PetroVietnam Gas to supply raw materials to SCG Chemicals' Vietnam plant

PetroVietnam Gas to supply raw materials to SCG Chemicals' Vietnam plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PetroVietnam Gas said on Monday it will supply raw materials to a Vietnam-based petrochemicals complex of Thailand’s SCG Chemicals, said Reuters.

The Vietnamese gas firm will supply ethane, naphtha and propane to the Long Son Petrochemicals complex in the southern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau, it said in a statement.

The complex will start commercial production from July, it said.

We remind, Vietnam's Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical will delay the maintenance at its refinery until next year, and said it expects profits to drop 88% this year due to rising costs, including higher taxes. Binh Son said the maintenance delay would allow the company to "maximize its production, revenue and profit" this year. The 130,000-barrel-per-day refinery was originally scheduled to undergo major maintenance from June 22 to August 11 in 2023. The maintenance will now take place early next year, the company said in a statement.

Aramco, ENI, United Airlines invest in UK-based low-carbon fuel venture

Aramco, ENI, United Airlines invest in UK-based low-carbon fuel venture

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The venture units of oil firms Saudi Aramco and Italy's ENI have joined the world's largest passenger carrier United Airlines to invest in British start-up OXCCU's efforts to slash the prohibitively high cost of lower-carbon aviation fuel, said Reuters.

Aviation produces around 2% of the world's planet-warming emissions and the sector's own targets to emit no more than can be absorbed by natural sinks like forests or other technologies by 2050 pose a particularly daunting challenge.

The USD22.7-MM investment, led by U.S.-based investor Clean Energy Ventures, will go to Oxford University-affiliated scientists at OXCCU, one of several companies that have been searching for ways to replace kerosene and gasoline in plane engines.

OXCCU says it can make fuel by combining carbon dioxide captured from industry or power plants with hydrogen made using renewably sourced electricity. Its breakthrough is in using an iron-based catalyst to do this in one step, replacing the pricier two-stage process that is usually needed to bring about the chemical reaction.

Streamlining the process in this way knocks 50% off the capital cost and produces fewer byproducts, the companies said in a statement. "This cutting-edge solution could be a cost-effective pathway for United to reach our commitment of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, without relying on traditional carbon offsets," said United Airlines Ventures President Michael Leskinen.

We remind, the Saudi Ministry of Investment (MISA) and Italian energy major Eni have signed an agreement aimed at promoting cooperation between Eni, Saudi institutions and companies mainly in the field of sustainable development around the country, and speciality conversion chemicals.

Solvay completes expansion for US solvent extraction reagents site

Solvay completes expansion for US solvent extraction reagents site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay has completed its capacity expansion for its solvent extraction reagents manufacturing at its' US site, the Belgian producer announced on Wednesday.

The facility in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, produces solvents for mines producing copper through hydrometallurgical processes.

Demand for copper solvent extractants is expected to remain strong in e-mobility and clean energy applications, supported by new technologies capable of treating sulphide ores.

The increase was originally announced in December 2021.

Solvay’s solvent extraction reagents complement its broad product portfolio for the mining industry to help reduce operating rates as well as freshwater and energy use, and reagent consumption while meeting metallurgical requirements.

We remind, Solvay has opened a new application development lab (ADL) in Shanghai, China, to expand its global footprint of its research and innovation facilities. The new facility will develop solutions for applications industries including automotive, new energy, life solutions and pharmacy, smart devices and semiconductors for Solvay’s customers active in local and global end markets.

Russian oil supplies to EU via southern Druzhba to rise 16% in June

Russian oil supplies to EU via southern Druzhba to rise 16% in June

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's piped supply of Urals crude to the European Union (EU) via the southern Druzhba pipeline in June is set to increase by 16% compared to May as EU refiners seek to secure more oil amid fears of disruptions in transit via Ukraine, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Russian pipeline oil supplies to Europe are excluded from an EU embargo, but the route crosses Ukraine and has been under constant risk of disruptions since Russia sent thousands of troops into Ukraine last year in what Moscow calls a "special military operation".

The southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline supplies Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Hungary's MOL, the main buyer of Urals crude in Hungary and Slovakia, is expected to purchase about 900,000 tons of Urals oil via Druzhba in June, up from 750,000 tons in May, the sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

"Recent escalation in Ukraine, damages to big infrastructural objects (are a) worry ... it is a good idea to order more now," one of the sources said, referring in particular to this week's destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam. Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the incident.

The Czech Republic's Unipetrol refiner - the country's sole buyer which is owned by Poland's PKN Orlen - will purchase up to 430,000 tons of Urals in June, versus 400,000 tons purchased in May, the sources said. "Crude oil continues to arrive uninterruptedly to Hungary via the Druzhba pipeline and we do not expect delays during the upcoming months", a MOL media representative said, but declined to comment on monthly purchases.

PKN Orlen also said it never comments on oil purchases and contractual details. The EU imposed an embargo on Russian oil purchases via maritime routes from December. Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Repubic were, however, allowed to continue Russian oil imports as critical feedstock. It would be difficult for them to secure enough oil for their refineries if Druzhba is suspended.

Oil supplies via a section of the southern Druzhba pipeline were temporarily suspended in November following shelling on a power station which provides electricity for a pump station. Parts of the pipeline have also been attacked by drones inland in Russia, according to Russian reports, but the attacks did not cause significant supply disruptions.

The Druzhba pipeline crosses Belarus and Ukraine and remains an income source for both countries which receive transit fees. Kiev and Minsk asked for significant hikes in transit tariffs, making the route less convenient for European buyers that pay for transport.

A MOL media representative told Reuters that the company "continues to procure crude oil via both the Druzhba and Adria pipelines despite the transit fees being significantly higher compared to reasonable market prices".

MOL started to make payments to Ukrtransnafta for transit directly amid issues on Russian Transneft payments to Ukrainian pipeline operator.

We remind, Russia agreed to extend its existing 0.5 million bpd curbs into 2024, Angola and Nigeria agreed to give up their unused quotas. The United Arab Emirates was allowed to boost its production quota by 0.2 million bpd to 3.2 million from 2024.

Germany triggers EU investigation into Chinese biofuels

Germany triggers EU investigation into Chinese biofuels

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Germany has asked the European Commission to investigate the flow of allegedly fraudulent biofuels into the European Union, a spokesperson for the German Environment Ministry said, stepping up scrutiny on trade in the fuel that has rattled the industry, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

EU incentives for biodiesel production made with waste oils and fat to increase renewable energy use have caused concerns that companies in Asia are mixing biofuels with cheaper oils and exporting them to Europe.

Germany "has asked the Commission to carry out an assessment to determine whether the sustainability criteria and requirements for greenhouse gas reductions ... are met for fuels originating in China," the spokesperson for the German Environment Ministry told Reuters.

A Commission spokesperson said in an email to Reuters that an unnamed member state had referred imports from China that had potentially been mislabeled as biofuels. The spokesperson said the Commission aimed to step up its oversight of the trade, with a database of supply chains due to be up and running by the end of the year, and it will look into whether the fuel imports qualify for greenhouse gas emissions credits.

EU classifications qualify the most advanced biofuels for valuable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions certificates that are bought and traded by industry players at the national level. Germany, the EU's top energy consumer and biofuel importer, is the most valuable market in the bloc for the certificates.

"The Commission has to examine whether the sustainability and greenhouse gas emission savings criteria are met," the EU spokesperson said, adding that the allegations are being investigated. The top European biofuels body warned last week that a flood of potentially "dubious" biodiesel imports into Europe from China could trigger the collapse of the EU's biofuels industry.

European producers and traders, who had flagged their concerns over the lack of oversight over Chinese imports, were cautiously optimistic on the decision. "It's clear that the (German) government is moving - everyone is very expectant," a senior industry source said, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

We remind, U.S. diesel demand will drop through 2024 despite growing economic activity, extending a recent break from tradition where demand for the freight fuel grows with GDP, the Energy Information Administration forecast on Tuesday.