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.

U.S. targets Iranian petrochemicals, petroleum in fresh sanctions

U.S. targets Iranian petrochemicals, petroleum in fresh sanctions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- On Thursday, the U.S. imposed sanctions on companies it accused of playing a critical role in the production, sale and shipment of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum to buyers in Asia, as Washington increases pressure on Tehran, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The U.S. Treasury Department in a statement said it imposed sanctions on six Iran-based petrochemical manufacturers or their subsidiaries and three firms in Malaysia and Singapore over the production, sale and shipment of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum.

The latest U.S. move against Iranian oil smuggling comes as efforts to revive Iran's 2015 nuclear deal have stalled and ties between the Islamic Republic and the West are increasingly strained as Iranians keep up anti-government protests.

"Iran is increasingly turning to buyers in East Asia to sell its petrochemical and petroleum products, in violation of U.S. sanctions," Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in the statement.

"The United States remains focused on targeting Tehran’s sources of illicit revenue, and will continue to enforce its sanctions against those who wittingly facilitate this trade," Nelson said. Iran's mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Thursday's move targeted firms the Treasury accused of being involved in facilitating the sale and shipment of petroleum and petrochemicals on behalf of Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd., which was hit with sanctions by Washington in 2020.

Among the Iranian companies targeted were petrochemical producer Amir Kabir Petrochemical Co. (AKPC), its subsidiary Simorgh Petrochemical Co. and four subsidiaries of previously sanctioned Marun Petrochemical Co. Treasury said Triliance has purchased millions of dollars worth of low-density polyethylene produced by AKPC for shipment to buyers in China.

Treasury accused Singapore-based Asia Fuel PTE. Ltd., which was also targeted, of facilitating the shipment of petroleum products worth millions of dollars to customers in East Asia. Sense Shipping and Trading SDN. BHD. in Malaysia and Singapore-based Unicious Energy PTE. Ltd. were also hit with sanctions.

The action freezes any U.S. assets of those hit with sanctions and generally bars Americans from dealing with them. Those that engage in certain transactions with the companies also risk being hit with sanctions.

We remind, 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. 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.

Ghana seeks India help to build refining hub

Ghana seeks India help to build refining hub

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ghana, which is struggling with its worst economic crisis in a generation, is seeking Indian investment in its oil and gas sector, William Owuraku Aidoo, its deputy minister of energy, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Ghana has asked India to consider exploration of three blocks in the western basin and to build refineries as the African nation aims to construct a petroleum hub, Aidoo said. "There are some opportunities in Ghana specially in the oil and gas front. We have some oil blocks available and we came here hoping to attract Indian investments," Aidoo told Reuters after a meeting with Indian oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri at India Energy Week.

He said Ghana will award exploration licenses through direct negotiations if Indian companies are interested. Ghana wants India to consider three blocks in the western basin, he said. Apart from offering exploration opportunities, Ghana is also seeking Indian support to build refineries of about 300,000 barrels per day.

"We have space for three of them ... we want to make a petroleum hub," Aidoo said. Separately, he said Ghana's oil production this year could average 120,000-150,000 bpd.

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.