Refiners say fuel prices could increase and production plummet if rail strike proceeds

Refiners say fuel prices could increase and production plummet if rail strike proceeds

MOSCOW (MRC) -- American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President and CEO Chet Thompson today sent a letter to Congressional leadership—Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy—urging their intervention to avoid a rail worker strike that could begin as soon as this Friday, September 16, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Upon sending the letter, Chet Thomson issued the following statement stressing the importance of rail transit to the refining and petrochemical industries and the need for broader rail reform. A copy of AFPM’s letter is available here.

"Congress needs to intervene to avoid a labor lockout or strike. Uncompetitive rail shipping fees and poor service are already costing refiners, petrochemical manufacturers and U.S. consumers. A stoppage of service would make things worse, freezing critical deliveries and pickups from our sites and potentially forcing some facilities to cut production. AFPM will help in whatever ways we can to bring about reconciliation so we can all get back to the work of pursuing bipartisan STB reauthorization and long overdue rail service reforms."

The refining and petrochemical industries will be heavily exposed in the event of a rail labor strike, and railroads are already embargoing shipments of critical materials ahead of a potential strike. While refiners and petrochemical manufacturers have contingency plans, a shutdown in rail service would result in widespread production curtailments and some potential facility shutdowns as early as this weekend, possibly leaving some sensitive regional markets with insufficient fuel.

We remind, crude oil refining capacity has shrunk by a record 3.8 MM barrels per day from March 2020 to mid-2022 as demand expanded, setting the stage for fuel markets to remain very tight until at least mid-decade. The fall in capacity comes as oil demand rose by 5.6 MMbpd over the same period, the report released on Tuesday said. At the same time, about 2 MMbpd of net capacity is expected to come online by the end of 2023, with delays to these timeline likely to arise, the report said. "This puts pressure on all available refining capacity to run at high utilization levels to keep up with demand." Oil product markets experienced sharp upheaval since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020.
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Mitsui Chemicals selects ethylene oxide catalyst from Shell Catalysts & Technologies

Mitsui Chemicals selects ethylene oxide catalyst from Shell Catalysts & Technologies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsui Chemicals has asked Shell Catalysts & Technologies for its Shell S-896 catalyst, which is expected to provide important economic benefits from raw material (ethylene) savings and also help the organization meet the decarbonization goals for their ethylene oxide (EO) refinery in Osaka, Japan, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This announcement builds on more than two decades of work between the two organizations. The use of Shell S-896 catalyst will enable Mitsui Chemicals to maximize their assets without having to make an investment in refinery hardware revamps. The high performance family Shell S-896 catalyst can deliver an average selectivity advantage of +0.8% compared to Shell S-893 catalyst which provides an operational savings.

“The very high selectivity and good activity that Shell S-896 can deliver will enable better economics, and its stability is important for Mitsui Chemicals’ operation for long cycles,” said Kudo, Yuhei the EO plant manager. In addition, Iijima, Tomonori, industrial chemicals division manager with Mitsui Chemicals, stated “A strong and trusting relationship has been built between Mitsui Chemicals and SC&T. There are a lot of insights that Mitsui Chemicals can gain from SC&T given its experience and industry knowledge that help improve plant operation and design, as well as which catalyst is best suited for Mitsui Chemicals operating conditions."

Selectivity of an EO catalyst has a significant impact on the reduction of CO2 produced by the ethylene reaction. Therefore, in addition to the economic benefit from ethylene savings, Shell believes the higher selectivity catalyst will help Mitsui Chemicals to see a reduction in CO2 output. This will help Mitsui Chemicals achieve its commitment to reduce GHG emissions (with a goal of 40% by fiscal 2030) and energy consumption, particularly aimed at low-carbon manufacturing.

"This is the first third party commercial reference in Asia for Shell S-896 and it signifies Mitsui Chemicals’ trust in SC&T through our consistent delivery of good catalyst performance and technical services,” said Terrence Tan, SC&T catalyst sales team manager, Asia sales region. “With the urgency to decarbonize the sector, SC&T is looking to help our customers achieve their energy transition goals and we have been able to help Mitsui Chemicals work toward their goals through several catalysts upgrades, without having to make changes to their existing assets."

As per MRC, Mitsui Chemicals is building a new production facility for high-performance elastomers in Singapore to increase total manufacturing capacity in the country by nearly 50%. Singapore-based subsidiary Mitsui Elastomers Singapore, which already operates an existing manufacturing facility in Jurong Island, will build a new facility to add 120 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of capacity for Tafmer-branded alpha-olefin copolymers.
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ADNOC Refining to complete first phase of waste heat recovery project

ADNOC Refining to complete first phase of waste heat recovery project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ADNOC Refining, a joint venture company between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Eni, and OMV, is set to complete the first phase of its innovative Waste Heat Recovery project at the General Utilities Plant in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

ADNOC produces some of the world’s least-carbon intensive crude and the company is further reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 25% by 2030, aligned to the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.
The Waste Heat Recovery project is one of several strategic initiatives to decarbonize ADNOC’s operations and builds on the company’s heritage of responsible environmental stewardship. This includes milestones such as the implementation of a zero routine gas flaring policy in the early 2000s and establishing the region’s first commercial-scale Carbon Capture and Underground Storage facility in 2016.

In the last 12 months ADNOC has announced partnerships to decarbonize its operations at scale, with up to 100% of the company’s grid power being supplied by clean nuclear and solar energy sources and the first-of-its-kind, sub-sea transmission network in the MENA region which will which connect ADNOC’s offshore operations to clean onshore power networks. Started in 2018, the USD600 MM Waste Heat Recovery project will recycle waste heat generated from the plant to produce up to an additional 230 megawatts (MW) of electricity per day – enough to power hundreds of thousands of homes.

It will also produce 62,400 cubic meters of distilled water per day for use in the plant. Overall, the project will increase power production and thermal efficiency at the plant by around 30% with no additional carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Phase one of the project, which includes the operation of two new boilers and turbines, will be completed before the end of the year, while phase two, which includes a further two boilers, will be completed around the middle of 2023.

Abdulla Ateya Al Messabi, CEO of ADNOC Refining said: “At ADNOC Refining we are committed to finding innovative ways to improve the efficiency and sustainability of our operations. The Waste Heat Recovery project will revolutionize power and water generation at our plant in Ruwais, and is vital to the ongoing expansion of Ruwais as part of ADNOC’s 2030 smart growth strategy."

ADNOC’s Waste Heat Recovery project is designed to capture exhaust heat from the gas-powered turbines at ADNOC Refining’s General Utilities Plant, which is currently vented into the atmosphere, to produce steam that is subsequently used for power production.

As per MRC, French company TotalEnergies announced an expansion of its strategic alliance with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), which would examine new areas including the supply of diesel from the United Arab Emirates to France.
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Technip Energies and APChemi to commercialize APChemi advanced plastic waste to high quality pyrolysis oil technology

Technip Energies and APChemi to commercialize APChemi advanced plastic waste to high quality pyrolysis oil technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- APChemi's patented “Pyromax” pyrolysis technology for recycling plastic waste closes the gap in the plastic supply chain by taking dirty and mixed plastic waste, including municipal solid waste segregated plastics and multilayer packaging, and breaking it down to produce high quality pyrolysis oil which can be chemically recycled into circular plastics, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The process has a lower carbon footprint, as it displaces the need for crude-oil-based feedstocks for plastics manufacturing, while reducing the need for intensive plastic waste sorting. Technip Energies is closing the circular loop from pyrolysis oil to polyolefins building blocks by bringing its ethylene furnace and steam cracker design expertise, along with the preparation and purification technologies. The Pure.rOil by T.EN purification technology ensures safe, reliable and optimized integration with crackers.

Bhaskar Patel, SVP of Sustainable Fuels, Chemicals and Circularity of Technip Energies, commented: “This strategic partnership with APChemi will provide Technip Energies’ clients with an additional option in our growing plastic waste-to-olefins solution portfolio setup around our Pure.rOil technology. It will help to solve the puzzle of circular economy by offering a waste-to-olefins solution, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and end-of-life plastic pollution. The approach is a way to achieve recycled content targets, while continuing the use of current packaging materials."

Suhas Dixit, CEO of APChemi said: “We offer our full support to Technip Energies for extending this plastic waste to polyolefins solution. Our robust Pyromax technology would be an integral part of Technip Energies’ efforts to eliminate plastic pollution. This strategic collaboration will help us extend our leadership in pyrolysis technology beyond India. APChemi also intends to utilize this collaboration for building world-class pyrolysis oil manufacturing facilities in India and abroad."

As per MRC, Technip Energies announced the purchase of Biosuccinium technology from DSM, adding a technology solution to its growing Sustainable Chemicals portfolio. This technology synergizes with recently developed proprietary bio-polymer technologies and provides a commercially referenced production of bio-based succinic acid (bio-SAc) that serves as feedstock for the production of polybutylene succinate (PBS).
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Brightmark forms buoy plastic recycling partnership

Brightmark forms buoy plastic recycling partnership

MOSCOW (MRC) -- San Francisco-based Brightmark LLC has launched a plastic recycling partnership with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) in an effort to reduce materials from going to the landfill, said Recyclingtoday.

FKNMS has mooring and informational buoys to mark ecological reserves and provide an option for boats to tie up to as opposed to anchoring to help protect ocean reefs below. Prior to this partnership, FKNMS had to send these buoys to landfill when they reached end-of-life status since they were considered too difficult to recycle. Through the new partnership with Brightmark, FKNMS will send Brightmark these buoys and downlines to recycle them and convert them into circular plastics and lower carbon fuel and wax.

According to a news release from Brightmark, the partnership follows what it calls “a successful pilot phase,” the two groups will now recycle plastic buoys and downlines from the sanctuary’s upper and lower Keys locations to help decrease marine plastic pollution in the area. The two groups aim to expand this program nationally.

"Our partnership with the sanctuary is an essential and first-of-its-kind collaboration that will pull and divert plastic from our oceans,” says Bob Powell, Brightmark founder and chief executive officer. “This program is another proof point of how our innovative advanced recycling technology can play a critical role in ‘reimaging waste’ to solve the plastic waste crisis in our oceans with a truly circular solution."

"This initiative elevates our commitment to protect the environment,” says Sarah Fangman, superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. “I’m proud that buoy team member Benjamin D'Avanzo recognized the need for a sustainable alternative to our plastics waste and pursued this partnership with Brightmark."

Brightmark says it has produced a short documentary on FKNMS’ buoy team to follow its daily operations and show how materials are sent to be recycled by Brightmark.

As per MRC, Brightmark Energy and a county in the U.S. state of Georgia scrapped plans to build "the world's largest" facility to turn plastic waste into fuel, according to a termination agreement published on Monday, a blow to a technology the petrochemical industry has promoted heavily. Brightmark missed a deadline to deliver "end product" to customers from a similar facility in Indiana, a condition of its contract with the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, which had planned to build a USD680 MM chemical recycling facility.
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