Saudi Aramco announces USD1.5bn sustainability fund

Saudi Aramco announces USD1.5bn sustainability fund

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Aramco announced the creation of a USD1.5 billion Sustainability Fund to invest in technology that can support a stable and inclusive energy transition, said the company.

It was unveiled at the sixth edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) and is among the largest sustainability-focused venture capital funds globally.

Managed by Aramco Ventures, the venture capital arm of Aramco, the fund is an extension of the Company’s efforts to meet the world’s growing energy demand, with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The fund plans to invest in technologies that support the Company’s announced net-zero 2050 ambition in its wholly-owned operational assets, as well as development of new lower-carbon fuels. Initial focus areas will include carbon capture and storage, greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, nature-based climate solutions, digital sustainability, hydrogen, ammonia and synthetic fuels. The fund will target investments globally.

In addition, Aramco’s wholly-owned subsidiary Aramco Trading Company has participated in the first voluntary carbon credits auction organized by the Public Investment Fund (PIF). It follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Aramco and PIF earlier this year, to participate in a regional voluntary carbon market to be launched in Saudi Arabia in 2023.

Aramco Chairman, H.E. Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan, said: “Climate change is a critical issue, which is why sustainability is well-integrated in Aramco’s strategy and investment decisions. The Company is harnessing innovation and collaboration as it seeks long-term solutions to global energy challenges. By driving large-scale investments and building key domestic, regional and international partnerships, Aramco aims to enable a stable and inclusive energy transition that meets the world’s need for energy with lower emissions.”

As per MRC, Saudi Aramco has told at least three customers in North Asia they will receive full contract volumes of crude oil in November.

We remind, Saudi Arabian Oil Company (“Aramco”) inaugurated the Aramco Research Center at KAUST (ARC KAUST), which aims to accelerate the development of low-carbon solutions for the energy industry using advanced analytics. Strategically located within the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the newly established research hub deploys artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop innovative ways to advance low-carbon solutions and enable a Circular Carbon Economy.

Hyundai JV finalizes construction of heavy-feed petrochemical complex in South Korea

Hyundai JV finalizes construction of heavy-feed petrochemical complex in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Seoul Hyundai Chemical, a joint venture of Hyundai Oilbank and Lotte Chemical, has completed construction on a new heavy-feed petrochemical complex (HPC) at Hyundai Oilbank's Daesan complex in South Korea, reported Yonhap News Agency citing South Korea's industry ministry, as per Apic-online.

PCN earlier reported that the project would cost around $2.5-billion and include the production of 750,000 t/y of polyethylene and 400,000 t/y of propylene (PCN, 4 Feb 2019, p 4). Operations had been expected to begin at the end of 2021.

According to the industry ministry, the new complex will have the capacity to produce 850,000 t/y of ethylene and 500,000 t/y of polypropylene.

This HPC project has heightened the competitiveness of the domestic petrochemical industry, said the report quoting Second Vice Industry Minister Park-Il June.

The government will ease regulations to help companies better achieve goals through new projects and investment.

We remind, Axens and Hyundai Chemical Co. successfully achieve the start-up of the pyrolysis gasoline (Pygas) unit, part of the Hyundai Chemical petrochemical grassroots complex in Daesan, South Korea. The product has been on-specification regarding the aromatics recovery and the sulfur content in a short period. Thanks to the strong support of Axens personnel on-site during the commissioning and start-up activities, Axens and Hyundai Chemical, started-up the Pygas units (Pygas first and second stage) in December 2021, few months after entering into a collaboration.

Braskem Q3 resin sales stable year on year, higher from Q2

Braskem Q3 resin sales stable year on year, higher from Q2

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Braskem Q3 resin sales volume in Brazil remained stable compared with the same period last year, the Brazilian producer said in its quarterly production and sales report, said the company.

Compared with Q2, sales volume rose by 2% due to the higher product availability for sale after the conclusion of the scheduled maintenance shutdowns in Q2 2022 and by the stronger demand for resins due to seasonality.

Q3 exports decreased by 17% from Q3 2021 because of lower opportunities in the international market given the high inventories in the global chain. Compared with Q2, exports decreased by 18% also on fewer opportunities in the international market.

The average utilisation rate of crackers was stable compared with Q3 2021, the Brazilian producer said. Compared with Q2, the average utilisation rate increased by 5 percentage points by the process of resuming operations after scheduled maintenance shutdowns at the petrochemical complex in Rio Grande do Sul and at the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant in Alagoas, which had affected the utilisation rate of the petrochemical complex in Bahia.

In Mexico, Q3 polyethylene (PE) sales increased by 13% compared with Q3 2021, pushed by the higher product availability for sale given the increase in ethane supply in the period, the company said. Compared with Q2, PE sales decreased by 5% due to the replenishment of Braskem Idesa’s inventories in the period.

We remind, Braskem, the market leader and pioneer in bioproducts production on an industrial scale, and Sojitz, a Japan-oriented global trading company, have announced the launch of Sustainea, which will produce and market bioMEG (monoethylene glycol) and bioMPG (monopropylene glycol). The market launch of the brand follows the approval of the joint venture (the process began in March 2022) by antitrust authorities.

Advanced profits fell 87.6% during Q3 to SR27 mln

Advanced profits fell 87.6% during Q3 to SR27 mln

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Advanced Petrochemical Co. posted a 54% fall in net profit after Zakat and tax to SAR 301 million in the first nine months of 2022, compared to SAR 654 million a year earlier, said Argaam.

The petrochemical producer recorded a 9% drop year-on-year (YoY) in selling prices, and a decline of SAR 100 million in its profit share from SK Advanced Co. Ltd. It also reported an increase in propane and propylene purchase prices by 32% and 10% YoY, respectively. The nine-month results were also weighed by an increase of 105% YoY in offshore logistics expenses.

The lower profit came despite a 17% YoY rise in sales volumes. In Q3 2022, net profit after Zakat and tax plunged 88% to SAR 27 million, compared to SAR 217.76 million in Q3 2021. Selling prices fell by 22% YoY. Propane purchase prices increased 6%. However, propylene price declined 5% YoY and sales volume went up 4% YoY.

Compared to the previous quarter, the company’s net profit tumbled 75.4% from SAR 109.60 million, on lower selling prices.

Total shareholders’ equity, excluding minority interest, came in at SAR 3.240 billion by the end of September 2022, down from SAR 3.991 billion in the year-earlier period.

We remind, Advanced Petrochemical Company, based in Saudi Arabia, said that one of its subsidiary, Advanced Polyolefins Industry Company has signed several agreements worth USD1.6 B to fund the construction of plants at Jubail Industrial City II. The project includes a development of a propane dehydrogenation plant with a total annual capacity of 843,000 tons in addition to a polypropylene (800,000 tons) and a isopropanol facility (70,000 tons),

BASF posts Q3 loss in Germany

BASF posts Q3 loss in Germany

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF posted a EUR130m loss in its German domestic market during the third quarter (Q3), as economic conditions deteriorated quickly, on the back of high production costs for chemicals companies, said the company.

Martin Brudermuller added, however, that the overall increase in sales revenue in Q3 came thanks to the company’s ability to pass higher input costs onto customers through higher selling prices, as well as a weaker euro, benefiting the company in its non-euro sales.

He added BASF is waiting to hear details about the German government’s plan for a natural gas price brake and other potential state aid to energy-intensive companies to decide whether it will use it.

“At BASF we are creative and have always managed without state aid at times of crisis,” said Brudermuller, speaking to reporters from the company’s headquarters in Ludwigshafen.

BASF published its Q3 financial results, showing falls in earnings and net income.

The chemicals division managed to increase Q3 sales by 2.7%, but posted large falls in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT, or operating profit) of 50.7% and 63.2%, respectively, year on year.

BASF has released preliminary figures for the third quarter of 2022. Sales, income from operations (EBIT) before special items and EBIT are slightly above average analyst estimates. Net income of BASF Group is expected to amount to EUR909 million. This is considerably below the prior-year quarter figure (Q3 2021: EUR1,253 million) and the average analyst estimates for the third quarter of 2022 ( EUR1,105 million). Net income contains non-cash-effective impairments on the shareholding in Wintershall Dea in the amount of about EUR740 million. These result from the partial write-down of Wintershall Dea’s participation in Nord Stream AG, which operates the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

BASF is the world's largest chemical concern. The company's large portfolio of offers includes chemicals, plastics, special products, plant protection products, solutions for the agricultural sector, as well as oil and natural gas. The concern was founded on April 6, 1865. The headquarters is located in the city of Ludwigshafen, Germany.