Russia considers temporary fuel export ban due to domestic crunch

Russia considers temporary fuel export ban due to domestic crunch

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Russian government is considering a complete ban on the export of oil products for a certain period of time in order to stabilize domestic fuel prices, said Reuters.

Another option under consideration is an increase in the oil products export duty to USD250 per ton, it said.

The duty will be reimbursed to those companies that comply with the ministry of energy quotas for supply of petroleum products to the domestic market, the Interfax agency said, citing sources.

The domestic fuel shortage in Russia - one of the world's biggest oil producers - has been a result of modernization works at refineries, infrastructure bottlenecks and a weaker rouble following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 that raised borrowing costs.

Market sources told Reuters in late August that the situation may get worse in coming months.

We remind, Russia's United Oil- and Gas-Chemical Co. and China's Xuan Yuan Industrial Development have agreed to jointly invest USD686 MM in construction of a transshipment oil complex in Russia's far east. The complex will facilitate Russia's oil exports to China as Moscow expands its infrastructure to diversify exports of commodities eastward and away from Europe, which it now deems politically "unfriendly".

Origin Materials awarded BioMADE funding to advance the U.S Department of Defense sustainability goals

Origin Materials awarded BioMADE funding to advance the U.S Department of Defense sustainability goals

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Origin Materials, a leading carbon negative materials company with a mission to enable the world’s transition to sustainable materials, has been awarded funding from BioMADE, a Manufacturing Innovation Institute catalyzed by the U.S. Department of Defense, said the company.

BioMADE announced a suite of projects that aim to aid in the advancement of Department of Defense supply chain resiliency and sustainability goals, re-shore manufacturing jobs to the United States, and enhance the domestic bioindustrial manufacturing ecosystem. Origin Materials is one of nine projects announced by BioMADE, totaling $18.7 million in funding.

As part of its project, Origin will leverage its technology platform to develop samples of bio-based polymers and bio-based carbon black, which can be used to make more sustainable tires and other products, which could support Department of Defense fleet decarbonization efforts.

“This grant reflects the strong momentum for Origin’s technology platform to help solve the greatest sustainability challenges of our time,” said Origin Materials Co-CEO Rich Riley. “We are excited that Origin has been selected to pursue this far-reaching initiative for American manufacturing.”

“These projects will help unlock the benefits of bioindustrial manufacturing for all Americans – from everyday consumers to farmers to warfighters,” said Dr. Douglas Friedman, Chief Executive Officer at BioMADE in a statement. “By creating new products and transforming how we domestically manufacture existing products, these projects – and the bioindustrial manufacturing industry at large – have the potential to positively impact nearly every aspect of our lives.”

“These projects represent the breadth and depth of what can be accomplished with bioindustrial manufacturing,” said Dr. Melanie Tomczak, Head of Programs and Chief Technology Officer at BioMADE in a statement. “These innovations can play a key role in enhancing our military readiness, strengthening domestic supply chains, supporting American farmers, and creating jobs in rural communities.”

We remind, Origin Materials and Husky Technologies announced a milestone in the commercialization of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) incorporating the sustainable chemical FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) for advanced packaging and other applications.

ExxonMobil expands chemical production at its Baytown, Texas manufacturing facility

ExxonMobil expands chemical production at its Baytown, Texas manufacturing facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil announced the startup of two new chemical production units at its Baytown, Texas, manufacturing facility, said Hydrocaarbonprocessing.

The USD2-B expansion is part of ExxonMobil’s long-term growth plans to deliver higher-value products from its U.S. Gulf Coast refining and chemical facilities.

“With startup of these two new lines, ExxonMobil is delivering high-value materials for a variety of products that society depends on every day,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Product Solutions. “We achieved excellent safety performance by leveraging our expertise to plan and execute large projects, while providing meaningful investment in the U.S. Gulf Coast.”

The new performance polymers line will produce 400,000 metric tons per year of Vistamaxx and Exact-branded polymer modifiers, which can enhance the performance of a broad range of chemical products used to make automotive parts, construction materials, hygiene and personal care products, and various packaging applications. Vistamaxx can increase the durability of consumer products like reusable containers to extend their useful life while also allowing for higher recycled content. Exact can help meet the growing demand in the auto industry for thinner, lighter weight parts that improve fuel efficiency.

The new linear alpha olefins unit will produce 350,000 tons per year of Elevexx-branded products, marking ExxonMobil’s entry into the market. Linear alpha olefins are used in plastic packaging, high-performing engine and industrial oils and other applications. They’re also building blocks for surfactants, which reduce surface tension for cleaning and industrial uses, and drag reducing agents, which allow crude to flow through pipelines more efficiently.

ExxonMobil maintained its investment in this project through the pandemic and related economic downturn. The company’s extensive project management experience and technology capabilities enabled the units to start up safely according to planned schedule.

During construction, the project supported more than 3,500 jobs, and when fully operational, will directly employ 200 more people.

ExxonMobil’s Baytown facility is one of the largest integrated and most technologically advanced refining and petrochemical complexes in the world. Founded in 1919, ExxonMobil’s Baytown area operations are located on approximately 3,400 acres along the Houston Ship Channel, about 25 miles east of Houston. They include a refinery, chemical plant, olefins plant, plastics plant and global technology center.

We remind, ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC and Axens have signed an exclusive licensing alliance agreement allowing Axens to include ExxonMobil’s MTBE Decomposition Technology for high purity isobutylene in its portfolio. Used in the production of high-reactivity polyisobutylene and butyl rubber, this technology enables Axens’ customers to better address the growing demand for petrochemical intermediates over the next decade.

TotalEnergies Eneos and PTT Global Chemical launch project in Thailand

TotalEnergies Eneos and PTT Global Chemical launch project in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies ENEOS and PTT Global Chemical (GC) celebrated the official launching of a total capacity of 6.7 megawatt-peak (MWp) solar photovoltaic (PV) system for GC's 5 production facilities in Thailand, said the company.

GC is Thailand's largest integrated petrochemical and refining business and a leading corporation in the Asia-Pacific region, with a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for 20 percent by 2030 on its journey towards achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050.

As a global chemical company committed to creating a better quality of life for all, the installation of the solar rooftops further demonstrates GC Group's commitment to reduce their carbon footprint and fulfill their sustainability targets while saving power costs, without any business disruption. GC is collaborating with TotalEnergies ENEOS, known for their robust technical experience in deploying renewable energy solutions on highly technical and complex sites, to support them in their transition towards clean energy.

With over 11,000 of solar panels installed onto the rooftops of the company's 5 facilities, the 6.7 MWp PV systems generates approximately 9,500 megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy annually, realising significant cost savings for GC and reducing the company's carbon footprint by about 4,300 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to planting more than 64,500 trees over the contract period.

Under the agreement, TotalEnergies ENEOS operates the installed PV solar system while GC promptly buys the electricity generated for 20 years, without taking any upfront investments. TotalEnergies ENEOS guarantees the best performance of the system so GC can enjoy the economic and environmental benefits of the solar rooftop system, without any operational concerns.

We remind, TotalEnergies has completed the building of 1 megawatt-peak (MWp) Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System at two production sites of PREMO Vietnam Co. Ltd in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Headquartered in Spain, PREMO is a leading provider of electromagnetic motion tracking sensing solutions and designs. This PV system will power about 25% of the facilities with renewable energy.

China's diesel exports surge in August, have nearly tripled so far in 2023

China's diesel exports surge in August, have nearly tripled so far in 2023

MOSCOW (MRC) - China's diesel exports in August surged from a year earlier and have nearly tripled so far in 2023 compared to the same time a year ago, data showed on Monday, as refiners take advantage of strong regional refining margins to ship fuel overseas, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Exports of diesel, the biggest fuel by share of refinery output, last month totaled 1.26 million metric tons, up 51.5% from last year's 830,000 tons, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. Total diesel exports for the first eight months of the year are up 197.2% versus the same period in 2022.

Domestic diesel demand has seen only muted growth amid deepening tumult in the property sector and contracting exports, pushing refiners to shift their output overseas. Gasoline exports were up 23.7% to 1.38 million tons from 1.12 million tons in August last year.

Domestic demand for gasoline was anticipated to be high through August because of a pick-up in road traffic over the summer travel period, the first since 2019 not to be disrupted by COVID-19 containment measures.

Jet fuel exports were 1.55 million tons, up 98.1% from 780,000 tons a year earlier. Domestic flight capacity by available seats was up by about 17% from pre-pandemic levels in August 2019, while capacity on international flights in and out of China remained at around 49% of pre-pandemic levels, according to data from aviation analytics firm OAG.

Sales of jet fuel for outbound international flights are included in this export figure. China's surging fuel exports have coincided with monthly refinery throughput rising to a record 15.23 million bpd in August.

Total fuel exports, including marine bunker fuel, in August were up 23.3% from last year at 5.89 million tons, customs data showed earlier this month.

We remind, Russia's Sakhalin Energy, which produces liquefied natural gas and oil, has fully resumed production following maintenance. The company has said it planned maintenance in July without providing a timeframe. Sakhalin Energy's Sakhalin-2 operating company was transformed into a Russian entity via a presidential decree amid Western sanctions against Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.