Venezuela's main refining complex running at 10% of capacity after two CDUs shutdown

Venezuela's main refining complex running at 10% of capacity after two CDUs shutdown

MRC -- Venezuela's largest refining complex, the 955,000-bpd Paraguana Refining Center, was operating at about 10% of capacity after two CDUs were shutdown due to a fire and lack of feedstock, according to four sources close to operations, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The paralysis at state oil company PDVSA's complex is cutting down the OPEC country's refining operations in a critical moment, when scarcity of gasoline and diesel are affecting some regions, triggering long lines of drivers in front of stations.

The Cardon and Amuay refineries integrate the Paraguana Refining Center at Venezuela's Western region, among the world's largest but that has been operating at a fraction of capacity in the last decade due to delayed maintenance and lack of repairs.

The whole complex was on Monday processing 94,000 bpd of crude, about 10% of its nameplate capacity, the sources said. PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

One of Cardon's four CDUs was halted on Saturday following a fire that left no injured workers, reducing the refinery's crude processing to one crude unit running some 30,000 bpd, according to the sources. The affected plant was working in "unsafe condition and leaking diesel before the fire," one of the sources said. Cardon's gasoline reformer, which produces high octane gasoline blendstock, was in service.

At the neighboring Amuay refinery, one of five CDUs was halted last week due to low crude inventories, according to a report seen by Reuters. Only one distillation unit remains in service, processing some 64,000 bpd. Amuay's most complex units, a flexicoker and a catalytic cracker that are key to fuel production, remain idled.

We remind, Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and value-driven energy solutions, announced the commercial availability of its Saplene super absorbent polymer (SAP) technology. The process uses acrylic acid as the main feedstock to produce SAP, which consumer goods manufacturers use to produce liquid-absorbing personal hygiene products and other specialty applications.

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Lummus announces commercial availability of SAP technology

Lummus announces commercial availability of SAP technology

MRC -- Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and value-driven energy solutions, announced the commercial availability of its Saplene super absorbent polymer (SAP) technology, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The process uses acrylic acid as the main feedstock to produce SAP, which consumer goods manufacturers use to produce liquid-absorbing personal hygiene products and other specialty applications.

"Introducing this technology to the market is another significant step for our portfolio expansion across the C3 value chain," said Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lummus Technology. "Combining our existing portfolio with SAP technology and our recently acquired acrylic acid technologies positions Lummus at the forefront of the specialty high-value polymer technology market and enables us to offer customers more tailored and integrated solutions."

Saplene SAP technology is commercially proven, and previously developed and operated at scale by the Songwon Industrial Group of South Korea. The technology has also been licensed for a 45 KTA industrial plant.

Recently, Lummus announced it acquired the rights to Air Liquide's acrylic acid and acrylic acid esters technologies using propylene as the main feedstock. As a result, Lummus now offers the full chain of technologies for the production of SAP and acrylate esters from propylene, which is a key intermediate in the petrochemical value chain.

We remind, C2X, a company aiming to establish large-scale green methanol production for multiple industries, has taken an important step towards the development of their second production site. After signing a Framework Agreement with the Egyptian Government for a green methanol project in Egypt earlier this month, C2X has successfully concluded the first phase to secure the concession for a 47ha large site for green methanol production within the Port of Huelva, Southern Spain.

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Huntsman announces Q3 2023 earnings

Huntsman announces Q3 2023 earnings

MRC -- Huntsman Corporation reported third quarter 2023 results with revenues of $1,506 million, net income attributable to Huntsman of $0 million, adjusted net income attributable to Huntsman of $27 million and adjusted EBITDA of $136 million, said the company.

Peter R. Huntsman, Chairman, President, and CEO, commented: "Between 2020 and 2022 we strengthened our balance sheet through a combination of timely strategic divestitures and improved free cash flow generation. These actions placed us in a strong position to weather the current year of depressed demand and economic uncertainty. Last quarter, we stated that we thought 2023 was going to be a more difficult year than 2020. This has clearly been the case. The fourth quarter will likely be the most challenging period in recent memory due to a combination of weak demand, pricing pressure, and aggressive customer inventory management.

Even against this backdrop, our financial discipline has meant that we have been able to return cash to shareholders throughout 2023 via consistent share repurchases and an improved dividend. In addition, we continue to invest in strategic projects which will ensure the Company is in the best possible position when our markets begin to improve. Cost control remains a priority and we will deliver our current savings program of $280 million by year end. Beyond 2023, we will continue to find additional opportunities to improve the cost structure of the Company.

Above all, our portfolio provides energy saving solutions that the world needs, and we are highly confident in the long-term outlook for the products we sell. We will remain balanced and disciplined in our approach to invest for growth, return capital to shareholders, and improve our costs. We are looking forward to improved economic conditions in 2024."

We remind, Huntsman is suspending a project that would produce ultra-pure ethylene carbonate (UPEC) used in the batteries of electric vehicles because of aggressive imports from China, which has caused pricing to fall by 75%. “The current level of pricing will not generate the returns we would expect, and we took the difficult decision to suspend the project,” the company said in prepared remarks about its Q3 earnings. Once Huntsman sees signs that pricing for UPEC will improve, it can complete the project within 12 months.

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Idemitsu to withdraw from bisphenol A business

Idemitsu to withdraw from bisphenol A business

MRC -- Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd. has decided to withdraw from the Bisphenol A business, said the company.

Bisphenol A is an organic compound synthesized from phenol and acetone, and is used as a raw material for polycarbonate resin, epoxy resin, flame retardant resin, etc.

In 1991, Idemitsu commercialized Bisphenol A at the Chiba Complex with its own technology, and for more than 30 years since then, it has been developing the Bisphenol A business by striving for safe and stable operation and improvement of quality.

However, in recent years, the business environment has deteriorated owing to an oversupply caused by the expansion of facilities in Asia. As a result of examining our future business policies, we have determined that it will be difficult to continue the business.

Based on this decision, we will withdraw from the Bisphenol A business and stop operating the manufacturing equipment at Idemitsu’s Chiba Complex by October 2024.

We remind, Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd. (Tokyo) will increase the production capacity of Plant 1 (launched in November 2021), small pilot facilities for solid electrolytes (planned completion: within fiscal 2024), in order to expand the use of all-solid-state lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. In addition, Plant 2, comprising small pilot facilities, will start operation in July this year. The company will steadily supply solid electrolytes to car/battery manufacturers and others who are developing all solid-state batteries.

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Huntsman suspends EV battery materials because of Chinese imports

Huntsman suspends EV battery materials because of Chinese imports

MRC -- Huntsman is suspending a project that would produce ultra-pure ethylene carbonate (UPEC) used in the batteries of electric vehicles because of aggressive imports from China, which has caused pricing to fall by 75%, said the company.

“The current level of pricing will not generate the returns we would expect, and we took the difficult decision to suspend the project,” the company said in prepared remarks about its Q3 earnings.

Once Huntsman sees signs that pricing for UPEC will improve, it can complete the project within 12 months.

Huntsman is the only producer of ultra-pure ethylene carbonate in North America. The company had planned to raise UPEC capacity to up to 20,000 tonnes/year at its plant in Conroe, Texas. The project would have been completed by the end of this year.

We remind, Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN) today reported third quarter 2023 results with revenues of $1,506 million, net income attributable to Huntsman of $0 million, adjusted net income attributable to Huntsman of $27 million and adjusted EBITDA of $136 million.

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