BASF provides update on implementation of corporate strategy and commits to targets for Scope 3.1 emissions

BASF provides update on implementation of corporate strategy and commits to targets for Scope 3.1 emissions

MRC -- BASF is taking a further step on its path to net zero and has committed to targets for Scope 3.1 emissions, said the company.

The announcement was made during an update for investors and analysts in Ludwigshafen at which Dr. Martin Brudermuller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, and Dr. Dirk Elvermann, Chief Financial Officer, reported on progress in the implementation of the corporate strategy announced in 2018. Brudermuller and Elvermann outlined how the company is delivering on the priorities for the use of cash laid out in the strategy and also presented a new differentiated approach to steering businesses for more profitability.

BASF’s corporate strategy is based on organic growth. Between 2018 and 2022, the company allocated around 60 percent of its spending to capital expenditures and research and development.

Brudermuller emphasized the high importance of shareholder returns and an attractive dividend for BASF’s Board of Executive Directors. “BASF has increased the dividend in three of the past five years and kept it stable at the respective prior year level in 2020 and in 2022 due to the challenging framework conditions,” he said. The total dividend payout since 2018 amounts to €15.8 billion, and the average dividend yield is 5.6 percent per year. Over the last decade, BASF’s attractive dividend payouts have been supported by the company’s strong cash generation. Between 2013 and 2022, average cash flows from operating activities amounted to €7.7 billion per year and average free cash flow amounted to €3.4 billion per year.

We remind, BASF Services Europe GmbH today opened its new service Hub location in Berlin. BASF will use 15,000 square meters over eight floors in the SCALE office complex in the Prenzlauer Berg district, said the company. With around 2,800 employees, BASF Services Europe GmbH provides a wide range of business management services for BASF Group companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

mrchub.com

India curbs ethanol production from cane juice to boost sugar supplies

India curbs ethanol production from cane juice to boost sugar supplies

MRC -- India directed sugar mills not to use cane juice or syrup to produce ethanol, as New Delhi tries to increase sugar supplies by curtailing ethanol production, said the company, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Reuters had reported on Wednesday that the government was planning to discourage the diversion of sugar for ethanol production as part of efforts to ensure sufficient supplies of the sweetener in the local market. Fuel retailers, under current contracts, are permitted to keep their procurement of ethanol derived from B-heavy molasses, a byproduct with higher sucrose levels, the government said.

It would also allow the diversion of 1.04 million metric tons of B-heavy molasses for ethanol production under existing contracts, government officials said. The moves will help to reduce diversion of around 2.14 million tons of sugar for ethanol-making from cane juice, they said.

An industry official had said on Wednesday the government would allow mills to produce ethanol only from C-heavy molasses, a cane by-product that has hardly any sugar content left in it. Shares of Indian sugar and ethanol makers such as E.I.D.-Parry, Balrampur Chini Mills, Shree Renuka , Bajaj Hindusthan, and Dwarikesh Sugar closed up to 6% lower on Thursday.

India's fuel retailers buy ethanol from sugar mills to blend with gasoline and pay a higher price for ethanol produced from juice and B-heavy molasses. Patchy rains in the top sugar cane-growing western state of Maharashtra and southern Karnataka state have raised concerns about this year's sugar output.

The Indian Sugar Mills Association, a producers' body, last month said sugar production is likely to fall 8% to 33.7 million metric tons in the 2023/24 marketing year.

We remind, Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has assigned loading windows this month to two vessels bound for India under crude spot deals with Italy's ENI and U.S.-based Chevron, an internal company document showed. Indian refiners including Reliance Industries, Indian Oil Corp and HPCL-Mittal Energy (HMEL) have been looking for Venezuelan crude cargoes to buy since Washington eased oil sanctions on the South American country in October.

mrchub.com

Venezuela's PDVSA authorizes first two oil cargoes to India after sanctions relief

Venezuela's PDVSA authorizes first two oil cargoes to India after sanctions relief

MRC -- Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has assigned loading windows this month to two vessels bound for India under crude spot deals with Italy's ENI and U.S.-based Chevron, an internal company document showed, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Indian refiners including Reliance Industries, Indian Oil Corp and HPCL-Mittal Energy (HMEL) have been looking for Venezuelan crude cargoes to buy since Washington eased oil sanctions on the South American country in October.

Some refiners have agreed to purchase deals with trading houses that had early access to Venezuelan oil between October and November, while others are set to buy from PDVSA's joint venture partners. The scheduled deliveries to India are the first authorized by PDVSA through oil majors' Eni and Chevron in three years.

The two vessels to load for India are the Liberia-flagged supertanker C. Earnest, which arrived in Venezuelan waters on Wednesday chartered by Reliance, and the Malta-flagged supertanker Desimi, which has been waiting to load since last week, according to the document and ship tracking data. Each can transport up to 2 million barrels of Venezuela's prized heavy crude oil.

A separate crude cargo on the very large crude carrier Eucaly, sold by PDVSA to intermediary Hangzhou Energy, finished loading last week and could also set sail to India if a deal through a trading firm and an Indian refiner is confirmed. The cargo had initially been allocated for Malaysia, another document showed.

Venezuelan oil sales to India got suspended in 2020 when the U.S. imposed secondary sanctions on the nation. Reliance was PDVSA's second largest individual customer prior to sanctions.

mrchub.com

Borealis names Ferroglobe CCO as polyolefins, circularity EVP

Borealis names Ferroglobe CCO as polyolefins, circularity EVP

MRC -- Borealis has appointed Craig Arnold, formerly chief commercial officer at silicon metal speciality Ferroglobe Plc as executive vice president of polyolefins, circular economy solutions, innovation and technology, the Austria-based firm said.

The decision follows the announcement in September that current EVP for the division Lucrese Foufopoulos-De Ridder would be leaving the company at the end of the year.

Arnold will step into the role on 1 February 2024, with CEO Thomas Gangl assuming responsibility for the division from 1 January until then.

Prior to joining Ferroglobe, Arnold served at Dow, where roles he held included advisor to the CEO at industry waste-reduction organisation the Alliance to End Palastic Waste in Singapore and president of Dow’s sub-Saharan Africa operations.

We remind, Borealis announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire Rialti S.p.A., a polypropylene (PP) compounder of recyclates based in the Varese area of Italy, subject to regulatory approvals. Today, the parties announce the successful closing of the transaction.

mrchub.com

INEOS Aromatics to propose mothballing one of its PTA plants in Geel, Belgium

INEOS Aromatics to propose mothballing one of its PTA plants in Geel, Belgium

MRC -- INEOS Aromatics is today announcing its intention to mothball the smaller and older of two of its PTA (Purified Terephthalic Acid) units at its integrated PX and PTA production facility in Geel, Belgium, said the company.

This unit has been off-line since 2022 and a review of its long-term future has been pending for some time. Despite the company’s best efforts to make the unit competitive, difficult market conditions have brought things to a head. An increase in energy, raw material and labour costs has made European production increasingly uncompetitive relative to exports from new PTA and derivative capacity commissioned in Asia.

PTA (or purified terephthalic acid) is an essential raw material for the manufacture of polyester PET, used principally to make textiles, fabrics and food and beverage packaging materials as well as many other items found in homes and businesses.

INEOS will now start a consultation process with the affected employees’ representatives to mitigate the impact of the plans, including where possible finding redeployment opportunities in other activities at the Geel site. Customers will not be affected as both the PX unit and the second, larger PTA unit at the site, which is newer and more efficient, continues to operate.

Steve Dossett, INEOS Aromatics CEO, said: “This is a difficult decision to take and I thank everyone on site that has worked hard to improve the competitiveness of the unit since it was taken off line in May 2022. High energy and operating costs have put European PTA production at a major disadvantage relative to exporters from Asia, who benefit from access to discounted Russian hydrocarbons.”

He adds, “The EU’s imposition of provisional anti-dumping duties on Chinese PET Resin is a step in the right direction, but European industry urgently needs more help. At the EU level, further action is still required against other artificially low-cost PTA and PET resin importers. In Belgium action is needed to control spiralling employment costs.”

INEOS Aromatics is a leading, global producer of PTA (purified terephthalic acid) and PX (paraxylene), with production facilities in the US, Belgium, Indonesia, Taiwan and Mainland China.

We remind, INEOS has announced it has completed the acquisition of the Eastman Texas City site, the 600kt Acetic Acid plant and all associated third party activities, from Eastman Chemical Company, said the company.
As previously announced, Eastman and INEOS have also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to explore options for a long-term supply agreement for vinyl acetate monomer.

mrchub.com