CPC Pumps International extends its global manufacturing footprint with first pump assembly in India

CPC Pumps International extends its global manufacturing footprint with first pump assembly in India

MRC -- Canadian-headquartered CPC Pumps International reached a significant milestone this week, as it celebrated the completion of its first pump assembly in Pune, India, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The historic event was inaugurated with speeches from Vagner Rego, President of Atlas Copco’s Compressor Technique Business Area. Frans Van Niekerk, Vice President Holding for Atlas Copco India was also in attendance to celebrate this occasion alongside Tushar Patel, General Manager of CPC Pumps International.

A provider of API 610 compliant, custom-engineered centrifugal pumps, CPC Pumps International, was acquired by the Atlas Copco Group in August 2021. The Atlas Copco Group’s Gas & Process Division has an existing manufacturing footprint in India that dates back to the early 1990’s. Today’s facility in Pune manufactures highly specialized turbocompressors and turboexpanders for customers around the world while also supporting its customer base’s aftermarket requirements in the Indian subcontinent.

Tushar Patel, General Manager of CPC Pumps International, explained that “one of the main goals we set
when acquiring CPC Pumps was to implement a sustainable global growth strategy with an ambitious
timeline.”

“Completing production of our first pump, 100% built in India, is a symbol of our progress and is a
testament to the hard work and dedication of our talented global team,” he added.

CPC Pumps International plans to expand its manufacturing capabilities in India to support the growing demand for its custom-tailored centrifugal process pumps.

We remind, Sulzer continues its commitment to biopolymers and circularity with its new process solution, SULAC. The licensed technology completes Sulzer’s portfolio of licensed technologies for the manufacture of polylactic acid (PLA), an eco-friendly bioplastic. SULAC supports the conversion of lactic acid into lactide, which is both needed to produce PLA and limited by current availability.

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U.S. refiners cut gasoline export prices on Panama Canal drought

U.S. refiners cut gasoline export prices on Panama Canal drought

MRC -- U.S. Gulf Coast refiners have reduced gasoline export prices to their lowest since 2021 because restrictions on shipping through the Panama Canal have left exporters unable to send as much of the motor fuel to international markets, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Severe drought in Panama has left water levels too low for the transoceanic canal to function normally, forcing transit reductions through one of the world's shipping choke-points and impacting supplies of a wide range of goods.

The U.S. produces more gasoline than it consumes, most of which is refined along the Gulf Coast. A steady stream of exports is crucial to refinery profits.

The number of U.S. gasoline cargoes crossing the waterway nearly halved last month from year-ago levels. The canal is the shortest route for fuel tankers from the U.S. Gulf Coast to South America's Pacific Coast and eastern Asia.

Some less cost-efficient U.S. refiners may need to reduce production to prevent fuel inventories building, analysts said, as the canal maintains transit restrictions in place at least through year end. That could hit supplies of products like heating fuel, which see higher demand in the winter.

"The most dramatic pricing in the global gasoline market continues to be found in the U.S., where a seasonably long balance into the end of year and high inventories are seeing sellers pricing aggressively to place these barrels elsewhere," Philip Jones-Lux, gasoline analyst at data provider Sparta Commodities wrote on Tuesday.

The Gulf Coast is currently the cheapest source of gasoline to almost everyone in the Atlantic basin, Jones-Lux told Reuters.

Some Gulf Coast refiners have offered gasoline for export at as low as $75 a barrel this month for the first time since Feb. 2021, traders said. They have been forced to cut prices to make it economically viable for shippers without reservations who face higher costs to either secure passage slots through the Panama Canal's daily auctions or to take much longer routes sailing around it.

In normal conditions, Panama offers up to 36 slots a day for ships to pass the canal. That number fell to 22 at the start of December, according to statements from the Panama Canal Authority.

Shippers got some relief on Friday after the canal increased daily slots available from mid-January to 24, a number that will only remain in effect if weather conditions are favorable.

We remind, Venezuela's state-run Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. will supply fuel to Curacao's refinery to settle debts left by the oil company after ceasing operations at the Caribbean island's facility in 2019, local media reported on Tuesday. Following the expiration of a contract that had allowed PDVSA for years to operate the 335,000-barrel-per-day refinery and neighboring oil facilities, millions of dollars in debts were identified in Curacao and Bonaire, where the company had managed the BOPEC oil terminal.

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Sulzer launches SULAC, a new technology for lactide production

Sulzer launches SULAC, a new technology for lactide production

MRC -- Sulzer continues its commitment to biopolymers and circularity with its new process solution, SULAC, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The licensed technology completes Sulzer’s portfolio of licensed technologies for the manufacture of polylactic acid (PLA), an eco-friendly bioplastic. SULAC supports the conversion of lactic acid into lactide, which is both needed to produce PLA and limited by current availability.

Sulzer Chemtech developed SULAC to meet market demand for the lactide biopolymer and ultimately facilitate the broad adoption of more circular and sustainable high-quality plastics. The licensed technology enables PLA producers to seamlessly integrate new lactic acid to lactide capabilities. It also facilitates delivery of a wide range of high-quality, competitive biopolymer grades, while improving operational efficiencies.

As a leader in the global bioplastics market, Sulzer offers a broad technology portfolio and has equipment installed at nearly every existing PLA facility worldwide. Together with SULAC, its PLA production technology includes solutions for polymerization as well as lactic acid to lactide conversion and lactide and PLA purification, providing a comprehensive PLA service offering and all the benefits of a single provider.

Sulzer Chemtech Division President Uwe Boltersdorf, said, “We are delighted to strengthen our position in the PLA value chain for our customers, as we continue to support circular manufacturing practices and the use of sustainable materials.”

We remind, Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and joint venture partner Repsol on Monday signed an agreement amending the original terms of a project in the country, aiming to revive its crude and gas output. The agreement for production joint venture Petroquiriquire, which includes the fields Quiriquire, Mene Grande and Barua-Motatan, was signed in Caracas by Venezuela's oil minister Pedro Tellechea and executives from Repsol.

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BASF completes its capacity expansion for key specialty amines in the Americas

BASF completes its capacity expansion for key specialty amines in the Americas

MRC -- BASF has completed its capacity expansion for key specialty amines manufactured at its Geismar, Louisiana site. As a result, BASF will be able to produce more of its key polyetheramines and amine catalysts marketed under the Baxxodur® and LupragenTM brands, said the company.

“This project represents our commitment to growth in the Americas market,” said Kevin Anderson, Vice President, Business Management Amines, Acetylenics and Carbonyl Derivatives, Chemical Intermediates, North America for BASF. “Our Geismar site was the ideal location for this expansion thanks to its existing infrastructure and skilled workforce.”

BASF’s Baxxodur portfolio is utilized by customers as highly efficient curing agents and chain extenders in epoxy and polyurea applications for the wind, electrical, composites, adhesives and flooring industries. The usage of Baxxodur products allows customers to achieve a wide range of benefits in their formulation, including improved curing time, hardness, flexibility, peel strength and chemical and temperature resistance.

BASF’s Lupragen products are highly efficient amine catalysts for Polyurethanes (PU). Those catalysts are typically tertiary amines, which are required to facilitate the reaction of the main components – isocyanate and polyol. Depending on the choice of catalyst, the polyurethane forming process can be controlled to enhance the gelling or blowing reaction. BASF’s Lupragen portfolio includes several low-VOC catalysts which offer support to address the increasing target of sustainable emission reductions.

With about 300 different amines, BASF has one of the world’s most diverse portfolio of chemical intermediates. Along with alkyl-, alkanol- and alkoxyalkylamines, BASF offers heterocyclic and aromatic as well as specialty amines. The versatile products are utilized mainly to manufacture process chemicals, pharmaceuticals and crop protection products, as well as cosmetic products and detergents. They also are used to produce coatings, special plastics, composites and special fibers.

We remind, BASF launches the new readily biodegradable, anti-redeposition polymer BVERDE GP 790 L. BVERDE® GP 790 L is the latest addition to BASF’s comprehensive portfolio of ingredients for laundry detergent applications. This new, readily biodegradable*, anti-redeposition polymer is designed to meet customers’ growing need for products with greater emphasis on sustainability without compromising on performance.

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Venezuela's PDVSA to settle debt to Curacao's refinery with fuel supply

Venezuela's PDVSA to settle debt to Curacao's refinery with fuel supply

MRC -- Venezuela's state-run Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. will supply fuel to Curacao's refinery to settle debts left by the oil company after ceasing operations at the Caribbean island's facility in 2019, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Following the expiration of a contract that had allowed PDVSA for years to operate the 335,000-barrel-per-day refinery and neighboring oil facilities, millions of dollars in debts were identified in Curacao and Bonaire, where the company had managed the BOPEC oil terminal.

The refinery's owner, state company Refineria di Korsou's (RdK), sold remaining crude stocks to cover part of the overdue debts and pending salaries. But another portion of the debt had remained unpaid.

The governments of Curacao and the Netherlands, which oversees the island's foreign policy, for years have been in talks with Venezuela seeking payment. The temporary lifting of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela in October provided an opportunity for a settlement, after RdK in 2020 resorted to a New York court to enforce a $51 million payment from debt accumulated until that moment.

More recently, RdK also has tried to be part of a group of creditors seeking to participate in a U.S. court-organized auction of shares in one of Citgo Petroleum's parent companies, owned by Venezuela, which will see its first bidding round in January.

The settlement agreement could allow the resumption of relations between Venezuela, Curacao and Bonaire so PDVSA can resume operations to store oil and fuel at the Bullenbaai terminal in Curacao and at Bonaire's BOPEC terminal, as well as processing Venezuelan crude at Curacao's refinery, the Curacao Chronicle newspaper reported.

PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. RdK could not be reached for comment.

Curacao's refinery has remained idled since 2018. Several negotiations with firms in recent years have failed to secure a new operator.

We remind, Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and joint venture partner Repsol on Monday signed an agreement amending the original terms of a project in the country, aiming to revive its crude and gas output. The agreement for production joint venture Petroquiriquire, which includes the fields Quiriquire, Mene Grande and Barua-Motatan, was signed in Caracas by Venezuela's oil minister Pedro Tellechea and executives from Repsol.

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