Arkema achieves ISCC PLUS certification for acrylic monomers in China

Arkema achieves ISCC PLUS certification for acrylic monomers in China

MRC -- Arkema, a leader in specialty materials, announces another significant milestone in the decarbonization of its acrylic production chain, as the company obtains ISCC+ certification for its acrylic acid and ester production facility located in Taixing, Jiangsu Province, China, said the company.

In the near future, the production of certified bio-attributed materials will extend** to North America, complementing the previously certified acrylic monomers production in Carling, France. This global dynamic will support the progressive introduction of Arkema’s complete range of bio-attributed specialty resins and additives for the low VOC and lower carbon intensive technologies including high solid, waterborne, UV/LED, and polyester powders.

This leading offer will enable customers and global partners to develop next generation sustainable materials for specialty coatings & adhesives applications in electronics, electric vehicle batteries, new energies, 3D printing, as well as home energy efficiency and living comfort improvement.

We remind, Arkema has begun production of Sartomer® specialty UV/LED curing resins at its expanded facility in Nansha, China, where the Group invested to double the capacity, as announced end-2021, said the company. This will support the development of more sustainable solutions for fast-growing applications in Asian markets, such as cutting-edge solutions in electronics, driven by 5G technology, and in renewable energies.

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SIBUR summarises key operational results for 2023

SIBUR summarises key operational results for 2023

MRC -- SIBUR, Russia's largest producer of polymers and rubbers, summarised the company's key operational results for 2023 at the Ruplastica international trade fair, which was held in Moscow on 23–26 January 2024, said the company.

In 2023, SIBUR ramped up the sales of its key products, with the share of supplies to the Russian market rising to 75%. Since 2021, SIBUR has been consistently increasing its sales in the domestic market, which is the Company's priority, by reducing export sales and continues to stimulate further growth in local polymer processing and reducing imports of finished polymer products.

In 2023, polymer consumption in Russia showed a record growth of 10% to 4.4 mt. Four percent of this growth is attributable to joint programmes between SIBUR and customers, such as import substitution of polymers, expansion of processing capacities, and substitution of conventional solutions with those based on polymers. In 2023, SIBUR completed 330 programmes with more than 270 partners, which is equivalent to 176 kt of products.

Off the back of growing demand from Russian processors, in 2023 SIBUR's domestic sales of polypropylene and polyethylene increased by 11% year-on-year, while sales of BOPP films, elastomers, plastics and organic synthesis products grew by 16%, 8%, and 11%, respectively. As the main raw material for polymers and elastomers is LPG, SIBUR's facilities have quadrupled its consumption over the last five years to more than 70% of the fractionation volume, which translated into lower exports of this product.

In 2023, transport showed the most impressive growth in polymer consumption. Since early 2022, SIBUR has developed new grades of polypropylene, polyethylene, ABS, polycarbonate, and rubbers for the transport industry with a potential of more than 90 ktpa. Polymer products are widely used in compounds, batteries, fuel tanks, vibration and noise insulation, and many other car parts to reduce vehicle weight and make it eco-friendlier.

Consumer goods producers also increased their demand for polymers by 7% due to the growth in the country's output of footwear, household appliances, and toys.

The construction industry's demand for polymers exceeded 1.6 mtpa. Since 2022, SIBUR has introduced over 15 new grades to substitute conventional solutions and imports of more than 100 kt of products. The use of polymer materials with their increased energy efficiency and durability in the construction industry and housing and utilities sector eliminates losses and offers additional benefits, including by reducing GHG emissions.

2023 also saw an increase in polymer consumption by agriculture and healthcare, up 1.5% and 6%, respectively.

We remind, Russian Registry of Carbon Units has welcomed three new climate projects by SIBUR implemented at its facilities in Nizhnekamsk, Tomsk, and Dzerzhinsk. Their implementation is expected to secure a combined GHG reduction of over 6 million tonnes of CO2-eq. until 2032. According to the Russian Registry of Carbon Units, SIBUR now holds the largest portfolio of projects to reduce СO2 emissions among Russian businesses.

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Chevron Lummus Global and Hongrun Petrochemical commission all-hydroprocessing white oil unit

Chevron Lummus Global and Hongrun Petrochemical commission all-hydroprocessing white oil unit

MRC -- Chevron Lummus Global LLC announced the successful commissioning of the world's largest white oil hydroprocessing unit for Hongrun Petrochemical Co., Ltd. in Weifang, Shandong Province, China, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new plant, which utilizes CLG's ISODEWAXING and ISOFINISHING technologies, consists of two units: a 500,000 metric tons per annum (MTPA) nameplate capacity API Group III lubricating base oil unit with the capability to produce industrial-grade white oil, and a 200,000 metric tons per annum nameplate capacity food grade white oil unit.

"We are proud to have worked with Hongrun on this project, and we have full confidence that this new unit will propel them to the forefront as a leading manufacturer of premium white oil and food-grade white oil products in China," stated Arun Arora, CLG's Chief Technology Officer. "CLG's hydroprocessing expertise, complemented by our commitment to innovation, once more proves to be instrumental in helping our partners achieve their production objectives."

White oil is a highly refined mineral oil that is used in a wide variety of applications, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food processing and industrial lubricants. Food-grade white oil is a special type of white oil that is manufactured to meet the strict purity requirements of the food and beverage industry.

CLG's all-hydroprocessing technology route for base oil production outperforms all other processing schemes by selectively concentrating and isomerizing the molecular structure of wax into desirable isoparaffins. Using CLG's technology for base oils, refiners maximize product yields while producing superior product qualities.

We remind, Chevron Lummus Global LLC announced the award of a new licensing contract by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited for the development of a grassroots integrated hydrocracker and catalytic dewaxing unit and a full catalyst reload of their existing lube oil upgrading program at the Mumbai Refinery in India.

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Traders divert Russian oil products around Africa to avoid Red Sea

Traders divert Russian oil products around Africa to avoid Red Sea

MRC -- Traders were diverting cargoes with Russian oil products around Africa to avoid the Red Sea due to a heightened risk of attacks by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, data from market sources and LSEG showed, as per Hydrocrbonprocessing.

Last week, the fuel tanker Marlin Luanda, carrying Russian naphtha, was attacked in the Red Sea by Houthi rebels.

Since the full EU embargo on Russian oil products took effect in February 2023, traders have rerouted fuel oil, vacuum gasoil (VGO) and naphtha cargoes from Russian ports to Asia and the Middle East via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal as the shortest sea route.

According to LSEG shipping data, fuel oil and VGO loaded on two tankers Nissos Christiana and Alkinoos at the Russian Baltic ports, had turned around in the Mediterranean Sea and were skirting the coast of Africa on their way to India and Singapore.

Another vessel, Minerva Zoe - loaded with Russian fuel oil - was heading to Singapore but was rerouted and was now waiting near the Senegal port of Dakar.

Shipping companies sailing around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid Houthi attacks in the Red Sea face tough choices over where to refuel and restock, as well as rough conditions at sea, companies and analysts say.

A Malaysia-bound tanker from the Russian Black Sea port of Taman with vacuum gasoil is heading towards Gibraltar, shipping data showed.

Another cargo vessel, Sea Senor, loaded with naphtha at the Baltic port of Ust-Luga has already passed the Cape of Good Hope on its way to Singapore, according to the LSEG data.

Most oil product tankers loaded in Russia head to Asia through the Suez Canal. Some of them add new signage - "No link with Israel" or "No contact Isr" - to deter Houthi attacks, in addition to the usual "Armed guard on board" signs, LSEG data shows.

The U.S. and Britain have launched strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen and reinstated the militia in a list of terrorist groups in a bid to curtail future attacks.

The Houthis, who control the most populous parts of Yemen, say their attacks on ships in and around the Red Sea are in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza war.

We remind, Chevron Lummus Global LLC announced the successful commissioning of the world's largest white oil hydroprocessing unit for Hongrun Petrochemical Co., Ltd. in Weifang, Shandong Province, China.

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Saudi Arabia orders Aramco to lower oil capacity target

Saudi Arabia orders Aramco to lower oil capacity target

MRC -- Saudi Arabia's government ordered state oil company Aramco to halt its oil expansion plan and to target a maximum sustained production capacity of 12 MM bpd, 1 MM bpd below a target announced in 2020, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Saudi Arabia for decades has been the main holder of the world's only significant spare oil capacity, providing a safety cushion for global supplies in case of major disruptions caused by conflict or natural disasters. In recent years, fellow member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries the United Arab Emirates has also built-up spare capacity.

The kingdom is the world's largest oil exporter and is pumping around 9 million bpd, well below its around 12 million bpd existing capacity after it cut production as part of an agreement with OPEC and its allies last year. Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC, and Russia have spearheaded efforts with allies in the OPEC+ producer group to cut output to balance markets in the face of rising supply from other big oil producers, such as the U.S.

"Aramco currently has spare capacity of 3 million bpd," a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. That gives Aramco plenty of scope to increase output if the market needs the oil, the source added. If needed, Saudi Aramco could always boost its capacity target later, the source said. "If the government decides to go the other way, the company is ready."

Aramco's lowered target did not reflect a change in the Saudi view of future oil demand, nor stem from any technical issue, the source said.

In the short term, there is unlikely to be strong enough demand for either Saudi Arabia or the UAE to pump closer to their capacity. OPEC has a more positive outlook on oil demand growth than other forecasters, and yet is expecting that most of the increase in demand over the next two years will be met by crude supply from non-OPEC+ producers.

In its latest monthly report, OPEC forecast that demand for its oil would grow about 1.3 million bpd by the end of 2025. That means the producer group would only be able to unwind a third of current OPEC cuts of close to 4 million bpd.

That would leave Saudi Arabia and the UAE sitting on sizeable spare capacity - which is expensive to build and maintain - at the end of 2025. Benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 were little changed on Tuesday, trading up 0.9% at $83.12 a barrel by 1804 GMT. Aramco shares closed up 0.2% at 31.30 riyals ($8.35).

Shares of top oilfield services provider SLB SLB.N tumbled about 7% and those of its U.S. rivals also fell on the news. Oilfield firms have been riding rising spending on international and offshore oil exploration and production, primarily from the Middle East and Africa, as U.S. shale firms keep a tight leash on drilling activity.

We remind, Saudi Arabia has forecast a budget deficit of 79 B riyals ($21.07 B) in 2024, slightly smaller than a deficit of 82 billion riyals projected for last year as lower crude production and global prices reduced revenue. Aramco in each of the last two quarters paid its shareholders near $10 B in performance-linked dividends announced earlier in 2023, on top of Brent-linked royalties and $19.5 B base dividends paid each quarter.

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