PetroChina again selects differentiated LyondellBasell PE technology

PetroChina again selects differentiated LyondellBasell PE technology

LyondellBasell announced that their leading high-pressure Lupotech process technology has been licensed to PetroChina Jilin Petrochemical Company in Jilin City, Jilin Province, P.R. of China, said the company.

The license will provide for two production trains: a 100 kiloton per year (KTA) Autoclave and a 300 KTA Tubular line for low-density Polyethylene (LDPE) with ethylene Vinyl Acetate Copolymer (EVA). In addition, an additional 400 KTA Hostalen “Advanced Cascade Process” (ACP) line to produce high-density Polyethylene (HDPE) will be built at the same time.

“We are pleased to be able to license additional LyondellBasell Polyethylene technology in this project as PetroChina Jilin Petrochemical Company is an important existing licensee with whom we have had a long and successful history,” stated Neil Nadalin, Director Global Licensing and Services at LyondellBasell. Nadalin added: “The newly added lines will include our state-of-the-art high-pressure Lupotech technology as well as our multi-modal HDPE technology enabling PetroChina to produce differentiated Polyethylene resins”.

“We are very satisfied with the first Hostalen unit running on our site in China, and we are excited to add a new multi-modal HDPE line using the Hostalen ACP technology, stated Mr. Han Zhiqun, Chief Engineer of PetroChina Jilin. “Furthermore, we are eager to expand our future product portfolio into differentiated low-density Polyethylene resins by applying the LyondellBasell Lupotech Autoclave and Tubular processes. This newly added capacity will help us to foster our ambitions in supporting the global energy transition in being able to best serve the solar panel lamination and encapsulant market."

Plant operators worldwide know that LyondellBasell's Lupotech process is the go-to choose for high pressure application design. This technology ensures reliable performance and higher conversion rates than other available options, with effective process heat integration for long-term energy efficiency. To date, LyondellBasell has licensed more than 15,000 KTA of its highly successful Lupotech process technology - in over 80 lines globally.

PetroChina HDPE plants have recently commenced operations using Hostalen ACP process technology. This process produces high performance, multi-modal HDPE resins that offer an industry-leading stiffness/toughness balance, impact resistance, and high stress cracking resistance. Pipe, film, and blow molding applications can benefit from the various advantages that this process entails. The Avant Z 501 and Avant Z509-1 catalysts will be used to create a full range of multi-modal HDPE products.

LyondellBasell is committed to helping its new licensees take advantage of the company's in-house expertise. From continuous production improvement to product development according to the latest environmental regulations, these licensees can benefit from LyondellBasell's know-how and high-pressure design. To make sure they are getting the best experience possible, LyondellBasell offers a Technical Service program for optional use.

LyondellBasell's Polyolefin process and catalyst licensing portfolio is an industry leader, featuring the Hostalen ACP, Lupotech T and Lupotech A process technologies, as well as the innovative Spherizone multi-zone circulating reactor. This breakthrough technology provides a platform to manufacture Polypropylene products with novel architecture and enhanced properties. The patented Spheripol PP process is the leading Polypropylene technology with more than 33 million tons of licensed capacity. It offers globally recognized quality grades with excellent monomer yields and competitive investment costs. Additionally, LyondellBasell offers advanced Ziegler-Natta catalysts using non-phthalate, chromium or metallocene materials for creating a full range of Polyolefin products.

We remind, LyondellBasell announced it has signed the first two European renewable electricity power purchase agreements (PPAs) and two additional PPAs in the United States. The combined additional contracts represent a total of approximately 560 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity. LyondellBasell has now signed eight PPA agreements and achieved over half of its 2030 target to procure a minimum of 50 percent of global electricity from renewable sources.

Solvay in advanced negotiations to divest its stake in Rusvinyl

Solvay in advanced negotiations to divest its stake in Rusvinyl

The company confirms it is in advanced negotiations to divest its stake in Rusvinyl, an independent 50/50 joint venture in Russia, to its joint venture partner, Sibur, said the company.

In addition to the recently obtained preliminary clearance from Russian governmental authorities, the potential transaction is still subject to several other regulatory approvals.

Solvay will keep the market informed if and when appropriate, in accordance with applicable law.

We remind, Solvay announces the relocation of its headquarters from Neder-over-Heembeek to new facilities in Brussels, specifically designed and equipped to host the Group’s Research, Innovation and administration activities, said the company. Located in the Brussels municipality of Haren, Solvay’s future HQ site is equipped with large research spaces, a high-performance digital infrastructure and great accessibility, providing Solvay’s employees with a future-ready, world class workplace that enhances innovation and collaboration.

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 21,000 employees in 63 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet roadmap crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering a better life.

Iran-PDVSA to start Paraguana refinery revamp soon

Iran-PDVSA to start Paraguana refinery revamp soon

State firms from Iran and Venezuela will start in the coming weeks a 100-day revamp of the South American nation's largest refining complex to restore its crude distillation capacity, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The effort by state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and the state-owned National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) to boost fuel output at the Paraguana Refining Center marks a step toward ending Venezuela's reliance on U.S. refinery technology, the sources said.

Venezuela, which has the world's largest crude reserves, has struggled in recent years to produce enough gasoline and diesel due to refinery outages, a lack of investment and U.S. sanctions that create obstacles for imports. Long lines at gasoline stations have been common since 2020.

Tehran has strengthened ties with Caracas in recent years, providing crude and condensate as well as parts and feedstock for Venezuela's aging 1.3 million barrel per day oil (bpd) refining network. A unit of NIORDC signed a 110-MM euro contract with PDVSA in May to repair Venezuela's smallest refinery, the 146,000-bpd El Palito in the center of the country, a project that is currently underway.

The companies are now expected to sign in the coming weeks a 460-million-euro contract to revamp the 955,000-bpd Paraguana refinery complex on the coast of western Venezuela, according to the sources. Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian arrived in Caracas on Friday and met Venezuela's oil minister Tareck El Aissami, according to tweets from the Iranian embassy in Caracas and Venezuela's oil ministry.

The embassy did not answer calls seeking comment on their talks. PDVSA, NIORDC and Venezuela's oil ministry did not reply to requests for comment. The Paraguana revamp project will allow NIORDC to hire contractors and outsource work to repair five of the complex's nine distillation units, which do the primary refining of crude oil, the four people said.

Paraguana - composed of the Amuay and Cardon refineries - operated at 25% of capacity this month even after the restart of Amuay's catalytic cracker, a key unit for gasoline. Iran will be in charge of parts procurement, installation and inspection before handling the refinery's operations back to PDVSA, two of the people said.

The planned distillation unit overhaul will combine Chinese and Iranian parts and equipment in refineries originally built with U.S. technology, the sources said. The integration of the new and old components will not be easy, they added.

If the revamp succeeds, a larger overhaul could follow in 2024 and 2025, according to the sources. "If the distillation plants do not work, the refinery does not work," said Caracas-based energy expert Nelson Hernandez. "The whole facilities need to pass through a revamp or a major maintenance program."

We remind, Venezuela's oil exports last year declined due to infrastructure outages, U.S. sanctions and rising competition in its key Asia market despite assistance from ally Iran, according to shipping data and documents. Exports this year are expected to get a lift after the United States relaxed oil sanctions by authorizing some partners of state-run firm Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) to resume taking Venezuelan crude.

Strikes affecting French fuels distribution network

Strikes affecting French fuels distribution network

A national strike against planned pension reforms reduced France's power supply and disrupted petrol deliveries from French refineries on Tuesday, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Strikes have been taking place since mid-January as unions protest against the government's plans to make people work longer before retirement. Public transport and schools have also been affected.

Total power supply was reduced by about 6.3%, or 4.3 gigawatts (GW) due to decreased supply at two nuclear reactors, and several thermal- and hydro plants, data from power utility EDF showed.

Nuclear capacity was lowered by 1.8 GW and thermal plants were reduced by 2.3 GW, while hydropower disruptions totalled 220 megawatts (MW). No imports were needed at 1215 GMT after peaking earlier at 2.8 GW, grid operator RTE data showed.

Strike participation at EDF totalled some 30.3% of employees by midday, the utility said. This compares to the midday rate of 40.3% recorded on Jan. 31. On the refining side, the shipping of petrol products from French sites was interrupted by the strike, TotalEnergies said.

The company added that there was no shortage of petrol at fueling stations and supply levels were generally satisfactory. About 56% of the operators working in the TotalEnergies' French refineries and depots were on strike this morning, the company said.

At Esso, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, about 75% of the workforce at the Fos site was on strike and blocking deliveries while the Port Jerome site was operating normally, a CGT spokesperson said.

We remind, TotalEnergies is joining forces with Portuguese packaging player Intraplas to create commercial products with TotalEnergies renewable polymer – a range of the RE:clic portfolio, which uses renewable sources to lower carbon footprint. TotalEnergies’ biorefinery in La Mede, France, allows direct access to renewable feedstock for its drop-in RE: newable polymer range derived from bio-based products. The company claims these polymers retain virgin-like properties.

China economic recovery to boost oil demand

China economic recovery to boost oil demand

Oil producers may have to reconsider their output policies following a demand recovery in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Demand in China, the world's largest crude importer and No. 2 buyer of liquefied natural gas, has become the biggest uncertain factor in global oil and gas markets in 2023 as investors bet on the speed of its recovery after Beijing lifted COVID restrictions in December.

"We expect about half of the growth in global oil demand this year will come from China," Birol told Reuters on the sidelines of the India Energy Week conference. He added that China's jet fuel demand is exploding, putting upward pressure on demand. "If demand goes up very strongly, if the Chinese economy rebounds, then there will be a need, in my view, for the OPEC+ countries to look at their (output) policies," Birol said.

Producer group OPEC+ angered the United States and other Western nations in October when it decided to cut output by 2 million barrels a day from November through 2023, instead of pumping more to cut fuel prices and help the global economy as the U.S. advised.

Birol said he hoped such a situation does not repeat, and that OPEC+ - which includes members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia - will return to a constructive role in the market as demand improves. OPEC+ rolled over the group's current output policy at a meeting on Wednesday, leaving production cuts agreed last year in place.

Separately, Birol said price caps on Russian oil have achieved the objectives of both stabilizing oil markets and reducing Moscow's revenues from oil and gas exports. Russia's revenues likely fell by nearly 30% in January, or about USD8 billion, compared with a year before, he added. G7 nations, the European Commission and Australia this week approved a USD100 per barrel price cap on diesel and a USD45 per barrel cap on discounted products such as fuel oil starting from Feb. 5.

This followed a similar measure they implemented on Dec. 5 barring Western-supplied maritime insurance, finance and brokering for seaborne Russian crude unless it was sold below a USD60 price cap. Birol said fuel markets might face difficulties in the short term as global trade routes "reshuffle" to accommodate Europe drawing on more imports from China, India, the Middle East and the United States.

That could force other markets such as Latin America to scout for alternative imports, he said. Europe has decided to end refined fuel imports from Russia from Sunday.

We remind, Shenghong Refining and Chemical has started up its new vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) unit around the second half of January 2023. The VAM unit has a capacity of 300,000 tonnes/year. The start-up of Shenghong's new VAM unit has pushed China’s total VAM capacity up to 3.12m tonnes/year.