LUKOIL's Bulgarian refinery may shut down if it cannot export

LUKOIL's Bulgarian refinery may shut down if it cannot export

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas , Bulgaria's only oil refinery, may have to shut down if the government does not follow through on plans to allow the Russian-owned business to continue exporting, said Reuters, citing Chief Executive Ilshat Sharafutdinov.

The European Union has agreed to a ban on Russian crude oil imports as part of its sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine in February. The ban takes effect next month, but Bulgaria has been given an exemption and is allowed to import Russian crude until the end of 2024.

The Bulgarian caretaker government plans to allow the LUKOIL Neftochim refinery to continue importing Russian crude once the ban takes effect and give it permission to export its output. The previous government wanted to limit sales of the refinery's fuels to just the Bulgarian market.

LUKOIL Neftochim, which has switched to only Russian crude since the spring, expects to process a record high 7.1 MMt of crude oil this year, Sharafutdinov said. He said the refinery exports about 50% of its fuels and other end-products.

"The refinery cannot work if the exports are curtailed," Sharafutdinov told a joint news conference with Bulgarian deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic policy, Hristo Alexiev.

After talks with the Bulgarian government, the refinery, situated in the Black Sea city of Burgas, has agreed to change its business model and keep the profits from its operations in Bulgaria, which will seriously increase the taxes it pays, Alexiev said.

The government has already proposed to the parliament a temporary windfall tax of 33% on profits of oil, gas and coal companies for this and next year.

Alexiev said Bulgaria expects to collect around 100 MM levs in taxes from LUKOIL's operations for 2022, which should jump to 700 MM levs in 2023.

Sharafutdinov said LUKOIL Neftochim could pay such taxes next year if the market conditions remain the same and it could work on full capacity, processing Urals crude and exporting its output.

We remind, Lukoil finished construction of a Petroleum Residue Recycling Facility with production capacity of 2.1 million tonnes per year at its LUKOIL-Nizhegorodnefteorgsintez LLC refinery. The facility is comprised of a delayed coking unit, diesel fuel and gasoline hydrotreatment unit, fractioning column, hydrogen and sulphur production unit, as well as infrastructure facilities.

Arkema increases its bio-based offer with a new range of mass balance acrylic materials

Arkema increases its bio-based offer with a new range of mass balance acrylic materials

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema is launching a new a range of bio-attributed acrylic monomers and specialty acrylic additives and resins using the mass balance approach, said the company.

This follows the certification the company’s new range of acrylic materials received from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification PLUS (ISCC+) framework.

These monomers enable Arkema to start offering certified bio-attributed specialty acrylic additives and resins for a wide range of applications. This positions the Group as a global leader in the offer of bio-attributed acrylic materials and as a key partner for customers on the market.

The launch of Arkema’s new range of bio-attributed acrylic monomers and specialty acrylic additives and resins, mass-balance certified under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification-PLUS (ISCC+) framework, is a key milestone in the transition to a more renewable and lower carbon economy.

The replacement of fossil feedstock by bio/bio-circular feedstock will support Arkema’s customers in achieving their climate plan goals by reducing their scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions.

We remind, Arkema’s Virtucycle program places the advanced materials designer at the center of a virtuous cycle to source, recycle, and recertify advanced polymers. In addition to being the specialty recycler, Arkema plays the role of matchmaker among its customers while playing an optional key role in eco-designing the finished product produced from the recycled material.

Yansab to shut down complex for 53-day scheduled preventive maintenance

Yansab to shut down complex for 53-day scheduled preventive maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Yanbu National Petrochemical Co. (Yansab) announced that the 53-day scheduled turnaround of its complex for preventive maintenance, under the stipulated industrial and technical standards, will start as of Jan. 10, 2023, said Argaam.

This turnaround will contribute to enhancing the reliability of the petrochemical producer’s plants and improving its operational and production efficiency. It also comes at a time that the global growth is forecasted to slow. This preventive maintenance was referred to in the board's 2021 report, Yansab said in a statement to Tadawul today, Nov. 20.

The move’s expected financial impact depends on the actual duration of the maintenance period, in addition to the average sale prices of products as well as feedstock prices, which are difficult to predict.

The related financial impact will reflect on the first and second quarters of 2023. Yansab indicated that it will work to reduce this influence by optimizing the available inventory.

The necessary actions have been taken to limit the potential impact on customers, it added, noting that any significant future developments will be duly announced.

We remind, Yanbu National Petrochemical Co. (Yansab) reported a net profit after Zakat and tax of SAR 510.6 million in the first nine months of 2022, a 57% decrease from SAR 1.196 billion in the year-ago period.

ICIG completes the acquisition of Benvic

ICIG completes the acquisition of Benvic

MOSCOW (MRC) -- International Chemical Investors (ICIG) has successfully completed the acquisition of the compounds business of Benvic Group SAS from PVC Europe Group S.a.r.l, an investment subsidiary of Investindustrial, said the company.

Benvic develops, produces and markets thermoplastic solutions based on PVC as well as engineering polymers and bio-polymers compounds.

With approximately EUR500 million of sales and 630 full time employees (FTEs), the company is one of Europe’s leading PVC compounders in terms of volume as well as a leader in several specialty compounding applications in the US.

Benvic will form the basis for a new “Compounds” platform within ICIG and will continue to operate under the “Benvic” branding and market approach. The signing of the transaction was announced in late August and has since received all customary approvals.

We remind, Solvay is a multi-specialty chemical company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers in diverse global end markets. Its products and solutions are used in planes, cars, smart and medical devices, batteries, in mineral and oil extraction, among many other applications promoting sustainability.

Founded in 1963 as a subsidiary of Solvay, Benvic develops, produces and markets highly customized, innovative thermoplastic solutions based on PVC, engineering compounds, and bio-polymers.

International Chemical Investors is a privately owned industrial group with total sales of around EUR4 billion. ICIG is focusing on four main platforms: Fine Chemicals under the WeylChem brand, Chlorovinyls under the Vynova brand.

Wood and Enterprise settle propane project lawsuit

Wood and Enterprise settle propane project lawsuit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- John Wood Group has settled a lawsuit brought by Enterprise Products relating to delays on a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) project in Mont Belvieu, Texas, USA, said Chemanager-online.

The UK group said it would pay Enterprise USD115 million in one installment by Nov. 18.

Enterprise filed the lawsuit against Amec Foster Wheeler, a company Wood acquired in 2017, and one of its subsidiaries in Harris County Court, Texas in September 2016. The lawsuit claimed cost increases and delays on a cost-reimbursable plus fixed fee contract secured in July 2013 to engineer, procure and construct the unit.

The PDH plant started operation in early 2018 after Enterprise granted a new contract to Optimized Process Designs to complete the work. Enterprise subsequently decided to build a second PDH unit at Mont Belvieu, which is due to start up in the first half of 2023, producing nearly 750,000 t/y of polymer-grade propylene.

As per MRC, Wood has been awarded the front-end engineering design (FEED) scope for Gen2 Energy’s green hydrogen production facility, located in Mosjoen in northern Norway. Gen2 Energy is a Norwegian company dedicated to developing, building, owning and operating an integrated value chain for green hydrogen. The company targets having several large-scale production facilities for green hydrogen, making it easy and cost efficient for consumers to adapt to green hydrogen.