Volkswagen fight against Italian dieselgate fine to be decided by Italian court

Volkswagen fight against Italian dieselgate fine to be decided by Italian court

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Volkswagen's attempt to avoid being penalized twice for the same offence in the dieselgate scandal will depend on whether the wrongdoing is identical or just similar, as per Reuters.

An Italian court will have the final say based on the reference provided by the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

The case centred on Volkswagen's challenge against a 5-million-euro ($5.4 million) Italian antitrust fine levied in 2016 for its misleading advertising about cars fitted with illegal emissions control devices.

The German carmaker said it should not be sanctioned twice for the same offence after it separately paid a 1 billion euro German fine in 2018. The diesel emissions scandal has cost Volkswagen more than 32 billion euros in refits, fines and legal costs so far.

The Italian court in its 2019 ruling dismissed Volkswagen's appeal, saying there was no double jeopardy involved as the Italian fine derived from a different legal basis. The company took its case to the Italian Council of State which then sought advice from the CJEU.

Double jeopardy "may apply only where the facts to which the two sets of proceedings or the two penalties at issue relate are identical; it is therefore not sufficient that those facts be merely similar," CJEU judges said.

We remind, Russia loaded the second oil cargo for delivery to Brazil in September, two traders said and LSEG data showed. A tanker Apus loaded 100,000 tons of Varandey oil sourced by Lukoil in the Arctic port of Murmansk on Sept. 10, LSEG data shows. The vessel is expected to arrive in Brazil's Pernambuco area at the end of the month, according to LSEG data.

Shipping group Maersk sets up green methanol company

Shipping group Maersk sets up green methanol company

MOSCOW (MRC) - Maersk has teamed up with its majority owner to form a new company to produce "green methanol", the shipping company said on Thursday, as it held a naming ceremony for the world's first container vessel powered by the low-carbon fuel, as per Reuters.

Green methanol, produced either from biomass or captured carbon and hydrogen from renewable power, can reduce carbon dioxide emissions from container ships by 60% to 95% compared with conventional fossil fuels. With more than 100 container vessels capable of sailing on methanol on order, the shipping industry, which accounts for 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, hopes the greener fuel will help it achieve a goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Maersk took delivery of the world's first such container vessel in July, when it began its debut journey from South Korea to Europe.

At a ceremony at the harbor outside Maersk's headquarters in Copenhagen, the 172-meter-long vessel capable of carrying 2,136 twenty-foot containers was named Laura Maersk by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, after the first ship to sail with Maersk's white star on blue logo in 1886.

The number of methanol-fueled vessels is expected to exceed 200 by 2028, up from 30 this year, consultancy DNV forecasts. However, production of green methanol is lagging behind demand.

On Thursday, Danish industrial group A.P. Moller Holding (APMH), majority-owner of Maersk, said it had formed a new company C2X that will pursue large-scale green methanol projects near the Suez Canal in Egypt and the port of Huelva in Spain, as well as in several other locations.

"To successfully transition away from fossil fuels we must jointly address the next big challenge and that is to enable and scale the world's supply of green fuels," Maersk Chairman Robert Maersk Uggla said.

C2X is majority owned by APMH while Maersk holds a 20% stake, the companies said. It was not immediately clear how much capital had been raised by the new venture.

We remind, CIMC Enric and its subsidiaries have announced a strategic partnership with Maersk to launch a biomass green methanol pilot project. The project will facilitate the landing of Maersk's first generation of green container vessels. The two sides have signed a MoU online to explore long-term cooperation in the clean energy field with a focus on green methanol.

Eni and LG Chem team up for biorefinery in South Korea

Eni and LG Chem team up for biorefinery in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) - The sustainable mobility unit of Italy's Eni and petrochemicals maker LG Chem have teamed up to explore the potential development of a biorefinery in South Korea, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Eni believes biofuels made from vegetable oil, waste cooking oil and grease will play a key role in decarbonizing the truck, aviation and shipping sectors in the next few years. The Italian group, which already operates two biorefineries at home, recently said it also wanted to develop plants in Asia and the United States.

The new project, which is designed to process around 400,000 tons of bio-feedstocks per year, aims to meet growing demand for both sustainable fuels and plastics produced through low-carbon processes. It will have the flexibility to process renewable bio-feedstocks and produce multiple products including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), and bio-naphtha.

A final decision for the investment is scheduled to be made by next year and the plant is set to be completed by 2026 at LG Chem's existing integrated petrochemical complex in Daesan, southwest Seoul.

Eni will provide the South Korean biorefinery with sustainable feedstock mainly sourced from waste and residue from the processing of vegetable oils, used cooking oil, and also vegetable oils from drought-resistant crops.

The Italian group recently signed several agreements with African and Asian countries to develop farming ventures able to produce these crops in degraded, semi-arid or abandoned soils not used for food production.

We remind, Nigerian state oil firm NNPC Ltd says a subsidiary of Italy's Eni did not obtain its consent prior to announcing a deal to sell onshore oil assets to local firm Oando PLC, a failure that could have breached terms of a joint operating agreement. The letter casts doubt on the speed of the transaction, announced on Monday, and underscores the difficulty international oil majors have faced in their years-long efforts to sell onshore oil and gas assets in Nigeria.

OPEC says IEA estimate of peak fossil fuel demand by 2030 not 'fact-based'

OPEC says IEA estimate of peak fossil fuel demand by 2030 not 'fact-based'

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Thursday data-based forecasts do not support the International Energy Agency's projection that demand for fossil fuels would peak in 2030, said Reuters.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in an op-ed in the Financial Times on Tuesday that new IEA estimates show "this age of seemingly relentless growth is set to come to an end this decade, bringing with it significant implications for the global energy sector and the fight against climate change."

OPEC, de facto led by top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, in its statement on Thursday said what made the projections "so dangerous" is they are often accompanied by calls to stop new oil and gas investments.

"Such narratives only set the global energy system up to fail spectacularly," OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais said in the statement. "It would lead to energy chaos on a potentially unprecedented scale, with dire consequences for economies and billions of people across the world."

OPEC said the projections do not factor ongoing technological progress by the oil and gas industry to cut emissions and that 80% of the world's energy mix comes from fossil fuels, the same as three decades ago.

"Based only on today's policy settings by governments worldwide — even without any new climate policies — demand for each of the three fossil fuels is set to hit a peak in the coming years. This is the first time that a peak in demand is visible for each fuel this decade — earlier than many people anticipated," Birol said in his op-ed.

But he added the forecasted decline was "nowhere near steep enough" to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the more ambitious target nations agreed to under the Paris climate agreement.

"Cognizant of the challenge facing the world to eliminate energy poverty, meet rising energy demand, and ensure affordable energy while reducing emissions, OPEC does not dismiss any energy sources or technologies, and believes that all stakeholders should do the same and recognize short- and long-term energy realities," Al Ghais said in the OPEC statement.

We remind, refiners across the top-importing region of Asia are being forced to adapt buying patterns as the additional output cuts by Saudi Arabia have reduced availability of their preferred medium sour grades of crude.
On September 5, the Kingdom, the top oil exporter and de facto leader of the OPEC+ group, extended its voluntary production cut of 1 MMbpd until the end of the year, while Russia, the second largest producer in the group, extended its 300,000 bpd output cut over the same period.

TotalEnergies launches green hydrogen tender call

TotalEnergies launches green hydrogen tender call

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies announced a call for tenders for the annual production of 500,000 tonnes of "green" hydrogen on Thursday, as part of the French oil major's plans to decarbonise its European refineries, said Reuters.

Its emissions reduction plan is to use green hydrogen, which is produced using renewable energy, to completely replace "grey" hydrogen in its carbon intensive industrial activities. TotalEnergies said the transition to green hydrogen would reduce emissions by around five million metric tons of CO2 per year from its refineries in Europe, including its three oil refineries and two biorefineries in France.

The call for tenders will complement other smaller, local projects, it added. The group also announced an agreement with Air Liquide to supply the Gonfreville refining platform with up to 15,000 tonnes of green and other low-carbon hydrogen, which is expected to reduce 150,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

"We need electrolyzers in massive quantities. This is also the purpose of this call for tenders: to give a boost to this sector," Jean-Marc Durand, director of petrochemical refining in Europe at TotalEnergies, told journalists during a presentation.

"We talk a lot about green hydrogen, but at some point, players like us need to commit to getting these sectors off the ground via massive calls for tender. There needs to be an effect of scale. Ihat's what this work is all about," he added.

The group is also banking on various regulations and incentives in Europe to obtain "competitive" prices, as green hydrogen normally costs two to three times as much as grey hydrogen, Sebastien Bruna, director of hydrogen in the refining branch of TotalEnergies, said.

European Union lawmakers gave their final approval this week to legally binding targets to expand renewable energy faster this decade, part of which gave a concession to France for nuclear power to be considered in the production of hydrogen.

We remind, TotalEnergies restarted the coker at its 238,000-bpd Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, said people familiar with plant operations. TotalEnergies restarted the 150,000-pd ACU-1 crude distillation unit (CDU) and 60,000-bpd vacuum distillation unit-2 (VDU-2), the sources said. A TotalEnergies spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.