Omani OQ, Kuwait Petroleum International and SABIC plan petrochemicals complex

Omani OQ, Kuwait Petroleum International and SABIC plan petrochemicals complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oman’s state energy company OQ has signed an agreement to develop a petrochemicals complex in the Duqm economic zone with Kuwait Petroleum International and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. — also known as SABIC, state news agency ONA reported on Wednesday according to Reuters.

The special economic zone at Duqm located in Al Wusta Governorate in Oman spans across an area of 2,000 sq. kilometers and has several economic, tourism and service development zones.

It lso has a multi-purpose port, a dry dock for repairing ships, a fishing port, a regional airport, and tourist, industrial and logistical areas.

The new deal signed by SABIC is one of the many recent agreements by the company to develop petrochemical complexes within the Kingdom and abroad.

On Dec. 18, SABIC signed a memorandum of understanding with energy giant Saudi Aramco and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, known as Sinopec, to assess the economic and technical feasibility study to develop an integrated petrochemical complex with an existing refinery in Yanbu.

In November, SABIC and Saudi Aramco signed another initial agreement with Polish refining firm PKN Orlen to explore the potential of joint investments in petrochemical projects in Poland and other European markets.

During the same month, the firm also announced that it is intending to set up a plant to convert crude oil into petrochemicals, capitalizing on growing demand.

Perstorp moves to make more eco-friendly polyols at Swedish site

Perstorp moves to make more eco-friendly polyols at Swedish site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Perstorp moves to make more eco-friendly polyols at Swedish site, said the company.

Perstorp, a Sweden-based speciality chemicals provider, is transforming a huge majority of the polyols generated at their largest production facility in Perstorp, Sweden, to 'Pro-Environment' products. It will convert all base polyols prepared at its Perstorp unit - neopentyl glycol (Neo), pentaerythritol (Penta), and trimethylolpropane (TMP) - to 'Pro-Environment'.

Beginning 2023, all fossil versions of the base polyols manufactured at the Perstorp unit will be replaced by 'Pro-Environment' grades (Evyrone, Neeture, and Voxtar) with partly renewable or recycled origin, based on a traceable mass balance concept.

We remind, Perstorp AB (Malmo, Sweden) has announced the completion of a capacity expansion for2-Ethylhexanoic Acid (2-EHA), one of the group’s flagship products for which Perstorp has the largest production capacity in the world. Earlier this year, Perstorp’s plant Stenungsund, Sweden, further increased the capacity to meet global demand from customer.

North American chemical railcar loadings fell for the 14th consecutive week

North American chemical railcar loadings fell for the 14th consecutive week

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical railcar loadings fell for the 14th consecutive week for the week ending on 24 December, according to the latest freight rail data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

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 7.3% year on year to 44,458 railcar loadings for the week ended 17 December – marking a 13th consecutive decline. 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.

U.S. oil refiners restoring lost output, some outages to run into January

U.S. oil refiners restoring lost output, some outages to run into January

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. oil refiners were working feverishly to resume operations at a dozen facilities knocked offline by a holiday deep freeze, a recovery that in some cases will stretch into January, said Reuters.

An Arctic blast sent temperatures well below freezing and led to power, instrumentation and steam losses at facilities along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The affected plants process about 3.58 million barrels of oil per day, delivering about 20% of U.S. motor fuels.

Refiners have been running near full capacity with strong prices for diesel and other fuels. Retail gasoline prices ticked up along the Gulf Coast this week, but nationwide prices have not been affected by the temporary outages.

Most of the affected plants suffered minor damage. Temperatures fell as low as 17 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 8C) along the Gulf Coast - freezing some instruments and overwhelming steam and co-generation units at several facilities, according to people familiar with the matter.

Two Houston-area plants - Motiva Enterprises' Port Arthur and Petroleos Mexicanos' Deer Park complexes - have restarts that will take them into the first or second week of January, according to notices filed with the state and people familiar with operations. Spokespeople did not reply to requests for comment.

"We'll be up and running in about two weeks," barring any startup disruptions, according to one person involved in the restarts. "This freeze event was a lot lighter than the February (2021) freeze so I'd expect a quick recovery."

Over the weekend, TotalEnergies began working to regain a steam and power co-generation unit critical to sustaining operations at its Port Arthur plant. Exxon Mobil was close to returning its Beaumont, Texas, plant to full operation on Tuesday. Spokespeople for the two did not reply to requests for comment.

LyondellBasell Industries was in the early stages of resuming production at its Houston refinery, people familiar with plant operations said. A spokesperson did not reply to a request for comment.

Marathon Petroleum, which operates the second-largest Gulf Coast facility after Motiva, aims to get production back by week's end, the people said. Marathon declined to comment.

Valero Energy, which suffered disruptions at three of its Texas refineries, did not reply to requests for comment. It was in the process of restarting its Port Arthur plant over the weekend, people familiar with the matter said.

We remind, 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. 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.

SABIC and Scientex to convert ‘ocean-bound’ plastics into pyrolysis oil to produce flexible PP packaging

SABIC and Scientex to convert ‘ocean-bound’ plastics into pyrolysis oil to produce flexible PP packaging

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC and Scientex are working together to produce flexible packaging for a Malaysian noodles brand by chemically recycling ‘ocean-bound’ plastic waste (OBP) to use as a feedstock in the production of polypropylene, said Packagingeurope.

The OBP – thought to be discarded up to 50km inland and washed into the ocean by rainfall, rivers, and tides – is set to be converted into pyrolysis oil. This will then become an alternative feedstock for SABIC to produce polypropylene, which will be processed in turn to create a BOPP film for Scientex to manufacture and print the noodle packs.

Forming part of the company’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio, SABIC’s propylene is said to contain a mass balance-accounted 30% of OBP while still performing to the same standard as a virgin, fossil-based polypropylene polymer. It is reportedly compatible with the noodles’ existing packaging design without needing to alter assets and processes.

SABIC previously worked alongside HHI and Taghleef Industries in a collaboration with UPM Raflatac to incorporate certified ocean-bound plastic waste into its Ocean Action labels using a mass balance approach.

In another effort to cut down on ocean pollution, Greiner Packaging and Plastic Bank have extended their cooperation to encourage Ocean Stewards to collect plastic waste from shorelines and take it to designated collection points to be returned to the global supply chain.

We remind, SABIC has announced plans to set up a crude oil-to-chemicals (COTC) complex in Ras Al-Khair, Saudi Arabia. The complex is expected to convert 400,000 bbl/day of oil, the company said in a statement to the Tadawul stock exchange. The project, said SABIC, is part of its strategic growth plans, as well as contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s program to convert oil and its liquids into chemicals.