Romgaz, Socar sign first individual agreement for supply of gas from Azerbaijan to Romania

Romgaz, Socar sign first individual agreement for supply of gas from Azerbaijan to Romania

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Romanian natural gas producer Romgaz said it signed the first individual contract for gas deliveries from Azerbaijan, with Azeri national oil company Socar, said

The contract allows for scheduled gas deliveries through the Southern Corridor starting January 1, using the transportation capacities of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector (IGB) , as well as those of the Bulgarian and Romanian transmission systems, Romgaz said in a statement filed with the Bucharest Stock Exchange, BVB.

The deal also enables the acquisition of natural gas from Azerbaijan in order to satisfy potential domestic consumption needs with imported gas, serving strategic objectives related to supply-side security and gas source diversification, Romgaz explained. Both parties to the deal plan to maintain their cooperation and enhance the mechanisms for natural gas deliveries to Romania.

The contract is based on a cooperation started earlier this year, formalized through a memorandum of understanding in June, following talks for the diversification of oil and gas deliveries between the two sides. In October, Romgaz signed a memorandum of understanding with Socar to explore the opportunity of jointly developing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the Black Sea.

The Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector, which enables imports of natural gas to Bulgaria from Azerbaijan via Greece, has been operating since October 1, covering around a third of Bulgaria's consumption needs in the current heating season. It has also facilitated LNG imports from terminals in Greece and Turkey. Romgaz is the largest natural gas producer and main supplier in Romania. Its majority shareholder is the Romanian state, holding a 70% stake. Romgaz shares are listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, while the company’s global depositary receipts (GDRs) are traded on the London Stock Exchange. Romgaz shares traded 0.38% higher at 39.95 lei by 1621 CET on Friday, on the BVB.

As per MRC, Taiwan's state refiner, CPC Corp, said it has received the country's first crude cargo with certified carbon offset from Socar Trading, the trading arm of Azerbaijan's state oil company. The refiner is seeking to reduce its carbon footprint through voluntary carbon offsets as Taiwan aims to become carbon neutral by 2050. The cargo of about 1.05 MM barrels of Azeri Light crude oil arrived in Taiwan on Sunday morning with cradle-to-gate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions being offset with carbon credits certified by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), CPC said on its website.

Aramco, Sinopec to build refinery-petchem complex in southeast China

Aramco, Sinopec to build refinery-petchem complex in southeast China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco and China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) have signed a deal to build a refinery and a petrochemicals plant in China, said Chemindigest.

The 3,20,000 barrels-per-day refinery and 1.5 million tons-per-year petrochemical cracker complex will be in operation by the end of 2025, Aramco said in a statement on Sunday.

Aramco and Sinopec, along with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), have also signed a an agreement to study the feasibility of developing petrochemicals complex to be integrated with an existing refinery in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. Petrochemicals are set to account for more than a third of the growth in oil demand to 2030, and about half to 2050, ahead of the lorry, aviation and shipping sectors, according to the International Energy Agency.

Petrochemicals are also likely to consume an additional 56 billion cubic metres of natural gas by 2030. Aramco aims to increase its liquids-to-chemicals capacity to up to four million barrels per day by 2030. China, the world’s second-largest economy and the biggest crude importer, has been signing long-term agreements with energy exporters amid rising volatility in crude and natural gas prices. The petrochemicals industry is expected to be a big driver of crude oil demand in the next few decades as consumers switch to electric vehicles.

As per MRC, Saudi Aramco and TotalEnergies have made a final investment decision (FID) about the construction of a petrochemicals complex in Saudi Arabia which will include a 1.65m tonne/year ethylene cracker. The complex will comprise a mixed feed cracker as well as two polyethylene (PE) units and a butadiene (BD) extraction unit, plus “other associated derivatives” units. TotalEnergies said capital expenditure (capex) for the project was around USD11bn.

BASF selected as strategic supplier of high-performance cathode active materials for battery manufacturer PPES

BASF selected as strategic supplier of high-performance cathode active materials for battery manufacturer PPES

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has delivered the first batch of nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) cathode active materials (CAM) via its majority-owned joint venture BASF TODA Battery Materials LLC (BTBM) to Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES), a joint venture between Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Panasonic Holdings Corporation (Panasonic), said the company.

BTBM provided a newly developed product from its high-performance CAM portfolio for PPES’s innovative battery cell solutions to serve the electric vehicle market. The first batch was produced at BTBM’s Onoda site, one of the world’s largest calcination facilities for CAM. BASF is further advancing its already announced expansion project at the Onoda site, which is planned to start production in the second half of 2024. Through the expansion, the annual CAM supply will be increased to up to 45 GWh cell capacity per year.

BASF and PPES have already been working together for several years. Combining PPES’s industrial expertise with BTBM’s deep manufacturing know-how, a tailor-made product has been developed to meet the requirements of higher power, longer life cycle and improved efficiency.

“This is a great joint achievement by the BASF and PPES teams in Japan and a powerful step for the growing cooperation between both companies,” said Dr. Michael Baier, Senior Vice President, BASF Battery Materials. “It fits well into BASF’s strategy to develop CAM together with leading battery manufacturers in their respective home markets and expand the business for more growth globally."

“PPES is committed to provide batteries and to offer a wide range of added value and solutions based on these vital energy devices for the sake of protecting the environment and resources of our precious planet,” added Yasuo Ikeda, 65D Project Leader of PPES. “Together with BTBM, we have tackled many difficulties and developed a solution to serve our customers’ needs for superior electric powertrain solutions. We are looking forward to continually strengthening our partnership with BASF."

“We appreciate the seamless joint efforts with PPES, which have been very successful,” said Masanobu Hibino, CEO of BTBM. “While working together with PPES in developing a customized solution, we have further broadened our product offerings. We are excited to support our customers’ global growth plans in the fast-growing e-mobility market."

We remind, BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany, and StePac, Tefen, Israel, are partnering to create new sustainable packaging specifically for the fresh produce sector. BASF says it will supply StePac with its Ultramid Ccycled product, a chemically recycled polyamide 6 that will provide StePac with greater flexibility to advance contact-sensitive packaging formats to a higher sustainable standard within the circular economy.

Clariant announces new investments to enhance Chinese ethoxylation plant

Clariant announces new investments to enhance Chinese ethoxylation plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant is set to expand its Care Chemicals facility in Daya Bay, Huizhou, China, to boost its support for pharmaceutical, personal care, home care, and industrial application customers, said the company.

The CHF 80 million investment will see capacity increases for existing products as well as the introduction of new products by the end of 2024. By successfully obtaining the drug GMP certificate, the Clariant Daya Bay manufacturing site has become the first API manufacturer in China with certified polyethylene glycol Polyglykol 3350. The site will also become a new global hub for Clariant’s healthcare business support, speeding up the supply of high-quality ingredients for life-changing medicines.

“The successful production and registration of the pharmaceutical grade of PEGs are great examples of how resilient and dedicated Clariant is to growing in our strategic dedicated business segment and supporting our customers,” said Zhigang Miao, Head of Industrial Applications, Clariant Care Chemical.

Clariant will also expand existing production capacity for its Ethylene Oxide Derivatives (EODs) and a broader chemical portfolio at Daya Bay. As a result, it will step up its production of more sustainable ingredients that can help customers advance their environmental targets and create differentiated, more sustainable solutions to meet sector demands. The EcoTain®-labelled, plant-based Hostapon® mild surfactant for example supports Personal Care brands and formulators in developing milder, cleaner beauty in applications such as solid beauty bars, body washes and cream-type shampoos.

As per MRC, Clariant will invest Swiss francs (Swfr) 80m (USD86m) to expand its Care Chemicals facility at Daya Bay in China’s Guangdong province, boosting support for pharmaceutical, personal care, home care and industrial application customers. This investment will increase Clariant’s production capacity for existing products as well as the introduction of new products by the end of 2024. Clariant also aims for the site to become a new global hub for its healthcare business, saying it believes China would remain a growth driver for many chemicals.

Eastman partnership will help with Brazilian forest restoration

Eastman partnership will help with Brazilian forest restoration

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Eastman has signed a partnership agreement with the environmental nongovernmental organization SOS Mata Atlantica and Bracell, a soluble cellulose producer, to donate 15,000 seedlings in support of a program designed to help restore the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, said the company.

This environmental initiative will support Future Forests (Florestas do Futuro in Brazilian Portuguese), a program created to catalyze forest restoration in permanent protection areas, such as riparian forests and legal reserves in the Atlantic Forest biome. The project by Eastman, SOS Mata Atlantica and Bracell focuses on forest restoration in Brazil’s Jequitiba region within an environmental protection area on the north coast of Bahia.

An investment by the Eastman Foundation is supporting restoration in the selected area, which is part of Bracell’s Forest Partnership Program. The area, in the municipality of Entre Rios, is home to two springs. The initiative will contribute to improving the ecosystem service of water regulation, adding benefits to the entire region.

As per MRC, US-based Eastman aims to light a fire under the ecosystem for collecting hard-to-recycle polyester waste with USD2bn in new investments for plastics recycling projects in the US and France.