Ukraine hits Russia's Volgograd oil refinery in latest drone attack

MRC -- Two Ukrainian attack drones struck the largest oil refinery in southern Russia in the latest in a series of long-range attacks on Russian oil facilities, said Reuters.

Local authorities in Russia said earlier that a fire had been extinguished at the Volgograd refinery following a drone attack. Oil producer Lukoil, which owns the refinery, later said the plant was working as normal.

The Kyiv source said the operation by the SBU security service struck the primary processing facility, without which the refinery could lose significant production capacity.

Ukrainian officials seldom take responsibility publicly for deep strike attacks on Russian territory. The Volgograd refinery is the latest in a series of facilities to be targeted by drones. Kyiv sees such infrastructure as important for the Kremlin's war effort.

The source told Reuters such drone attacks would continue. "By hitting oil refineries working for the Russian military-industrial complex, we not only cut off the logistics of fuel supplies for enemy equipment, but also reduce funds into the Russian budget," the source said.

The distance between the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv near the Russian border and the southern Russian city of Volgograd is more than 600km.

Russia has been conducting regular long-range missile strikes on targets in Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion, prompting Kyiv to scramble for ways to close the gap on Moscow's more advanced military technology.

Ukraine has sought to spur innovation in drone technology and to support the production of long-range drones to allow it to strike back.

We remind, imports of polymer feedstock to Russia may grow in 2024, Petr Bazunov, General Director of the Russian Plastics Processors Association (RPPA). A number of processors in our Association have decided to increase imports, as imported raw materials in Russia are sold at prices equal or close to those of SIBUR. The principle of import parity or so-called netbacks is in effect. Refiners choose the raw materials that are more profitable for them.

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LyondellBasell beats Q4 profit estimates as lower ethane costs benefit

LyondellBasell beats Q4 profit estimates as lower ethane costs benefit

MRC -- LyondellBasell LYB.N beat Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter profit on Friday, on stable demand for its chemicals in the U.S. polyethylene market, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The adjusted core profit from the olefins & polyolefins-Americas (O&P-Americas) segment, LyondellBasell's largest segment by sales volume, was lifted by lower gasoline crack spreads and lower ethane raw material costs during the quarter.

Olefins are used in the manufacturing of polymers such as plastic. Adjusted core profit for O&P-Americas was 58% higher at $609 million, compared with the prior-year quarter.

LyondellBasell said it expected a seasonal slowdown in demand and economic uncertainty to cause headwinds for most of its segments in the first quarter of 2024, with relatively low ethane raw material costs to continue to benefit O&P-Americas.

The chemicals manufacturer's adjusted profit for the quarter was $1.39 per share, as per LSEG calculations, which excluded certain one-time charges. Analysts' average estimate was $1.31 per share.

"During the fourth quarter, LyondellBasell's businesses delivered exceptional cash conversion amid challenging market conditions," said CEO Peter Vanacker.

We remind, LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) announced that China Coal Shaanxi Yulin Energy & Chemical Co., Ltd. (China Coal Shaanxi), will use the LyondellBasell Spherizone, Hostalen Advanced Cascade Process (Hostalen ACP) and Lupotech T technology for its new facility. The process technology will be used for a 300,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) Spherizone polypropylene plant, a 300,000-m.t./yr Hostalen ACP high-density polyethylene plant and a 250,000-m.t./yr Lupotech T vinyl acetate copolymer plant, to be built in Yulin City, Shaanxi Province, P.R. China.

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NOVA Chemicals recognized as top employer in Alberta in 2024

NOVA Chemicals recognized as top employer in Alberta in 2024

MRC -- NOVA Chemicals Corporation is honoured to be named a 2024 Top Employer in Alberta for its leadership in talent recruitment and retention within the petrochemical industry, said the company.

The annual list, organized by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, annually recognizes select companies across the country as exceptional places to work based on criteria including workplace environment, social atmosphere, benefits, skills training, performance management, and community involvement.

"We are humbled to be recognized as a top employer in Alberta. Our vision at NOVA is to foster an agile, high-performing, and engaged team of employees and this recognition underscores this commitment to our people,” said Mona Jasinski, NOVA Chemicals SVP of HR and Communications. “Investing in our employees’ growth and development, creating a positive and supportive work environment, and building a modern and thriving learning culture all have direct impacts on our incredible organization, as well as our partners up and down the value chain."

Jasinski continued, “Alberta employers have always stepped forward to compete for the best and brightest talent that lives right here in our province. We’re proud to have operated in the region for nearly 50 years and to have created an environment where employees feel engaged, valued, and like they make positive impacts through their work.”

With its global headquarters in Calgary and approximately 2,200 of its 2,500 employees located across Canada, NOVA Chemicals encourages its people to use a human-centered and value-driven approach, upholding the pillars of passion, collaboration, responsibility, and innovation.

The sustainable polyethylene company aspires to become the leading sustainable polyethylene producer in North America. In 2023, it launched its strategic plan for 2030, which includes environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) ambitions.

We remind, Amcor, a global leader in developing and producing responsible packaging solutions, today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with leading sustainable polyethylene producer NOVA Chemicals Corporation (“NOVA Chemicals”) for the purchase of mechanically recycled polyethylene resin (rPE) for use in flexible packaging films. Increasing the use of rPE in flexible packaging applications is an important element of Amcor’s commitment to support packaging circularity.

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SOCAR ships Azeri BTC oil to Thailand via Cape of Good Hope

SOCAR ships Azeri BTC oil to Thailand via Cape of Good Hope

MRC -- Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR is shipping Azeri BTC oil to Thailand via Africa's Cape of Good Hope to avoid the Red Sea, according to LSEG and Kpler data and traders, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Attacks by Yemen-based Houthi forces on shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden are driving up freight costs and disrupting global trade.

The Tilos I is carrying some one million barrels of Azeri BTC crude oil which was loaded at Turkey's Ceyhan port on January 22, according to LSEG and Kpler consultancy data.

The cargo is expected to offload in Sri Racha, Thailand, on March 8, the data showed. The manager of the cargo is Greek shipping company Dynacom, according to LSEG data.

SOCAR and Dynacom did not replay to Reuters' requests for comment.

We remind, Polymetal maintains the plan to sell its Russian assets by the end of the first quarter of 2024, the silver and gold miner's CEO Vitaly Nesis said during a conference call. Polymetal has reduced the circle of contenders for the assets to one potential buyer from Russia, and the company is currently negotiating with the potential buyer, otherwise it would be impossible to talk so confidently about the timing, Nesis said. The buyer is from Russia.

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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.

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