India raises naphtha import tax, which could hamper imports

India raises naphtha import tax, which could hamper imports

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India has raised its import tax on naphtha to 2.5% from 1%, budget documents showed on Wednesday, in a move that could encourage companies to source locally produced fuel instead of buying from overseas, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Naphtha is used for making petrochemicals and consumer goods, such as plastic and paints. "The increase in customs duty on naphtha would result in some increase in feedstock cost for petrochemical manufacturers, which would compress their margins," said Sabyasachi Majumdar, senior vice president at Moody's India unit, ICRA Ltd.

The change in the duty supports India's aim to reduce its dependence on imports for key chemical feedstock and encourages increased domestic production in the medium-to-long-term, Majumdar added. An increase in customs duty would potentially cut both imports and exports of the fuel, said sources at two Indian refiners, as importers turn to the local market for their needs, reducing available supply for export.

India has imported 1.3 million tonnes of naphtha from April-December 2022, the first nine months of this fiscal year, and exported about 4.4 million tonnes, according to the government data. Indian companies such as Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd and Reliance Industries Ltd import naphtha for producing petrochemicals.

We remind, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) unveiled India’s first Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine technology solution for heavy duty trucks flagged off by Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India Energy Week in Bangalore. The Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (H2ICE) powered trucks will emit near zero emissions, deliver performance on par with conventional diesel trucks and reduce noise and with projected reductions in operating costs thus redefining the future of Green Mobility.

Linde Engineering to build syngas plant for BASF in China

Linde Engineering to build syngas plant for BASF in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Linde Engineering (Pullach, Germany) has signed an agreement with BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of a synthesis gas (syngas) plant in Zhanjiang, China, said Chemengonline.

“Linde Engineering’s one-stop solution for BASF combines state-of-the-art technology with a comprehensive EPC execution package. Our long-standing relationship and understanding of our customers’ needs has enabled us to develop a tailor-made package of technology and services which will support their growth in China,” says John van der Velden, senior vice president Global Sales & Technology at Linde Engineering.

Linde Engineering will implement the newly awarded contract in a consortium together with its Chinese partner East China Engineering Science and Technology Co., Ltd (ECEC). The two companies have previously worked together in the design and construction of several Rectisol Acid Gas Removal units in China. For the new BASF project Linde will be acting as consortium leader, including the provision of basic engineering and key equipment. ECEC will be responsible for the detailed design and the construction.

Linde Engineering brings more than 30 years of experience in the partial oxidation (POX) of hydrocarbon feedstocks to serve its customers. It has installed over 300 hydrogen and syngas plants with various process units, including steam-methane reformers, amine wash units and pressure-swing adsorption plants.

We remind, Linde, forecast higher earnings for 2023 and said it plans to invest USD7 B-USD9 B over the next two-to-three years in clean energy projects to benefit from demand from companies seeking to cut emissions.

Fire breaks out at Russian oil refinery

Fire breaks out at Russian oil refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire broke out on Wednesday at an oil refinery in Russia's southern Rostov region and was later extinguished, state media reported, citing the emergencies ministry, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"In Rostov Region, Novoshakhtinsk city ... a message was received at 10:24 a.m. Moscow time about a fire on the territory of an oil products processing plant," the ministry said. The fire broke out over an area of about 100 square metres and was extinguished around an hour later, Interfax news agency reported, adding that the small refinery belonged to a company called Resource LLC.

It cited the emergency service as saying that according to preliminary information, the blaze was caused by a "violation of technological process".

Novoshakhtinsk is about 9 km (6 miles) from the Ukrainian border. Another refinery in Novoshakhtinsk was struck by two drones last June, in what the plant called "terrorist actions from the western border", a reference to Ukraine.

Wednesday's fire was the second in two days to hit a Russian refinery, following an incident on Tuesday at a Lukoil unit in Nizhny Novgorod, east of Moscow.

We remind, 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.

Neste renewable fuels business posts strong revenues

Neste renewable fuels business posts strong revenues

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Finnish refiner Neste posted strong revenue and profit growth in its renewable fuels business even as its Chief Executive flagged the long-term need for new raw materials amid growing European demand for sustainable jet fuel, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The company has bet heavily on renewable fuels but is competing in a crowded space as fossil fuel majors enter the green fuel market, pushing up costs for used cooking oil and discarded animal fat. Neste estimates that the maximum available global capacity for waste and residue materials would be around 40 MMtpy.

Chief Executive Matti Lehmus said 20 to 30 MMt of it is being reused, while new materials and processing technologies were being studied to enable long-term growth. He said the joint venture to produce renewable diesel with U.S.-based Marathon Petroleum Corp in Martinez, California would start production this quarter with an initial output of 750,000 t, half of it being Neste's.

"The facility is targeting to reach full Phase I capacity by the end of the first quarter of 2023," Lehmus said on converting Marathon's refinery to renewable diesel production. The company's share will grow to more than 1 MMt by the end of 2023, he said, adding it will account for nearly 20% of Neste's total renewables capacity.

Shares of the refiner jumped 11% by the afternoon in Helsinki after posting comparable fourth-quarter core operating results that beat market expectations on higher margins and a positive currency impact. The maker of renewable and oil-based fuels reported October-December comparable earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 894 million euros ($960 million)o, beating a mean forecast of 858 million euro in a poll by the company.

Neste's board proposed a dividend of 1.52 euros per share, consisting of an ordinary dividend of 1.02 euros and two instalments of extraordinary payouts of 0.25 euros, up from a year-ago dividend of 0.82 euros. The company expects its first-quarter sales margin to be within a range of USD825-925/t, supported by waste and residue prices at the beginning of the year, which RBC analysts said to be "well above expectations". The consensus estimates was USD739/t.

We remind, Business Finland has given Neste a public financial award of EUR 27.7 million for green hydrogen projects at Neste’s refinery in Porvoo, Finland. For its hydrogen projects, Neste became the first Finnish firm to be given IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) designation by the European Commission in July 2022. This gave Neste the opportunity to seek for the currently available public funding. EU IPCEI projects further the strategic goals of the EU and the shared interests of Europeans by funding innovation initiatives throughout the various EU Member States.

Hyundai L&C wins GR certification for recycled PET packaging sheets

Hyundai L&C wins GR certification for recycled PET packaging sheets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hyundai Living & Culture, Hyundai Department Store Co. Group's building materials unit, said on Wednesday that it has received Good Recycled Product (GR) certification from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of S.Korea for its recycled PET packaging sheets, said Kedglobal.

The GR certification scheme was introduced in 1997 to improve consumer confidence in recycled products. This is the first time recycled PET packaging sheets received GR certification.

"We obtained GR certification for the first time among recycled PET packaging materials because the content of recycled materials reached 90% while meeting food sanitation requirements. We received high marks for the sheets' quality, eco-friendliness, and the quality control system throughout the whole process," said an official of Hyundai L&C.

Hyundai L&C has supplied food containers based on recycled PET sheets to Hyundai Department Store and Hyundai Green Food since 2021. The container has a three-layer structure, and the recycled PET is used in the middle layer where the plastic is not in contact with food.

Hyundai L&C plans to expand the range of its use of recycled PET sheets from food containers to cups and PET bottles.

We remind, Hyundai Chemical, a JV between South Korea’s Lotte Chemical and Hyundai Oilbank, has started to market cargoes from the new polypropylene (PP) plant in Daesan in mid-November. Chinese customers informed CommoPlast of having received offers for on-spec cargoes of homopolymer of propylene (homopolymer PP) from its newly launched plant.