Kazakhstan to send 100,000 tons of crude to Germany via Druzhba in May

Kazakhstan to send 100,000 tons of crude to Germany via Druzhba in May

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kazakhstan's oil exports to Germany via Russia's Druzhba pipeline are expected to reach 100,000 tons in May, said Reuters.

That is up from 90,000 tons of Kazakh crude delivered to Germany via Druzhba in the entire February to April period, Reuters data shows. KazTransOil had planned to deliver 100,000 tons of crude to Germany in April, but only supplied 50,000 tons.

In February, it shipped 20,000 tons of crude to Germany via Druzhba, the first such shipment ever, replacing Russian supplies for German refineries. The European Union has pledged to stop buying Russian oil via maritime routes from Dec. 5 as part of wider sanctions over Ukraine.

The Soviet-built Druzhba pipeline remains exempt from sanctions, but Germany's refineries in Leuna and Schwedt, connected to the pipeline, have not ordered any Russian crude for this year.

Last year Russian oil pipeline operator Transneft said KazTransOil had requested an additional 1.2 million tons of capacity on the Druzhba pipeline for 2023 to facilitate extra oil shipments to Germany.

We remind, Sinopec and Kazakh state-owned oil and gas company KazMunayGaz have agreed key terms for a potential investment in a polyethylene plant in Kazakhstan's western Atyrau region. A final decision on the proposed investment will be made in 2024, the statement said. The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the ongoing China-Central Asia Summit in Xian in China's Shaanxi province, where China's president Xi Jinping is meeting with the leaders of five ex-Soviet countries to discuss enhanced cooperation in a range of fields, including energy.


Asia gets most of Russian dark fuels after EU embargo

Asia gets most of Russian dark fuels after EU embargo

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asian countries remain the lead destinations for Russian vacuum gasoil (VGO) and fuel oil exports after the European Union's embargo, traders said and Refinitiv data showed, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"Pretty stable flows for refining and bunkering", one trader said. According to Refinitiv data, China and India, which became main importers of embargoed Russian oil, were respectively accounting for about 2.6 million tons and 2.1 million tons of exports of dirty oil products from Russian ports since the start of the year, buying fuel oil and VGO for further processing at their refineries.

Singapore and Malaysia also hit the top five destinations for fuel oil and VGO of Russian origin with almost 3.5 million tons in total, while Turkey and Saudi Arabia received about 1.6 million tons each, Refinitiv data showed. Fujairah, key transit and blending hub for oil products in the United Arab Emirates, accepted almost 1.4 million tons of fuel oil and VGO since the start of this year.

In February 2023, the EU introduced a full ban on supplies of Russian oil products, but Russian fuel oil and VGO had already been diverted elsewhere as restrictions were applied partially in August 2022. Asia and the Middle East and also ship-to-ship (STS) loadings became the most popular ways to bypass sanctions since then.

STS loadings near the Greek port of Kalamata have attracted from Russia the biggest dirty oil products volumes, which surged to 8 million tons in 2022 and totaled almost 2.7 million tons from the beginning of 2023. Traders said those cargoes mostly end up in Asia. "(The main destinations were) China, Singapore and some cargoes went to India," one trader added.

Russia also exports small amounts of dirty oil products to Africa, mostly to Senegal, which has bought about 114,000 tons of Russian fuel oil this month, according to Refinitiv.

We remind, Czech Republic can cover its oil needs through shipments via the Transalpine Pipeline (TAL) pipeline from 2025, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Tuesday after the country signed a deal to boost capacity along the link.
The Czech government is looking to eliminate all dependence on Russian oil in the coming years, and thus end its exemptions from a European Union ban on imports from Moscow last year. Czech refineries are owned by Polish state-controlled refiner PKN Orlen, which said in April it terminated a contract for Russian oil supplies for its Polish refineries.


Air Products signs USD1 bn deal for processing facility in Uzbekistan

Air Products signs USD1 bn deal for processing facility in Uzbekistan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Industrial gases maker Air Products and Chemicals said on Thursday it had signed a USD1 bn deal with the Republic of Uzbekistan government and Uzbekneftegaz JSC to acquire, own and operate a natural gas processing facility in the country, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The 1.5 million ton per year natural gas-to-syngas industrial complex is a part of state-owned energy company Uzbekneftegaz, the company said.

Syngas, or synthesis gas, can be used for heating applications, generating power, or making hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, and synthetic hydrocarbon fuels.

Under the deal, Air Products will acquire, own and operate two large-scale air separation units, two large-scale auto-thermal reforming units, and a hydrogen production unit within the Uzbekistan GTL complex and supply oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and syngas under a long-term contract.

We remind, Air Products’ Board of Directors today announced an amendment to the employment agreement with Air Products’ chairman, president and chief executive officer, Seifi Ghasemi, further extending his term. The Company has entered into a new amended agreement that will initially extend Ghasemi’s employment term to September 30, 2028. On September 30, 2024 and each year thereafter, the contract term will automatically renew to be a five-year term unless either party terminates the agreement at the latest, four years ahead of its then expiration date.


PureCycle's PP recycling plant 'days away' from launch

PureCycle's PP recycling plant 'days away' from launch

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PureCycle Technologies Inc.'s flagship polypropylene recycling facility in Ironton, Ohio, is "days away" from beginning the start-up phase of commercial pellet production, according to CEO Dustin Olson, said Sustainableplastics.

"As part of our mission to create an 'infinitely sustainable planet,' we are focused on the health and safety of PureCycle team members and the communities in which we operate," Olson said in a May 9 news release. "With that in mind, we are excited to begin safely ramping up commercial operations and the production of UPR [ultra-pure recycled] resin in our state-of-the-art purification facility in Ironton."

Orlando, Fla.-based PureCycle experienced a series of delays on the much-anticipated Ironton plant, which is expected to create 80-100 jobs and could end up costing as much as $361 million. Now, the first delivery of solvent needed for the firm's recycling process has been received. PureCycle next will make pellets from virgin PP resin and then will add post-industrial and post-consumer PP into the purification process to make recycled resin pellets for sale and distribution to customers.

PureCycle's ramp-up strategy is to gradually increase plant capacity utilization, officials said, while scaling in higher volumes of feedstock deliveries and customer offtake shipments.

PP has been held up as the next big market for plastics recycling, but the needle hasn't moved that much even as recyclers talk about its potential. Just a small amount of PP currently is recycled in the U.S., with estimates typically in the low single digits. By comparison, both PET and high density polyethylene have recycling rates of just under 30 percent.

PureCycle's Ironton plant can handle almost 110 million pounds of PP per year using a solvent-based technology originally developed by consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co. The technology essentially washes away contaminants, colors and odors to create a virgin-like resin.

PureCycle also recently secured $62 million of debt financing to strengthen its balance sheet. That amount includes a $40 million term loan with an entity controlled by Dan Gibson, chief investment officer of Sylebra Capital, PureCycle's largest shareholder. It also includes equipment financing for up to USD22 million for a planned recycling plant in Augusta, Ga.

PureCycle Chief Financial Officer Larry Somma said in the release that the firm's strategy remains to obtain long-term project financing for the Augusta plant once the Ironton plant is operational.

"We believe that having capital that can 'bridge' the Augusta project until Ironton is operational will allow [PureCycle] to access a longer-term, lower-cost source of funds," he said.

Officials said that site engineering work is progressing in Augusta and that PureCycle has submitted a finance plan to the Development Authority of Augusta for a purification line. They added that the firm is working to close on land rights for the project by June 30. Module preparation for construction also has begun for a proposed plant Beaumont, Texas.

Internationally, PureCycle in Belgium has begun site engineering work at the Port of Antwerp to start the permitting process. The firm's joint venture team in South Korea has "continued to progress" on engineering plans, while in Japan, PureCycle has continued potential JV discussions with industrial firm Mitsui & Co. while starting the feasibility study process on potential sites in Japan.

PureCycle posted a loss of USD25.8 million in the first quarter of 2023 after losing USD25.4 million in the same quarter in 2022. For full-year 2022, the firm lost almost USD85 million.

On Wall Street, PureCycle's per-share stock price closed near USD7.40 on May 9, up more than 17 percent so far in 2023.

We remind, around 3.33 million tonnes of plastic waste were recycled or reused as raw materials in Germany in 2019.
More than 38 per cent of this was polypropylene (PP). Yet recycling this PP comes with its own set of problems, caused by the fact that due to the sometimes very long polymer chains, the melt flow index of PP derived from the mechanical pre-sorting of various material streams is often too low to allow for further processing via either injection moulding or extrusion.


Thyssenkrupp nucera partners with OxyChem to install next-generation chlor-alkali electrolyzers

Thyssenkrupp nucera partners with OxyChem to install next-generation chlor-alkali electrolyzers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thyssenkrupp nucera AG & Co. KGaA (Dortmund, Germany) is partnering with OxyChem to install the latest generation eBiTAC v7 electrolyzers to support the conversion of its Battleground plant in LaPorte, Texas, from the diaphragm to membrane chlor-alkali technology, said Chemengonline.

“The fact that OxyChem has contracted us for the important retrofit of its large chlor-alkali plant makes us very pleased because it demonstrates the great trust and partnership, we have built with OxyChem through our chlor-alkali technology and service,” says Werner Ponikwar, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of thyssenkrupp nucera AG & Co. KGaA.

Thyssenkrupp nucera offers world-class technologies for highly efficient electrolysis plants and supports the conversion of OxyChem’s Battleground plant diaphragm cells. Production and delivery will take approximately three years, and thyssenkrupp nucera will expand its manufacturing facilities to accommodate this significant supply agreement.

“OxyChem has had a long-standing partnership with thyssenkrupp nucera that supports our production of essential commodity chemicals helping elevate the quality of life across the globe”, says Wade Alleman, OxyChem executive vice president of Technology, Business Development & Support. “This multi-year project will modernize our chlor-alkali manufacturing process and increase our production capacity."

In this project, thyssenkrupp nucera was involved in the early stages of project development and supplied the basic design for the core of the chlor-alkali facility. The transformation of the chlor-alkali plant into membrane technology is scheduled to begin in 2023 and is expected to be finished by 2026.

We remind, Thyssenkrupp Uhde and IDESA INDUSTRIAL PLANTS SLU (IDIP) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate on developing and fabricating modules for green ammonia projects. The deal will focus on the development of a joint project within the sector for the design, procurement, fabrication and construction of modularised green ammonia plants.