Indonesia launches WTO dispute over EU duties on biodiesel imports

Indonesia launches WTO dispute over EU duties on biodiesel imports

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indonesia has requested World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute consultations with the European Union regarding the bloc's imposition of duties on imports of biodiesel from the Southeast Asia nation, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The EU is Indonesia's third-largest destination for palm oil products and is an important market for its biodiesel, a product made from palm oil. Indonesia is the world's biggest palm oil producer. The request was circulated to WTO members on Aug. 15, the body said, adding that Indonesia argues that the EU countervailing duties and the investigation that led to their imposition are inconsistent with WTO provisions.

The EU has imposed countervailing duties of between 8% and 18% for Indonesian biodiesel since 2019, according to Djatmiko Bris Witjaksono, director general of international trade cooperations at Indonesia's trade ministry.
"The imposition of the import duties has caused serious damage to Indonesian industry, especially when the global economy has only started to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic," Djatmiko said on Wednesday.

Countervailing duties are imposed under WTO rules with the goal of neutralizing the negative effects of subsidies. Indonesia's total biodiesel exports dropped 28% in 2019 from a year earlier, to 1.2 million tons according to its statistics bureau.

The EU accounted for about 52% of its 2018 biodiesel shipments and 45% in 2019. Indonesia shipped 435,827 tons of biodiesel in 2022, with 22.47% of that shipped to the EU.

As per MRC, U.S. motorists hoping to squeeze out one last trip before the Labor Day holiday and school begins are finding pump prices that have surged to their highest level this year on tighter gasoline supplies. Consumers tend to get a break from steeper fuel costs as peak vacation travel ebbs.

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Amcor, Mondelēz International and Licella partner to promote circular economy

Amcor, Mondelēz International and Licella partner to promote circular economy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Amcor and Mondelez International Inc., The Natural Confectionery Company, Pascall and others, are investing in advanced recycling technology pioneer Licella in an important step towards ending plastic waste, said the company.

The investments announced on 10 Aug 2023 will help Licella progress construction of one of the first advanced recycling facilities in Australia. Licella will use its innovative Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR) technology to recycle end-of-life plastic back into a crude oil substitute suitable to produce new food-grade plastic packaging.

Cat-HTR is an advanced hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technology, which uses hot, pressurized water to continuously recycle end-of-life plastic that would otherwise be sent to a landfill. The new Australian facility, called Advanced Recycling Victoria, will initially process about 20,000 tonnes/y of end-of-life plastic, with plans to scale up to 120,000 tonnes/y.

Through Amcor, Mondelez International will have access to recycled content from this site to meet much of its Australian soft plastic packaging needs, significantly reducing its need for virgin plastic in Australia. Amcor delivers a number of packaging solutions containing more sustainable materials, including recycled content, says Frank Lehmann, vice president of Corporate Venturing and Open Innovation at Amcor. With sustainability as the fourth pillar of Mondelez International's long-term business strategy, the company's sustainability initiatives are designed to drive growth and create value for its many stakeholders.

Recognizing the environmental challenges associated with packaging waste, the company strives to work with partners across the value chain to help support a circular economy for packaging waste. Through its 'Light and Right' packaging strategy, Mondelez International aims to remove unnecessary packaging and simplify packaging materials across the business.

We remind, Amcor Rigid Packaging (ARP) has announced the launch of 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) packaging for Ron Rubin Winery’s new BLUE BIN wine range. The range comes in a 750ml bottle size. rPET packaging has a wide range of environmental benefits, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional wine packaging.

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Production of renewable diesel restarted at Neste’s Singapore refinery after operational shutdown

Production of renewable diesel restarted at Neste’s Singapore refinery after operational shutdown

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The production of renewable diesel at Neste’s Singapore refinery expansion has been restarted in early August according to the company’s plans. The production line at the expanded part of the refinery was shut down in June for unexpected equipment repairs, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The ramp-up of the production at the expanded part of the refinery continues and is planned to be completed by the end of the year. SAF production in Singapore is scheduled to start during the third quarter as communicated in Neste’s half-year report in July.

The Singapore refinery expansion doubles Neste’s production capacity in Singapore. With the growth projects in Singapore and Martinez, the company targets to increase its total nameplate capacity of renewable products to 5.5 million tons in early 2024. The expansion of Neste’s Singapore refinery was completed and production at the expanded part of the refinery initially started in April 2023.

We remind, Neste is looking to build capacities at its Porvoo site to process 400,000 tons of liquefied waste plastic per year in the course of project PULSE, which is funded by the EU Innovation Fund. From 2030 onwards, Neste wants to process more than 1 million tons of waste plastic per year.

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European Energy opts for Clariant's catalyst for mega e-methanol plant

European Energy opts for Clariant's catalyst for mega e-methanol plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant Catalysts continues to drive energy transition lighthouse projects, said the company.

European Energy selected Clariant's methanol synthesis catalyst MegaMax for the world’s largest e-methanol project. Located in Kasso, Denmark, the facility is scheduled to start operations by the end of 2023. It will have the capacity to produce 32,000 tons of e-methanol annually from carbon dioxide using Clariant’s catalyst.

MegaMax was chosen as it is proven to deliver high activity and stability under the challenging conditions of CO2-to-methanol conversion. A large portion of the plant’s annual yield is already allocated to the maritime giant Maersk for powering its first-ever carbon-neutral fleet. The remaining green methanol will be supplied to the Lego Group and Novo Nordisk.

Georg Anfang, Vice President Syngas and Fuels at Clariant Catalysts, commented, “We are proud to be part of this pioneering project with European Energy. Clariant Catalysts has been developing Power-to-X technologies, including green methanol, for over a decade. As a substitute for maritime bunker fuel, green methanol has a huge potential to be a key component of the energy transition to decarbonize the transport sector."

Anders Brendstrup, Vice President at European Energy, added, “We are very pleased to have Clariant on board. Their renowned expertise and advanced products are a perfect match for our vision to drive the green energy transition. We see many advantages in our partnership, not only for this groundbreaking project but also for future ventures.”

European Energy was founded in 2004 with the goal of driving the green transition and developing sustainable, fossil-free energy solutions. The multinational company has major investments in solar and wind energy projects, as well as power-to-x and carbon capture technologies. European Energy builds 1000 MW of renewable energy annually.

We remind, 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.

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Petrobras CEO says no pressure from govt on fuel prices

Petrobras CEO says no pressure from govt on fuel prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazil's Petrobras was not pressured by the federal government to refrain from raising local fuel prices, its CEO said, after the state-run oil company announced a major hike in gasoline and diesel prices to track an "abrupt" global spike, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The move was welcomed by investors but is likely to upset the government, which has vowed to keep prices at the pump affordable, and brings renewed inflation fears just as the central bank started lowering interest rates.

Petrobras had been operating at discounts to international rates for weeks and until the price hike announced on Tuesday, markets had speculated on government interference. The price increase, which would raise average gasoline and diesel prices by 16.3% and 25.8% respectively, is the first by the oil giant since a new pricing policy was implemented under President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in May.

The president took office in January, pledging to change the firm's strategy to prioritize consumers over blockbuster returns for investors. Chief Executive Jean Paul Prates said in an interview with GloboNews late on Tuesday he received no pressure from Lula to avoid adjusting prices.

"It's very important to say that at no time did he urge, influence or suggest any price movement, up or down," Prates said. "When he appointed me to the job, it was a move of absolute trust: 'You know what to do, so go and do it.'"

Prates said the weeks Petrobras spent without increasing prices were to avoid passing international volatility onto customers, as the new policy intended. However, as global oil prices consolidated at higher levels following seven weeks of gains, Petrobras had to hike local prices to avoid losing money, the executive added.

"The new pricing policy has been efficient and already helped us a lot in fighting volatility," Prates said. "It was a fair price adjustment and I think our policy has passed the test, given a lot of people were skeptical about whether Petrobras would raise prices if oil prices went up."

We remind, Petrobras said on Tuesday it will raise gasoline and diesel prices at its refineries starting Wednesday after what it called an "abrupt" increase in global oil prices. Petrobras said in a statement it will hike average gasoline prices by 16.3% to 2.93 reais ($0.5893) per liter, while diesel prices will be raised by an average of 25.8% to 3.80 reais per liter.

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