North American chemical rail traffic fell by 7.3%

North American chemical rail traffic fell by 7.3%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical rail traffic fell by 7.3% year on year to 44,458 railcar loadings for the week ended 17 December – marking a 13th consecutive decline, according to the latest freight rail data by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Declines in the US and Canada more than offset an increase in Mexico. The four-week average for North American chemical rail traffic was at 45,649 railcar loadings.

Despite the 13th decline in a row, for the first 50 weeks of 2022 ended 17 December North American chemical railcar traffic was still up 0.2% year on year to 2,282,455 railcar loadings.

Shipments of chemicals, coal, motor vehicles and parts, nonmetallic minerals, and oil and oil products rose for the first 50 weeks, while shipments in the remaining freight railcar categories fell.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

We remind, North American chemical rail traffic fell by 13.0% year on year to 41,696 railcar loadings for the week ended 10 December – marking a 12th consecutive decline. Declines in the US and Canada more than offset an increase in Mexico.

Chevron Lummus Global announces award for one of the world largest slurry hydrocracking units

Chevron Lummus Global announces award for one of the world largest slurry hydrocracking units

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chevron Lummus Global LLC (CLG) announced Shandong Yulong Petrochemical Co., Ltd. has selected EST, which CLG licenses, for a slurry residue hydrocracking unit in Shandong Province, China, said Hydrocarbnprocessing.

The unit will produce naptha, diesel and vacuum gas oil once it is complete, and with a capacity of 3.0 MMtpy, it will be one of the largest in the world.

By selecting the EST technology and technical solutions, Yulong will be able to achieve the highest conversion from residue to distillate products and supply a maximum amount of feedstock to its petrochemical production units. Yulong will also be able to convert a large amount of high sulfur residue (3.0 MMtpy) to useful transportation fuels and petrochemical feedstock while removing sulfur and other contaminants.

The project scope includes the technology license, engineering, proprietary reactor internals and catalyst supply.

CLG, together with its partner, is able to license a complete suite of residue hydrocracking technologies, including EST, LC-FINING, LC-MAX, LC-SLURRY and LC-LSFO technologies. These world-class technologies offer refiners a wide range of conversion options, including complete conversion of residua to valuable distillate products.

We remind, KazMunayGas (KMG) and Chevron Philips Chemical representatives signed a license and engineering agreement for the second phase of the construction of an integrated gas and chemical complex in the Atyrau region. A meeting between Magzum Myrzagaliyev, Board Chair of KMG, and Venki Chandrashekar, Vice President for Research and Technology of Chevron Phillips Chemical, was held on December 11.

Brenntag shareholder PrimeStone calls for end to Univar takeover talks

Brenntag shareholder PrimeStone calls for end to Univar takeover talks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Activist investor PrimeStone has urged German chemicals distributor Brenntag to end talks with potential takeover target Univar Solutions and instead buy back shares and prepare for a break-up into two separate companies, said Reuters.

In a letter to Brenntag’s board and management, the UK-based investor urges Brenntag to terminate discussions with Univar immediately and refocus on improving Brenntag itself.

“The risks and uncertainties of such an ‘empire-building’ transaction are very high and vastly outweigh the potential benefits,” PrimeStone said.

“Our interviews and analysis suggest that the dis-synergies could amount to 10-20% of combined gross profit and will likely wipe out all cost reductions if not more, as observed in the case of the Univar/Nexeo deal", it said. Univar-Nexeo was completed in 2019.

Furthermore, the antitrust process for Brenntag-Univar would likely be lengthy and difficult, PrimeStone said.

We remind, Brenntag, the global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution, has become the exclusive distributor of Nouryon’s specialty polymers in the United State and Canada. As the sole distributor of Nouryon’s proprietary LumaTreat™ polymers, Brenntag can offer a portfolio including the patented LumaTreat™ smart-tagged polymers, Aquatreat™, Versaflex™, and Versa™ polymers which offer scale control and dispersancy.

Air Liquide receives support from Dutch State for two large-scale electrolyzer projects in the Netherlands

Air Liquide receives support from Dutch State for two large-scale electrolyzer projects in the Netherlands

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Air Liquide welcomes the Dutch State decision to support its large-scale renewable hydrogen projects, named ELYgator and CurtHyl, through the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) Hy2Use program, said the company.

These electrolyzer projects, which will each have a capacity of 200 MW, will significantly contribute to the decarbonization of the Dutch and neighboring countries’ industry and support the growth of clean mobility markets.

Both electrolyzers will run on renewable electricity. The two projects will produce a total of around 30,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year without generating any CO2 emissions. Compared to a traditional process, this will avoid the emission of more than 5 million tonnes of CO2 over the period of operation. The ELYgator project will be located in Terneuzen, the Netherlands. The CurtHyl project will be located at the Maasvlakte 2 conversion park in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Those two world scale electrolyzers will be integrated into the existing Air Liquide portfolio of assets and enable the supply of low-carbon hydrogen to multiple customers of the industry and the mobility markets.

Pioneering projects such as ELYgator and CurtHyl contribute to the national and European climate ambitions as hydrogen will play a key role in decarbonization, particularly for hard-to-abate industry and mobility sectors. The grant award is a major step towards the final investment decision, with both projects subject to regulatory approvals.

We remind, Air Liquide has signed a long-term contract to supply Kumho Mitsui Chemical (KMCI) in South Korea with additional hydrogen and carbon monoxide (CO). Supply will be used to help KMCI with its 50% expansion of methyl diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) production in South Korea’s Yeosu National Industrial Complex, which is scheduled to come online in 2024.

ADNOC acquires 24.9% stake in OMV

ADNOC acquires 24.9% stake in OMV

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Mubadala announced a transaction involving OMV, a global energy and chemicals group, headquartered and listed in Vienna, Austria. Under the agreement, ADNOC will acquire a 24.9% shareholding in OMV from Mubadala, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed. Upon completion of the transaction, which is subject to certain closing conditions and regulatory approvals, ADNOC will own 24.9% of OMV, Osterreichische Beteiligungs AG (OBAG), an Austrian independent holding company, holding 31.5%, with the remaining share capital in free float.

Through this investment in OMV, who hold a 75% stake in Borealis, ADNOC will increase its shareholdings in both Borealis and Borouge, bolstering its footprint in the chemicals sector, enabling synergies and unlocking significant growth opportunities across its broader chemicals portfolio, in particular at Borouge. The transaction marks the next major milestone for ADNOC as it accelerates its ambitious domestic and international chemicals growth strategy and also aligns with Mubadala’s long-term investment strategy.

Commenting on the transaction, His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and ADNOC Managing Director and Group CEO said: “Building on the strong bilateral ties between the UAE and Austria, and our long-standing partnership with OMV, ADNOC is delighted to be acquiring a 24.9% stake in OMV. As we continue to meet the growing global demand for lower carbon energy, we are fast-tracking the delivery of our growth strategy and expanding our footprint across key strategic markets and sectors. This milestone transaction, alongside our 25% shareholding in Borealis, is testament to our focused investment in building an integrated chemicals platform to accelerate our ambitious growth strategy that will unlock significant growth opportunities across our broader chemicals portfolio, with a particular focus on creating distinctive value for Borouge and its shareholders."

This transaction represents the latest milestone in ADNOC’s strategic growth and investment journey and reinforces ADNOC’s role as a primary catalyst for responsible, sustainable investment and value creation for Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

His Excellency Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director and Group CEO, Mubadala, said: “Mubadala has had a longstanding relationship with our Austrian partners, and we have worked together to develop a champion in the energy sector, OMV. This transaction is reflective of our strategy to monetize assets at the right valuation and at the right time. “2022 has been a year of increased activity and strategic investment across Mubadala, in sectors and geographies all over the world. We will continue to partner with best-in-class entities as we diversify our investment base and expand our growth trajectory.” This transaction cements the strong ties between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Austria, and creates long-term value for ADNOC, Mubadala and OMV.

We remind, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is accelerating operationalization of its board mandated low carbon growth strategy, by establishing a new Low Carbon Solutions and International Growth vertical that will focus on renewable energy, clean hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, as well as international expansion in gas, LNG and chemicals.