Olin announced 1Q 2023

Olin announced 1Q 2023

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Olin Corporation announced financial results for 1Q ended 31 Mar 2023, said the company.

1Q 2023 reported net income was USD156.3 M, or USD1.16/diluted share, which compares to 1Q 2022 reported net income of USD393.0 M, or USD2.48/diluted share.

1Q 2023 adjusted EBITDA of USD434.1 M excludes depreciation and amortization expense of USD137.1 M and restructuring charges of USD60.9 M. 1Q 2022 adjusted EBITDA was USD710.9 M. Sales in 1Q 2023 were USD1844.3 M compared to USD2461.4 M in 1Q 2022.

Other corporate and unallocated costs in 1Q 2023 increased USD4.0 M compared to 1Q 2022 primarily due to mark-to-market adjustments on stock-based compensation. The cash balance on 31 Mar 2023, was USD176.0 M and we ended 1Q 2023 with net debt of approximately USD2.6 bn and a net debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio of 1.2 times.

During 1Q 2023, net debt increased by USD211.5 M, primarily due to the funding of inventory built in advance of a planned maintenance turnaround and typical seasonal working capital. The increase in working capital was USD244.4 M in 1Q 2023. On 31 Mar 2023, Olin had approximately USD1.3 bn of available liquidity.

During 1Q 2023, approximately 3.6 M shares of common stock were repurchased at a cost of USD206.1 M. On 31 Mar 2023, Olin had approximately USD1.5 bn available under its current share repurchase authorization.

We remind, Olin Corporation has announced its decision to stop the operations of its cumene facility in Terneuzen, Netherlands and solid epoxy resin production facilities in Gumi, South Korea, and Guaruja, Brazil. In 1Q 2023, the company results are forecasted to include around USD57 M of restructuring charges associated with these plans of which around $15 M represent non-cash asset impairment charges.


Oil group MOL disputes hikes to pipeline fees through Ukraine, Croatia

Oil group MOL disputes hikes to pipeline fees through Ukraine, Croatia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hungarian oil group MOL expects to be able to choose between Russian or non-Russian crude for its refineries by 2026, its Chairman and Chief Executive Zsolt Hernadi told Reuters, by implementing substantial investments, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

MOL owns refineries in landlocked Hungary and Slovakia, both of which are fed by the Druzhba pipeline's southern spur. Import shipments via Druzhba were disrupted last November when a Russian rocket hit a power station in Ukraine which provided electricity for a pumping station, highlighting supply risks.

Hernadi said that MOL planned to partly finance the USD500 MM-USD700 MM in technological investments needed to diversify its Danube and Slovnaft refineries away from Urals oil from European Union funds.

"We would like to be able to freely decide at the end of 2025 about when, how much, and of which kind of oil we want to ship into which refinery ... by end-2025, early 2026," Hernadi said during an interview at MOL's new headquarters overlooking the Danube River in Budapest.

He said that last year only about 5% of Slovnaft's oil intake was non-Russian but that this will rise to about 30-35% or 2 million tons by the end of 2023. Hernadi said MOL was fighting to prevent a hike in oil transit fees in Ukraine and in Croatia.

Janaf, Croatia's oil pipeline operator, wants to raise transit fees via the Adriatic pipeline, which is MOL's alternative supply route, to four times the benchmark fee charged on the Baku Tbilisi Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline, Hernadi said. The BTC pipeline transports crude oil from offshore oil fields in the Caspian Sea to the Turkish coast.

Hernadi said that MOL was making short-term extensions to its Janaf contract and trying to negotiate a long-term one. MOL had a contract with Janaf for shipments of 500,000 tons of crude on the Adriatic pipeline until end-March.

Janaf said in a reply to Reuters that the prices of services on its oil pipeline and storage system were defined during the negotiation process, in accordance with rules governing its services.

We remind, MOL Group is transporting crude oil produced at its co-owned oilfield, the Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli in Azerbaijan, to Slovnaft Refinery in Bratislava. This is a major step for the company’s efforts to increase its crude sourcing flexibility. In addition, the arrival of the Seavelvet tanker from the Port of Ceyhan in Turkey to Omisalj in Croatia, and then transporting the 90,000 tons of crude oil to Bratislava through the Adria pipeline is a success story for MOL Group: it constitutes well-to-wheel integration of its value chain as it will process and sell petroleum products refined at one of its own refineries using crude oil produced at a field it co-owns.


Verbio acquires an ethanol plant from Mercuria in Indiana, USA

Verbio acquires an ethanol plant from Mercuria in Indiana, USA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Verbio has acquired an ethanol plant in the US state of Indiana, where it is planning to start producing renewable natural gas (RNG), the German company said.

Verbio North America Holdings acquired South Bend Ethanol, the company that owns the plant, from Mercuria Investments. It did not disclose the purchase price. Verbio plans to build anaerobic digestion tanks at the site, which will use stillage as a feedstock. RNG production should begin in 2026.

Once the project is completed, the South Bend site should produce 85m gal/year (322m litres/year) of ethanol and 2.8bn cubic feet/year (2.8bcf/year) of RNG. In all, Verbio plans to invest USD230m at the site. Verbio also owns a site in Nevada, Iowa.

In late 2021, it announced that the site started producing unspecified amounts of RNG, using 75,000-100,000 tons/year (68,039-90,718 tonnes/year) of corn stover as a feedstock.

Later this year, it expects to start production of traditional ethanol at the Iowa site. Output should be 60m gal/year.

Verbio had bought the Iowa site from DuPont in 2018.


Linde to supply green hydrogen to Evonik

Linde to supply green hydrogen to Evonik

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Linde has signed a long-term agreement to supply green hydrogen to Evonik. Linde will build, own and operate a nine-megawatt alkaline electrolyzer plant on Jurong Island, Singapore, said the company.

The plant will produce green hydrogen, which Evonik will use to manufacture methionine, an essential component in animal feed. The new supply agreement supports the planned expansion of Evonik’s existing facility and will help Evonik limit its greenhouse gas emissions in Singapore.

In addition to supplying Evonik, Linde will use the Jurong Island electrolyzer plant to supply the local merchant market with green hydrogen in response to growing demand. The new plant is expected to come on stream in 2024 and will be the largest electrolyzer ever installed in Singapore.

We remind, Dow announced it has selected Linde as its industrial gas partner for the supply of clean hydrogen and nitrogen for its proposed net-zero carbon emissions integrated ethylene cracker and derivatives site in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada.


US April oil exports top forecasts on Chinese demand

US April oil exports top forecasts on Chinese demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. crude oil exports rose more-than-expected last month, building on a record 4.5 million bpd in March, as Chinese refiners snapped up cargoes to meet rising fuel demand, according to ship tracking data and analysts, said Reuters.

U.S. crude exports rose by 22% last year from 2021 after Russia's invasion of Ukraine led the European Union, Britain, Canada and the U.S to ban imports of Russian oil and changed global flows.

More recently, signs of an economic resurgence in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, have drawn cargoes from Russia and U.S. travel demand after the country rolled back its COVID-19 restrictions also boosted gasoline and jet fuel consumption.

"Right now, we're assuming April will average about 4 million barrels per day (bpd), but there is upside risk to that number," said Jenna Delaney, head of North American crude at consultancy Energy Aspects.

April's exports "have only been a few hundred thousand barrels per day less than March, which is very surprising," said Rohit Rathod, a market analyst at Vortexa. "It was not expected that exports would remain above 4 million," he said.

Favorable prices for U.S. crude compared to global benchmark Brent sent a flurry of cargoes abroad in April, a U.S.-based broker said.

U.S. crude traded at an average discount of USD6.47 to Brent in February and was nearly $6 less in the first half of March. When the spread is wider than minus USD6, foreign buyers have an incentive to buy more oil linked to U.S. crude.

April exports to China were set to touch about 850,000 barrels per day, the highest since May 2020, Kpler and Refinitiv Eikon data showed, as exports to Europe and other Asian countries dropped. In March, U.S. exports to China hit their highest level in two and a half years.

Record March-April exports overall are unlikely to continue, analysts said. May U.S. exports will fall to about 3.78 million bpd in May, estimates Energy Aspects.

On Friday, the WTI-Brent discount narrowed to minus USD3.21 a barrel, the smallest spread since June, a level that is likely to dampen U.S. exports in China in May.

Plunging Middle Eastern crude prices will sap demand for U.S. grades. Abu Dhabi's Murban crude oil premium to Dubai, for example, declined last week to two-year lows, making it more economic for Asian refiners to process compared to U.S. crudes.

"Spreads show the (WTI-Brent) arb has closed," said a U.S.-based trader, referring to a market dynamic that signals the price benefit of buying U.S. crude abroad.

We remind, W.R. Grace & Co announced the start-up of a 500,000-tpy polypropylene (PP) reactor line by PetroChina GuangDong PetroChemical Company, a subsidiary of PetroChina Group, the world’s second-largest petroleum company. The plant will produce homopolymer, random copolymer, and impact copolymer PP resins, catering to the growing demand for high-quality PP resins in the Chinese market.