Covestro and Siemens conclude strategic supplier agreement

Covestro and Siemens conclude strategic supplier agreement

MRC -- Covestro and Siemens have concluded a strategic supplier agreement for the next five years, said the company.

This framework agreement is the basis for all future business relationships that exist between the two companies in many different areas. The agreement is worth a high double-digit million euro amount and enables much faster and easier collaboration. Until now, Covestro and Siemens have always concluded individual supply agreements for different material groups and services.

The new structure now provides a general framework and serves as the basis for all future contracts and agreements between the companies. It covers the full range of Siemens' offering, from the purchase of materials to the supply of complex solutions, for which Siemens will be involved in the early stages of project development at Covestro.

We remind, Covestro is investing a mid to high double-digit million euro amount in the modernization of its production plant in Dormagen by 2025. The plant was commissioned in early 2015 and is considered one of the most advanced TDI production facilities in the world due to the use of the gas phase technology developed by Covestro.

LyondellBasell agrees to buy 35% stake in Saudi Arabia-based firm Natpet

LyondellBasell agrees to buy 35% stake in Saudi Arabia-based firm Natpet

MRC -- LyondellBasell (LYB) said that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 35% interest in Saudi Arabia-based National Petrochemical Industrial Co (Natpet) from Alujain Corp for around $500 mln, said the company.

Natpet currently has about 400,000 tonnes/y of polypropylene (PP) capacity. Alujain and LYB are jointly studying the potential construction of a propylene via propane dehydrogenation and PP facility at the Natpet site, subject to a final investment decision. Closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary closing conditions.

We remind, Bora LyondellBasell Petrochemical, a collaborative venture between the privately owned Liaoning Bora Enterprise and the global petrochemical leader LyondellBasell (LBI), successfully recommenced the production of low-density polyethylene (HDPE), linear polyethylene (LDL), and polypropylene (PP) at its Panjin facility in China on January 5. This resurgence follows a scheduled shutdown for preventive maintenance that commenced on December 27 of the previous year. The production facility, boasting an annual capacity of 350 thousand tons of HDPE, 450 thousand tons of LDL, and 200 thousand tons of PP, has played a pivotal role in the regional petrochemical landscape.

Sika and Belknap-Haines expand partnership for flooring adhesives

Sika and Belknap-Haines expand partnership for flooring adhesives

MRC -- Sika Corporation announced an expanded partnership with Belknap-Haines, a national flooring distributor that provides flooring and installation supplies to contractors and flooring professionals across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast regions, said the company.

Belknap-Haines has been selling DriTac products for over 19 years and will continue to offer Sika-DriTac brand wood and resilient flooring adhesives, while now also carrying and promoting Sika brand flooring installation solutions. This includes Sika wood flooring adhesives, subfloor preparation moisture barriers, primers, skimcoat, self-leveling underlayment, sound abatement, and more, all from a single-source provider.

With 23 locations spanning 27 states throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Eastern seaboard regions, Belknap-Haines will market and distribute Sika and Sika-DriTac products throughout its entire footprint, enabling their contractors and installers to purchase all of their flooring and installation-related product needs in one stop.

We remind, Sika has put into operation new production lines for the concrete admixture Sigunit® in Kirchberg, in the Canton of Berne, thereby investing in the expansion of manufacturing capacities in its home market, said the company. The shotcrete accelerator is mainly used in tunneling and excavation stabilization.

Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical halts PP production in China

Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical halts PP production in China

MRC -- On January 27, Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical, based in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, China, initiated a temporary shutdown of its polypropylene (PP) plant for scheduled maintenance, said Chemanalyst.

The plant, boasting an annual production capacity of 200 thousand tons of PP, will undergo necessary repairs to optimize operational efficiency. The duration of this maintenance period is currently undisclosed, leaving the timeline for the resumption of regular operations uncertain.

This isn't the first instance of Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical implementing maintenance measures. On June 21, 2022, the company faced an unscheduled production halt at its PP plant in Xuzhou due to technical issues. The 200 thousand tons per year capacity plant remained closed for repairs until June 27, 2022, addressing the unforeseen technical breakdown. These periodic maintenance initiatives are crucial for ensuring the reliability and longevity of the production infrastructure.

Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical, a significant player in the petrochemical sector, operates another PP plant at the same production site. The company, established in June 1988, is involved in various aspects of the industry, including oil and gas refining, production of raw materials for plastic products, and the manufacturing of plastic containers, cases, packaging, lubricating oils, among other activities.

The temporary shutdown of the PP plant in Xuzhou for scheduled maintenance underscores Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical's commitment to maintaining top-tier operational standards. This strategic move allows the company to address potential wear and tear, optimize equipment performance, and ensure the overall reliability of its PP production unit. Such proactive measures align with industry best practices, ensuring a robust and sustainable production process.

The Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical facility, with its substantial annual PP production capacity, plays a crucial role in meeting the market demand for this versatile polymer. PP, known for its diverse applications across industries, requires meticulous production processes to guarantee quality and consistency.

In addition to its significance in the PP sector, Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical engages in various activities along the petrochemical value chain. From oil and gas refining to the production of raw materials for plastic products, the company's diverse operations contribute to the broader petrochemical landscape in China.

Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical's temporary shutdown of its PP plant in Xuzhou for scheduled maintenance showcases a commitment to operational excellence and long-term sustainability. This proactive approach, coupled with the company's rich legacy and contributions to the broader petrochemical industry, positions Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical as a key player in the ongoing evolution of the chemical manufacturing landscape in China and beyond.

We remind, TotalEnergies, a French energy company with a significant presence in Houston, has marked a transformative milestone with the official launch of its chemical recycling facility in La Porte, Texas. This development represents a crucial step forward in the production of sustainable polymers. The facility is now actively engaged in the manufacturing of "sustainably certified polymers suitable for a wide range of applications, including food-grade packaging," according to TotalEnergies. The La Porte campus, strategically located about 25 miles from Houston, is proudly recognized by the company as one of the world's largest virgin polypropylene sites.

Marathon Petroleum posts lower 4Q 2023 net income on reduced refining margins

Marathon Petroleum posts lower 4Q 2023 net income on reduced refining margins

MRC -- Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC) reported net income of $1.5 bn for 4Q 2023, compared with net income of $3.3 bn for 4Q 2022, said the company.

The 4Q 2023 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) was $3.5 bn, compared with $5.8 bn for 4Q 2022. The decrease in net income and adjusted EBITDA from a year ago was driven by lower refining margins. In 4Q 2023, the company returned approximately $2.8 bn of capital to shareholders through $2.5 bn of share repurchases and $311 M of dividends.

Through 26 Jan 2024, the company repurchased an additional $900 M of company shares. The company currently has about $5.9 bn available under its share repurchase authorizations. For full-year 2023, MPC's net income was $9.7 bn, compared with net income of $14.5 bn for full-year 2022. Adjusted net income was $9.7 bn for full-year 2023. This compares with adjusted net income of $13.5 bn for full-year 2022. Adjusted EBITDA for the Refining & Marketing (R&M) segment was $2.2 bn in 4Q 2023, versus $4.6 bn for 4Q 2022, reflecting lower margins. Segment adjusted EBITDA excludes refining planned turnaround costs, which totalled $299 M in 4Q 2023 and $442 M in 4Q 2022. R&M margin was $17.79/bbl for 4Q 2023, versus $28.82/bbl for 4Q 2022. Crude capacity utilization was roughly 91%, resulting in total throughput of 2.93 M b/d for 4Q 2023.

This compared with total throughput of 2.89 M b/d for four-quarter 2022. Refining operating costs were $5.67/bbl for 4Q 2023, versus $5.62/bbl for 4Q 2022. Midstream segment adjusted EBITDA was $1.6 bn in 4Q 2023, versus $1.4 bn for 4Q 2022. The results were primarily driven by higher total throughputs and higher rates. MPC's standalone (excluding MPLX) capital spending outlook for 2024 is $1.25 bn.

About 65% of overall spending is focused on growth capital and 35% on sustaining capital. MPC's $825 M of growth capital is focused on opportunities that enhance margins and reduce cost. At its 363,000-b/d Los Angeles, CA, US, refinery, the company is advancing projects to improve reliability and lower costs. The improvements focus on integrating and modernizing utility systems and increasing energy efficiency, with the added benefit of addressing new regulations mandating further reductions in emissions. The improvements are expected to be complete by end-2025. At its 593,000-b/d Galveston Bay refinery, the company is building a 90,000 b/d high-pressure distillate hydrotreater. This project is anticipated to improve the site's ability to produce higher value finished products and is expected to be complete by end-2027.

MPLX announced a capital outlook of $1.1 bn. The capital spending plan focuses on advancing growth projects anchored in the Marcellus and Permian basins, aiming to expand its value chains, particularly around natural gas and NGL.

We remind, ADM and Marathon Petroleum Corp celebrated the opening of their joint venture soybean processing complex, Green Bison Soy Processing, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Green Bison facility in Spiritwood, ND, US, is the state's first dedicated soybean processing complex, and is a major step towards meeting increased demand for renewable fuels, in this case renewable green diesel. Green Bison Soy Processing will source and process local soybeans, with the resulting oil supplied exclusively to Marathon as a feedstock for renewable fuels. The facility will produce approximately 600 M lbs/y of refined soybean oil, enough feedstock for approximately 75 M gals/y of renewable green diesel.