Diesel is subsidising other fuels in Asia

Diesel is subsidising other fuels in Asia

MRC -- The profit for turning a barrel of crude oil into refined fuels in Asia has slipped to the lowest in three months, even though the margin on diesel remains elevated, said Reuters.

The profit, or crack, on making products at a typical Singapore refinery from Dubai crude fell to $4.07 a barrel on Monday, the lowest since July 10 and down 74% from the recent high of $15.40 on Aug. 28.

The decline has been driven by weakness in producing fuels such as gasoline and naphtha, even as the margin on middle distillates has performed strongly.

The trend for refining in Asia is increasingly characterised by strong margins for middle distillates, which are enough to offset weakness in gasoline and even losses for naphtha. This is being driven by a variety of factors, most of which are beyond the control of the refiners.

These include output cuts by the OPEC+ group of exporters, and especially the extra 1 million barrels per day reduction by the group's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia.

We remind, Russia, a leading global oil producer, has cemented its energy ties with China, the world's No. 2 oil consumer after the United States. Beijing has rejected Western criticism of its growing partnership with Moscow in light of Russia's conflict in Ukraine. It insists the ties do not flout international norms, and China has the prerogative to collaborate with whichever country it chooses.


Singapore petrochemical exports fall for 13th month

MRC -- Singapore’s petrochemical exports in September fell by 14.8% year on year to Singapore dollar (S$) 1.07bn, marking the 13th straight month of contraction amid continued weakness in external demand, said Enterprise Singapore.

The country's overall non-oil domestic exports (NODX) fell by 13.2% year on year to S$14.1bn in September, easing from the 22.5% contraction in the previous month, data from Enterprise Singapore showed on Tuesday.

September non-electronics NODX, which includes pharmaceuticals and chemicals, had a shallower year-on-year decline of 13.6% to S$11bn compared with the 22.9% slump in August.

Overall NODX to Singapore's top 10 markets declined in September, despite rebounds in exports to the US and China.

We remind, Fire broke out at a unit at Shell's chemicals manufacturing site on Jurong Island, Singapore, with no injuries reported, said the company. The fire which broke out at around 03:00 hours local time on 10 October has been put out, the spokesperson said. The spokesperson did not specify which unit was affected by the fire. Industry sources said that the fire could have affected styrene monomer (SM) production at the site, but it was unclear if any units were shut. The upstream 1.15m tonne/year cracker remains operational, they said. Shell runs two SM lines at the Jurong Island site which have a total production capacity of 1.02m tonnes/year.


LyondellBasell Invests in First Close of the Plastic Circularity Fund

MRC -- LyondellBasell announced its investment in the first close of the Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM) Plastic Circularity Fund SCSPp, said the company.

This fund will focus on investments providing solutions to reduce pollution from plastic waste and decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the plastic value chain. This includes investing in companies offering innovative plastic materials designed for reuse and recyclability, and improved collection, sorting and recycling solutions. LyondellBasell has committed a total of $44 million since 2021 to venture capital funds.

“Advancing circular solutions to meet the global challenge of plastic waste requires engagement and collaboration across the value chain to increase available material supply to meet the robustly growing demand for sustainable products,” said Yvonne van der Laan, executive vice president, Circular and Low Carbon Solutions at LyondellBasell. “LOIM’s Plastic Circularity Fund aligns with our ambition to help end plastic waste in the environment and accelerate the development of a circular, low carbon economy.”

The company’s venture capital investments include Closed Loop Partners, Infinity Recycling, HX Venture, Chrysalix, and LOIM. These investments align with the company’s goal that for every dollar LyondellBasell invests in venture funds addressing critical sustainability challenges, the company helps catalyze another five dollars from co-investors.

We remind, LyondellBasell Industries NV (Houston) has acquired a 50% stake in Rodepa Vastgoed BV (Enschede, Netherlands), the holding company of plastics recycler De Paauw Sustainable Resources (DPSR; Enschede), for an undisclosed sum.


RadiciGroup inaugurates new production plant in India

RadiciGroup inaugurates new production plant in India

MRC -- It is the first industrial site owned by RadiciGroup in India, employing over 100 collaborators and situated in the municipality of Halol in the federal state of Gujarat, said the company.

A decision made on the basis of RadiciGroup’s multiyear experience in India, which has allowed the Group to get to know the local market better and better, while growing steadily year after year. Today, RadiciGroup High Performance Polymers is a leading partner for many customers and, thanks to its new facility, is even better equipped to take on global challenges.

“It is a historic moment for us,” stated Maurizio Radici, vice president di RadiciGroup, who personally inaugurated the new site together with the management and staff of Radici Plastics India PVT LTD. “Now, we are present in India with a manufacturing facility that is part of the RadiciGroup High Performance Polymers global production network, which can count on 7 other plants and numerous sales sites located in Europe, North and South America, and Asia.”

“From the start,” the vice president continued, “we’ve had the vision to expand our roots in the world, with the goal of being close to our global and local customers, so as to develop high-quality products and innovative solutions for the market, together. Opening this plant emphasizes the success of our vision and represents the long-term commitment that we shareholders have to the Indian region.”

India is a market where having a strong presence is essential to seize growth opportunities in sectors requiring short reactive production chains.

We remind, RadiciGroup has launched a EUR 35 M site in Suzhou, China, to expand capacity for producing engineering polymers by 100%.


Celanese Launches New PA Solutions to Improve Performance of Electric Vehicle Components

Celanese Launches New PA Solutions to Improve Performance of Electric Vehicle Components

MRC -- Celanese Corporation, a global specialty materials and chemical company, announced the global commercial launch of two new polyamide solutions for manufacturers of Electric Vehicle (EV) powertrain components and EV battery applications, said the company.

The Frianyl® PA W-Series of flame-retardant polyamide solutions enables the manufacturing of large, thick-walled, flame-retardant components for EV batteries. With the W-Series solutions, manufacturers can improve the safety of these components, introduce novel new designs and enhance manufacturing efficiency. Potential applications include battery module housings, e-box housings and covers, and more.

The W-Series solutions achieve V-0 flame retardance at 1.5mm, combined with excellent flow characteristics. Compared to standard PA66 grades with 30% glass fiber reinforcement, the equivalent grade of the new W-Series offers a 10-20% improvement in flow in an injection mold, depending on the pressure applied. Improved flow means manufacturers can consider new designs and more readily fill molds during processing, potentially leading to cycle time reductions. The W-Series solutions also have excellent laser markability with all common laser marking processes.

In addition, the Frianyl® PA W-Series solutions exhibit an excellent Comparative Tracking Index (CTI) even after aging at 125°C for 1,000 hours. Long-term color stability of parts manufactured from these materials, measured at 125°C, is also notable with no visible change to the eye, and even only a nominal change when measured in a color lab.

We remind, Celanese is delaying the start-up of its new acetic acid plant in Clear Lake, Texas. Celanese had mechanically completed the project and had begun commissioning when it discovered defects in some of the high-metallurgy components from the manufacturing process of its supplier, the company said. These parts must be replaced before start-up.