Samsung Engineering and OMV sign MoU to jointly develop sustainable projects based on modularization

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Samsung Engineering, one of the world’s leading engineering, procurement, construction, and project management (EPC&PM) companies and OMV, the international, integrated energy, fuels & feedstock and chemicals & materials company, announced today the signing of an MoU to cooperate on projects from the early development stage, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The MoU was signed at the OMV headquarters in Vienna, Austria, by Martijn van Koten, Member of the Executive Board of OMV and EVP Fuels & Feedstock, and Hong Namkoong, President and CEO of Samsung Engineering. Alfred Stern, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of OMV, as well as Reinhard Florey, Member of the Executive Board and CFO of OMV welcomed Samsung Engineering’s delegation.

Samsung Engineering’s extensive experience in executing projects based on modularization was key factor for reaching this MoU.

OMV, is amongst Austria’s largest listed industrial companies and is committed to becoming a net-zero emissions company (Scopes 1, 2, and 3) latest by 2050. OMV has embarked on a transformation to become a leading provider of innovative and sustainable fuels, chemicals and materials, with a focus on circular economy solutions.

This strategy is aligned with Samsung Engineering’s ambitions to contribute to the energy transition, by starting to take key initiatives for the decarbonization of its operations, whereby it has launched projects in the direction of low-carbon businesses. A major goal for Samsung Engineering is to become a “Beyond EPC - Green Solution Provider”. It is striving to transform from a conventional EPC player to a green solution provider by securing a reliable source of profits and creating a sustainable growth engine for the future. Samsung Engineering is pioneering into new businesses such as green solutions and environmental infrastructure projects.

Hong Namkoong, President and CEO of Samsung Engineering said “Samsung Engineering’s excellent track record in modularization projects has led to this MoU to jointly develop sustainable projects based on modularization. In the era of the energy transition, the strategy of OMV and Samsung Engineering align to create synergy effects to promote and strengthen the foundation for mid to long-term sustainable projects."

Martijn van Koten, Member of the Executive Board of OMV responsible for Fuels & Feedstock said “Strong partnerships with pioneers for sustainable solutions and projects in the low carbon business help accelerate our transformation towards our goal of reducing CO2 emissions and becoming a net-zero company by 2050. We welcome the collaboration with Samsung Engineering. This will enable us to continuously expand our renewable fuels and feedstock product range and fulfill one of the key elements of our OMV Strategy 2030 to become a leading, innovative producer of sustainable fuels and feedstock in Europe."

We remind, Aramco has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., which sets forth preliminary plans for a strategic collaboration that would localize an industrial 5G technology ecosystem, starting with private networks, in Saudi Arabia. The proposed collaboration aims to contribute to the digital transformation of various industrial sectors in Saudi Arabia, such as energy, petrochemical, and manufacturing, by leveraging advanced 4G and 5G technologies capable of providing secure, fast and reliable communications to satisfy business critical requirements of industries.

PDVSA to ramp up refining by 20% in 2023

PDVSA to ramp up refining by 20% in 2023

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Venezuelan state energy company PDVSA's new management expects to boost the country's oil production to 1.17 million bpd by year end while increasing refining and exploration activities, an internal planning document showed, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Venezuela's monthly crude output in April surpassed 800,000 bpd for the first time since December 2021 following a company shake up triggered by an anti-corruption probe that demanded an audit of all its operations, subsidiaries and joint ventures, uncovering some USD21 B in accounts receivable.

A U.S. license allowing Chevron Corp to reanimate operations has also helped the nation's crude output and exports recover since late last year.

PDVSA's new chief executive, Pedro Tellechea, and a new board of directors this year have reviewed supply contracts and partnerships aiming to cash on pending debt, optimize operations and boost production.

According to a plan presented last week by Tellechea to workers, seen by Reuters on Monday, PDVSA expects to increase crude output by 390,000 bpd by year end, boost gas output by 645 million cubic feet per day (cfd) to 2.27 billion cfd, and ramp up refining by 20% so an extra volume of 90,000 bpd of fuel can be sold domestically.

PDVSA did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the plan, which also showed it aims to export about 1 million bpd of crude and fuel and 800,000 tons per month of petroleum coke by year end, above the average of 660,000 bpd of crude and fuel and 530,000 tons of petroleum coke it has exported so far this year.

One of the key projects to reach these goals is to restart the Petromonagas upgrader next month, which has been out of service since December after a fire, to convert about 80,000 bpd of extra heavy oil into exportable crude.

If it meets its goals, which in the past it has missed repeatedly, PDVSA would be able to pocket USD4.2 B in cashflow this year.

The company also has drafted a plan to drill three exploration wells in the country's western region.

We remind, PDVSA has allocated an oil cargo to a unit of Eni for a February loading, the first to the Italian firm following a contract suspension this year by new management at the state-run company, people familiar with the matter said. Eni and Spanish oil firm Repsol in May last year received authorizations from the U.S. State Department to take the crude to Europe for outstanding Venezuela debt and dividends, an exception to U.S. oil sanctions on Venezuela.

Reliance courts Indian diesel market with cheaper supply

Reliance courts Indian diesel market with cheaper supply

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India's Reliance Industries Ltd has turned its sights on the domestic market, offering a high-performance diesel at a lower price than fuel sold by state-owned retailers, said Reuters.

Jio-bp, the retail fuel joint venture of Reliance and bp will sell diesel mixed with detergents and dispersants at 1 rupee cheaper per liter than gasoil sold by the state-run companies, such as, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum.

The additive-enhanced diesel helps to clean dirt deposits in engines and can improve fuel efficiency, Jio-bp said in a statement.

Diesel is the main fuel used by truckers in India's transport sector and accounts for about two-fifths of the country's overall refined fuel consumption.

Higher local sales could lower diesel exports from Reliance Industries' 660,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery at Jamnagar complex in western India. Reliance also operates a 704,000 bpd export-focused refinery at the complex.

Reliance was selling diesel for much of last year at a higher rate than sold by state-owned retailers, who had capped prices since May 2022 to shield consumers and aid the government's efforts to control inflation.

That pushed Reliance and fellow private refiner Nayara Energy to focus on exports of diesel to benefit from high profit margins on overseas sales.

Diesel margins have fallen substantially from June 2022's record of more than USD71 a barrel following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, making local sales economically feasible.

The refining margin for gasoil with a sulfur content of 10 parts per million fell to around USD15 a barrel on Tuesday.

We remind, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) unveiled India’s first Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine technology solution for heavy duty trucks flagged off by Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India Energy Week in Bangalore. The Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (H2ICE) powered trucks will emit near zero emissions, deliver performance on par with conventional diesel trucks and reduce noise and with projected reductions in operating costs thus redefining the future of Green Mobility.

MOL petchem division slumps to Q1 earnings loss

MOL petchem division slumps to Q1 earnings loss

MOSCOW (MRC) -- MOL’s Q1 2023 clean current cost of supplies (CCS) earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for its petrochemical division slumped year on year to a loss of $48m as margins remained under substantial pressure, the Hungarian producer said.

MOL’s petrochemical integrated margin fell 33% to EUR329/tonne in the first quarter of 2023 from EUR488/tonne in the first quarter of 2022. In the fourth quarter of 2022, it stood at €398/tonne. By April 2023, it was recorded at EUR371/tonne.

Q1 2023 petrochemical product sales volume amounted to 325,000 tonnes, versus 359,000 tonnes in Q1 2022 and 280,000 tonnes in Q4 2022.

MOL noted petrochemicals clean CCS EBITDA remained in the red for a second straight quarter. The Q1 2023 loss of $48m followed on from a Q4 2022 loss of USD7m.

Overall, MOL, an integrated oil, gas and petrochemicals group, recorded a net profit of Hungarian forint (Ft) 160.6bn (USD471.5m) in the first quarter, marking a decline of 28% from Ft222.3bn in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Q1 2023 group net sales were up 8% year on year to Ft2.05tr.

We remind, 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.

Unipar Q1 earnings plunge on lower margins

Unipar Q1 earnings plunge on lower margins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Unipar’s sales and earnings plunged in the first quarter because of lower margins as selling prices for most of its products fell, the Brazilian chemicals producer said.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at Brazilian reais (R) 490m (USD98.6m), down nearly 41% year on year. Quarter on quarter, however, Unipar posted improved financial metrics.

Unipar produces chlorine, caustic soda, and derivatives such polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), ethylene dichloride (EDC) or hydrochloric acid, among others.

Unipar said the average utilisation rate at its three plants of Cubatao and Santo Andre, in Brazil, and Bahia Blanca, in Argentina, stood in the first quarter at 83.3%, down from 87.7% in the first quarter of 2022.

Quarter on quarter, however, the utilisation rate improved from the fourth quarter’s 80% in the fourth quarter. “The main highlight being the Santo Andre plant, which recorded an average capacity utilisation of 88% in the quarter, with a sharp increase compared to Q4 due to customer demand/inventory replenishment and the scheduled shutdown in October 2022,” said Unipar.

Despite the sequential improvement from the fourth quarter, Unipar adopted the same downbeat tone about the economic outlook it had already displayed in March, when it published its Q4 results.

The company cited a report by Abiclor, the Brazilian trade group for the chlor-alkali and derivatives sector, showing production of chlorine in January and February in the country had fallen by 4.3%, compared with the same two-month period of 2022.

We remind, Unipar’s earnings and net income fell sharply in 2022 despite an increase in sales on the back of higher costs for feedstocks. The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA), the best metric to measure a company’s financial soundness, fell by nearly 16% to Brazilian reais (R) 3.16bn (USD605m). In the fourth quarter of 2022 alone, EBITDA fell by more than 56%, year on year.

Unipar produces polyvinyl chloride (PVC), caustic soda, vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), ethylene dichloride (EDC) and other chlorine derivatives, among others; its three main production facilities are in Cubatao and Santo Andre, Brazil, and Bahia Blanca in Argentina.