Kronos posts Q4 loss as revenue plummets

Kronos posts Q4 loss as revenue plummets

Kronos Worldwide reported on Wednesday a year-on-year decline in Q4 net income as revenue fell faster than costs, said the company.

The following shows the company's Q4 financial performance. Figures are in millions of dollars. The company noted higher production costs, including for raw materials and energy, and lower sales volumes, and higher selling prices for titanium dioxide (TiO2).

The following table shows the company's sales volumes and production volumes. Figures are in thousands of tonnes.

The company experienced higher production and other costs in its European facilities that it was unable to absorb in the quarter after lowering production because of reduced demand from its European and export markets.

TiO2 sales volumes were down by 40% compared with the same quarter a year ago, impacted by weaker consumer demand that began to emerge late in Q3. Utilisation rates in the quarter were 89%. The company also cited headwinds from currency exchange rates.

For Kronos, the demand weakness it saw at the end of Q3 and throughout Q4 was compounded by rapidly rising costs, especially in Europe, over the second half of the year. The company said it began to see pockets of improving demand in Europe and certain export markets, bolstered by restocking after experiencing significant destocking in Q4.

The company sees weak demand in North America so far in 2023, but said it expects to see demand gradually return during the first half of the year, especially in Europe and export markets.

We remind, Kronos Worldwide Inc announced that its board of directors has declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.19/share on its common stock, payable on 16 Mar 2023 to stockholders of record at the close of business on 7 Mar 2023. Kronos Worldwide Inc is a major international producer of titanium dioxide products.

BP ends 70 years of publishing Statistical Review of World Energy

BP ends 70 years of publishing Statistical Review of World Energy

BP has decided to end the publication of its statistical review of world energy after 70 years, said the company.

The task has now fallen to the industry body the Energy Institute, which kicks off IE Week in London today – and is the same organisation that BP UK country head Louise Kingham used to head up. BP’s statistical energy review was first published in 1952, providing key data on global oil, gas and coal consumption.

From this year onwards it will continue as The Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy. It was revealed last year that BP was considering ending the review because it didn’t fit in the firm’s strategic direction of boosting renewable energy investment. “Put it simply, it (Statistical Review) is bad PR,” one company source told Reuters in November.

The oil giant has decided to cut ties, officially, in order to free up more time of chief economist Spencer Dale and his team to serve that purpose of shifting towards renewables. That comes despite BP last month rolling back of a pledge to slash oil and gas output by 40% by 2030.

Mr Dale said: “BP is committed to supporting the continuation of this vital source of information, which is free for users to access. The Energy Institute, as the leading, independent, professional body for energy, is the perfect new custodian.

“BP will work closely with the Energy Institute to handover our role in producing the Statistical Review and will continue to support and champion its role in the future."

We remind, BP announced on 28 February that the company was set to launch a renewable hydrogen cluster in the Valencia region, HyVal, at its Castellon refinery where biofuel production would increase. BP is set to develop 2GW of electrolyser capacity at Castellon, which is forecast to be completed by 2030. Furthermore, BP said in a press release that biofuel production at the Castellon refinery would triple to 650,000 tonnes/year by the end of the decade with the hydrogen produced via electrolysis replacing its unabated hydrogen production currently located at the site.

HIF selects electrolyzers for Texas efuels project

HIF selects electrolyzers for Texas efuels project

HIF Global has selected Siemens Energy to supply electrolyzers for its planned efuels project in Matagorda County, Texas, said the company.

The agreement with Siemens will allow for electrolyzer deliveries which could support the start of the project's construction as early as the first part of 2024, said Cesar Norton, CEO of HIF Global. HIF and Siemens are engaged in front end engineering and design for 1.8 GW of “Silyzer 300” polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzers that will use renewable energy to separate hydrogen from water, resulting in about 300,000 tonnes/year of hydrogen, HIF said.

The green hydrogen will be utilised together with recycled carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce carbon-neutral efuels, which are chemically equivalent to fuels used today, the company said. It indicated a 2027 startup timeline for the Matagorda project.

Siemens added that in order to ramp up the hydrogen and power-to-X industry, new projects were needed, including large-scale ones, along with committed investors and off-takers.

Agreements such as the one with HIF gave Siemens “planning certainty, creating the basis for ramping up the technology and the industry as a whole,” said Stefano Innocenzi, senior vice president, Sustainable Energy Systems, at Siemens Energy.

We remind, HIF Global and Baker Hughes announced an agreement to cooperate on the development of technology to capture carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere (CO2 Direct Air Capture” or DAC). More specifically, HIF Global and Baker Hughes intend to test Baker Hughes’ Mosaic DAC technology pilot units to accelerate DAC deployment at commercial scale.

Eni Sustainable Mobility diesel from 100% renewable raw materials powers Spinelli Group

Eni Sustainable Mobility diesel from 100% renewable raw materials powers Spinelli Group

Eni has signed a two-year contract with logistics firm the Spinelli Group to provide diesel produced by 100% renewable raw materials to help power its fleet, said the company.

The hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) is available at 57 service stations, will be available at 150 sales points in Italy by the end of the month and will be used by 150 vehicles in the Spinelli Group fleet. Eni Sustainable Mobility has been operating since January, combining biomethane and sale of mobility-related products across more than 5,000 service stations in Italy and abroad.

Supply of HVO will be handled through a fuel card system designed by the Eni subsidiary for small, medium, and large hauliers depending on their needs. HVO is a biofuel made from waste raw materials such as vegetable residue and oils produced from crops that are not in competition with food.

Eni is supplied through a network of agri-hubs currently being developed in several African countries, with raw materials processed at bio-refineries in Venice and Gela, Italy where it is processed using proprietary technology to make biofuel.

The Spinelli Group operates across the entire supply chain for the container sector from containers arriving in ports to delivery of the final customer, and this will help the firm to decarbonise and design ESG policies.

We remind, Eni S.p.A. reported its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results, revealing its net profit annually tumbled 84% to EUR550 million, or diluted earnings per share of EUR0.97. The company's adjusted operating profit remained mostly unchanged in the same period at EUR3.8 billion. In 2022, both Eni's net and operating profit more than doubled versus a year earlier to reach record EUR13.81 billion and EUR20.39 billion, respectively.

North American chemical railcar traffic fell 2.1%

North American chemical railcar traffic fell 2.1%

North American chemical railcar traffic fell 2.1% year on year to 47,515 loadings for the week ended 4 March, with traffic falling in both the US and Canada, according to the latest freight rail data by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

The decline came after in the week before, ended 25 February, chemical rail traffic registered a first increase after 22 straight year on year declines.

For the first nine weeks of 2023 ended 4 March, North American chemical rail traffic was down 3.8% year on year to 404,690, with US traffic down 7.3%, to 287,591 loadings.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

We remind, North American chemical railcar traffic rose 0.9% year on year to 45,887 loading for the week ended 25 February – marking the first increase after 22 straight declines. Loadings rose in Canada and Mexico but continued to fall in the US. For the first eight weeks of 2023 ended 25 February, North American chemical rail traffic was down 4.0% year on year to 357,193, with US traffic down 8.0%, to 253,310 loadings.