Germany completes nationalization of Uniper

Germany completes nationalization of Uniper

The German government said Thursday that it has nationalized energy company Uniper after the European Union gave its blessing for it to rescue the gas supplier, said Reuters.

The government announced its plan to nationalize Uniper in September, expanding state intervention in the energy sector to prevent a shortage resulting from Russia’s war in Ukraine. The deal built on an initial rescue package agreed in July and features a capital increase of 8 billion euros (USD8.5 billion) that Germany is financing.

Uniper's existing shareholders approved the measures on Monday. The EU's executive Commission gave its conditional approval on Tuesday. The government is obliged to reduce its stake to 25% plus one share by 2028, a deadline that can only be extended with the Commission's approval. Germany's finance and economy ministries said Thursday that the government has now taken a stake of some 99% in the company. Uniper's existing management remains in place.

Uniper was controlled until now by Finland-based Fortum. The Finnish government has the largest stake in Fortum. Before the war in Ukraine, the company bought about half of its gas from Russia, which started cutting deliveries to Germany in June and hasn’t supplied any gas to the country since the end of August.

Uniper has incurred huge costs as a result of those cuts because it was forced to buy gas at far higher market prices to meet its supply contract obligations. Last month, it said it had initiated proceedings to seek damages from Russia’s Gazprom at an international arbitration tribunal in Stockholm.

We remind, Uniper and Shell have awarded contracts for the design studies of the main hydrogen production and carbon capture plant for the proposed Humber H2ub project. The project aims to produce low-carbon hydrogen using gas reformation with carbon capture technology at Uniper’s Killingholme power station site on the South Humber bank in the UK. Air Liquide Engineering & Construction, Shell Catalysts & Technologies and Technip Energies have now been awarded contracts to deliver the process design studies.

Jean Paul Prates to become new Petrobras chief executive

Jean Paul Prates to become new Petrobras chief executive

Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has chosen Senator Jean Paul Prates for the role of chief executive at state-controlled oil company Petrobras, said Upstreamonline.

Multiple media outlets in Brazil reported on Thursday that Lula has selected Prates for the coveted role of Petrobras boss and that he intends to appoint Senator Alexandre Silveira to head the country’s Mines & Energy Ministry.

Prates, a senator from Lula’s Workers’ Party, is a lawyer, economist and entrepreneur, who has also held the position of energy secretary in Rio Grande do Norte state.

He has worked for more than 25 years in the energy sector, with experience and expertise in oil and gas but an equally long track record in biofuels and other sources of renewable energy.

In 1997, he helped draft the petroleum law that opened the country’s oil and gas sector to foreign investors.

Born in Rio de Janeiro state, Prates made Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, his adopted home and, as energy secretary there, was instrumental in fostering a wave of investment in onshore wind.

We remind, Petrobras has started output at the Itapu pre-salt field in the Santos basin via the P-71 floating production, storage and offloading vessel. The P-71 FPSO, which features a processing capacity of 150,000 barrels per day of oil and 6 million cubic metres per day of natural gas, was deployed in water depths of 2010 metres. “We were able to anticipate production of the P-71 platform, which was originally scheduled for 2023,” said Petrobras production development director Joao Henrique Rittershaussen.

Three die in Russian gas pipeline blast

Three die in Russian gas pipeline blast

A fire caused by an explosion on a key Russian gas export pipeline that claimed three lives has stopped burning about 24 hours after emergency services were alerted, according to authorities in the country’s Chuvashiya region, said Upstreamonline.

The incident took place near the village of Yambakhtino on a section of the Gazprom-operated Urengoy–Pomary–Uzhgorod trunkline, which carries volumes from the state-controlled company’s core producing fields in West Siberia’s Yamal-Nenets region across Central Russia and Ukraine to Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry’s regional office in Chuvashiya said firefighters on site reported that the fire had stopped at about 14:00 local time, a little more than 24 hours after reports of an explosion and fire near Yambakhtino on Monday. Residents voluntarily evacuated their children from the village.

Authorities said seven firefighting units were sent to the site of the fire, which witnesses estimated reached a height of between 25 and 30 metres. The Emergency Situations Ministry’s regional office said one possible cause of the incident involved a safety violation during planned pipeline maintenance.

Russian social media network Mash, which released the names of three contractors who died as a result of the explosion, suggested that maintenance works on the site had extended for at least 12 hours past the deadline for completion.

We remind, Russia's Transneft has received requests from Poland and Germany for oil in 2023, the state oil pipeline monopoly's head told Rossiya-24 TV, adding that supplies via the Druzhba pipeline's southern spur are expected to hold steady next year. The EU has pledged to stop buying Russian oil via maritime routes from Dec. 5, with Western nations also imposing price caps on Russian crude oil, but the Druzhba pipeline remains exempt from sanctions. Transneft's comments are at odds with suggestions last month that Poland aimed to abandon a deal to buy Russian crude.

Oxxynova is to cease production at its German DMT site at the end of 2022

Oxxynova is to cease production at its German DMT site at the end of 2022

Oxxynova is to cease production at its German dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) site at the end of 2022, primarily due to gas and electricity prices, said the company.

The 240,000 tonne/year plant in Luelsdorf, Germany is one of two in Europe, with Turkey’s 280,000 tonne/year SASA Polyester Sanayi plant in Adana left as the only remaining one.

Oxxynova is one of only two PX contract settlers on the buy side. Oxxynova’s indefinite exit may lead to imports of solid DMT or additional moves to purified terephthalic acid (PTA).

According to a letter understood to have been sent to customers, Oxxynova indicated it hopes to be able to play a role in the future business area of recycling, processing of chemical material and waste streams.

We remind, Oman Oil Company's Oxea constructed its 60,000 tonnes/y dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) facility at the site of Oxxynova in Steyerberg, Germany. Start-up of the project was in 2H 2019.

Canada ban on certain harmful single-use plastics starts to take effect this month

Canada ban on certain harmful single-use plastics starts to take effect this month

Canada will ban the manufacture and import for sale of single-use plastics in an effort to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada, said Globalnews.

The ban covers single-use plastics including checkout bags, cutlery, food service ware, ring carriers, stir sticks and straws, the federal government stated in a news release published on June 20.

While the ban on the manufacture and import of single-use plastics will come into effect Tuesday, the sale of these items will be prohibited as of December 2023 to “allow businesses in Canada enough time to transition and to deplete their existing stocks,” according to the government’s website.

The ban on the manufacture and import of ring carriers (often used for beverage containers) will go into force in June 2023. In addition, Canada will also prohibit the export of plastics in the same six categories by the end of 2025.

Every year, Canadians throw away at least 3 million tonnes of plastic waste, with only nine per cent being recycled and the rest ending up in landfills, waste-to-energy facilities or nature, according to Environment Canada.

Canada’s single-use plastic ban is “an important step” that could eliminate an estimated 1.3 million tonnes of plastic waste annually that is hard to recycle, said Juan Jose Alava, research associate at the Ocean Pollution Research Unit at the University of British Columbia. Canada must go beyond banning single-use plastics in order to reach its goal of zero plastic waste, he said.

We remind, NOVA Chemicals Corporation (“NOVA Chemicals”), a leading producer of polyethylene resins, announced the launch of its new, mechanically recycled polyethylene resin: EX-PCR-NC4. Incorporating this product allows converters and brand owners to meet their sustainability goals, without compromising package performance in applications such as shrink, e-commerce, heavy-duty sacks, and protective packaging.