N. America chemical rail closes quarter on uptick

N. America chemical rail closes quarter on uptick

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical rail traffic finished the second quarter down from one year ago, but strengthening somewhat sequentially, according to new data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

During the week ended July 1, chemical railcar volume in North America totaled 47,233 carloads, up 7.5% sequentially and down 0.6% year over year. The four-week moving average (4wma) came to 44,694 carloads, up 1.7% sequentially and down 4.2% year over year. The increment over the seasonal trendline came to 1.4%, reversing a downward trend that saw the increment drop to 0.7% the previous week (chart).

For the year to date, chemical railcar volume is down 2.9%, while total railcar volume is up 2.1%. In the US, 4wma chemical railcar volume came to 30,883 carloads, up 2.2% sequentially and down 4.2% year over year. For the year to date, US chemical railcar volume is down 4.5%.

In Canada, 4wma chemical railcar volume came to 12,924 carloads, up 1.0% sequentially and down 4.2% year over year. For the year to date, Canadian chemical railcar volume is down 0.5%. In Mexico, 4wma chemical railcar volume came to 888 carloads, down 2.7% sequentially and down 4.2% year over year. For the year to date, Mexican chemical railcar volume is up 27.7%.

We remind, North American chemical railcar traffic fell for a sixth straight week, with loadings for the week ended 24 June down 2.8% year on year to 43,927, according to the latest freight rail data from Association of American Railroads. Chemical loadings fell in the US and Canada but rose in Mexico. For the first 25 weeks of 2023 ended 24 June, North American chemical rail traffic was down 3.0% year on year to 1,130,426, with the US down 4.7%, to 777,339 loadings.

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Honeywell exits Savannah River Nuclear Solutions joint venture

Honeywell exits Savannah River Nuclear Solutions joint venture

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell announced that it has exited the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions joint venture through the sale of its membership interests to partners Fluor and Huntington Ingalls, said the company.

"We are confident that Fluor and Huntington Ingalls will continue to deliver long term value to the Savannah River Site as a significant portion of its scope shifts to major capital construction and start-up of plutonium production activities," said David Johnson, Vice President of Honeywell Federal Solutions. "Honeywell remains deeply committed to the success of the Department of Energy and will continue to partner with them on opportunities that align with Honeywell's core capabilities and strategic objectives."

Honeywell delivers industry-specific solutions that include aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings and industry; and performance materials globally. Our technologies help aircraft, buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable. For more news and information on Honeywell.

We remind, Honeywell announced that the world’s largest High Performance Oleflex unit at Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical Co., LTD continues to produce 700,000 metric tons per year of polymer-grade propylene at its Lianyungang City plant in China’s Jiangsu Province. Propylene is the primary component in a variety of products including plastics, carpets, and moisture wicking fabric that are rapidly growing in demand.

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Sika acquires strong player in us mining industry

Sika acquires strong player in us mining industry

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sika has acquired Thiessen Team USA, a US manufacturer of shotcrete and grouting products for the mining industry in the USA, said the company.

The company serves the Western US mining industry which produces essential minerals for the growing electric vehicle industry among many other critical minerals. The acquisition will open up significant cross-selling potential and will support Sika’s expansion in the US mining market.

Thiessen is a family owned business serving the mining industry in the Western region of the USA with shotcrete and grouting solutions that enable increased efficiency in mining operations. Thiessen has long-established, strong relationships with large mining customers and has built a reputation for excellent quality, hands-on technical support, and fast reaction times. The company operates two production facilities which are strategically located close to large mines in the western US, which among other excavate materials essential for the production of batteries. With the expanded investments in manufacturing of electric vehicles in the USA, demand for these critical minerals is expected to significantly increase going forward.

Increasing sustainability requirements in mining operations represents a significant potential for Sika’s robust range of solutions. A groundbreaking development is Sika’s unique technology for cement-free concrete which is already used for backfilling of shafts in the world’s largest iron ore mine in Sweden and will now be rolled out in the entire Americas region. Sika already has a strong presence in the mining industry in Latin America and Canada, which was significantly expanded through the acquisition of King Packaged Materials Company in 2019. The acquisition of Thiessen will in a similar way improve access to US mining projects. Sika products such as structural fibers, shotcrete accelerators, and backfilling solutions will complement Thiessen’s offering and further support market penetration.

"The acquisition of Thiessen supports our expansion in the exciting mining business in the USA and provides Sika with a wider presence in mining across the Americas region. The offerings of Sika and Thiessen are highly complementary and open up significant cross-selling potential with new and existing mining customers. We look forward to a successful joint future and would like to extend a very warm welcome to the Thiessen employees as they join the Sika team."

We remind, Sika has completed the acquisition of MBCC Group after having received all necessary regulatory approvals, said the company. MBCC Group, headquartered in Mannheim, Germany, and formerly owned by an affiliate of Lone Star Funds, is active in the field of construction systems and admixture systems. To close the transaction and to comply with regulatory requirements, Sika sold MBCC Group’s chemical admixtures assets in the UK, the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand to the international private equity firm Cinven. The business now acquired by Sika employs 6,200 people and operates in over 60 countries and 95 production facilities.

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Nigeria's petrol use down 28% after subsidy scrapped, regulator says

Nigeria's petrol use down 28% after subsidy scrapped, regulator says

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nigeria's average daily petrol consumption has fallen by 28% since President Bola Tinubu scrapped a popular but costly subsidy on the fuel at the end of May, said Reuters.

Average daily petrol consumption fell to 48.43 million liters in June, down from the previous average of 66.9 million, according to figures released to Reuters by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

A subsidy had kept prices cheap for decades in Africa's biggest economy but it became increasingly expensive for the country - the government spent USD10 billion last year - leading to wider deficits and driving up government debt. Since the subsidy was ended, a black market in neighboring Cameroon, Benin and Togo that relied on petrol smuggled from Nigeria has collapsed.

Despite having spent USD2.41 B on the subsidy in the first five months, Nigeria could save up to USD5.10 billion this year from scrapping the petrol subsidy and from FX reforms, the World Bank said on June 27.

We remind, Nigeria's petrol subsidy cost state oil firm NNPC Ltd USD2.41 B in the five months through May before the program was scrapped.

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Kuwait's KIPIC says al-Zour refinery distillation unit 21 online

Kuwait's KIPIC says al-Zour refinery distillation unit 21 online

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company’S (KIPIC) distillation unit 21 at the al-Zour refinery has come online, paving the way for the refinery to operate at full capacity, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Kuwait's oil minister said that his country hopes to have a higher oil production quota when it ramps up capacity, and that Kuwait remains committed to OPEC decisions.

The minister, Saad Al Barrak, his country hopes to reach 3.2 million barrels per day of production capacity before the end of 2024. The hope for a higher OPEC quota was not urgent, he told reporters.

We remind, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation sees continued good demand for oil from China in the second half of the year, its chief executive said on Thursday, speaking to Reuters as part of a podcast series hosted by the Al Attiyah Foundation.

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