China diesel exports could fall as refiners focus on domestic demand/filling reserves

China diesel exports could fall as refiners focus on domestic demand/filling reserves

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's diesel exports could fall to an eight-month low in March as refiners focus on meeting local demand and increasing domestic stockpiles ahead of planned overhauls at refineries, a Reuters survey showed.

Lower Chinese exports also point to a recovery in domestic fuel demand and prices after the world's second-largest oil consumer lifted COVID-19 measures. The decline in exports could tighten Asia's supplies and provide support for refiners' diesel margins, especially as the region enters peak demand season from the agriculture and construction sectors between April and July.

Exports of the industrial and transportation fuel are estimated at 400,000 to 770,000 tons compared with estimates of about 2 MMt in February, a survey of consultancies JLC, Longzhong and Refinitiv, and two China-based trade sources showed. Diesel exports were last at similar levels in July last year, China customs data showed.

This could bring the combined March exports for all three products - diesel, gasoline and jet fuel - to between 1.5 MMt and 1.94 MMt, at least 50% lower than February's estimate of 3.9 MMt to 4.15 MMt, the survey showed. The need to secure sufficient domestic supply during the peak maintenance season for Chinese refineries is a major reason for lower diesel exports, Vortexa analyst Emma Li said.

Between 600,000 bpd and 800,000 bpd of crude processing capacity will be shut between April and June, curbing refined products output, Reuters calculations and consultancies' data showed.

Another factor is that Chinese exporters' profits have fallen, sapped by a more than 30% drop in Asian diesel cracks since mid-January. Domestic netbacks are more favorable as local retail prices have fallen less than international prices, a Singapore-based trader said.

Chinese refiners are also less inclined to use up their export quotas quickly as Beijing is expected to curb exports in 2023 versus 2022, Vortexa's Li added.

We remind, BASF has broken ground on a new production complex at its Verbund site in Zhanjiang, China, that includes plants for glacial acrylic acid (GAA), butyl acrylate (BA) and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA). Planned to come on stream by 2025, the complex will have an annual production capacity of approximately 400,000 metric tons of BA and 100,000 metric tons of 2-EHA.

Fire at Pemex Deer Park, Texas facility extinguished

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire broke out before noon on 14 March in one of the operating units at the Pemex Deer Park refinery, causing dark smoke that was visible in the community, said Reuters.

The fire was extinguished about an hour later by the site’s emergency response team, a spokesperson for Pemex Deer Park said, and members of the team are currently assessing damages at the facility and the cause of the fire.

“All workers onsite have been safely accounted for and we have made all proper notifications,” the company said. “Air quality monitoring activities indicated no recorded impacts."

This is the second fire at the plant in the past three weeks, with the previous fire reported on 24 February.

The refinery has 340,000 bbl/day crude capacity, processing crudes from Mexico, Canada, the US, Africa and South America.

We remind, three separate fires at Petroleos Mexicanos facilities on Thursday left at least eight people injured and several missing, putting the Mexican state oil company’s safety record under scrutiny ahead of its earnings call on Monday. Pemex said at least five people were missing and three were hospitalized after a fire broke out at a storage facility in Ixhuatlan, Veracruz, on Thursday. A few hours later, it reported that another blaze at the combined Maya unit of its 285,000-barrel-a-day Minatitlan refinery in Veracruz injured five workers. The same day, Pemex issued a community alert noting that there was a fire at one of its units in the Deer Park refinery in Texas.

Crimea bridge restrictions strands liquefied petroleum gas cargoes

Crimea bridge restrictions strands liquefied petroleum gas cargoes

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Several tankers loaded with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) have been unable to cross under Russia's Crimea bridge due to security restrictions, traders said on Friday, prompting suppliers to use other routes out of Russia, said Reuters.

The 12-mile (19 km) road and rail bridge, which was personally opened by President Vladimir Putin in 2018, was bombed in October in an attack Russia said was carried out by Ukraine. The bridge spans the Kerch Strait linking the Black Sea with the smaller Azov Sea.

Kyiv never claimed responsibility for the bombing of the bridge on the morning of Oct. 8, a day after Putin's 70th birthday. Russia's Federal Security Service said the attack was organized by Ukrainian military intelligence.

According to Refinitiv Eikon ship tracking data, tankers were loaded with LPG in the Azov Sea port of Temryuk at the end of December, but they have been unable to proceed further south into the Black Sea.

The data showed that gas carriers Summer loaded with 2,900 tons of LPG, Gas Houston (3,400 tons) and Premier (2,400 tons) are still located in the Azov Sea, waiting for the passage into the Black Sea though the Kerch Strait.

"Looks like LPG was added to the list of the dangerous cargos, prohibited from the passage under (Crimea) bridge," an industry source said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.

LPG, which is mainly used as fuel for cars, heating and to produce other petrochemicals, has been exempt from sweeping Western sanctions imposed against Russia over Ukraine. The port of Temryuk, Russia's Federal Security Service, the Federal Service for Supervision of Transport, as well as cargo owners Gazprom and Lukoil, did not respond to Reuters' requests for comments.

It usually takes up to a week for tankers to deliver LPG cargoes from Temryuk to the Romanian ports of Midia and Mangalia, or to the Bulgarian port of Burgas. LPG exporters from Russia and Kazakhstan have already diverted their cargoes from Temryuk.

Traders said that Tengizchevroil company is delivering LPG cargoes to the Georgian port of Batumi instead of Temryuk, while Russian suppliers increasingly use the port of Taman, located south to the Crimea bridge with unhindered passage to the Black Sea.

We remind, Russia is ramping up its diesel supplies to Saudi Arabia using ship-to-ship (STS) loadings in addition to direct supplies, market sources said and Refinitiv data showed. Exporters of Russian diesel are trying STS to save on new longer and therefore costly routes after a full EU embargo on Russian oil products was imposed on Feb. 5. They are switching Russian diesel exports to Africa and Asia instead of adjacent European countries.

Emerson wins contract to automate USD8.5 bn Golden Triangle Polymers facility

Emerson wins contract to automate USD8.5 bn Golden Triangle Polymers facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Emerson will provide automation technologies, software and analytics from its Plantweb digital ecosystem for the Golden Triangle Polymers Project, a world-scale integrated polymers facility on the Texas Gulf Coast, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The total installed cost of the project is expected to be USD8.5 B and is a JV between Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP and an indirect subsidiary of QatarEnergy. Operations are expected to begin in 2026. Designed using the latest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction technology, the project aims to have approximately 25% lower GHG emissions than similar facilities in the United States and Europe.

“With its digital automation technologies, industrial software portfolio, and deep energy experience, we are relying on Emerson to help ensure a project of this magnitude operates safely and reliably, optimizes energy use and mitigates emissions,” said David Godard, project director for the Golden Triangle Polymers Project.

The Golden Triangle Polymers Project, located in Orange, Texas, includes a 2.08-MMtpy ethane cracker, as well as two 1-MMtpy high-density polyethylene units. Polyethylene is used to produce durable goods and essential packaging to protect food and keep medical supplies sterile.

“The Golden Triangle Polymers Project and the recently announced Ras Laffan Petrochemical complex in Qatar are among the world’s largest ethane crackers, both leveraging Emerson’s digital automation technologies, software and expertise to promote safer, smarter and more sustainable operations,” said Ron Martin, Emerson’s president, Americas. “We are proud to support Chevron Phillips Chemical’s and QatarEnergy’s track record of building world-class, optimized facilities."

Emerson will deliver integrated process control and safety systems that leverage advanced predictive technologies to reduce operational complexity and minimize project risk through its DeltaV distributed control and safety instrumented systems, and Rosemount gas analyzer and chromatograph solutions. The project also leverages Emerson's Mimic and AspenTech HYSYS simulation software for operator training, energy management, safety analysis and operational optimization. Emerson’s AgileOps operations management software and alarm management services will help staff monitor and maintain safety, alarms, and the control system to drive improved process and operational integrity.

The Golden Triangle Polymers Project is located about 113 miles east of Houston in the “Golden Triangle” region of Texas that encompasses the city of Orange.

We remind, LANXESS has selected Emerson, a global software and technology leader, as a Global Alliance Partner for automation technology, enhancing its existing long-standing relationship. By upgrading its control and safety systems, and digitally transforming its production facilities, LANXESS aims to optimize operational performance and support sustainability targets. The companies have signed an initial five-year global agreement. Emerson will help drive the adoption of advanced automation technologies and enable more efficient project implementation that will allow LANXESS to achieve shorter time-to-market for new products.

Apollo Global to take Univar private in USD8.1 bln deal

Apollo Global to take Univar private in USD8.1 bln deal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Univar Solutions Inc. and Apollo announced that funds managed by affiliates of Apollo have entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire the Company in an all-cash transaction that values the Company at an enterprise value of approximately USD8.1 bn, said the company.

The transaction includes a minority investment from a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority ("ADIA").

The agreement provides that Univar Solutions shareholders will receive $36.15 per share in cash, which represents a 20.6% premium to the Company's undisturbed closing stock price on November 22, 2022. The transaction consideration also represents a premium of 33.6% to the volume-weighted average price of Univar Solutions for the 30 trading days ending on November 22, 2022.

"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Apollo, which will provide immediate and certain cash value for Univar Solutions shareholders," said Chris Pappas, chairman of the Univar Solutions Board of Directors (the "Board"). "The Board's decision follows a comprehensive review of value creation opportunities for Univar Solutions. We are confident this transaction is the right path forward and achieves our goal of maximizing value for Univar Solutions shareholders."

David Jukes, president and chief executive officer of Univar Solutions, said, "Over the last three years, we have transformed the Company, putting the customer at the center of all we do, which has solidified our position as a leading value-added service and solution provider. This transaction reflects the success of our strategy and delivers substantial value to our shareholders. It is a testament to the tireless efforts of my colleagues, whose commitment to our purpose of helping keep our communities healthy, fed, clean, and safe has enabled our success. In Apollo, we are pleased to gain a partner to support continued investment in our portfolio and I look forward to working closely with their team as we grow Univar Solutions and serve our key suppliers and customers globally."

Apollo Private Equity Partner Sam Feinstein said, "Univar is a global leader in specialty chemicals and ingredients distribution, fueling a vast array of industries with innovative, safe and sustainable solutions. In recent years, David and his team have made tremendous progress enhancing the customer experience, and we believe Univar can accelerate its long-term strategy as an Apollo Fund portfolio company. We look forward to leveraging our extensive experience in the sector to support management in this exciting next phase."

We remind, Univar Solutions BV, a subsidiary of Univar Solutions Inc, a leading global solutions provider to users of speciality ingredients and chemicals, announced that the company has been appointed as distributor for Marott Graphic Services (MGS Chemistry Group) unique rust protection additives for inks, coatings, rust prevention oils, and lubricants and metalworking fluids in Europe. The new agreement between the two companies includes additives for oils, lubricants, and coatings in the TINSCO range of rust inhibitors.