Covestro appoints Christian Baier as new CFO, Dr. Thorsten Dreier to become Labor Director

Covestro appoints Christian Baier as new CFO, Dr. Thorsten Dreier to become Labor Director

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Supervisory Board of Covestro has unanimously appointed Christian Baier as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), said the company.

He will take over from Dr. Thomas Toepfer on October 1, 2023. Dr. Toepfer will leave the company as of August 31, 2023, and Covestro’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Markus Steilemann will act as CFO on an interim basis during September. Dr. Thorsten Dreier will take over the position of Labor Director in addition to his duties as Chief Technology Officer from September 1, 2023.

“Christian Baier is an accomplished top manager with a longstanding experience in the capital markets. We are delighted that, as a member of the Board of Management, he will be actively involved in shaping Covestro’s transformation to the circular economy and in the implementation of our Sustainable Future strategy,” says Dr. Richard Pott, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Covestro. “We are also pleased that Dr. Thorsten Dreier, with his long-standing knowledge of the company, will be shaping the future of Covestro and its employees in his additional role as the new Labor Director."

“I am very much looking forward to driving Covestro’s transformation and creating sustainable growth together with all Covestro employees and the Board of Management,” says Christian Baier.

Born in Freiburg/Breisgau (Germany), Baier has been a member of the Management Board (Chief Financial Officer) of METRO AG since 2016; this was preceded by various executive positions at the international wholesaler from 2011. Prior to that, his experience also includes working for Permira, a global investment firm, from 2006 to 2011.

We remind, Covestro has started production in its new plant for polyurethane elastomers systems at its integrated site in Shanghai, China.

Chemical rail traffic in North America rebounded to seasonal highs

Chemical rail traffic in North America rebounded to seasonal highs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical railcar traffic rose 1.8% year on year to 46,721 loadings in the week ended 19 August, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

A 7.5% increase in Canada, where industry is still working off backlogs from the 1-13 July strike at west coast ports, more than offset declines in the US and Mexico.

For the first 33 weeks of 2023 ended 19 August, North American chemical rail traffic was down 2.4% year on year to 1,492,438 - with the US down 3.7% to 1,026,205 loadings.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

We remind, North American chemical railcar traffic fell 3.6% year on year to 44,224 loadings in the week ended 12 August - the first decline in four weeks as gains in Canada and Mexico were more than offset by a 5.9% decline in the USA.

Marathon Petroleum implements Topsoe technology at Martinez renewables facility

Marathon Petroleum implements Topsoe technology at Martinez renewables facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Marathon Petroleum’s former refinery in Martinez, California, has been repurposed to produce renewable diesel through the company’s joint venture with Neste, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Martinez Renewable Fuels Facility is currently operating with a capacity of 260 MMgal/yr. Additional production capacity is expected to be online by the end of 2023, bringing the total capacity to approximately 730 MMgal/yr of renewable fuels.

The fuels are produced using Topsoe’s licensed HydroFlex technology. Topsoe was selected by Marathon Petroleum as the technology provider for renewable fuels production at the Martinez Renewable Fuels Facility in California. The facility, part of Marathon’s 50/50 joint venture with Neste, utilizes Topsoe’s HydroFlex technology to convert bio-feedstock into renewable diesel.

The continued partnership between Topsoe and Marathon builds upon the successful operation at Marathon’s Dickinson facility in North Dakota, which also uses Topsoe’s HydroFlex renewable fuels technology and achieved design capacity in the second quarter of 2021.

We remind, Marathon Petroleum’s Q3 net income rose more than six-fold year on year to USD4.5bn, with the refining and marketing (R&M) margin more than doubling. Crude capacity utilisation was about 98%, with total throughput of 3.0m bbl/day in Q3 – compared with 93% and 2.8m bbl/day, respectively, in Q3 2021.

Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC) is a leading, integrated, downstream energy company headquartered in Findlay, Ohio. The company operates the nation's largest refining system. MPC's marketing system includes branded locations across the United States, including Marathon brand retail outlets. MPC also owns the general partner and majority limited partner interest in MPLX LP, a midstream company that owns and operates gathering, processing, and fractionation assets, as well as crude oil and light product transportation and logistics infrastructure.

Reliance increased oil imports in July by 6% to nearly 1.1 MMbpd

Reliance increased oil imports in July by 6% to nearly 1.1 MMbpd

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India's Reliance Industries Ltd, the operator of the world's biggest refining complex at Jamnagar in western Gujarat state, increased oil imports in July by about 6% to 1.09 MMbpd, tanker data from trade and industry sources showed, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The sources declined to be named as they are not authorized to speak to media.

We remind, Reliance Industries Ltd has turned its sights on the domestic market, offering a high-performance diesel at a lower price than fuel sold by state-owned retailers. Jio-bp, the retail fuel joint venture of Reliance and bp will sell diesel mixed with detergents and dispersants at 1 rupee cheaper per liter than gasoil sold by the state-run companies, such as, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum.

Shell taps Goldman Sachs to explore Singapore refinery and petchem plant sale

Shell taps Goldman Sachs to explore Singapore refinery and petchem plant sale

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell is considering a sale of its Singapore refining and petrochemical plants as part of a broader strategic review and has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to explore a potential deal, said several sources close to the matter, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The global energy major's new CEO, Wael Sawan, is targeting spending cuts over the next two years to boost profitability while remaining committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Those efforts include the review of energy and chemicals assets on Singapore's Bukom and Jurong islands, announced in June, as the group seeks to repurpose its energy and chemical parks globally to offer more low-carbon solutions to customers.

"Our strategic review is ongoing and we are exploring several options including divestment," a Shell spokesperson told Reuters on Wednesday.

Singapore's position as a regional trading and marketing hub remains important, she added. Companies that are reviewing Shell's Singapore assets include Asia's largest refiner, China's Sinopec, as well as global trading companies Vitol and Trafigura, the sources said.

For trading companies, the site is seen as a potential oil storage and distribution hub, some of the sources said.

Goldman Sachs, Sinopec, Trafigura and Vitol declined to comment.

The Bukom refinery, Shell's only wholly owned refining and petrochemicals center in Asia, can process 237,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude. Built in 1961, it was Singapore's first refinery.

The complex also houses a 1 million metric tons per year (tpy) ethylene cracker and a 155,000 tpy butadiene extraction unit. These are integrated with a monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant at Shell’s petrochemicals site on Jurong Island.

In March, Shell decided not to proceed with two projects it was studying to produce biofuels and base oils in Singapore.