Canada releases framework to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies

Canada releases framework to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Canada on Monday released a framework for eliminating inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, making it the first G20 country to deliver on a 2009 commitment to rationalize and phase out government support for the sector, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The framework will apply to existing tax measures and 129 non-tax measures, but the government has not put a dollar value on the subsidies that will be affected.

Fossil fuel actives will be exempt from the framework if they fall into one of six categories: enabling significant carbon emissions reductions, supporting clean energy, providing essential energy to a remote community or short-term support for an emergency response, supporting Indigenous participation in fossil fuel activities or are projects that have a credible plan to reach net-zero by 2030.

"It ensures that the only federal support for oil and gas goes to projects that decarbonize the sector and result in significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions," federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault told a press conference.

We remind, NOVA Chemicals Corporation has made a significant expansion of its Circular Solutions business today by announcing an investment into developing its first mechanical recycling facility in Connersville, Ind. The facility will process post-consumer plastic films to produce the company’s SYNDIGO recycled polyethylene (rPE) at commercial scale as early as 2025, delivering over 100 million pounds of rPE to the market by 2026.

Local court overturns permit for the INEOS Project One Antwerp cracker project

Local court overturns permit for the INEOS Project One Antwerp cracker project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A regional court has overturned the permit issued to INEOS for its Project One cracker project at Antwerp in Belgium, calling the future of the project into question, said the company.

The project, unveiled in 2019, is the first new cracker to be built in the region for a quarter of a century, with commissioning scheduled for 2026 and full operation by early 2027. INEOS moved ahead with the project after the province of Antwerp approved a permit for in December 2021, which was reinforced by a separate approval by the Flemish government in June 2022.

However local residents and environmental groups continued a campaign against the project, taking cases to several regional governments in Belgium and the Netherlands. Today’s ruling annuls the existing permits issued to INEOS.

The decision, issued by Belgium’s Service of the Administrative Courts (DBRC), centres around nitrogen emissions from the project which it claims will damage habitats in a nearby nature reserve. The reserve is protected under the European Habitats Directive.

It rules that the Flemish government did not taken these emissions sufficiently into account when granting the permit.

According to a translation of a statement released by the court: “Because the permit has been cancelled, INEOS Olefins Belgium no longer has permission to carry out the works for the ethane cracker. The Government of Flanders has six months to decide again on the license application.”

Expected onstream by 2026 before the ruling came down, the project stands to be the first new European cracker in decades, and set to be the lowest-carbon complex in the region.

INEOS announced in February that it had locked down €3.5bn in financing for the project from 21 organisations, including a sizeable portion guaranteed by Gigarant, a vehicle of the Flemish government.

The unit will have a carbon footprint more than three times lower than the average European facility, and less than half of the top 10% lowest-emitting steam crackers in the region, with Europe’s ageing cracker stock making the comparisons of CO2 footprint especially stark.

We remind, Ineos Olefins & Polymer Europe has signed a renewable power agreement with Skagerak Energitjenester to provide 100 % green energy to its Rafnes and Bamble plants in Norway. Combined with the recently announced Ineos Inovyn deal in Norway, all of Ineos’ assets in the region are now supplied with 100 % green power generated from hydroelectric production.

Advanced Petrochemical Q2 profit falls on lower prices, sales volume

Advanced Petrochemical Q2 profit falls on lower prices, sales volume

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Advanced Petrochemical Company generated SAR 103 million worth of net profits after Zakat and tax in the first half (H1) of 2023, which came 62.41% lower than SAR 274 million in H1-22, said Argaam.

The annual plunge in H1-23 net profits resulted from a 22% decrease in sales prices as well as a 6% lower volume, the company said in a bourse disclosure. The earnings per share (EPS) declined to SAR 0.4 in the first six months (6M) of 2023 from SAR 1.05 in the same period a year earlier.

Advanced Petrochemical achieved revenues worth SAR 1.20 billion during January-June 2023, signalling an annual drop of 28.09% from SAR 1.68 billion.

The income statements indicated that the listed company reported a 45.45% year-on-year (YoY) decrease in net profit to SAR 60 million during the second quarter (Q2) of 2023 from SAR 110 million. The revenues also fell by 28.50% to SAR 582 million in Q2-23 from SAR 814 million in Q2-22.

On a quarterly basis, the Q2-23 net profits were 39.53% higher than SAR 43 million in Q1-23, while the revenues shrank by 7.18% from SAR 627 million. It is worth mentioning that in Q1-23, Advanced Petrochemical reported lower net profits when compared to Q1-22.

We remind, Saudi Aramco has completed the USD3.4bn purchase of a 10% stake in China's Rongsheng Petrochemical. The acquisition follows the signing of definitive strategic agreements by the two firms which was announced on 27 March 2023. “Our strategic partnership with Rongsheng advances Aramco’s liquids to chemicals strategy while growing our presence in China," Aramco's downstream president said Mohammed Al Qahtani said.

Sonatrach signs new contracts with TotalEnergies

Sonatrach signs new contracts with TotalEnergies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies signed with Sonatrach, Occidental and Eni an extension of its Production Sharing Contract for a period of 25 years for onshore Blocks 404a and 208 in the Berkine basin, in Eastern Algeria, said the company.

This contract, signed under the new Algerian Hydrocarbon Law published in 2019, will allow to develop additional liquids hydrocarbon resources, while reducing these fields carbon intensity through a dedicated carbon reduction program. The opportunity to develop and valorize associated gas resources will be studied by the partners, thus increasing export potential towards Europe.

“This new contract on Berkine asset, under the Algerian new Hydrocarbon Law, marks a new milestone in the strategic partnership with Sonatrach. This project is in line with the Company’s strategy to develop low-cost oil while contributing to carbon reduction programs to minimize our carbon footprint”, commented Laurent Vivier, Senior Vice President Middle East and North Africa, Exploration & Production at TotalEnergies.

TotalEnergies is a global multi-energy company that produces and markets energies: oil and biofuels, natural gas and green gases, renewables and electricity. Our more than 100,000 employees are committed to energy that is ever more affordable, cleaner, more reliable and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, TotalEnergies puts sustainable development in all its dimensions at the heart of its projects and operations to contribute to the well-being of people.

We remind, TotalEnergies and its partner SOCAR (State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan) announce the start of production of the first phase of development of the Absheron gas and condensate field in the Caspian Sea, around 100 km south-east of Baku.

ECARU, Qalaa Holdings, and Axens to study second-gen biofuel and SAF production project

ECARU, Qalaa Holdings, and Axens to study second-gen biofuel and SAF production project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Within the framework of their strategy to provide practical solutions for cleaner energy, ECARU (Egyptian Company for Solid Waste Recycling), Qalaa Holdings, and Axens, signed a cooperation protocol in the presence of H.E. French ambassador to Egypt Marc Barety, to carry out technical and economic studies for a project of second-generation biofuel (advanced bioethanol) and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

In collaborating, the parties are bringing together their respective areas of expertise:

Qalaa Holdings is a leader in energy and infrastructure investments and exerts all efforts to produce cleaner energy and alternative fuels. This comes in accordance with Egypt's strategy to develop renewable/low carbon fuels and contribute to achieving sustainability and recycling various wastes, in order to achieve economic growth. Qalaa Holdings’ strategy aims at providing practical solutions for cleaner energy resulting from converted biomass via ECARU, one of the companies in which Qalaa Holdings invests.

ECARU is already producing a number of products from agricultural waste, such as high-quality organic fertilizers and alternative solid fuel for cement factories (BDF), in line with Egypt's efforts to preserve the environment and mitigate climate change. Over the past 15 years, it contributed in the disposal and recycling for further use of 3.5 million tons of agricultural waste, thus reducing pollution by avoiding open burning.

Axens is a French licensing company that licenses various processes in the field of renewable/low carbon fuels. Starting from biomass to advanced bioethanol (Futurol) and then a further conversion into SAF (Jetanol), Axens is the single licensor for the full set of technologies and will support ECARU and Qalaa Holdings for this project.
The project will be carried out in two phases, the first of which will be the production of advanced bioethanol while the second will be the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The project’s studies will take about seven months, noting that the company aims to export its production of second-generation biofuel, in line with Egypt’s strategy to maximize the use of various waste types and contribute to sustainability and waste recycling, thereby fostering economic growth.

Dr. Ahmed Heikal, Chairman and Founder of Qalaa Holdings, said: “We are so proud to launch this cooperation with Axens for the production of second-generation biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass to promote global environmental sustainability, within the framework of our commitment to establishing high value-added export-oriented projects”. Heikal added, “Qalaa is significantly increasing its investments in Egypt through the companies in which it invests by implementing high-value-added export-oriented projects. The timing now is ripe for such projects”.

Dr. Hesham Sherif, Chairman and Managing Director of ECARU, commented: “ECARU is looking forward to starting the financial and technical study of the project, and actual production within three years, over two phases. The first phase shall involve the production of advanced bioethanol, while the second phase shall concern the production of sustainable aviation fuel. Such production is export-orientated to meet the growing needs of the global market.”

Jean Sentenac, President and Chief Executive Officer of Axens, said: “We are thrilled to support Qalaa Holdings and ECARU in their effort toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, thanks to what will be the first advanced bioethanol and SAF project in Egypt. I am proud that Futurol and Jetanol will be the technological key stone of this project.”

We remind, Axens has signed an agreement with KazMunayGas (KMG) to supply the process design package for its proprietary AlphaButol technology for producing high-purity 1-butene, which is required for producing PE. KMG has plans for a 1.2 million t/y PE plant in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. French technology and engineering group Axens has signed an agreement with KazMunayGas (KMG) to supply the process design package for its proprietary AlphaButol technology that produces high-purity 1-butene, which is required for producing PE. KMG plans to build a 1.2 million t/y PE plant in the Atyrau region of Kazakhstan – a timescale for the project has not been disclosed.