North American chemical railcar traffic rose 0.6%

North American chemical railcar traffic rose 0.6%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical railcar traffic fell for a fourth straight week, with loadings for the week ended 10 June down 3.8% year on year to 44,469, led by a 14.6% decline in Canada, according to the latest freight rail data from Association of American Railroads.

For the first 23 weeks of 2023 ended 10 June, North American chemical rail traffic was down 2.8% year on year to 1,043,139, with the US down 4.6%, to 717,412 loadings.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

We remind, North American chemical railcar traffic rose 0.6% year on year to 46,491 loadings for the week ended 15 April, marking a first increase after six straight weekly declines. For the first 15 weeks of 2023 ended 15 April, North American chemical rail traffic was down 3.6% year on year to 681,324, with US traffic down 6.6%, to 483,907 loadings.

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European chemicals production continued to slow in April

European chemicals production continued to slow in April

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chemicals production continued to slow in April, according to the latest data released by the EU’s statistical agency Eurostat.

Deteriorating demand contrasts with previous expectations held by chemicals markets at the start of 2023 when a healthy second quarter was tipped to follow a slow start to the year.

As output from the chemicals sector is widely used as a raw material in manufacturing markets, any downturn could be taken as a leading indicator for what is likely to happen in the sector in the coming months.

Overall industrial production increased by 1% in the eurozone and by 0.7% in the wider EU in April compared to March.

For both regions, this was driven by production of capital goods – up 14.7% in the eurozone and up 12.1% in the EU on the previous month.

We remind, North American chemical railcar traffic fell for a fourth straight week, with loadings for the week ended 10 June down 3.8% year on year to 44,469, led by a 14.6% decline in Canada. For the first 23 weeks of 2023 ended 10 June, North American chemical rail traffic was down 2.8% year on year to 1,043,139, with the US down 4.6%, to 717,412 loadings.

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CPGC and BASF accelerate onboard CO2 capture system development

CPGC and BASF accelerate onboard CO2 capture system development

MOSCOW (MRC) -- CSSC Power Co., Ltd. and BASF have formed a solid cooperation to expedite the progress of onboard carbon capture system for commercial maritime applications, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

CPGC has always been committed to providing green, low carbon solutions for the shipping industry. Combining CPGC’s leading capabilities in research and development, manufacturing and supply of marine engines and power systems with BASF’s gas treatment expertise, this cooperation helps to achieve sustainable developments in the global shipping industry. Both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the 2023 Shanghai International Carbon Neutrality Expo in Technologies, Products and Achievements to commemorate the partnership.

The cooperation aims to address the challenges of energy efficiency improvement and emission reduction in the maritime sector to meet the growing demand for decarbonization of vessels. The companies will conduct tests against different types of marine fuel and engines to accelerate the development of onboard carbon capture system using BASF’s OASE blue gas treatment technology.

OASE blue is BASF’s gas treatment technology with low energy consumption, low solvent losses, and an exceptionally flexible operating range. It is developed to tackle unique challenges posed by the contaminants in flue gas sources from fossil power generation plants, steam reformers, waste incinerators, and cement industry.

“Under the guidance of the ‘achieving peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality’ goal and the trend of ‘green and low-carbon’ transformation in the shipping industry, CPGC is focusing on the development of low-carbon and zero-carbon marine power, energy-saving and environmental protection devices. The cooperation with BASF will help CPGC promote differentiated layout in the low-carbon and green shipping industry and gain an edge.” said Shao Yu, General Manager, CPGC.

Vasilios Galanos, Senior Vice President, Intermediates Asia Pacific, BASF, said, “Interest in carbon capture solutions has evolved rapidly around the world, and we are proud to offer an excellent suite of gas treating solutions under OASE to meet the growing demand. Through our cooperation with CPGC, we are cruising towards a sustainable maritime industry by bringing onboard our extensive experience in gas treatment, as well as our innovation and dedication to sustainability."

We remind, BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) will expand its global alkyl polyglucosides (APG) production capacity with two expansions at its sites in Bangpakong, Thailand, and Cincinnati, Ohio. By expanding in two regions in parallel, BASF, the global market leader for APGs, can strengthen its position and serve customers even faster and more flexible from the regional supply points, while at the same time reducing cross-regional volume flows. The additional capacities are expected to come on stream in 2025.

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BP's Toledo refinery suffered cascade of malfunctions before fatal explosion

BP's Toledo refinery suffered cascade of malfunctions before fatal explosion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Supervisors at bp's Toledo, Ohio refinery opted to keep the plant running despite a series of malfunctions and a petroleum spill in the hours before an accident that killed two workers last year, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The managers at the refinery continued to keep a nearby crude-processing tower running up until a fatal explosion and fire that evening, WSJ said, citing a preliminary report by government investigators.

The report by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, which hasn't been made public, says that a morning valve failure and large spill of highly flammable naphtha on Sept. 20 led managers to shut down parts of the plant, WSJ said.

The two refinery workers died from their burns following an explosion in September 2022 at bp's 150,800 barrel-per-day Toledo oil refinery.

A report published from U.S. federal investigators in March showed the company violated U.S. process safety rules and did not train workers properly at its Toledo, Ohio refinery.

We remind, Harbour Energy, Britain's largest oil and gas producer, said on Tuesday it has entered into an agreement with bp to develop the Viking CCS transportation and storage project. Harbour will continue as operator of Viking CCS with a 60% interest, with bp acquiring a 40% non-operated share, the company said in a statement.

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Pakistan PM says first discounted Russian crude oil cargo arrives in Karachi

Pakistan PM says first discounted Russian crude oil cargo arrives in Karachi

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said the first cargo of discounted Russian crude oil arranged under a new deal struck between Islamabad and Moscow had arrived in Karachi, said Reuters.

"Glad to announce that the first Russian discounted crude oil cargo has arrived in Karachi and will begin oil discharge tomorrow," Sharif tweeted. "This is the first ever Russian oil cargo to Pakistan and the beginning of a new relationship between Pakistan and Russian Federation," he added.

A port official said on Sunday evening that the oil was in the process of being unloaded. Reuters first reported on the deal in April. The discounted crude offers a relief to Pakistan, which is facing a payments crisis and is at risk of defaulting on its debt.

Pakistan's purchase gives Russia a new outlet, adding to Moscow's growing sales to India and China, as it redirects oil from western markets because of the Ukraine conflict. Energy imports make up the majority of Pakistan's external payments. The country's imports of crude are expected to reach 100,000 barrels per day after the first cargo arrives on Monday.

There has been no confirmation of how payment would be made, but Pakistan recently announced a plan to allow barter trade with Russia, Afghanistan and Iran, which analysts said could reduce the need for dollars and the risk of cross-border smuggling of energy products.

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.

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