Tunisia imported record number of Russian diesel/gasoil in February

Tunisia imported record number of Russian diesel/gasoil in February

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tunisia imported record volumes of Russian gasoil and diesel last month as an EU embargo forced Moscow to find new customers for its oil products, according to traders and tracking data, said Hydrocarbonprocesing.

Tunisia imported nearly 77,000 bpd of Russian gasoil and diesel in February, compared with 20,000 bpd in January and 25,000 bpd in December last year, data from analytics firm Kpler showed. Most of the February volumes were delivered by Russia's Lukoil and Dubai-based trader Coral Energy, the Kpler data showed. In January, Coral delivered all of Tunisia's Russian imports, the data showed.

Russia used to be the main diesel supplier for Europe, accounting for roughly 60% of the continent's needs. A full EU embargo on Russian oil products, which went into effect on Feb. 5, disrupted this trade massively, forcing Moscow to find new clients for its distillates and other oil products.

According to Refinitiv tracking data, Russian and Baltic diesel flows to Europe fell to a record low of 1.77 MMt in February. Almost half of these volumes were heading to Turkey while the rest are mostly bound to locations where ship-to-ship transfers take place.

Russia has also been diverting low-sulfur diesel volumes from its Baltic ports to Morocco, Algeria, Ghana, and Brazil.

At the same time, Europe countries have been replacing Russian diesel supplies with increased imports from India, Saudi Arabia, China, Kuwait, Malaysia, among other locations.

We remind, Russia's revenues from oil and gas exports dropped by nearly 40% in January as price caps and Western sanctions squeezed the proceeds from Moscow's most lucrative export. Russia's oil and gas export revenues were USD18.5 billion in January, 38% lower than the USD30 billion Moscow received in January 2022, a month before its invasion of Ukraine, according to IEA numbers shared with Reuters. IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said Western measures targeting Russian energy exports had achieved their aims of stabilizing oil markets and reducing Moscow's revenues from oil and gas exports.


Mitsubishi Corporation invests in Swedish Biofuels

Mitsubishi Corporation invests in Swedish Biofuels

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Swedish Biofuels AB announced an investment by Mitsubishi Corporation to jointly accelerate commercial deployment of clean renewable fuels using Swedish Biofuels advanced alcohol to jet (ATJ) technology, said the company.

The technology produces fully formulated sustainable aviation fuel (FFSAF) from a variety of biogenic feedstocks. Swedish Biofuels FFSAF is different from other SAFs, as it is not a blend component but ready-to-use, real jet fuel. The FFSAF has been tested successfully by engine manufacturers under US DARPA, US FAA and Swedish FMV programmes.

Swedish Biofuels is now leading the way with the world's first advanced ATJ technology, targeting the complete replacement of fossil jet fuel by FFSAF.

Swedish Biofuels MD, Dr Angelica Hull, stated that the company is honoured by Mitsubishi Corporation's investment decision, which provides an exceptional strategic partnership for Swedish Biofuels, including access to feedstock, sales support, marketing and commercial operations. With this partnership, the company expects to accelerate the deployment of its advanced ATJ technology in its home market and beyond.

We remind, Mitsubishi Chemical Group (the MCG Group) announces that it will start verification testing of a scheme for collecting acrylic resins from end-of-life vehicles, with the goal of commercializing molecular recycling operations for acrylic resin in collaboration with Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. and ABT Corporation1.


Synthos to stop ESBR production at Czech Republic site

Synthos to stop ESBR production at Czech Republic site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Synthos has announced that it will cease production of emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (E-SBR) at its Kralupy plant in the Czech Republic in the second quarter of 2023, said the company.

The company said it had made the decision due to unpredictable utility costs, which have led to an unsustainable market environment for E-SBR for European producers; a direct result of the geopolitical situation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to a company press release on 2 March.

E-SBR production has been reduced since September 2022 for commercial reasons. Synthos has a nameplate capacity of 110,000 tonnes of E-SBR at Kralupy.

The company said it has taken the decision to indefinitely cease production of E-SBR at Kralupy, which will reduce its annual E-SBR capacity from 430,000 tonnes to 320,000 tonnes. It said however that despite the reduction it would remain the largest producer of E-SBR in Europe.

Synthos will continue to produce solution styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR), butadiene rubber (BR), E-SBR, acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) and high styrene rubber (HSR) at manufacturing sites in Poland and Germany and BR in Kralupy, according to the press release.

We remind, Synthos has announced that it is reducing its emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESBR) production by 30%, effective immediately. In a statement 8 Sept, the synthetic rubber manufacturer said it could no longer operate its ESBR production at full capacity due to “unsustainable and unpredictable utility costs”. The costs, it said, have increased due to the current developments in connection with the supply of natural gas from Russia to Europe.


Solvay to sell its stake in RusVinyl

Solvay to sell its stake in RusVinyl

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay has agreed on the final terms of sale of its 50% stake in the RusVinyl joint venture with SIBUR, said the Belgian specialty firm.

The transaction is expected to take place towards the end of the first quarter and will represent a capital loss of around EUR175m to Solvay on completion of the sale.

The write down mainly reflects the crystallisation of historic currency translation balances. The agreement was based on a purchase price for Solvay’s 50% stake of around EUR430m.

With this sale, Solvay will have fully left the global polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market, in line with its portfolio transformation strategy.

We remind, Solvay is planning to commission a new biomass boiler for its Aroma Performance plant in Saint-Fons, France. The boiler will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 75,000 tonnes/year compared to 2018 levels, which will become operational by the end of 2025, with the aim of making the site carbon neutral by 2026.


Indorama Ventures outlines plan for disciplined, sustainable growth at Capital Markets Day

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global sustainable chemical producer, outlined its business strategy at its 2023 Capital Markets Day in Bangkok, including enhancing competitiveness and applying a disciplined and sustainable approach to new opportunities as demand for the company’s products continues to grow globally, said the company.

Since 2019 - a three-year period that included unprecedented pandemic-related disruptions - Indorama Ventures’ revenue grew 65% to a record USD18.7 billion in FY2022, while EBITDA rose 160% to $2.4 billion. The company forecast continued high demand for its diversified, global portfolio of products - more than 70% of which are used in daily consumer necessities that are resistant to economic downturns, including in packaging, clothes, tires, baby diapers, and chemicals used in shampoos.

Mr. Aloke Lohia, Indorama Ventures Group CEO, said “The company is developing and empowering the next generation of leaders with a ‘growth mindset’ as a cornerstone of a program to enhance competitiveness and create value through disciplined and sustainable growth."

“We are, and always will be a growth company, and we are embedding this entrepreneurial mindset into the next generation of leaders who can build agile, fast, precise and innovative businesses that can deliver value in an increasingly volatile world,” Mr Lohia said.

To remain competitive, the company is constantly reviewing its diverse, global portfolio of integrated businesses to maximize use of employed capital and maintain management’s historical focus on managing costs. It is also employing new digital toolsets, such as the global rollout of SAP S/4HANA to optimize productivity and enable more agile decision-making to realize full business potential.

Mr DK Agarwal, Deputy Group CEO, said: “Indorama Ventures has undisputed leadership positions in many of our end markets, with enormous scope to expand organically and inorganically. These transformational initiatives are empowering our managers to quickly capture opportunities created by the volatile environment to grow our businesses."

Indorama Ventures has a disciplined strategy to capitalize on its integrated platform of growth businesses through organic growth and new acquisitions that deliver on strict performance criteria. These metrics include an enhanced core EBITDA margin, a 15% return on employed capital, contribution to earnings quality, and allowing the company to maintain balance sheet discipline. Since 2020, the company has expanded in substantial new growth areas, including by developing its newest Integrated Oxides and Derivatives (IOD) segment through acquisitions such as Oxiteno in 2021 and Huntsman assets in 2020.

We remind, Indorama Ventures, which recently launched its first recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) plant in the Philippines in a joint venture (JV) with Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines (CCBPI), expects persistent challenges in availing themselves of sufficient feedstock.