Norway awards offshore licenses to explore for CO2 storage

Norway awards offshore licenses to explore for CO2 storage

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Norway said it has awarded two licenses to explore for carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites in the North Sea - one to Aker BP and a partner, and another to Germany's Wintershall Dea and its partner, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The North Sea has seen a rush to develop offshore CO2 storage sites over the past few years, supported by rising emission costs in Europe and as businesses seek to meet climate goals. It is the second time that Wintershall Dea has been awarded a CO2 storage license in Norway, while it is the first license for Norway's second-largest listed oil and gas firm Aker BP.

"We expect CCS to play a key role in the transition to a low-carbon energy future, and the Norwegian continental shelf holds significant potential for carbon storage," Aker BP CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik said in a statement. Aker BP, which has a 60% stake in the license called Poseidon, said the site could store more than 5 million tons of CO2 per year under the seabed.

The plan is to inject CO2 captured from multiple industrial sites in northwest Europe, including from Austrian plastics group Borealis. Borealis is majority owned by Austria's OMV, which will have a 40% stake in the license.

Wintershall Dea has partnered with Altera Infrastructure Group through its subsidiary Stella Maris CCS AS to explore for another CO2 storage site in the North Sea.

We remind, French strike action has led to record amounts of crude and condensate sitting idly offshore while the country's crude stocks have plummeted. Around 17 cargoes carrying crude oil, oil products or chemical products have been floating in French waters for the past week, according to Kpler crude analyst Johannes Rauball.

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Japan carbon pricing scheme being launched in April

Japan carbon pricing scheme being launched in April

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan, the world's fifth-biggest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter, will begin a carbon pricing scheme in stages from April to encourage companies to curb emissions and achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The country is the latest among Asian nations to formulate plans to create a carbon pricing mechanism and emissions trading system. The plan is aimed at speeding up decarbonization to tackle climate change but Japan lags behind other major economies that have already implemented similar policies.

Still, Japan believes the scheme, which combines emissions trading and a carbon levy, will help to turn the world's third-largest economy greener while maintaining the global competitiveness of its industries, including heavy emitters like steelmakers.

As the private sector cannot make a stand-alone green investment commitment due to the high costs and risk, Europe and the United States have developed state support tools, said Shigeki Ohnuki, director of the environmental policy division at the ministry of economy, trade and industry (METI).

Japan also needs to make a commitment quickly to support green investment to incentivize companies to change their behavior, he said. The scheme, based on METI proposals and approved by the cabinet this year, consists of emissions trading and a carbon levy.

We remind, Japan's Renewable Energy Institute pointed to an estimated carbon price level of about one-tenth of the level of USD130 per ton that the International Energy Agency (IEA) says is required of developed countries, calling Japan's plan "too passive".

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Primoris Services Corporation awarded contract to supply fractionator reboiler

Primoris Services Corporation awarded contract to supply fractionator reboiler

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Primoris Services Corporation (Primoris) announced that its OnQuest business, an equipment designer and manufacturer specializing in process fired heaters within its Energy segment, has been selected to supply a fractionator reboiler for Diamond Green Diesel’s (DGD) sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) project at its Port Arthur, Texas plant adjacent to Valero’s refinery, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

DGD is a joint venture between Valero and Darling Ingredients Inc. The SAF project will take place at DGD’s new renewable diesel plant which came online ahead of schedule late last year.

“We’re thrilled to apply our decades of experience designing and supplying specialty furnaces to this landmark renewable fuel project,” said Jeremy Kinch, president of Primoris’ Energy division. “As DGD embarks on this important step to become a leader in SAF, we’re excited to serve as a collaborative partner focused on quality and safe execution. We’re extremely proud to work with our clients on innovative projects that contribute to a lower carbon future."

Upon project completion, the DGD Port Arthur plant will have the capability to upgrade approximately half of its current 470-million-gallon annual production capacity to SAF. Primoris’ scope of work encompasses the engineering, design, procurement, documentation, fabrication, inspection, testing, and preparation for the shipment of a SAF fractionator reboiler heater. The project is anticipated to be operational in 2025.

We remind, Norwegian fertilizer maker Yara and Canadian pipeline company Enbridge plan to invest up to USD2.9 B to build a low-carbon blue ammonia production plant in Texas. Blue ammonia, rather than green ammonia derived from renewable energy, refers to ammonia produced from natural gas, with the carbon dioxide (CO2) byproduct captured and stored. The plant, which would be Yara's biggest, would be built at an Enbridge oil storage and export facility near Corpus Christi, with production to start around 2027-28.

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Synthomer shares tank after profit slump in 2022, warns of subdued demand

Synthomer shares tank after profit slump in 2022, warns of subdued demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shares of Synthomer Plc plunged about 14% on Tuesday after the British polymer maker reported a slump in 2022 core profit and said demand remained subdued thus far into the year, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The coatings and constructions solutions maker halved its total annual core profit, including recent disposals, to USD325.9 MM but in line with its forecast in January.

The year-to-date trading remained challenging, the company said, adding that it does not see any improvement this year to current high levels of destocking and low production of nitrile butadiene rubber used to make gloves.

Synthomer said it expects to emerge from the subdued level of demand in the second half of this year, although visibility is currently limited.

Shares plunged as much as 19% to an over-five-month low of 100p in morning trading.

Synthomer had in December agreed to divest its laminates, films and coated fabrics businesses for USD267 MM to Surteco North America.

We remind, Synthomer has agreed to sell its Laminates, Films and Coated Fabrics businesses to Surteco North America for a total enterprise value of about USD255m. The divestment is in line with Synthomer’s plans to increase the weighting of specialty chemicals versus base chemicals in its portfolio and create a more balanced geographic exposure, it said. The Laminates, Films and Coated Fabrics businesses, with plants in North America and Thailand, were part of Synthomer’s acquisition of OMNOVA Solutions in 2020.

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Yara and Enbridge plan USD2.9 bn ammonia plant in Texas

Yara and Enbridge plan USD2.9 bn ammonia plant in Texas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Norwegian fertilizer maker Yara and Canadian pipeline company Enbridge plan to invest up to USD2.9 bn to build a low-carbon blue ammonia production plant in Texas, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Blue ammonia, rather than green ammonia derived from renewable energy, refers to ammonia produced from natural gas, with the carbon dioxide (CO2) byproduct captured and stored. The plant, which would be Yara's biggest, would be built at an Enbridge oil storage and export facility near Corpus Christi, with production to start around 2027-28.

The companies have not yet made final investment decisions. Yara is the latest European company to announce a major investment in the United States. More than 200 low-carbon ammonia facilities are being planned globally and the U.S. Gulf Coast is becoming a major hub due to existing infrastructure, cheap natural gas and high government subsidies, said Alexander Derricott, senior analyst at consultancy CRU.

The number of projects that actually proceed depends largely on how much of a premium buyers of low-emission ammonia are willing to pay for the costlier production, Derricott said. While the project was planned long before last year's U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the increase in carbon storage tax credits in that law made it more attractive, Yara said.

"We've focused on the United States for two reasons and the first is low energy prices, naturally, and the other is that carbon capture is accessible at an attractive cost," Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, president of the Yara Clean Ammonia subsidiary, told Reuters.

Yara intends to buy all of the plant's output for feedstock in its global production system, including Europe, as well as for new clean ammonia markets such as shipping fuel. The plant will supply 1.2 million to 1.4 million tons of low-carbon ammonia per year.

We remind, Yara underline its commitment to sustainability. The eligible green projects are expected to create substantial environmental benefits by decarbonizing the food chain, including fertilizer production and application, and limiting the need to expand farmland. CICERO has provided the second party opinion and rated the framework medium-green. The company does not have specific debt ratio targets, but aim at having a medium investment grade credit rating.

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