Sines refinery to shut down for 25 days in October

Sines refinery to shut down for 25 days in October

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Portugal's 220,000 barrels per day Sines refinery, owned by Galp Energia, will shut down for 25 days starting on a yet unspecified date in October for planned maintenance, said Reuters.

The official said maintenance activities will be mainly on the Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) and Atmospheric Distillation Unit (ADU), but Galp nevertheless maintained its full-year guidance for refining throughput at around 90 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The Sines refinery, south of the capital Lisbon, is the only one in Portugal.

We remind, Spanish energy giant Repsol is investing 100 MM euros to reduce emissions at its 186,000 bpd Tarragona refinery in Spain, which begins two months of maintenance at the end of the week. The distillation and hydrotreating fuel units will stop simultaneously on Sept. 23, while the remaining areas of the Tarragona complex, such as the chemical plants, will continue to operate normally

Lukoil names new head for Italian refinery amid sale talks

Lukoil names new head for Italian refinery amid sale talks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lukoil has named a new top manager at its refinery in Sicily amid efforts by the Italian government to find a buyer for the plant and shield it from sanctions on Russian oil, said Reuters.

The Russian group has picked Eugene Maniakhine as director general at its ISAB plant in the Sicilian town of Priolo, Lukoil's Italian unit said in a statement on Thursday.

The new DG, who has previously held various managerial positions at Lukoil in Switzerland and the Netherlands, was presented to the staff on Tuesday. According to an industrial source, U.S. private equity fund Crossbridge Energy Partners is interested in buying the refinery and is reviewing the plant's business.

Crossbridge and Lukoil declined to comment. A sale to a non-Russian investor would avert the risk of a halt of ISAB, which accounts for around 20% of Italian refining capacity and directly employs some 1,000 workers in one of the poorest areas of Italy.

Unions and local administrations have been asking for the government to intervene after the European union decided an embargo on seaborne Russian oil due to start in December.

Italy's Ecological Transition minister has recently said that Rome favours the sale of ISAB to an international buyer as an alternative to nationalisation.

The plant has recorded a turnover of around 3 B euros (USD2.96 billion) last year.

We remind, LUKOIL approved Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency Improvement Program for entities of the LUKOIL Group for 2023 and for the period of 2024-2025. The Program will help the Company to save about 9 million GJ of fuel and energy resources over the next three years. The Program provides, among other things, for upgrading pump and process equipment, optimizing production processes, patterns of power flow distribution and heat exchange between process facilities as well as introducing modern lighting systems.

Technip Energies enters engineering services agreement with INEOS Acetyls for acetic acid technology

Technip Energies enters engineering services agreement with INEOS Acetyls for acetic acid technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Technip Energies has reached an agreement with INEOS Acetyls as their sole supplier of early engineering services in support of the deployment and application of INEOS Acetyls CATIVA technology, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This agreement continues Technip Energies long lasting involvement in supporting the deployment of the world leading CATIVA® acetic acid technology, with its proven technology integration expertise and energy efficient processes.

Acetic acid is one of the most versatile organic chemicals manufactured today with applications in almost every industry. It is a significant chemical reagent and industrial chemical used in the production of soft drink bottles (PET), manufacture of vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) and purified terephthalic acid (PTA). It is used to produce many synthetic fibers and fabrics, as well as a host of household, food, and other applications that are essential to everyday life.

Under this agreement, Technip Energies will provide early engineering support to INEOS’ recently announced investment into a world scale acetic acid plant, and associated derivatives, on the US gulf coast.

Bhaskar Patel, SVP Sustainable Fuels, Chemicals & Circularity of Technip Energies commented: “We are pleased to continue our collaboration with INEOS and to contribute to their global expansion plans. Technip Energies is committed to continue supporting their leading CATIVA® acetic acid technology deployment by bringing our engineering and technology expertise. We look forward to integrate this technology into world scale acetic acid plants for INEOS."

Graeme Stewart, INEOS Operations Director, commented: “We are very pleased to continue our well established working relationship with Technip Energies who have a strong record in developing and delivering large scale global projects, and complement very well the INEOS teams capabilities”.

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).

Bloomberg to spend USD85 MM against U.S. plastic, petrochem buildout

Bloomberg to spend USD85 MM against U.S. plastic, petrochem buildout

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched an USD85 MM campaign to block the planned construction of plastic and petrochemical plants across the U.S. on Wednesday, modeled on his decade-long effort to shutter coal plants, said Reuters.

Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman who currently serves as a United Nations special envoy on climate ambition, said his philanthropic organization's Beyond Petrochemicals campaign will "turbocharge" efforts by local communities in places like Louisiana's Cancer Alley, Texas, and Appalachia to block the permitting and construction of heavy emitting plants.

The campaign takes aim at the rapid expansion of U.S. petrochemical and plastic pollution. The International Energy Agency said the plastics and petrochemical industry will exceed coal-fired carbon emissions by 2030 and account for half of the growth in oil demand by 2050.

"This campaign will help ensure more local victories, support laws that protect communities from harm, and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are fueling the climate crisis," Bloomberg said in a statement.

The expansion planned by the industry could account for 15% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, which could make the U.S. miss its goal under the Paris climate agreement of halving its emissions by 2030, Bloomberg Philanthropies said.

At least 90 petrochemical and plastics projects have been proposed over the last decade, including 42 major construction projects that will release greenhouse gas emissions and other hazardous air pollutants, according to the Environmental Integrity Project, which tracks the planned buildouts.

Plastic and petrochemical trade groups called Bloomberg's campaign a "misguided" effort to address plastic waste.

"If Mr. Bloomberg wants to help people, it couldn’t be more clear that plastic saves lives and improves our quality of life," said Matt Seaholm, president and chef executive of the Plastics Industry Association, adding that the industry has focused its spending on recycling programs. "His misguided campaign will create more problems than it solves.”

Front-line minority and lower-income communities that live where some of these projects have been proposed have led high-profile fights to block key air permits and force enforcement of environmental safeguards at existing facilities.

Just this month, activists in St. James Parish in Louisiana claimed victory when a judge revoked key air permits issued by state regulators for a plastics project planned by Taiwan's Formosa Plastics and when the state canceled plans to build a methanol plant after nearly a decade.

"Investments like these give the communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this type of environmental racism a fighting chance," said Beverly Wright, executive director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice.

Bloomberg has spent over USD500 MM to support the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, which originally aimed to retire 30% of the U.S. coal fleet by 2020 but ended up accelerate the retirement of over 60% of coal plants by that year. It has expanded to target gas infrastructure.

After a failed presidential bid in 2020, Bloomberg has continued to bankroll climate campaigns and work on climate diplomacy in his UN role. The campaign focused on public advocacy and legal action to reach settlements with utilities to hasten the closure of their aging coal plants and replacing them with renewable energy.

As per MRC, in the effort to increase the availability of postindustrial recycled materials and reduce its dependence on virgin polymers, Berry Global Group Inc., Evansville, Indiana, has announced it will use a closed-loop recycling system to aid in the manufacturing of its Endura product line. The system was first introduced earlier this year at six of the company’s existing European locations. Through it, Berry supplies customers with nonwoven materials, receives postindustrial materials from the conversion processes of its customers and incorporates recycled content into Berry’s Endura nonwovens line.

Arkema announces further elastomer capacity expansions in France

Arkema announces further elastomer capacity expansions in France

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema S.A. (Colombes, France) is boosting its previously announced global Pebax elastomer capacity expansion at its Serquigny, France site from +25% to +40% in two separate phases, firstly in Q1 2023 by raising global capacity by 15%, the additional 25% starting in Q3 2023, said the company.

The greater increase in Pebax elastomer capacity will support the strong demand from partner customers in the sports, consumer electronics, medical and industrial markets, who recognize the highly specialized Pebax grades’ lightweight, flexibility and exceptional energy return. Applications range from ultra-fast running shoes to catheters or flexible device screens.

Beyond this new capacity expansion in France and to support the growth of its global customers, the Group is currently assessing further investment opportunities, including in Asia.

As customer demand is increasingly driven by sustainability and social responsibility, over the last few years Arkema has benefited from strong growth in particular for its bio-based Pebax Rnew grades, derived from renewable castor beans. These materials have a significantly lower carbon footprint thanks to their bio-based content and can be fully recycled as part of Arkema’s Virtucycle recycling program for advanced polymers.

The Group continues to innovate and invest to further improve its materials’ carbon footprint. As part of this expansion for example, water consumption will be reduced by 25% at the Serquigny site thanks to process improvements.

As per MRC, Arkema finalized the acquisition of Polimeros Especiales, strengthening the Group’s offering in solvent-free solutions and its position in this fast growing region.