Vietnam largest refinery to import 2.52 MMt of crude oil in Q4

Vietnam largest refinery to import 2.52 MMt of crude oil in Q4

МOSCOW (MRC) -- Vietnam's largest refinery will import 2.52 MMt of crude oil in the fourth quarter to boost operations, state oil firm PetroVietnam said, as authorities try to avert a fuel supply crunch, said Reuters.

Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical (NSRP) will buy nine cargoes of 280,000 tons each during the October-December period, according to a statement by PetroVietnam, which owns a 25.1% stake in the facility. Vietnam has been facing fuel shortages in recent weeks, with hundreds of petrol stations in its largest cities shutting down or limiting sales due to financial difficulties and tight supplies.

Top retailer Petrolimex said on Tuesday all of its petrol stations in the capital Hanoi are now operational around the clock. The 200,000-barrel-per-day refinery, which was designed to process mostly crude oil imported from Kuwait, operated at 103.5% of its capacity in October and will maintain full operations over the coming months, PetroVietnam said.

Vietnam's crude oil imports in the first 10 months of this year rose 17% from a year earlier to 9.4 MMt, according to official customs data. Its refined fuel imports in the first 10 months of 2022 rose 22.7% from a year earlier to 7.1 MMt, but costs rose 124% to USD7.37 billion due to surging global fuel prices.

As per MRC, LyondellBasell announced that its leading polypropylene (PP) technology has been selected by Stavian Quang Yen Petrochemical, Ltd. (Stavian) for a new world scale production facility. The facility will include a 600 kiloton per annum (KTA) polypropylene plant using LyondellBasell’s Spheripol technology. The facility will be built in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam.

Asahi Kasei starts construction of alkaline water electrolysis pilot test plant for hydrogen production

Asahi Kasei starts construction of alkaline water electrolysis pilot test plant for hydrogen production

Asahi Kasei has started construction on an alkaline water electrolysis pilot test plant for hydrogen production at its Kawasaki Works site, said the company.

With the project Asahi aims to address “challenges in developing technology for highly reliable products that are compatible with fluctuating electrical power generated from renewable energy,” it said in a statement this week.

Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind provide unstable power output, meaning water electrolysis equipment needs to be responsive to fluctuations.

The pilot plant will include several electrolyzer modules to test responsiveness to power fluctuations. It is expected to start operations in early 2024.

Asahi Kasei plans to commercialise a larger-scale alkaline water electrolysis system comprising multiple 10 MW modules by 2025. Financial details were not disclosed.

We remind, Asahi Kasei Plastics Singapore Pte Ltd (APS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Kasei, acquired the widely recognized international certification ISCC PLUS for its polyphenylene ether (PPE) as a sustainable product on September 19, 2022. Production of PPE using biomass-derived raw material is scheduled to begin in January 2023.

LG Chem announces 3Q 2022 business performance

LG Chem announces 3Q 2022 business performance

LG Chem announced its 3Q 2022 business performance with sales of Won 14.1777 trillion and operating profits of Won 901.2 bn. Sales rose 33.8% year-over-year and operating profits increased 23.9%, said the company.

Compared to the previous quarter, sales increased by 15.8% and operating profits grew by 2.6% respectively. The Petrochemicals Company recorded sales of Won 5.4931 trillion and operating profits of Won 92.6 bn. Profitability dropped due to worsened spread of major products because of the decreasing demands as a result of growing gas prices and global inflation.

It is expected that market conditions will be tough in 4Q 2022 due to the ongoing slack in global demand and increased supply, but it is expected that it will hit bottom in the 2H 2022 and the market will gradually begin to recover. The Advanced Materials Company recorded sales of Won 2.5822 trillion and operating profits of Won 415.8 bn. Sales grew continuously as there was increased shipping of battery materials and rise in sales prices, and as the weight of the cathode business increased despite weak IT/semiconductor downstream markets, profitability also expanded.

Sales in cathodes are expected to decrease due to drops in metal prices in 4Q 2022, but growth trends are expected to continue through an increase in stable shipping volumes in the future. The Life Sciences Company recorded sales of Won 225.2 bn and operating profits of Won 5.8 bn. Despite growth in sales of major products such as growth hormones, Eucept, etc, profitability dropped because of delays in the recovery of the Chinese aesthetic business, and growth in R&D costs. Growth in sales is expected in 4Q 2022 as shipping of major products such as vaccines and growth hormones are slated to increase, and it is also expected that R&D costs will also rise as clinical studies for global new drug projects will be executed.

We remind, LG Chem may extend maintenance at its naphtha cracker for a month into December, a company official said on Wednesday, to deal with unattractive cracking margins. The company had started planned maintenance for its 1.16-MMt Yeosu cracker at the end of September. It was expected to last until November.

Saudi Aramco to ship full oil contract volumes to Asia in December

Saudi Aramco to ship full oil contract volumes to Asia in December

Saudi Aramco has told at least four refinery customers in North Asia they will receive full contract volumes of crude oil in December, said Reuters.

The producer is maintaining a steady supply to Asia despite the decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, to lower the group's output target by 2 MMbpd starting this month.

"People are scratching their heads to figure out when will the output cut be materialized, as the market has not felt a tightened supply," said one of the sources, a Singapore-based trader.

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said when the cuts were announced in October that the actual supply cut would be about 1 million to 1.1 MMbpd.

The sources said Saudi Arabia's latest official selling prices (OSPs) to Asian buyers have sent a signal that it will not trim the allocation for the month.

Saudi Aramco lowered the December OSP for its flagship Arab Light crude it sells to Asia by 40 cents a barrel from the prior month amid signs of weaker demand in the region.

But the company raised the OSPs to European customers and kept the prices for clients in the United States unchanged. "(The OSP adjustment) could indicate that Saudi wants to maintain its market share in Asia in December when the price cap on Russian crude kicks in," said another source.

The United States, the European Union and other G7 nations are set to impose a price cap on Russian oil on Dec. 5 in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. China, the biggest buyer of Saudi crude oil, has increased purchases from Russia to take advantage of discounts for Russian oil as western countries scaled back trade with Moscow.

Saudi Aramco did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

We remind, Saudi Aramco's net profit rose by 39.5% year on year to Saudi Riyal (SR) 159.1bn in the third quarter on the back of higher crude oil prices and volumes sold.

Phillips 66 plans to lay off 1,100 workers by end-2022

Phillips 66 plans to lay off 1,100 workers by end-2022

Refiner Phillips 66 said on Wednesday, it plans to reduce its employee headcount by 1,100 to help cut costs and meet its savings target of USD500 MM by end-2022, said Reuters.

Phillips, which had 14,000 employees in 2021 according to a company presentation, expects to cut staff to 12,900 by the end of this year.

We remind, Phillips 66, a diversified energy company, announces third-quarter 2022 earnings of USD5.4 billion, compared with earnings of USD3.2 billion in the second quarter of 2022. Excluding special items of USD2.3 billion, the company had adjusted earnings of USD3.1 billion in the third quarter, compared with second-quarter adjusted earnings of USD3.3 billion.

We remind, Phillips 66 and FreeWire unveiled plans earlier this year to deploy FreeWire’s ultrafast, battery-integrated technology to meet the growing demand from EV drivers for high-speed, on-the-go charging. Phillips 66 will leverage its network of approximately 7,000 Phillips 66, Conoco and 76 branded U.S. sites and other strategic locations. The chargers are the first commissioned FreeWire chargers in Texas.