Fire breaks out at Dow Louisiana facility

Fire breaks out at Dow Louisiana facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire broke out at Dow's Plaquemine chemical facility in Louisiana, the U.S. chemical maker said in a statement late on Friday, said Reuters.

Everyone at the facility was accounted for and the fire was being managed by the company's Emergency Operations Center, Dow Louisiana said in a statement posted on Facebook, adding that they were in contact with officials.

Explosions at the facility in Iberville Parish shook homes in the nearby state capital, Baton Rouge, WAFB TV reported. Plant officials said they were still working to assess the cause of the incident, which began around 9:15 p.m. (0215 GMT), the CBS affiliate said.

Dow did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The Iberville Parish Council Office Of Emergency Preparedness issued a "shelter in place" for residents in a half-mile radius, officials said in a Facebook post, adding that Dow's air monitoring was not picking up any readings.

We remind, Dow reported a net loss of USD73m for the first quarter (Q1) on a slump in volumes and sales prices in key segments and important geographies. Net sales for the largest US chemical company were down 22% at USD11,851m reflecting, Dow said, declines in all its operating segments driven by lower macroeconomic activity.

Russia sets plans for oil export cuts in August

Russia sets plans for oil export cuts in August

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian oil exports from western ports are set to fall by some 100,000-200,000 barrels per day next month from July levels, a sign Moscow is making good on its pledge for fresh supply cuts in tandem with OPEC leader Saudi Arabia, two sources said on Friday, citing export plans said Reuters.

OPEC and major producers including Russia, together known as OPEC+, have been cutting supply since November to support prices. Moscow this month pledged to cut exports by 500,000 bpd in August, while Saudi Arabia extended its 1 million bpd output cuts.

As Russia did not reveal the baseline for its cut, analysts and traders had said it would be difficult to monitor. But according to trading sources and Refinitiv Eikon data, the August cuts will deepen export reductions between May and July that already total 500,000 barrels per day.

July oil loadings from western ports, such as Primorsk and Ust-Luga in the Baltic Sea and Novorossiisk in the Black Sea, are set to fall to 1.9 million bpd this month compared to 2.3 million bpd in June and 2.4 million bpd in May.

Russia exports oil and products via the Pacific and a direct pipeline to China as well as its European ports. Its export plans via eastern export routes are not yet available. Three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Russia had instructed oil companies to reduce supply plans for the next month.

Its energy authorities held a meeting with the companies' top managers earlier this week, asking them to make more efforts to guarantee lower exports in August. A spokesperson for Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who is in charge of Moscow's relations with OPEC+, did not reply to requests for comment.

Novak said on Thursday that Russian companies themselves would decide whether to cut oil production in August, but that Russia's task was to reduce supplies to world markets. Russia's total crude and products exports are estimated at up to 7 million bpd, but data has been secret since the country's actions in Ukraine, which Moscow calls special military operation.

Prior to Russia's announcement of plans to reduce overseas supplies, OPEC+ was only managing oil production, not exports. Igor Sechin, a powerful head of Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft, first hinted at the need to reduce exports as well as output last month.

Russian offline primary oil refining capacity is seen rising by 40% in August from July, making additional oil export cuts next month even tougher for many. If Russia wants to cut oil exports in August from July, companies may postpone some planned works to autumn months to increase domestic oil consumption, or cut oil production, traders said.

We remind, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday that individual companies would decide whether to cut oil production or exports in August but Russia's task was to reduce supplies to world markets. Russia said it would cut oil output by 500,000 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, but it was not clear from which level it would reduce supplies. There were also conflicting signals about whether Russia would cut the corresponding amount of oil production.

BASF to supply neopentyl glycol from Zhanjiang to KHUA

BASF to supply neopentyl glycol from Zhanjiang to KHUA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF and Zhejiang Guanghua Technology Co.,Ltd. (KHUA) have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for the supply of Neopentyl Glycol (NPG) from BASF’s Zhanjiang Verbund site to KHUA, said the company.

This agreement marks a significant milestone in the long-term partnership between both parties. KHUA, a reputed manufacturer of saturated polyester resins for the powder coatings industry in China, is planning to build a 100 kilotons per annum (KT/a) production plant for high-end powder coatings resins in Donghai Island, Zhanjiang Economic & Technological Development Zone, where BASF is building a world-scale NPG plant with an annual production capacity of 80,000 metric tons.

Vasilios Galanos, Senior Vice President, Intermediates Asia Pacific, BASF, said, “We are pleased to strengthen our long-standing partnership with KHUA through co-location. We are confident that this strategic move will create synergies that benefit both parties, including enhanced collaboration and supply reliability, faster delivery, access to shared resources, and reduced costs. In addition, this partnership will help to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly powder coatings in China and the wider Asia Pacific region.”

“We have high hopes of BASF’s Zhanjiang Verbund site, which will set a new standard in the petrochemical industry by utilizing clean energy, conserving energy, and reducing emissions. Leveraging our competitive advantages, backed by the strategic partnership with BASF, one of the world’s leading NPG suppliers, as well as Zhanjiang’s unique geographical location, we are confident in the success of our 100KT/a powder coating resin expansion project. This will enable us to reduce VOCs and contribute to a sustainable future with clear blue skies and white clouds,” said Jeffrey Sun, Chairman, KHUA.

With the new NPG plant at the Zhjanjiang Verbund site expected to be available from Q4 2025, BASF’s global NPG capacity will be boosted from 255,000 metric tons to 335,000 metric tons annually, strengthening its position as one of the world’s leading NPG manufacturers. Upon completion, this will be BASF’s fifth NPG plant, following the ones in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Freeport, Texas, United States; as well as Nanjing and Jilin, China.

NPG is an intermediate mainly used in the production of powder coating resins, which are particularly successful for the coating of household appliances and in the construction industry. Due to their low volatile organic compounds (VOC), powder coatings enable their users to comply with VOC emission standards by reducing the release of VOCs by up to 50% compared to liquid coatings. Other applications for NPG include the manufacture of lubricants, plasticizers and pharmaceuticals.

We remind, BASF celebrated the opening of Europe’s first co-located center of battery material production and battery recycling in Schwarzheide, Germany. The inauguration of a state-of-the-art production facility for high-performance cathode active materials and the unveiling ceremony for a battery recycling plant for the production of black mass represent important steps toward closing the loop for the European battery value chain – from the collection of used batteries and the recovery of mineral raw materials to their use in the production of new battery materials. Major step in Europe to participate in the rapidly growing global battery market.

Solvay launches SCS certified Rhodianyl polymer with 100% recycled content

Solvay launches SCS certified Rhodianyl polymer with 100% recycled content

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay, a leader of high-performance and sustainable polyamide 6.6 polymers, continues to drive innovation in its portfolio with the introduction of a new, specialized grade of Rhodianyl, made of 100% pre-consumer recycled polyamide, which is produced at its Santo Andre plant in Brazil, said the company.

The product has achieved SCS Recycled Content Certification, reaffirming Solvay's commitment to circular economy.

The internationally recognized third-party certification body SCS Global Services performed a rigorous audit to verify the traceability of the Group's entire manufacturing process, including scrap management and the cutting-edge depolymerization reaction, which generates the final 100% recycled Polymer.

Rhodianyl can be applied in engineering plastics for the automotive, small appliances and textile markets. It complements the Group’s wide range of innovative and sustainable polymers for today’s highest-quality textiles and fibers for the consumer goods industry.

"With over 70 years of expertise, Solvay has strengthened its position as a leading producer and supplier of high-performance and sustainable PA66 polymers. Certifying our recycling process is a significant step forward in meeting the stringent standards required by our European customers, who represent the primary market for this application due to the growing demand for recycled raw materials in the industry. We remain committed to delivering excellence and advancing sustainability in our industry," said Eduardo Girote, Marketing Director of Solvay's Coatis Global Business Unit.

“Solvay’s commitment to producing 100% pre-consumer Recycled Content Certified polymer makes a positive impact on both the environment and the supply chain,” said Nicole Munoz, VP of Environmental Certification Services at SCS Global Services. “Using recycled content reduces waste, saves energy, and gives materials a new life, rather than creating new materials."

This launch is also part of Solvay's ambition to reduce the environmental impact of its polyamide supply chain in Brazil. Several pioneering initiatives have been implemented in recent years, such as achieving a 95% reduction in CO2 emissions at the Paulinia factory, obtaining the Gold Certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council for biodiversity preservation in its industrial areas, and launching a pioneering program for recycling polyamide uniforms, among other initiatives.

We remind, Solvay has agreed to pay USD393m to the US state of New Jersey to address pollution caused by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), said the company. Under the proposed settlement, Solvay does not admit to any liability. Some of the money will clean up the area around Solvay's plant in West Deptford in Gloucester county, New Jersey. It will also pay to update water systems so they can remove PFAS. The money will pay for compensation and for more studies on PFAS contamination.

Equinor's Mongstad refinery reduces output after lightning strike

Equinor's Mongstad refinery reduces output after lightning strike

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Equinor has evacuated some staff and reduced output at its Mongstad oil refinery on Norway's west coast after a lightning strike near the plant disrupted power supplies, said Reuters.

Mongstad is Equinor's largest refinery with a crude oil and condensate distillation capacity of 226,000 bpd. "We have had a power cut in parts of the Mongstad facility because of a lightning strike close to the flaring site," an Equinor spokesperson said. "Because of this we have cut down production in the affected parts of the facility."

There were no injuries reported and the evacuated staff was not critical to operations, he said. The wider Mongstad area contains refinery operations, a terminal for crude oil exports as well as other facilities.

We remind, Equinor has reported the start of test production at its 60 MW Zagorzyca solar facility in Poland. Situated in the Damnica municipality in the north of the country, the Polish project would yield 61 GWh/y of renewable energy that is equal to the power use of 31,000 local homes. It would operate for three decades. The launch of Equinor's second Polish solar unit is a move towards making a strong renewable portfolio in the country. The project was developed by the Norwegian company's 100%-held arm, Wento. The latter will also run the solar unit.