Oil hits 3-week high as China eases COVID curbs

Oil hits 3-week high as China eases COVID curbs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil hit a three-week high on Tuesday as China's latest easing of COVID-19 restrictions spurred hopes of a demand recovery, although prices pared gains after some U.S. energy facilities shut by winter storms began to restart, said Reuters.

China will stop requiring inbound travellers to go into quarantine, starting from Jan. 8, the National Health Commission said on Monday in a major step towards easing curbs on borders that have been largely shut since 2020.

Brent crude was up 19 cents, or 0.2%, at USD84.11 a barrel by 1450 GMT and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 39 cents, or 0.5%, to USD79.95. Both benchmarks hit their highest since Dec. 5 earlier in the session.

"This is certainly something that traders and investors have been hoping for," Avatrade analyst Naeem Aslam said of China's plan over the quarantine rule. UK and U.S. markets had been closed on Monday for Christmas holidays.

Equities gained while the U.S. dollar softened on Tuesday in response to the Chinese move. A weaker dollar makes oil cheaper for holders of other currencies and tends to support risk assets.

Oil also drew support from worries over supply disruption because of winter storms in the United States, said Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at Fujitomi Securities. "But the U.S. weather is forecast to improve this week, which means the rally may not last too long," he said.

Some facilites were already being brought back online. TotalEnergies continued restarting its 238,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas refinery on Tuesday, said people familiar with plant operations.

As of Friday, some 1.5 MM barrels of daily refining capacity along the U.S. Gulf Coast was shut, while oil and gas output from North Dakota to Texas suffered freeze-ins, cutting supply.

Concern over a possible production cut by Russia also provided price support.

Russia might cut oil output by 5% to 7% in early 2023 as it responds to price caps, the RIA news agency cited Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak as saying on Friday.

We remind, CHIMEI Corporation, a world-leading performance material company, recently announced its completion of carbon footprint verification for its entire plastic and rubber product lines, marking a significant step towards its “Net Zero by 2050” goals.

Fire erupts in refinery in Iraq Erbil

Fire erupts in refinery in Iraq Erbil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire broke out in a refinery in Iraq's northern city of Erbil and attempts by firefighting teams to get it under control are ongoing, as per Reuters.

No further information was immediately available.

We remind, Lanaz Co has let a contract to Honeywell UOP LLC to deliver technology licensing and equipment for a project to increase production of cleaner-burning transportation fuels at the operator's 100,000-b/d refinery at Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. As part of the contract, Honeywell UOP supplied basic engineering design, licensing, and full-modular units equipped with its proprietary naphtha hydrotreating and fixed-bed platforming process technology for the Lanaz clean-fuels upgrading project, the service provider said in a 10 Jan 2022 release.


Synova, Sabic, Technip Energies collaborate on realisation new plant

Synova, Sabic, Technip Energies collaborate on realisation new plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Synova, Sabic and Technip Energies have signed a Joint Development and Cooperation Agreement that will see the development and realisation of a commercial-scale plant for the production of olefins and aromatics from plastic waste, said Sustainableplastics.

Synova and Technip Energies joined forces last year. That partnership coupled the steam cracker expertise of French engineering and technology company Technip Energies with Synova’s patented thermochemical recycling technology technology, creating a comprehensive offering aimed at optimising and improving the plastics chemical recycling technology available today.

They have now been joined by Sabic Global Technologies B.V., an affiliate of Sabic. The plant envisaged by the three companies will use a combined technology developed by Synova and Technip Energies that will be integrated with one of Sabic’s steam crackers. This combined technology includes Synova’s proprietary solids cracking technology (MILENA), together with its gas conditioning and tars removal technology (OLGA) for the conversion of plastic waste into product gas. Intensive plastic waste sorting is unnecessary. Technip Energie’s proprietary gas treatment technology (Pure.rGas) is then applied to remove contaminants from the product gas and purify it to bring the final products up to a specification compatible with processing in a steam cracker downstream of the cracker furnace. The combined technology efficiently converts plastic waste into high value chemicals, providing both a plastic circularity route and significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Synova’s technology was invented by the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), an independent Dutch research organization that, amongst others, develops technology relevant to the Circular Economy and Energy Transition. Together with Synova, the technology has been further developed, tested and piloted over a 15-year span.

The new partnership is further bolstered by Sabic’s decision to take a stake in Synova, via its affiliate SABIC Ventures US Holdings LLC. The investment follows the completion of an in-depth technical due diligence process.

The funds will be used, said Synova, to enhance the development of its technology and to strengthen its engineering capabilities.

We remind, BASF, Linde, and SABIC have begun the construction of the "world's first" demonstration plant for large-scale electrically heated steam cracker furnaces. The new technology has the potential to lower CO2 emissions by using electricity from renewable sources instead of natural gas. The demonstration plant will be integrated into the existing steam crackers at BASF's Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany.


Italian machinery makers see substantially positive'balance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Italian plastics & rubber processing machinery industry expects to finish 2022 with a "substantially positive balance," building on double-digit growth achieved the year before, said Sustainableplastics.

Overall production for 2022 is expected to reach a threshold of 4.5 billion euros, with growth of 1 percentage point over 2021, trade group Amaplast said in a Dec. 14 news release. While marginal, the growth consolidates the recovery achieved during the previous year, and exceeds the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 by two percentage points, according to the association.

Exports, which represent roughly 70 percent of production, recorded growth of 2 percent, exceeding 3 billion euros, while the domestic market registered a 1 percent year-on-year increase, partly influenced by a 5 percent increase in imports. In terms of regions, the first nine months of the year saw an intensified flow to Asian markets, led by India.

In the Americas, demand was led by South America in particular, with Colombia registering the highest growth. In Europe, demand was particularly driven by extra-EU states, excluding the CIS.

Sales to Africa, on the other hand, slowed particularly to Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan markets. Citing its latest member survey, Amaplast said there had been "a progressive slowdown" in demand over the course of the current year.

The decline was most prominent for machinery, both in the domestic and export markets, while component sales maintained growth.

We remind, In a move aimed to expand its offerings in process automation, injection molding machine maker Engel has acquired the majority interest in Poland-based TMA Automation. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Engel announces EUR11m investment in expansion robot plant

Engel announces EUR11m investment in expansion robot plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In response to steadily rising demand globally for production robots and integrated system solutions, injection moulding machine manufacturer Engel is spending EUR11m to update and expand its plant in Dietach, Austria, said Sustainableplastics.

Founded in 1980, the Dietach plant today develops and produces the viper linear robot, the e-pic pick-and-place robot and the pic A sprue picker. The production and logistics area, as well as the apprentice workshop and the office building, will be expanded and modernised, creating at a total of over 3000m2 in usable floor space. The project will be executed in two construction phases, starting in May 2023.

The extra space is sorely needed, as the company alreadysells well over half of all injection moulding machines complete with integrated automation technology - and the trend is continuing to grow, according to Dr. Stefan Engleder, CEO of the Engel Group.

The project will include modernising the flow assembly line, enabling the company to respond more flexibly to specific customer requests and short-term order changes without prolonging lead times, he added.

By spring 2024, the production, logistics and apprentice workshop areas will have been completed. A new photovoltaic system will be installed so that in Dietich, like at the other two production sites in Austria, solar power will supply the energy needed to operate.

The office building is also being enlarged, in order to accommodate the additional personnel needed in the future. The Dietach location is already looking for mechatronics engineers, commissioning engineers, software engineers, development engineers, and more.

We remind, in a move aimed to expand its offerings in process automation, injection molding machine maker Engel has acquired the majority interest in Poland-based TMA Automation. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.