India to remain top buyer of RussiaUrals crude in December

India to remain top buyer of RussiaUrals crude in December

India is taking most of Russia’s Urals crude oil loading in December as it remains top buyer for a second month in a row, according to traders and Refinitiv data, said Euronews.

Volumes and India’s share of the exports are expected to rise month on month despite a shorter loading plan for Russia’s Western ports, traders said. In November India accounted for about 53% of the total tanker shipments of the grade – the highest level on the record.

India’s share may exceed 70% of total loadings in December, according to market participants. The EU, G7 nations and Australia introduced the $60 per barrel price caps on Russian oil, effective from Dec. 5, on top of the EU’s embargo on imports of Russian crude by sea.

India is buying the Urals crude at deeper discounts this month well below USD60, four market sources said. Russian Urals used to be one of Europe’s favourite grades due to short trading cycle, cheap shipping and attractive refinery yields. The blend was purchased on a regular basis by dozens of countries across the globe.

We remind, India is considering building several refineries instead of a single mega plant planned with Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), due to challenges in acquiring land, three sources familiar with the matter said. Hurdles in land purchases are one of the key reasons for sluggish infrastructure development in Asia's third-largest economy. Aramco and ADNOC joined a consortium of Indian state-run firms in 2018 to set up a 1.2 MMbpd coastal refinery and petrochemical plant in western Maharashtra, seeking a reliable outlet for their oil.

Mitsui eyes building USD550m U.S. bioplastics plant

Mitsui eyes building USD550m U.S. bioplastics plant

Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. will decide next year whether to build a bioplastics factory in the southeastern U.S., creating one of the largest production sites worldwide for the plant-based packaging material, said Asia.nikkei.

The proposed bio-PET plastics factory, with an annual capacity of 400,000 tonnes, could open in 2025. Investment is estimated at USD550 million. Mitsui has signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S.-based chemical company Petron Scientech to explore a joint venture.

Bio-PET, short for bio-based polyethylene terephthalate, is a plant-derived version of the plastic produced from fossil fuels and commonly used in drink bottles. Carbon dioxide emissions from the factory's bio-PET plastic are expected to be 70% to 80% lower than from petroleum-derived plastic.

The Mitsui factory would procure bioethanol made from plants such as American corn and Brazilian sugar cane to produce the bio-PET plastic. Recycled bottles would be mixed into the plastic, which then would be sold to beverage makers as a container material.

Global bio-PET plastic production capacity now totals around 1 million tonnes, Mitsui said, a figure that would soar if the plant is built.Beverage makers worldwide have set goals to reduce their environmental impact, such as by increasing the use of recycled materials in packaging, but that requires an infrastructure for collecting containers. Bio-PET can complement recycling.

As per MRC, Thyssenkrupp Uhde has been selected as technology provider for a new “Blue Ammonia” plant in the United States by Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui), one of the leading ammonia marketers in the world, and CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF), the world’s largest producer of ammonia. The new greenfield facility will produce blue ammonia by leveraging carbon capture and sequestration processes to reduce carbon emissions by more than 60% compared to conventional ammonia. As a first step, thyssenkrupp Uhde will conduct a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study for the proposed joint venture of CF and Mitsui.

Brenntag opens new site in Argentina

Brenntag opens new site in Argentina

Brenntag, a global chemical distributor, has opened a new site in Argentina to unify its operations in the country, said the company.

Brenntag announced in a news release Thursday the opening of new facility in Zarate, Argentina, on a site that spans 90,000 m?. “This new investment will unify operations in the province of Buenos Aires to a single site, in order to improve service standards and the excellence that is always provided to customers,” commented German Torres, Regional President Brenntag Essentials Latin America. “Additionally, this investment will allow us to expand our offering in the service of mixing and drumming of chemical products."

The site will be comprised of new facilities including 500 m? of offices, 2000 m? of warehouses, approximately 1,250 m? in tanks, three tank truck unloading spaces, two drumming stations, a Mix and Blending (M&B) building and sustainable energy sources to operate the site.

With Brenntag’s own M&B facilities, customers and suppliers from both divisions, Specialties & Essentials, will benefit from reduced costs, boosted product offerings in the market, improved customer service and additional value-added services.

We remind, Brenntag SE late Friday confirmed that it was in preliminary discussions over a possible takeover of Illinois-based Univar Solutions Inc. The German chemical company said discussions over acquiring the U.S. specialty-chemical distributor are continuing but that there were no concrete results or agreements yet.

Idemitsu sees cleaner fuels making profit contribution by 2030

Idemitsu sees cleaner fuels making profit contribution by 2030

Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd , Japan's No. 2 oil refiner, expects cleaner fuels such as ammonia, green pellets and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to contribute to its profits by 2030, its president said, as per Reuters.

Like global energy giants, Idemitsu is changing its portfolio by scaling down fossil fuel assets while investing in greener energy and battery metals. "Since it's not clear when and how demand for new energy will occur, we'll try social implementation of various low-carbon fuels and then narrow down the targets through repeated screening," Idemitsu President Shunichi Kito told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

"But we expect blue ammonia, green pellets and SAF will contribute to our profits in 2030 as part of new businesses that are targeted to generate 70 B yen ($512 MM) profit in the year," he said. Ammonia and pellets are used at thermal power plants with coal to help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

In November, Idemitsu raised its annual profit forecast on soaring prices of thermal coal and the yen's plunge. "Despite the recent spike in coal prices, our plan to divest coal assets remains unchanged," Kito said, adding it is in the process of selling its 85% stake in the Ensham coal mine in Australia.

Its annual coal production will fall to 5.7 MMt in the fiscal year from April 2023 against 9.17 MM this year after divesting the Ensham stake and ending operations at the Muswellbrook mine in Australia by end-March, leaving only the Boggabri mine in its coal portfolio.

Idemitsu instead plans to invest in mines producing critical minerals used in batteries, such as vanadium, to retain its coal mining employees. In September, the Japanese company said it will join a vanadium exploration project in Australia. "We also aim to boost output of natural gas, possibly offshore Vietnam, as demand is expected to grow in Asia," Kito said.

At the company's Nghi Son refinery in Vietnam, a disagreement between shareholders about financing for crude oil had cut production to 80% of capacity early this year. Kito said the problem had been resolved, and that the refinery is operating at full capacity.

"The refinery's margin is higher than the planned figure in the project finance," he said, but warned it will need to deal with rising interest rates and a planned shutdown for maintenance in May-June next year.

We remind, Neste, Idemitsu Kosan, CHIMEI and Mitsubishi Corporation have agreed to build a renewable plastics supply chain utilizing bio-based hydrocarbons (Neste RE) for the production of styrene monomer (i.e. bio-SM), and its mass balanced renewable plastics derivatives including acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (i.e. bio-ABS). The bio-SM production in Japan and the renewable plastics production in Taiwan will mark the first of such production in each country, and they are planned to take place in the first half of 2023.

ORLEN reinforces protection of LNG provisions with 2 additional vessels

The Polish energy firm ORLEN is not going to present two additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships to its fleet at the start of the upcoming year, said Menafn.

In a company announcement, it stated that a naming ceremony was hosted in Ulsan, South Korea, for both LNG vessels ordered, which is going to bring the figure of LNG tankers in the fleet to eight within the next three years (2025).

ORLEN, which has its own LNG ship fleet, will be able to efficiently manage shipments to Poland and strengthen its position in the global LNG market,” the announcement mentioned.

The additional services are part of a constantly functional LNG import plan to deliver oil and natural gas provisions in the nation, where 100 percent of its gas is shipped from outside Russia.

“The shipments currently meet about 30 percent of our country's demand. LNG supply is secured not only through contracts but also by developing our own fleet. These ships, built for our private use, ensure the stability of transportation and strengthen the company's position in the global LNG market,” according to Daniel Obajtek, ORLEN's chief executive.

We remind, PKN Orlen has submitted an application to the Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft for the supply of 3 MMt of oil to Poland through the Druzhba pipeline system in 2023 under continuing long-term contracts, said Reuters.
Transneft confirmed to Kommersant that it had received requests from consumers in Poland for the next year, but did not specify who submitted the application or the volume.