65% in September 2022.

The overall average of utilization rates between January and July is at it's lowest level since 2013, at 76.6%, driven by sky-high electricity costs and globally weaker demand for chlorine derivatives. Demand is softer because of inflation, changing patterns of spending following coronavirus travel restrictions being lifted, and increased uncertainty about the global economy.

As per MRC, European chlorine production and chloralkali utilisation fell year-on-year in June, but caustic soda stocks increased. At 22,759 tonnes, the average daily production in June 2022 was 5.7% lower than in May, and 15.3% lower than in June 2021. At 194,998 tonnes, the caustic soda stocks in June 2022 were 0.3% lower than in May, but 20,876 tonnes above levels seen in June 2021.

Hanwha Solutions, GS Energy to produce sheets for solar power

Hanwha Solutions, GS Energy to produce sheets for solar power

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korea’s Hanwha Solutions Corp., Hanwha Group’s energy services arm, is entering into a sizeable co-investment to strengthen its solar power business, said Kedglobal.

The company’s chemical division and Korea’s GS Energy Corp. have agreed to launch a joint venture to produce ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) at Yeosu Industrial Complex, South Jeolla Province, Hanwha Solutions said on Wednesday. Solar EVA sheets are a core part of solar power panels for enhancing durability and performance. Hanwha Solutions’ chemical division produces EVA for the sheets that the company’s advanced materials unit makes.

The 590 billion won (USD425.8 million) JV, named H&G Chemical, is aiming to start producing the material in September 2025, with an annual capacity of up to 300,000 tons. In line with the expansion of EVA production, Hanwha Solutions’ advanced material unit will invest 41.7 billion won to increase its sheet manufacturing facilities in Eumseong, North Chungcheong Province.

Once the JV starts production in 2025, Hanwha Solutions will become the world’s largest EVA manufacturer with 920,000 tons of annual production, exceeding US energy giant Exxon Mobil's 790,000 tons, Hanwha said. The global EVA market reached 4.4 million tons last year. The market will show a 5.6% compound annual growth rate with soaring demand from governments and corporates aiming for net zero, Hanwha Solutions said.

Hanwha Q Cells, a photovoltaic solar cell-making unit within Hanwha Solutions, will also invest 130 billion won in facilities to manufacture tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) solar cells and modules at its plant in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province.

TOPCon enhances power generation efficiency by 1% in absolute value terms by inserting thin oxide film in the solar cells. Q Cells will also upgrade its M6 wafer production line to M10 for increased power of the TOPCon modules, Hanwha Solutions added.

The investments are a move to gain the upper hand in the global renewables market as well as secure the production capabilities for high-powered solar cells in Korea, a Hanwha Solutions official said. The 50-year history of Hanwha Solutions’ material production and GS Energy’s competitive raw materials will grow the JV into a world-renowned EVA maker, the official said.

We remind, Hanwha Solutions plans to increase its caustic soda, chlorine and ethylene dichloride (EDC) capacity annually at its Yeosu facility in South Korea. Hanwha Solutions currently produces 840,000 tonnes of caustic soda per year and is the No. 1 company in the CA field in Korea. Caustic soda is a raw material necessary for cleaning, smelting, and bleaching of industrial materials such as metals, and it is essential to remove impurities in the cathode material production process, which is a core material for secondary batteries.