China August refinery output near 2-year lows on outages

China August refinery output near 2-year lows on outages

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China’s refinery crude throughput remained near two-year lows in August due to outages at several state refiners and independent plants which curbed production amid thinning margins and tepid demand, said Reuters.

Refiners processed 53.66 million tonnes of crude oil last month, 6.5% less than a year earlier, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday. That is equivalent to 12.64 million barrels per day (bpd), which was a touch higher than 12.53 million bpd in July but still among the lowest processing levels since early 2020.

Throughput in the first eight months was 434.89 million tonnes, down 6.3% on a year before and equal to about 13.06 million bpd. China’s fuel demand has been hit hard this year as Beijing’s tough COVID-19 control measures stifled mobility and economic activity, with analysts predicting the first annual contraction in oil demand in two decades.

Affecting August output, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Corp’s 320,000-bpd crude facility only resumed partial operation in mid way through the month after more than seven weeks’ of unplanned shutdown.

And PetroChina Wepec’s 200,000-bpd plant only resumed operation in late August after nearly a three months’ outage. Meanwhile, operations at independent refiners in the eastern refining hub of Shandong averaged at just under 65% of capacity in August, down from 70% in July, according to Chinese commodities consultancy JLC.

Independent plants faced policy headwinds with Beijing launching a new tax probe that is set to squeeze their profit margins. Friday’s NBS data showed China’s crude oil production last month slipped 0.2% from a year earlier to 16.94 million tonnes, with daily output at 3.99 million bpd.

Crude oil production in the first eight months rose 3.2% from a year earlier to 136.94 million tonnes (4.11 million bpd). Natural gas production was up 6.3% in August on the year at 17 billion cubic meters. Year-to-date production was up 5.5% at 143.7 bcm.

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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MEGlobal nominates ACP for September at USD800 per tonne

MEGlobal nominates ACP for September at USD800 per tonne

MOSCOW (MRC) -- MEGlobal announced that its Asian Contract Price (ACP) for monoethylene glycol (MEG) will be USD800/MT CFR Asian main ports for arrival September 2022, said the company.

The September 2022 ACP reflects the short term supply/demand situation in the Asian market.

We remind, MEGlobal announced that its Asian Contract Price (ACP) for monoethylene glycol (MEG) will be USD820/MT CFR Asian main ports for arrival August 2022. The August 2022 ACP reflects the short term supply/demand situation in the Asian market.

MEGlobal is a fully integrated supplier of monoethylene glycol (MEG) and diethylene glycol (DEG), collectively known as ethylene glycol (EG).

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Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden to step down

Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden to step down

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell announced that Ben van Beurden will step down as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the end of 2022, and that his successor will be Wael Sawan, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Wael’s appointment is effective January 1, 2023, when he will also join Shell’s Board of Directors. Ben van Beurden will continue working as adviser to the Board until June 30, 2023, after which he will leave the group.

Shell’s Chair, Sir Andrew Mackenzie said: “Wael Sawan is an exceptional leader, with all the qualities needed to drive Shell safely and profitably through its next phase of transition and growth. His track record of commercial, operational and transformational success reflects not only his broad, deep experience and understanding of Shell and the energy sector, but also his strategic clarity. He combines these qualities with a passion for people, which enables him to get the best from those around him. The outcome of the Board’s managed succession process resulted both in the appointment of an outstanding CEO and proved the strength and depth of Shell’s leadership talent. I look forward to working with Wael as we accelerate the delivery of our strategy."

Wael Sawan said: “It’s been a privilege to work alongside Ben and I’m honored to take over the leadership of this great company from him. I’m looking forward to channeling the pioneering spirit and passion of our incredible people to rise to the immense challenges, and grasp the opportunities presented by the energy transition. We will be disciplined and value focused, as we work with our customers and partners to deliver the reliable, affordable and cleaner energy the world needs."

Commenting on Ben van Beurden, Sir Andrew said: “Ben can look back with great pride on an extraordinary 39-year Shell career, culminating in nine years as an exceptional CEO. During the last decade, he has been in the vanguard for the transition of Shell to a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 and has become a leading industry voice on some of the most important issues affecting society.

"He leaves a financially strong and profitable company with a robust balance sheet, very strong cash generation capability and a compelling set of options for growth. These were all enabled by bold moves he has led, including the 2016 acquisition of BG and the transformational $30 billion divestment of non-core assets that followed. He took firm, decisive action to marshal the company through the global pandemic, seizing the opportunity for a major reset to ensure we emerged fitter, stronger and equipped to succeed in the energy transition. Powering Progress, Shell’s detailed strategy to accelerate our profitable transition to a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, was unveiled in February 2021 and was quickly followed by moves to simplify both our organizational and share structures. Ben’s legacy will frame Shell’s success for decades to come."

Ben van Beurden said: “It has been a privilege and an honor to have served Shell for nearly four decades and to lead the company for the past nine years. In my journey from LNG design engineer to CEO, I have been fortunate to work alongside so many talented people from diverse backgrounds – all committed to the company’s goal of providing the world with the essential commodities of modern life. I am very proud of what we have achieved together. I have great confidence in Wael as my successor. He is a smart, principled and dynamic leader, who I know will continue to serve Shell with conviction and dedication. I wish him and his family all the best for the journey ahead."

We remind, 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.

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DSM expands and upgrades Indiana facility

DSM expands and upgrades Indiana facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DSM Engineering Materials has completed its newly upgraded and expanded Evansville, Indiana, engineering thermoplastics production facility, said the company.

The investment, which has resulted in significant technology - and sustainability-focused improvements, will help the company meet growing demand for next-generation high-performance polymers used in a wide range of end-applications and will help drive the shift to a low-carbon, circular economy.

The 40,000-sq.ft. facility reportedly now integrates the latest state-of-the-art production technologie, runs on 100% purchased renewable electricity, and produces the company’s Akulon nylon 6/66, Arnite PET/PBT, Arnitel TPC, EcoPaxx nylon 410, ForTii 4T/PPA and Stanyl nylon 46. The extensive enhancement and expansion of the site is being driven by increasing customer demand for advanced material solutions for vehicle electrification and supporting infrastructure, along with lightweighting technologies in multiple industries.

Enhancements to increase DSM’s capability to produce more sustainable biobased and/or recycled-based material solutions were also a key consideration when planning the project. The company has made a global commitment to producing biobased and recycled-based alternatives for its entire materials portfolio by 2030.

Together with the transition to using 100% renewable electricity, the project also includes a number of advanced energy-saving features. The expansion is a well-insulated structure that is ventilated for optimum occupant health and comfort, while emissions are scrubbed to meet stringent environmental and safety standards. Cooling is conducted with the most environmentally-friendly, non-flammable refrigerant. Variable-speed drives are used on all compounding lines to reduce energy consumption, and the optimum facility controls lead to further energy reductions.

Said Dave Miller, DSM Engineering Materials’ Evansville site director, “Investing in state-of-the-art technology provides both short- and long-term value. Enabling optimal health and comfort for all our colleagues – and increasing capacity – has positive effects we can see today, but this investment also underlines our commitment to sustainability and reducing our environmental impact in the long term. And by producing more bio- and recycled-based materials, we’ll be able to help more of our customers do the same."

We remind, DSM Engineering Materials, a division of Dutch chemical maker DSM, has partnered with Ford Motor Co. and cable component maker HellermannTyton for an award-winning new auto part made from recycled ocean plastic.

Also, Royal DSM has started a review of strategic options for its materials businesses, including the possibility of selling them.

DSM Engineering Materials is a business group of Royal DSM.
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German government considers taking Schwedt refinery under state control

German government considers taking Schwedt refinery under state control

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The German government is looking at bringing the PCK Schwedt refinery, partially owned by Russian energy firm Rosneft, under state control, Reuters said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Economy Minister Robert Habeck are expected to hold a news conference on Friday presenting details of the plans, Spiegel reported, citing government sources.

Options on the table include the government taking a direct stake in the refinery as well as a possible trusteeship or state investment, Spiegel reported without specifying the sources.

We remind, Vienna-based Alcmene Group is interested in taking over the partly Rosneft-owned (ROSN.MM) PCK Schwedt refinery in eastern Germany. Alcmene tried to buy Shell's 37.5% share (SHEL.L) in Schwedt last year but this was pre-empted by Rosneft which sought to increase its holding above its 54% stake, a deal that was put on hold this year by Berlin in the wake of the war in Ukraine.
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