FASTEN introduces next-generation refillable jar concept

FASTEN introduces next-generation refillable jar concept

MRC -- FASTEN Packaging, a company of leading global beauty solutions provider IBG (Innovative Beauty Group), has introduced its next-generation refillable jar concept, Goodloop, named for its contribution to a circular economy, said Spnews.

Combining innovative design, sustainability and luxury, the Goodloop refillable jar is a multi-award-winning concept that serves as a powerful example of how beauty brands can meet lofty sustainability goals while still strengthening their brand identities.

Suitable for cream products, the Goodloop refillable jar features a transparent outer jar with a curved inner portion for a sleek appearance. The jars are fully recyclable, and are comprised of recycled polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

The Goodloop refillable jar affords multiple decoration areas to reinforce brand identity – for example, by combining embossing on the inner wall with printing on the outer wall. The lightweight bayonet closure eliminates the need for a liner while ensuring leak-free use. Refilling is performed from the bottom with a simple twist.

Previous iterations of FASTEN’s Goodloop refillable jar concept recently received multiple prestigious awards including: a Gold Award at the 2023 German Innovation Awards, a Silver Muse Design Award, an iF Design Concept Award and a Bronze Pentaward.

“At FASTEN, we know just how important it is for brands to elevate their product’s presentation and consumer appeal, but also ensure alignment with corporate sustainability values,” said Ilja Zutt, Managing Director of FASTEN Packaging. “The Goodloop refillable jar checks all the boxes and is a solid example of how our design team continues to push the envelope in developing forward-thinking, eco-friendly packaging innovations.”

We remind, Russia will likely cut exports of naphtha by some 127,500 - 136,000 bpd, or around a third of its total exports, after fires disrupted operations at refineries on the Baltic and Black Seas, according to traders and LSEG ship-tracking data. Asia's naphtha markets surged about 19% this week against the backdrop of supply disruption fears from Russia. There are jitters in the market because Russia is a key exporter of naphtha to Asia, and this kind of short-term disruption could cause prompt tightness, a naphtha trader said.

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Taiwan Styrene Monomer shuts down styrene production for repairs

Taiwan Styrene Monomer shuts down styrene production for repairs

MRC -- Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corp (TSMC), a key player in the Taiwanese petrochemical industry, has undertaken a proactive measure by initiating the shutdown of its 2 styrene line in Linyuan, Kaohsiung Province, Taiwan, for scheduled maintenance, said Chemanalyst.

This strategic decision, effective from January 15, aims to facilitate necessary repairs and enhancements to the production line, which boasts a formidable capacity of 160 thousand tons of styrene annually. The maintenance period is anticipated to extend until March 6 of the current year, aligning with the company's commitment to operational excellence.

Styrene, a crucial raw material for the manufacturing of polystyrene (PS), holds pivotal importance in the petrochemical landscape. In Taiwan, key players contributing to styrene production include Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corp (TSMC), Grand Pacific Petrochemical Corp (GPPC), and Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC). These entities play a vital role in supplying the essential materials that drive the production of PS, a widely used polymer with applications in diverse industries.

Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corporation, a prominent Taiwanese company, specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of styrene and related products. Beyond styrene, the company diversifies its production portfolio to include paradiethyl benzene, toluene, hydrogen, and more. This broad range of products underscores TSMC's versatility and significance in the petrochemical sector, contributing to various segments of the chemical industry.

The decision to temporarily shut down the No. 2 styrene line for scheduled maintenance underscores TSMC's commitment to sustaining high operational standards. By proactively addressing maintenance needs, the company aims to ensure that its production facilities remain at the forefront of efficiency, reliability, and safety. The strategic timing of the maintenance period aligns with the company's dedication to minimizing disruptions and optimizing the overall performance of its production lines.

The resumption of production on Line No. 2 after the completion of scheduled repairs on February 17, 2023, highlights the company's adherence to the established timeline for maintenance activities. This timely restart ensures that TSMC can swiftly return to contributing to the supply chain and meeting market demands for styrene, a vital component in the production of polystyrene.

Styrene producers in Taiwan, including TSMC, Grand Pacific Petrochemical Corp (GPPC), and Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC), collectively contribute to the stability and sustainability of the regional petrochemical industry. The collaborative efforts of these entities play a crucial role in meeting the demand for styrene and its derivatives, supporting various downstream industries that rely on these essential materials.

Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corporation's broad product portfolio, which extends beyond styrene to include paradiethyl benzene, toluene, and hydrogen, showcases its versatility and capacity to meet diverse market needs. As a key player in the Taiwanese petrochemical landscape, TSMC's commitment to excellence resonates not only in its production of styrene but also in its contribution to a spectrum of chemical products essential to industrial processes.

We remind, Idemitsu SM Malaysia, a subsidiary of the prominent Japanese petrochemical producer Idemitsu Kosan Co, has outlined its plan to maintain the utilization of its styrene production capacity at a robust level of 90-100% until the conclusion of January. This commitment comes in the wake of a temporary closure of its styrene production facility, which possesses a total annual capacity of 240 thousand tons, initiated on October 16 due to a technical malfunction. The anticipated duration of this closure was initially speculated to extend until December 19.

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Russia may cut naphtha exports by third after fires

Russia may cut naphtha exports by third after fires

MRC -- Russia will likely cut exports of naphtha by some 127,500 - 136,000 bpd, or around a third of its total exports, after fires disrupted operations at refineries on the Baltic and Black Seas, according to traders and LSEG ship-tracking data, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Asia's naphtha markets surged about 19% this week against the backdrop of supply disruption fears from Russia. There are jitters in the market because Russia is a key exporter of naphtha to Asia, and this kind of short-term disruption could cause prompt tightness, a naphtha trader said.

Russian energy company Novatek was forced to suspend some operations at the huge Baltic Sea fuel export terminal and "technological processes" on Sunday at a nearby fuel-producing complex due to a fire, started by what Ukrainian media said was a drone attack.

Four days later, Rosneft's Tuapse oil refinery in southern Russia halted oil processing and output following a fire on Thursday, two industry sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Both plants are export-oriented and ship fuel via sea terminals mainly to China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.

According to the LSEG data, Russia exports of naphtha, used mainly as feedstock in petrochemical industry, amounted to around 17.1 million metric tons in 2023, or 400,000 barrels per day. Of that, Ust-Luga Novatek's terminal accounts for just less than a quarter, or 95,000 bpd, Tuapse's refinery - 40,000 bpd.

This month, Novatek has already been able to ship some 300,000 tons of naphtha from its Ust-Luga terminal this month before the fire broke out. Some 150,000 tons of the fuel has also been exported from Tuapse in January.

Analysts have said Novatek's Ust-Luga producing complex may resume large-scale operations in weeks, while Kommersant newspaper, citing sources, has said it would require two months. Industry sources said Tuapse refinery may stay idle until early March.

We remind, more than a dozen tankers loaded with 10 million barrels of Russia's Sokol grade crude oil have been stranded off the coast of South Korea for weeks, so far unsold due to U.S. sanctions and payment issues, according to two traders and shipping data. The volumes, equating to 1.3 million metric tons, represent more than a month's production of the Sakhalin-1 project, once a flagship venture of U.S. major Exxon Mobil, which exited Russia after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

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France drops plan to decrease farmers' diesel discount as tractors surround Paris

France drops plan to decrease farmers' diesel discount as tractors surround Paris

MRC -- The French government dropped plans to gradually reduce state subsidies on agricultural diesel as angry farmers surrounded Paris and threatened to converge on the capital in their tractors, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

After two weeks of protests that have spread across France, with irate farmers on Friday blocking a major highway out of Paris, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced a series of measures to ease financial and administrative pressure on farmers.

Speaking in a mountain village farm near the Spanish border, with his notes on a bale of hay, Attal said: "We will put agriculture above everything else." He said a plan to phase out state support on diesel would be scrapped, red tape simplified and an appeal lodged with the European Union for a waiver on bloc-wide rules on fallow land.

"We will stop this Kafka-esque system," said Attal, 34, France's new prime minister, in response to the first big crisis of his premiership. "We will stop this planned trajectory of increasing tax on non-road diesel fuel."

Attal also announced a raft of other steps designed to quell the unrest that has seen farmers spray manure over a public building and supermarket, dump hay bales in highways and empty the contents of trucks carrying fresh produce from neighbouring countries.

France would remain opposed to signing the Mercosur free-trade deal, which farmers say will flood the country with cheaper Latin American meat and produce, he said. France will also push to ease European Union rules forcing farmers to leave some of their land fallow.

Ahead of Attal's announcements, farmers had threatened to take their protest into central Paris. "We will go right into Paris to highlight our rage, our grievances," said farmer Matteo Legrand. Attal's pledges received mixed reactions, with some farmers calling them an encouraging start and others saying they were inadequate.

The muscular farming union FNSEA is expected to respond later on Friday. Earlier on Friday, the finance and farm ministers held emergency talks with food industry officials about fair prices for produce - a "number one priority" for farmers who say they are on the sharp end of the government's drive to lower consumer prices.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the government would "double down" on enforcing a law aimed at guaranteeing fair farm-gate prices and vowed to be "pitiless" towards the supermarkets. Le Maire has previously spent months pressuring food retail giants such as Carrefour and Danone to lower their prices after a phase of high inflation, thereby earning the ire of farmers.

France is the European Union's biggest agricultural producer. France's protests follow similar action in other European countries, including Germany and Poland, six months ahead of European elections in which the far right - for whom farmers represent a growing constituency - are seen making gains.

We remind, more than a dozen tankers loaded with 10 million barrels of Russia's Sokol grade crude oil have been stranded off the coast of South Korea for weeks, so far unsold due to U.S. sanctions and payment issues, according to two traders and shipping data. The volumes, equating to 1.3 million metric tons, represent more than a month's production of the Sakhalin-1 project, once a flagship venture of U.S. major Exxon Mobil, which exited Russia after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

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Russia struggles to sell Pacific oil, 14 tankers stuck

Russia struggles to sell Pacific oil, 14 tankers stuck

MRC -- More than a dozen tankers loaded with 10 million barrels of Russia's Sokol grade crude oil have been stranded off the coast of South Korea for weeks, so far unsold due to U.S. sanctions and payment issues, according to two traders and shipping data, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The volumes, equating to 1.3 million metric tons, represent more than a month's production of the Sakhalin-1 project, once a flagship venture of U.S. major Exxon Mobil, which exited Russia after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Sakhalin-1 was one of the first post-Soviet deals in Russia made under a production sharing agreement. When Exxon Mobil left in 2022, output fell to nearly zero and hasn't fully recovered since.

Difficulties in selling Sokol grade pose one of the most significant challenges Moscow has faced since the West imposed sanctions and one of the most serious disruptions to Russian oil exports in two years.

Washington has said it wants sanctions to reduce revenues for President Vladimir Putin and his war machine in Ukraine but not to disrupt the flows of Russian energy to global markets. Last year, the United States imposed sanctions on several vessels and companies involved in transporting Sokol.

As of Friday, 14 vessels loaded with Sokol were stuck around South Korea's port of Yosu, including 11 Aframax vessels and three very large crude carriers (VLCCs), according to LSEG, Kpler data and traders. The volume stored in tankers represent 45 days of production from Sakhalin-1, which averages output of 220,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Supertankers (VLCCs) La Balena, Nireta and Nellis with some 3.2 million barrels onboard (430,000 metric tons), currently near South Korea's Yosu, are acting as a floating storage for the Russian oil grade, Reuters sources said and Kpler and LSEG shipping data show.

The VLCCs previously accepted oil from several Aframax vessels via ship-to-ship, the data showed. Supplying oil volumes from smaller ships to bigger ones can save on freight.

The rest of the Sokol oil loaded from November to January is stored on smaller Aframax vessels (able to carry 500,000-800,000 barrels) - Krymsk, NS Commander, Sakhalin Island, Liteyny Prospect, NS Century, NS Lion, NS Antarctic, Jaguar, Vostochny Prospect, Pavel Chernysh and Viktor Titov.

Shipments of Sokol to the Indian Oil Corp have been delayed by payment problems, forcing India's biggest refiner to draw from its inventories and buy more oil from the Middle East. A source close to IOC said the company did not expect to receive any Sokol shipments soon due to a disagreement over which currency would be used to pay for it.

IOC is the only state refiner that has an annual deal to buy a variety of Russian grades, including Sokol, from Russian oil major Rosneft. IOC and Rosneft did not reply to Reuters requests for comment.

We remind, a fire at a Rosneft-owned export-oriented oil refinery in the southern Russian town of Tuapse overnight has been extinguished. The refinery is one of many energy infrastructure facilities hit by fire or drone attacks across Russia in the past week. "The vacuum unit was on fire. According to preliminary information, there were neither casualties nor injured," Sergei Boiko, the head of Tuapse district, said on the Telegram messaging app.

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