India's gasoline demand likely to recover from late August

India's gasoline demand likely to recover from late August

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India's gasoline demand will likely recover from late August, while diesel consumption is expected to stay weak, an official at refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) said, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The local sale of diesel by private refiners is also denting sales by state-run companies, the official said.

The official did not wish to be named as he was not authorized to speak to media.

Daily gasoline sales by the three state-run retailers, which also includes Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum during July 1-16 were down by 10.8% month-on-month, preliminary data showed.

We remind, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IndianOil) and Praj Industries Limited (Praj) signed a term sheet to advance plans to strengthen biofuels production capacities in India. Various biofuels covered under this MoU include Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), Ethanol, Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG), Biodiesel and Bio-bitumen among others. Earlier in October 2021, both the Companies had entered into an agreement to form a 50:50 Joint Venture to this end.

Clariant Q2 2023 sales and FY 2023 outlook weaker

Clariant Q2 2023 sales and FY 2023 outlook weaker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a sustainability-focused speciality chemical company, provided on 7 Jul 2023 a trading update based on a preliminary assessment of its 2Q 2023 results and adjusted its expectations for FY 2023, said the company.

2Q 2023 preliminary sales at SFR 1084 M (compared to SFR 1301 M in 2Q 2022 and SFR 1200 M in 1Q 2023) resulting from improved Catalysts sales which partly compensate very weak demand in Care Chemicals and Additives as well as an approximate SFR -30 M net top-line impact from divestments/acquisition and around 10% negative FX translation effects.

2Q 2023 reported EBITDA is expected between SFR 155 - 165 M (14.4-15.4% reported EBITDA margin) compared to SFR 216 M (16.6%) in 2Q 2022, which included SFR 23 M gain from the Scientific Design divestment, and SFR 167 M (13.9%) in 1Q 2023. The 2Q 2023 reported EBITDA will include a SFR 55 M gain from the Quats divestment closed on 1 Jun 2023 (recognized in Care Chemicals), around SFR 20 M restructuring charges, and between negative SFR 5-10 M other exceptional items. Based on the preliminary assessment of 2Q 2023 results and given limited indications for a recovery in the second half, except in the Catalysts business, FY 2023 sales are expected between SFR 4.55-4.65 bn (previously guided: around SFR 5 bn).

This includes a net divestments/acquisition impact of SFR -150 M relating to the Quats, NORAM Land Oil, and Attapulgite transactions as well as an expected approximately 5-10% negative FX translation impact. Given the ongoing Catalysts profitability improvement and muted recovery in Care Chemicals and Additives, FY 2023 reported EBITDA is expected between SFR 650-700 M (14.3-15.1% reported EBITDA margin; previously guided: slight improvement vs 15.6% reported in 2022) including a SFR 55 M gain from the Quats divestment and the roughly SFR 30 M restructuring charges outlined above.

We remind, Clariant, a focused, sustainable, and innovative specialty chemical company, announced the completion of the divestment of its North American Land Oil business to Dorf Ketal, a specialty chemicals manufacturer and service provider headquartered in India, for USD 14.5 million on 31 March 2023. Clariant’s North American Land Oil business is a provider of chemical technologies and services to the North American oil and gas industry and generated sales of USD 115 million in 2022.

Toray increases carbon fibre capacity

Toray increases carbon fibre capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tokyo-headquartered Toray Industries plans to increase regular tow carbon fibre production capacity at the Spartanburg, South Carolina plant of Toray Composite Materials America, and the Gumi plant of Toray Advanced Materials Korea in Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea, said Innovationintextiles.

These investments will increase Toray Group’s annual capacity by over 20% to 35,000 metric tons by 2025.

The capacity increases are in response to the market situation in the United States and Korea, where demand for pressure vessel applications is rising. Fuelled by new clean energy applications in hydrogen and natural gas, the expansions will target the further adoption of high-strength carbon fibres of up to 24,000 filaments per tow. The capacity increases will also complement total supply for other core markets such as aerospace.

Toray anticipates demand for regular tow carbon fibre will expand by 17% annually. The decarbonisation megatrend signals a growing demand for compressed natural gas delivery vehicles and gas transportation tanks, increasing the need for compressed natural gas, hydrogen tanks and other pressure vessel applications. This trend will also increase the adoption of regular tow carbon fibre for passenger cars, trucks, trains, and ships that utilise fuel cells, the company believes.

We remind, Toray Advanced Materials Korea (TAK) has announced plans to increase its annual production capacity of polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) resin by 5,000 tons. The expansion will take place at the Gunsan plant located in Saemangeum Industrial Complex and is set to be completed by 2024, bringing TAK's total annual capacity to 13,600 tons, the largest in South Korea. TAK will also raise its capacity for sodium sulfide, the main raw material for PPS resin, to 4,800 tons per year.

Riyadh, Tokyo to cooperate on energy security, hydrogen and ammonia

Riyadh, Tokyo to cooperate on energy security, hydrogen and ammonia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it remains committed to securing oil supplies for Japan and will continue cooperating with Tokyo on clean hydrogen, ammonia and recycled carbon fuels, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The kingdom will keep supplying Saudi crude oil for Okinawa's government oil reserves in southern Japan, a statement posted on the energy ministry's website quoted Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman as saying. "We continue to guarantee oil supply to Japan and maintain our position as the most reliable partner," Prince Abdulaziz said. "Saudi is Japan's biggest oil exporter fulfilling 40% of its total needs."

The energy minister's comments came after Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held meetings with Saudi leaders in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah, where he arrived on Sunday as part of a Middle East tour. Kishida will also visit the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Japan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also announced the resumption of talks on a free trade agreement, according to a statement issued on Sunday by the council, a union of six countries in the Gulf region including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain.

Kishida and the GCC secretary general signed a joint statement to resume negotiations, which will mark the third such attempt by Japan and the GCC to ink a trade pact, with negotiations previously held in 2006 and 2007. The Saudi energy ministry said it signed agreements with the Japanese industry and trade ministry to develop clean hydrogen, production of ammonia and its derivatives and recycled carbon fuels.

The two countries signed 26 cooperation agreements during the visit, Saudi Arabia's Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih told state-run Al Ekhbariya television. According to Japan's Nikkei on Saturday, Kishida and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are set to agree on rare earth resources cooperation and to jointly explore development projects in other countries.

A senior official at Japan's foreign ministry told reporters this week that Kishida plans to discuss energy markets during his trip, while also aiming to offer Japanese technologies for net zero transition.

We remind, 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. 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.

Iraq-Iran gas-for-oil barter would likely violate U.S. sanctions

Iraq-Iran gas-for-oil barter would likely violate U.S. sanctions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A barter of Iranian natural gas for Iraqi oil as described by the Iraqi prime minister this week would likely violate U.S. sanctions on Tehran unless the U.S. issued a waiver permitting it, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani on Tuesday said Iraq would begin trading crude oil for Iranian gas to end recurring payment delays to Tehran due to required U.S. approval for such transactions. Sudani said Iran had cut gas exports to Iraq by more than half as of July 1 after Baghdad failed to secure U.S. approval to disburse owed funds, but Tehran had now agreed to resume gas exports in exchange for crude oil.

There are few details available about the potential barter, which could help defuse a political problem for Sudani since power cuts are unpopular during the sweltering Iraqi summer when temperatures can top 50 Celsius (122 Fahrenheit). However, three former U.S. officials said a barter would likely run afoul of U.S. sanctions.

"It would be a violation of U.S. sanctions to conduct this kind of a barter transaction with Iran absent a U.S. national security waiver being issued," said Richard Goldberg of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank.

"This would be prohibited under the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act, which prohibits any transaction related to energy with Iran," added Goldberg, who served on the Trump administration national security council staff.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a 120-day waiver on March 21, a State Department official said, allowing Iraq to pay Iran only for electricity imports, not for natural gas to fuel Iraqi domestic power generation.

"The March 2023 waiver, granted by the Secretary, allows Iraq to purchase electricity from Iran. Nothing else," said the official on condition of anonymity. That waiver was announced by the State Department on March 31. There has been speculation the waiver might be amended to allow barter, an issue the official declined to address.

We remind, a fire that broke out in petroleum product reservoirs belonging to the Aftab Oil Refining company in an industrial zone in Iran's southern port city of Bandar Abbas has been extinguished. The official IRNA news agency said that "eight people have been injured due to the incident", while an investigation into the causes of the fire has been initiated.