Asahi Kasei joins the Japan Hydrogen Forum to support decarbonization in the U.S.

Asahi Kasei joins the Japan Hydrogen Forum to support decarbonization in the U.S.

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asahi Kasei announces that it has joined the Japan Hydrogen Forum (JH2F), which was established to support the decarbonization goals of U.S. federal, state, and local governments, said the company.

The company will advance activities as a member of the Hydrogen Production Committee, one of the five subcommittees of JH2F. JH2F was established by 15 Japan-affiliated companies with hydrogen-related operations in the U.S. to support the decarbonization goals of the U.S.

Activities are performed in five sectoral subcommittees for hydrogen production, land transportation, port decarbonization, power generation, and finance, supported by the Japanese government and affiliated governmental organizations such as the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC), and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).

Hydrogen-related business is one of Asahi Kasei's "10 Growth Gears" (GG10), businesses to lead the next phase of growth in fields of focus as part of its medium-term management plan for fiscal 2024 focused on the theme “Be a Trailblazer.” Asahi Kasei is currently advancing its hydrogen-related business centered on the alkaline water electrolysis system for hydrogen production developed utilizing its experience and expertise gained with the membrane process for chlor-alkali electrolysis.

Asahi Kasei installed a large 10 MW-scale alkaline water electrolysis system at the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R) as part of a NEDO project,1 and performed several trial operations2 since 2020. Based on the technological achievements obtained at FH2R, Asahi Kasei plans to commercialize a larger-scale alkaline water electrolysis system comprising multiple 10 MW modules through various trial operations in the ongoing NEDO/Green Innovation Fund demonstration project of “Green hydrogen production by alkaline water electrolysis system,” which was awarded in 2021.

We remind, Asahi Kasei and Microwave Chemical launched a joint demonstration project in April 2023 with the objective of commercializing a chemical recycling process for polyamide 66 using microwave technology.

ADNOC in talks with Austria’s OMV for potential Borouge-Borealis merger

ADNOC in talks with Austria’s OMV for potential Borouge-Borealis merger

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The UAE is likely to see the emergence of a new petrochemicals firm if the ongoing negotiations between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and Austrian energy firm OMV materialize, said the company.

The two firms have announced that they are currently in talks on the possible creation of a new combined petrochemicals holding entity under their respective existing shareholdings in Borouge and Borealis respectively. The potential merger falls in line with ADNOC’s ongoing value creation and chemicals growth strategy, according to a statement.

Listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Borouge is owned 54 percent by ADNOC, 36 percent by Borealis, and 10 percent held by retail and institutional investors. On the other hand, Borealis is owned 75 percent by OMW and the remaining 25 percent is owned by ADNOC.

While ADNOC is undertaking these negotiations as a majority stakeholder in Borouge, OMV is undertaking the negotiations as a major stakeholder in Borealis. The final decision regarding the proposed merger is subject to Borouge’s and other relevant parties’ governance processes, the statement revealed.

In 2019, OMV announced that it was shifting its attention toward the Middle East in an attempt to make the Austrian oil and gas group a major supplier of plastics, after years of largely banking on low-cost Russia for growth.

At that time, OMV spent more than USD4.5 billion — 40 percent of the group’s mergers and acquisitions budget until 2025 — for oil and gas concessions in the region, a 15 percent stake in ADNOC’s refining business, and a to-be-formed trading joint venture with ADNOC and Italy’s Eni.

“We want to have a fully integrated business model in Abu Dhabi — from the well via the refinery and the petrochemicals all the way to marketing and trade in international markets,” the then CEO of Austria’s second-largest listed company, Rainer Seele, told shareholders.

Founded in 1971, ADNOC seeks to reduce emissions intensity in the UAE by 25 percent by the year 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Its vision is to unlock the full potential of the country’s natural and human resources.

MEGlobal raises Aug MEG ACP by USD20/tonne

MEGlobal raises Aug MEG ACP by USD20/tonne

MOSCOW (MRC) -- MEGlobal has nominated its August 2023 monoethylene glycol (MEG) Asian Contract Price (ACP) at USD810/tonne, up by USD20/tonne from its July ACP, the company said.

The price is on a CFR (cost & freight) Asia basis.

Spot MEG prices closed at USD478-487/tonne CFR CMP (China Main Ports) on 14 July.

We remind, MEGlobal nominated its July 2023 monoethylene glycol (MEG) Asian Contract Price (ACP) at USD790/tonne, down by USD50/tonne from its June ACP.

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.