Reliance stops local petcoke sales, boosts imports

Reliance stops local petcoke sales, boosts imports

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Reliance Industries has stopped selling petroleum coke within India and boosted imports of the product to turn it into synthetic gas to power its refineries, according to two sources familiar with the matter and trade data, said Reuters.

Petroleum coke is a carbon intensive solid residue left over from coking units in oil refineries that break down residual oil into more highly valued products. Petcoke, as it is known, can be used as a coal substitute in both steelmaking and in power plants.

Reliance had been depending on liquefied natural gas (LNG) to run its refinery complex and selling the petcoke locally but it is now gasifying its petcoke amid rising LNG prices.

With Reliance's petcoke no longer available domestically, India's imports are likely to rise, after doubling last year because of higher demand from cement makers, who use the petcoke to manufacture the building material. Reliance was the country's biggest domestic supplier until 2021.

"They slowly started reducing supplies (to local markets) in the middle of last year, but now it has come to a complete stop," one of the sources, a petcoke trader, said.

Reliance did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment. Both sources declined to be named as they are not authorized to speak to the media.

I-Energy Natural Resources, a solid fuels trader in India's Gujarat state, said prices of petcoke delivered to India rose last week as cement manufacturers increased their imports since it is still cheaper than overseas coal. There is a very limited supply of domestic petcoke to end-users, and this has made players to procure from the international market," I-Energy said in a note on Monday.

Trade data reviewed by Reuters shows Reliance also imported over 192,000 tonnes of petcoke in the four months to January amid higher internal demand. That compared with about 110,000 tonnes in the eighteen months ending September.

We remind, 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. 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.

Petronas and ExxonMobil sign CCS project development agreements

Petronas and ExxonMobil sign CCS project development agreements

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petronas has signed two Project Development Agreements with ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc. (ExxonMobil) to jointly pursue Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) activation projects in Malaysia, said the company.

Under the agreements, both parties will define next steps, including the maturation of technical scopes for the CCS value chain, evaluation of the identified fields for CO2 storage utilisation, development of appropriate commercial framework and establishment of advocacy plan support on regulations and policy development in enabling CCS projects.

The agreements were signed by PETRONAS Head of Carbon Management, Emry Hisham Yusoff and ExxonMobil President, Shane Harris. PETRONAS Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Upstream, Datuk Adif Zulkifli and President of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, Asia Pacific, Irtiza Sayyed witnessed the signing. Also present was Vice President of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, Asia Pacific, Tracy Lothian.

Emry Hisham said, “PETRONAS is proud to work with its long-standing partner, ExxonMobil to pursue CCS projects together, aligning our shared aspiration to deliver energy solutions in a responsible and sustainable manner. This collaboration further strengthens PETRONAS’ commitment in providing decarbonisation solutions, aligned with our aspiration in establishing Malaysia as a leading CCS hub in the region.”

The agreements follow the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both companies in November 2021. It is also part of PETRONAS’ deliberate steps to build a sustainable portfolio with innovative solutions to produce energy responsibly, supporting the transition to a lower carbon future through collaborative efforts with industry partners.

We remind, Italian energy group Eni is studying the possibility of developing and operating a biorefinery in Malaysia together with Japan's Euglena and Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas). The plant would be based in the integrated refinery and petrochemical Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) in Southeast Asia, they said in a joint statement. An investment decision for the project is expected by 2023 and the plant is targeted to be completed by 2025.

Shell launches shake-up under new chief Wael Sawan

Shell launches shake-up under new chief Wael Sawan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell plans to restructure the way it runs its hydrocarbons and renewables businesses as part of changes being made under new chief executive Wael Sawan to improve performance and bring the company’s low-carbon initiatives into a single division, said the Financial Times.

The moves, which include splitting Shell’s integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions division, represent the second internal restructuring at the company in three years as it seeks to navigate the energy transition.

The gas business, which includes the world’s largest liquefied natural gas trading operation, will be combined with the company’s oilfields in a new Integrated Gas and Upstream division, headed by current upstream director Zoe Yujnovich.

The renewables and energy solutions business, which includes Shell’s wind and solar projects, will be combined with the oil refining and marketing units to create a new downstream and renewables division led by current downstream director Huibert Vigeveno.

The combination of renewables and downstream, which already included Shell’s electric vehicle charging business and work on biofuels, will bring all of the company’s low-carbon investments into one area.

Europe’s largest energy company is set to announce record annual results on Thursday after a bumper year driven by soaring prices for oil and gas resulting from the disruption unleashed by Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

“I’m making these changes as part of Shell’s natural, and continuous, evolution,” Sawan said in a statement on Monday. “I believe that fewer interfaces mean greater co-operation, discipline and speed, enabling us to focus on strengthening performance across the businesses and generating strong returns for our investors."

After heading the upstream division, Sawan headed integrated gas and renewables for a year before taking over as chief executive at the start of January.

The changes, which take effect on July 1, also mean the number of people on Shell’s executive committee will shrink from nine to seven, with Ed Daniels’s role as director of strategy, sustainability and corporate relations discontinued.

From July, chief financial officer Sinead Gorman will oversee strategy and sustainability, while the corporate relations team will report to Sawan. Daniels will leave Shell after more than 34 years at the company, it said.

The appointments represent the first big reshuffle of personnel since Sawan’s appointment. However, the impact on the direction of the company will depend on how the changes on the executive committee cascade through the rest of the business in the second half of the year.

Shell said it did not expect major job losses as a result of the overhaul but that some cuts were “possible” if newly combined functions were streamlined. As part of the 2020 restructuring, known as Project Reshape, Shell planned up to 9,000 job cuts from its global workforce by the end of 2022.

We remind, Henkel and Shell Chemical LP have agreed to a five-year collaboration to replace up to 200,000 tonnes of fossil feedstocks used in the manufacture of surfactants with feedstocks that are based on renewable raw materials. The renewable-based surfactants will be used in Henkel’s laundry product brands, including many varieties of Persil®, Purex® and all® brands. Surfactants are an ingredient in cleaning products that help lather and lift dirt.

Recyclable materials for cars with additive specialties from Evonik

Recyclable materials for cars with additive specialties from Evonik

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A consortium of 19 leading industrial companies and research institutes, including the BMW Group, Evonik, Thyssenkrupp, the Fraunhofer Institute, and the Technical University of Munich, has set itself the goal of developing new processes for using sustainable materials for circular automotive production, said the company.

Evonik is contributing its expertise in plastics and additives for recycling to the project. The project, which is funded for three years by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), was launched at the end of last year.

The core of the "Future Sustainable Car Materials (FSCM)" initiative launched by BMW is to develop innovative process routes and material concepts for large parts of the value chain, thus enabling a circular economy in vehicle production.

"We are pleased to contribute our specialty chemicals expertise to this pioneering consortium of industry leaders and internationally renowned research institutions to develop circular plastics solutions for the automobiles of tomorrow," said Lauren Kjeldsen, member of the Executive Board of Evonik Operations GmbH and head of the Smart Materials Division.

According to the principle of the circular economy, materials must be kept in the value chain after they have reached the end of their useful life so that new objects, such as automotive parts, can be produced without the use of fossil resources. It is particularly challenging to keep these materials in the cycle while maintaining the same quality and safety properties.

"Our mechanical recycling experts work closely with recyclers to prepare methods for cleaning up plastic parts, such as separating paint at the end of useful life,” said Patrick Glockner, Head of the Global Circular Plastics Program at Evonik. “We also work with compounders to develop solutions for using the highest possible proportion of recycled plastics in new automotive parts."

This form of integrated collaboration enables the consortium to quickly identify challenges and jointly develop solutions. Due to the high complexity of automotive manufacturing, the participants in the FSCM project are optimistic that the knowledge gained can also be applied to other industrial products in the future, such as commercial vehicles, electrical and household appliances, and will thus be a decisive impetus for future circular economy systems in the German economy.

We remind, Evonik is pooling its expertise and integrating its alkoxides business into the Catalysts Business Line. The extensive portfolio of heterogeneous catalysts is thus now complemented by homogeneous catalysts. An international network of production sites and the highly experienced alkoxides team will additionally strengthen the Catalysts Business Line, one of Evonik's growth areas, from January 2023.

ExxonMobil awards FEED for world's largest low-carbon hydrogen facility

ExxonMobil awards FEED for world's largest low-carbon hydrogen facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil awarded a front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract to Technip Energies for a blue hydrogen project at its complex in Baytown, Texas, said the company.

ExxonMobil described the contract as the largest of its kind in the world. The company could make a final investment decision (FID) on the project in 2024. If ExxonMobil proceeds, it could start operations in 2027-2028. Financial details were not disclosed.

Under the project, ExxonMobil would produce 1bn cubic feet/day of blue hydrogen and capture more than 98% of the associated carbon dioxide (CO2). That amounts to more than 7m tonnes/year of CO2 that ExxonMobil would capture and permanently store.

ExxonMobil would make the carbon-capture and storage network available to other companies that want to sequester the CO2 produced from their operations. As far as the hydrogen, ExxonMobil could sell it or use it internally as a fuel for its largest cracker in Baytown.

If the cracker uses hydrogen as a fuel instead of natural gas, it could reduce Baytown's Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by up to 30%, the company said. ExxonMobil could also sell what it described as significant volumes of blue hydrogen and ammonia. Such offtake agreements are under discussion with customers. ExxonMobil did not provide capacity figures for the ammonia.

We remind, ExxonMobil announced its majority-owned affiliate, Imperial Oil Ltd, will invest about USD560 million to move forward with construction of the largest renewable diesel facility in Canada. The project at Imperial’s Strathcona refinery is expected to produce 20,000 barrels of renewable diesel per day primarily from locally sourced feedstocks and could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Canadian transportation sector by about 3 million metric tons per year, as determined in accordance with Canada’s Clean Fuel Regulation. The facility is a part of the corporation’s plans through 2027 to invest approximately USD17 billion in lower-emission initiatives.