Reliance Industries hit by unexpected drop in quarterly profit

Reliance Industries hit by unexpected drop in quarterly profit

MOS OW (MRC) -- Reliance Industries Ltd., helmed by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, posted a larger-than-expected quarterly profit as growth in its consumer units offset the weakness in its traditional petrochemicals business, said Bloomberg.

Net income fell 15% to 157.9 billion rupees (USD1.9 billion) in the quarter ended Dec. 31 but was still higher than the average 156.19 billion rupees estimated in a Bloomberg survey. India’s largest company by market value also secured approval of its board to raise as much as 200 billion rupees via bonds.

Analysts had been penciling in a steeper drop in profit due to windfall taxes on fuel exports and as last year’s numbers were flattered by a one-off gain. Overall revenue did indeed come in weaker than consensus and costs surged but a strong showing at Ambani’s dominant telecom business helped blunt the impact.

“Reliance Industries witnessed strong growth momentum in consumer verticals,” Joint Chief Financial Officer V. Srikanth said in a post-earnings call Friday. “Retail growth was led by festive demand, strong momentum in e-commerce and continued store addition.”

We remind, Abu Dhabi Chemicals Derivatives Company RSC Ltd (“TA’ZIZ”) and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), have agreed to launch TA’ZIZ EDC & PVC, a world-scale chemical production partnership at the TA’ZIZ Industrial Chemicals Zone in Ruwais. The new joint-venture will construct and operate a Chlor-Alkali, Ethylene Dichloride (EDC) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) production facility, with an investment of more than USD2 billion.

Saudi Arabia stays top crude supplier to China in 2022, Russian barrels surge

Saudi Arabia stays top crude supplier to China in 2022, Russian barrels surge

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia remained China's second-largest source of crude oil in 2022, following repeat top supplier Saudi Arabia, as Chinese refiners snapped up low-cost Russian barrels while Western countries shunned them after the Ukraine crisis, said Reuters.

China's crude oil imports from Russia jumped 8% in 2022 from a year earlier to 86.25 MMt, equivalent to 1.72 MM barrels per day (bpd), data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Friday.

Russian crude has been trading in widening discounts to global oil benchmarks following Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin has called a "special operation". China, which refused to condemn the attack, cranked up procurement of Russian barrels and has largely ignored the sanctions imposed by Western nations on seaborne Russian crude from Dec. 5.

In December, it brought in 6.47 MMt of crude oil from Russia, or 1.52 MMbpd, compared to 1.7 MMbpd in the same period in 2021. China's state-backed refiners have wound down the purchase of Russian oil since November, but the independent refineries have continued buying from intermediary traders who arrange shipping and insurance, shielding them from the risk of secondary sanctions. Saudi Arabia shipped a total of 87.49 MMt of crude to China in 2022, equivalent to 1.75 MMbpd, customs data showed, on par with the level in 2021.

China's state-backed oil refiners largely fulfilled their term contracts with Saudi in 2022 despite the sluggish domestic demand. Saudi Arabia is expected to remain a key, if not the dominant, crude exporter to China after President Xi Jinping's visit to Riyadh in December, where he told Gulf leaders that China would work to buy oil in Chinese yuan, rather than U.S. dollars. Customs data also showed that crude imports from Malaysia almost doubled in 2022 to 35.68 MMt.

The Southeast Asian country is a transfer point for sanctioned shipments originating from Iran and Venezuela. No Venezuelan crude imports were recorded by Chinese customs throughout 2022 and a total of 780,392 tons of crude oil from Iran arrived in China.

China is Iran's biggest oil buyer, but most Iranian exports are rebranded as crude from other countries to evade U.S. sanctions. Vortexa, a ship tracking specialist, assessed that China's December imports of Iranian oil rose to a record of 1.2 MMbpd, up 130% from a year earlier. Crude shipments from the United States reached 7.89 MMt in 2022, down 31% year-on-year.

We remind, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation officially published the “China Energy Outlook 2060” (the “Outlook”) on December 28 in Beijing. This is Sinopec’s first publicly released research findings of their medium and long-term energy outlook, providing a new perspective for the scientific planning of transformation and development of China’s energy and chemical industries. This in the context of the “Dual-Carbon” goals laid out by the Chinese government, with the core goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

Nuberg EPC wins 550 TPD sulfuric acid plant project in Czech Republic

Nuberg EPC wins 550 TPD sulfuric acid plant project in Czech Republic

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nuberg EPC, the leading Indian Global EPC and turnkey project management company announced that it has been awarded the prestigious 550 TPD Sulfuric Acid Plant project on EPC based contract in Neratovice, Czech Republic, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The project is owned by Spolana s.r.o, a leading chemical manufacturer located on the Elbe riverbank in Neratovice, Czech Republic. Spolana a.s is one of the largest chemical manufacturing companies in the Czech Republic, the only manufacturer of PVC and Caprolactam also produces Ammonium Sulphate and Sulfuric Acid.

The contract was signed at Spolana head office based in Neratovice in the presence of Mr. Sandip Kumar (Senior Manager, Business Development) who represented Nuberg EPC in Czech Republic and the management team of Spolana including Mr. Piotr Kearney (CEO), Mr. Miroslav Falta (Executive), Mr. Jaroslav Hacko (Director of Investment DPT), Mr. Lubos Burdek (Project Execution Manager), Mr. Radek Brodil, (Project Business Manager), Mr. Pavel Malina (Head of Purchase Investment Dept.)

Nuberg EPC shall be executing this project based on the latest Double Conversion Double Absorption (DCDA) technology. The plant is expected to be delivered in 3 years including project stages 1, 2 & 3. The company is taking up the project on EPC based Contract including the technology.

Sulfuric Acid produced by the 550 TPD Sulfuric Acid plant project in Czech Republic will be used for Petrochemical and Fertilizer based applications. It will also be used in mining and processing of some ores and minerals, manufacturing batteries, and etching surfaces. Sulfuric Acid is also used in manufacturing of Caprolactam, which is used in the production of Nylon and Perlon and subsequently in the textile and clothing industry.

Upon receiving the project, Mr. A. K. Tyagi, CMD, Nuberg EPC said, "This undertaking illustrates Nuberg's competency of combining intelligence and knowledge in terms of Engineering aspects. It is a pleasure that Spolana has chosen our EPC services for this project".

He further stated, "Nuberg EPC's scope of services includes Process Design & Technology including Product and Technology Development - in-house as well as with Third Party Licensors, Process Know-how & Licensing, Basic Engineering, Front End Engineering Design (FEED), Residual Detailed Engineering, Procurement, Construction Management, Operation & Maintenance, Detailed Engineering, Project Management, Commissioning, EPC Solutions, Heavy Fabrication, and start-up of the plant."

Nuberg EPC has in recent past bagged prestigious projects including the Caustic Soda Plant project for Lineer Kostik Soda Sanayi Anonim Sirketi in Turkey, Sulfuric Acid Project for Sprea Misr in Egypt, Sulfuric Acid Plant Project for Awash Melkassa Chemical Factory in Ethiopia, Sulfuric Acid Plant Project for International Company for Chemical Industry in Egypt, and Hydrogen Peroxide Plant for Uzbekistan Hydrogen JU LLC in Uzbekistan.

In India, Nuberg EPC's portfolio recently added a NPK Fertilizer plant for FACT, Kochi division as well as a 400 TPD Sulfur Recovery Unit (SRU Project) for Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) in Vadodara. Hydrogen fuel-powered vehicles are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to petrol and diesel vehicles, so Nuberg EPC executed the first of its kind Hydrogen Fuel Dispenser Station in India for Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) at Vadodara. Furthermore, a Bio Ethanol plant for IOCL in Panipat and 250 TPD Chlor - alkali project in Puducherry, which is Nuberg EPC's first Greenfield Caustic Soda project delivery in India were also added to Nuberg EPC's portfolio.

Nuberg EPC's proven global execution experience and in-house strengths of driving technology-oriented projects have already made her a global leader in executing turnkey projects worldwide. The company has also set up and commissioned multiple plants in the Chemicals & Fertilizers, Energy & Infrastructure and Steel industries globally. Being a responsible global corporate citizen, Nuberg EPC is committed to innovating world-class technologies and processes. The company is actively delivering projects globally leveraging its Indian strengths and is expanding its footprints in Hydrogen - Green, Grey, and Blue; 2G & 3G Ethanol, Water Electrolysis, Water Soluble Fertilizers and Next Generation Nutrients, in addition to traditional strengths.

Taiyo Oil to shut 2 CDUs at Shikoku refinery in summer for maintenance

Taiyo Oil to shut 2 CDUs at Shikoku refinery in summer for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japanese oil refiner Taiyo Oil Co plans to shut two crude distillation units (CDUs) at its 138,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Shikoku refinery in western Japan in the summer for scheduled maintenance, said Reuters.

The 106,000-bpd No.1 CDU and the 32,000-bpd No.2 CDU will be shut down for about a month, he told Reuters on Tuesday.

We remind, Taiyo Petrochemical, a major petrochemical producer in Japan, closed its entire styrene plant in Ube, Japan on Dec. 23 for commercial reasons. According to the company's business strategy, this plant with a capacity of 370 thousand tons of styrene per year will be permanently closed.

BASF invests in expansion of polymer dispersions business in Merak

BASF invests in expansion of polymer dispersions business in Merak

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has announced an investment in the capacity expansion of polymer dispersions at its production site in Merak, Indonesia, said Coatingworld.

The expansion is in line with the growing trend of high-quality packaging in ASEAN where key paper and board manufacturers are located.

“The expansion will bring additional supply reliability to fulfill the growing demand for acrylics and styrene-butadiene dispersions in the Southeast Asia, Australiaand New Zealand markets. It shows our commitment to enhancing regional production and providing quick responses to fulfill growing customer demand. It also reinforces BASF’s position as one of the leading and reliable suppliers in the region. With proximity to key raw materials and flexibility to produce both styrene-butadiene and acrylic dispersions, Merak remains a key supply point for all our customers, especially in the area of paper coatings,” said Bir Darbar Mehta, senior vice president of Dispersions Asia Pacific, BASF.

ASEAN is a fast-growing market for high-quality packaging, with a high concentration of major paper and board manufacturers looking to expand their capacities in the region. The BASF Merak site is located in close proximity to our monomer suppliers and has an on-site jetty to facilitate logistics. The production line enhancement will be completed in the second half of 2023.

The site in Merak, Indonesia, established in 1994, produces polymer dispersions that offer a comprehensive portfolio of paper coatings, architectural coatings, and construction applications.

We remind, BASF has broken ground on the third and final phase of the methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) expansion project at its Verbund site in Geismar, Louisiana, announced in July 2022. The company will increase production capacity to approximately 600,000 metric tons per year by the middle of the decade to support the ongoing growth of its North American MDI customers.

BASF is a leading supplier, manufacturer, and innovation partner of plastic additives. Its comprehensive and innovative product portfolio includes additives that provide ease in processing, and heat and light resistance to a variety of polymers and applications including molded articles, films, fibers, sheets, and extruded profiles.