Russia's September seaborne diesel exports fall on maintenance, export ban

Russia's September seaborne diesel exports fall on maintenance, export ban

Seaborne diesel and gasoil exports from Russian ports fell 27% in September from a month earlier to about 2.76 million tons due to a major overhaul of refineries and a fuel export ban, data from traders and LSEG showed, as per Reuters.

Idle primary oil refining capacity for September stood at 4.657 million tons, up 45% from August, according to Reuters calculations. Last month Russia temporarily banned exports of gasoline and diesel from Sept. 21 to cope with a domestic shortage, but later lifted restrictions on bunker fuel and high sulfur gasoil.

The ban on exports of Russian diesel is indefinite, with further government action dependent on a deficit being erased in the domestic market, according to Russian First Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin.

Russia may introduce overseas fuel export quotas if the ban does not succeed in bringing down domestic fuel prices, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said last week.

Russian pipeline operator Transneft stopped export shipments of diesel from Primorsk from Sept. 22, when ULSD loadings via the port reached 745,000 tons. Three more cargoes of diesel totaling 113,000 tons were loaded in Primorsk between Sept. 27 and Sept. 30, due to an exception for volumes which had loading orders before the export ban.

Total September ULSD loadings from the Russia's Primorsk fell by 46% month-on-month to 858,000 tons. Primorsk port is the main outlet for ULSD exports, while the Black Sea ports Novorossiisk and Tuapse also include high-sulfur gasoil shipments.

We remind, Russia may introduce quotas on overseas fuel exports if a complete export ban imposed last week does not succeed in bringing down persistently high gasoline and diesel prices, its Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said. The government said in a statement late on Thursday that Novak told a meeting of senior managers at Russian oil companies that the ban on the export of gasoline and diesel had initially led to a fall in prices on the commodity exchange.

ADNOC top exec says oil and gas could remain relevant until 2050

ADNOC top exec says oil and gas could remain relevant until 2050

Oil and gas will remain a relevant part of the energy mix until potentially 2050, Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Executive Director of Low Carbon Solutions and International Growth at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company(ADNOC) said on Monday during an energy conference in Abu Dhabi, said Reuters.

The announcement is part of Adnoc’s wider carbon management strategy, which aims to create a unique platform that connects all the sources of emissions and sequestration sites to accelerate the delivery of Adnoc and the UAE’s decarbonization goals.

Using best-in-class technology, the project will triple Adnoc’s carbon capture capacity to 2.3 mtpa, equivalent to removing over 500,000 gasoline-powered cars from the road per year. The project, to be built, operated and maintained by Adnoc Gas on behalf of Adnoc, will include carbon capture units at the Habshan gas processing plant, pipeline infrastructure, and a network of wells for CO2 injection.

We remind, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co has increased its buyout offer for Covestro AG to around 11 billion euros (USD12.3 billion). ADNOC's latest bid values Covestro at about 57 euros per share, the person said, up from a mid-50 euro per share range. Covestro had rejected ADNOC's initial takeover proposal last month, saying the offer was too low. A Covestro spokesperson declined to comment, while ADNOC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

LG Chem, Huayou to build LFP cathode plant in Morocco

LG Chem, Huayou to build LFP cathode plant in Morocco

South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. said on Sunday it will build a lithium phosphate iron (LFP) cathode materials plant in Morocco in partnership with China’s Huayou Group unit Youshan, said Kedglobal.

The materials will be subsidized by the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as the North African country is a free trade partner of the US, LG Chem added.

The plant is aimed at mass production from 2026 with an annual capacity of 50,000 metric tons. That is enough to be installed in 500,000 entry-class EVs, which come with a 50-kilowatt-per-hour capacity and a 350-kilometer range, LG Chem stated.

The materials from Morocco, which sits on the world’s largest reserve of phosphate rocks, will be supplied to North America. The cathodes will be used for LFP batteries of LG Energy Solution Ltd.'s Arizona-based plant that will begin operations in 2026, industry sources said.

The two affiliates of LG Group are aiming to rapidly increase their share in the global LFP battery market, currently dominated by China. LFP batteries are gaining popularity as they are cheaper than nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) batteries and have a low fire hazard, thus often used for affordable EVs.

In July, the firm started a process to sell off its core naphtha cracking center (NCC) in Korea, estimated at about 3 trillion won ($2.2 billion). In August, the company decided to look for potential buyers for its domestic film factories.

Korea’s SKC to invest up to $70 mln in US smart glass firm Halio

Korea’s SKC to invest up to $70 mln in US smart glass firm Halio

SKC Ltd., a South Korean chemicals maker, is set to invest as much as USD70 million in Halio Inc., a US smart glass technology company, to expand the energy-saving solution business, said Kedglobal.

SKC said its board of directors on Tuesday decided on the investment plan with aims to foster the energy-saving solution based on smart windows as one of the company’s core eco-friendly businesses along with biodegradable materials, which reduce plastic waste.

“The investment, in addition to the technology we have developed so far, is expected to allow us to further advance our smart window business,” said an official of SKC, a unit of S
outh Korea’s second-largest conglomerate SK Group.

Smart glass controls the reflective properties of glasses with electrochromics to control the amount of light and heat passing through building windows. The color of glass darkens in hot weather to improve the cooling efficiency of buildings, while it becomes transparent in cold weather to enhance heating efficiency. Its appearance is similar to ordinary glass, but it made with technology using similar materials to that in battery production.

We remind, Russian government has approved some changes to its fuel export ban, lifting the restrictions for fuel used as bunkering for some vessels as well as diesel with high content of sulfur. It also lifted restrictions on the export of fuel already accepted for export by the Russian Railways and Transneft before the initial ban had been announced last week. The ban on all types of gasoline and high-quality diesel remains in place.

LG Chem to sell polarizer businesses to Chinese peers for USD800 mn

LG Chem to sell polarizer businesses to Chinese peers for USD800 mn

LG Chem Ltd., the parent of South Korea’s No. 1 battery maker LG Energy Solution Ltd., will unload its polarizer businesses to two Chinese players for a combined USD800 million as part of its business reorganization to focus on its new growth engines, battery materials, green materials and life sciences, said Kedglobal.

The company announced in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that its board of directors approved a plan to sell off its polarizer business to Suzhou-based Shanjin Optoelectronics for $200 million and the polarizer materials business to another Chinese company Hefei Xinmei Materials Technology Co. for 4.5 billion yuan (USD616 million).

A month ago, The Korea Economic Daily reported exclusively on LG Chem’s move to seek a new owner for its display film business to exit from the IT materials business amid the rapid ascent of Chinese players.

Many Chinese petrochemical peers have recently jumped into the IT film market, intensifying competition and deteriorating profitability.

The latest decision is also part of LG Chem’s broad business shakeup plan to bolster its new growth drivers -- battery materials, eco-friendly materials and life sciences for innovative medicine development, the company said in the filing.

We remind, LG Chem announced on 24 Sep 2023 that it will make inroads into the lithium-phosphate-iron (LFP) cathode materials business in partnership with China's Huayou Group. In addition, LG Chem will start vertical integration of its cathode supply chain. LG Chem and Huayou Group signed a comprehensive memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 22 Sep 2023, to jointly enter the LFP cathode material market and strengthen their cathode supply chain.