Eni plans bio-refinery construction at former oil plant site in Italy

Eni plans bio-refinery construction at former oil plant site in Italy

MRC -- Eni, the renowned oil giant based in Italy, has officially announced its strategic initiative to convert the longstanding Livorno refinery into a bio-refinery, marking a pivotal shift in its operational focus towards sustainable energy solutions, said Chemanalyst.

The Livorno refinery, located in northern Italy, has been an integral part of the region's industrial landscape since its inception in 1936. Boasting a substantial refining capacity of 105 kbbl (thousand barrels) per day, the refinery has traditionally emphasized the production of lubricant bases, fuel oil, gasoline, and specialty products. However, Eni's recent decision to transition towards a bio-refinery model signifies a significant departure from its historical operations and underscores a proactive commitment to environmental sustainability.

The pivotal decision to embark on the bio-refinery project was initially disclosed in October 2022 and is currently awaiting official authorizations subsequent to an environmental impact assessment application. This crucial step underscores Eni's dedication to ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements while laying the groundwork for a seamless transition towards sustainable energy production.

The ambitious bio-refinery project is set to encompass the construction of three innovative facilities dedicated to the production of hydrogenated biofuels (HVO). These facilities include a biogenic feedstock pre-treatment unit, a 500,000-tonnes-per-year Ecofining plant, and a specialized facility focused on hydrogen production from methane gas. The anticipated completion and commissioning of these state-of-the-art facilities are projected for 2026, signaling a tangible commitment to advancing sustainable energy solutions within the region.

Eni's strategic move towards establishing a bio-refinery aligns with the evolving legislative landscape in Italy, which mandates the integration of pure biofuels into the energy mix. Furthermore, this visionary initiative resonates with the targets outlined in the European Union's Renewable Energy Directive, which seeks to reduce emissions within the mobility sector by advocating for the increased adoption of biofuels. By proactively aligning with regulatory mandates and global sustainability targets, Eni is poised to play a pivotal role in driving the transition towards a low-carbon future.

In essence, Eni's decision to transform the historic Livorno refinery into a bio-refinery underscores its unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. By spearheading this transformative initiative, Eni positions itself as a key player in championing the adoption of sustainable energy solutions and driving the transition towards a low-carbon future, thereby setting new benchmarks for environmental responsibility within the industry.

Eni's visionary approach towards establishing a bio-refinery at the Livorno site heralds a new era of sustainable energy production in Italy. By leveraging innovative technologies and embracing a diversified portfolio of biogenic feedstocks, Eni is poised to make significant strides in advancing sustainable energy solutions and contributing to the global efforts aimed at curbing emissions and fostering environmental stewardship.

We remind, December 2023 saw a surprising turn in the Saudi Arabian Base Oil market. After a period of climbing prices in the previous month due to increased exports from Yanbu and Jeddah, coupled with inclining international costs, Group I Base Oil, a key ingredient in lubricants, took a sudden plunge. This expected drop was associated with Luberef, a key supplier of Saudi Arabia, trading their cargos at discounted prices to attract buyers, particularly from the UAE during this time frame. While the December discounts may have cleared inventories, the shipping issues leave a cloud of uncertainty over January's prices.


Dow posts adjusted EBIT decline in 4Q 2023

Dow posts adjusted EBIT decline in 4Q 2023

MRC -- Dow's operating earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell by 7.0% year-on-year to $559 M in 4Q 2023 on 10% lower sales of $10.6 bn, said the company.

Volumes expanded by 2% year-on-year, while prices plummeted by 13%. For 1Q 2024, the company sees flat to higher sales compared to 4Q 2023 and a $70 M headwind to operating EBIT due to heavy maintenance schedule.

Demand for consumer durables is predicted to remain challenged.

We remind, Dow announced that for the fifth year it has been named to the JUST 100 list by JUST Capital and CNBC – placing 35th overall, up 20 spots in the ranking from last year, and securing the top spot for Customers in the Chemicals sector. This year marks the Company’s first time ranking in the top 50.


India will be world's biggest oil demand growth driver through 2030

India will be world's biggest oil demand growth driver through 2030

MRC -- India is expected to be the largest driver of global oil demand growth between 2023 and 2030, narrowly taking the lead from top importer China, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The world's third-largest oil importer and consumer is on track to post an oil demand increase of almost 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) between 2023 and 2030, accounting for more than one-third of the projected 3.2 million bpd of global increases in the period, the IEA said in a report released at the India Energy Week in Goa.

The agency forecast India's demand would reach 6.6 million bpd in 2030, up from 5.5 million bpd in 2023. "India will become the largest source of global oil demand growth between now and 2030, while growth in developed economies and China initially slows and then subsequently goes into reverse in our outlook," it added.

The single largest basis of India's oil consumption will be diesel fuel, accounting for almost half of the rise in the nation's demand and more than one-sixth of total global oil demand growth through to 2030, the IEA said. Jet fuel is poised to grow 5.9% annually on average but this will be from a low base compared with other countries, it added.

"In the case of India, compared with China or other parts of the world, the Indian economy still continues to need more transport fuels so we expect India will continue to grow in transportation fuels. So that's something different from countries like China," Keisuke Sadamori, the IEA's director of energy markets and security, said on the sidelines of the conference.

Still, the electrification of India's vehicle fleet will lead to a more muted 0.7% annual growth average through 2030 for gasoline, the IEA said. New electric vehicles and energy efficiency improvements in India will avoid 480,000 bpd of extra oil demand from now to 2030, it added.

To meet this demand, India is expected to add 1 million bpd of new refining capacity over the seven-year period and this will increase its crude imports further to 5.8 million bpd by 2030, the IEA said. "India is moving to the right path in terms of adding large additional refining capacities," Prasad Panicker, chairman of Indian refiner Nayara Energy ESRO.M3 said at the conference.

He added that Indian gasoline demand will not peak for "at least the next 20-25 years". G Krishnakumar, the chairman of state-run refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp BPCL.NS, said that petrochemical demand for the company will also be a factor in India's oil consumption increase, as demand growth for petrochemicals is "directly proportional to the gross domestic product of the country."

An executive from India's top refiner Indian Oil Corp IOC.NS said on Tuesday at the conference that growth in all oil product sales are expected to rise in the fiscal year to March 2025. The IEA report estimated India's oil inventories were at 243 million barrels, with 26 million barrels held at strategic petroleum reserves sites while the rest are industry stocks.

We remind, GAIL India is looking to allot Rup 30,000 crore of investment in the succeeding three years for pipelines, city gas distribution projects, existing petrochemical projects, equity contribution in group firms, and operational capex. It also anticipates polymer sales to rise twofold and natural gas transmission volume to increase by 12% in FY 2024. (1 crore=10 M, 1 lakh=100,000).


Exxon raises Guyana's oil production to about 645,000 bpd

Exxon raises Guyana's oil production to about 645,000 bpd

MRC -- A consortium led by Exxon Mobil Corp which controls all oil production in Guyana is pumping about 645,000 bpd in the South American country, up from about 400,000 bpd in late 2023, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Guyana has emerged as the world's fastest-growing new oil province in a decade with discoveries of more than 11 billion barrels of oil and gas by Exxon and its partners Hess Corp HES.N and CNOOC Ltd.

Exxon said that all three platforms currently operational are producing above their initially estimated capacities. Liza Destiny, Liza Unity and Prosperity are currently pumping about 160,000 bpd, 250,000 bpd and 230,000 bpd, respectively, it said.

The group has said it could develop up to 10 offshore projects in the country and has proposed budgets of about $40 billion for six projects so far, of which $29 billion have been spent, Exxon said.

The group has said its fourth, fifth and sixth oil projects - Yellowtail, Uaru and Whiptail - would have a production capacity of 250,000 bpd each, bringing oil output in Guyana to over 1.2 million bpd in 2027.

We remind, ExxonMobil is planning to invest up to $15bn in a greenfield petrochemical project as well as new carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities in Indonesia. The Indonesian government earlier this week signed an agreement with ExxonMobil to study the possibility of the petrochemical project which would include polymer production units.


Plastiverd aims to maintain steady PET production workload in Spain from late February

Plastiverd aims to maintain steady PET production workload in Spain from late February

MRC -- Plastiverd, a Spanish company specializing in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production, has articulated plans to maintain a stable production level at its PET plant located in El Prat de Llobregat, situated in the province of Barcelona, Spain, starting from the end of February, said Chemanalyst.

The company aims to sustain this production stability for commercial reasons, although the exact duration of this production load remains undisclosed. The El Prat de Llobregat plant boasts a production capacity of 210 thousand tons of PET per year.

Earlier reports indicated that Plastiverd had recommenced production in January at its PET plant in El Prat de Llobregat. The restart followed challenges related to workforce shortages prompted by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Importantly, January's production revival transpired without any technical hindrances, and the workforce seamlessly resumed their duties.

PlastiVerd became part of the Cristian Lay Group conglomerate in April 2014, following its acquisition from La Seda de Barcelona. The acquisition, valued at around EUR 15 million, encompassed not only the PET plant but also included a facility for the production of ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol, boasting a capacity of approximately 200 thousand tons per year. La Seda de Barcelona, the previous owner, operates PET plants across Spain, Turkey, and Italy, along with a recycling facility in Italy. Additionally, LSB holds a significant stake in the Portuguese company Artlant PTA.

The decision by Plastiverd to maintain stable PET production aligns with the company's strategic commercial objectives. While the specific duration of this production continuity remains unspecified, the commitment to stability underscores Plastiverd's dedication to sustaining a consistent output in its PET operations.

It is noteworthy that the resurgence of production in January was prompted by the successful resolution of workforce-related challenges, mitigating the impact of the ongoing pandemic on operational efficiency. The absence of technical impediments during this period underscores the resilience and operational preparedness of Plastiverd's PET plant.

As a subsidiary within the Cristian Lay Group conglomerate, Plastiverd's endeavors in PET production contribute to the conglomerate's broader portfolio of operations. The acquisition of PlastiVerd in 2014 expanded the conglomerate's footprint in the petrochemical sector, encompassing not only PET production but also ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol manufacturing.

The broader context of La Seda de Barcelona's operations, which included PET plants across multiple countries and a recycling facility, signifies the diversified interests within the petrochemical industry. The conglomerate's stake in the Portuguese company Artlant PTA further exemplifies its strategic positioning within the European petrochemical landscape.

We remind, in the first quarter, Swiss company Equipolymers is planning to maximize the utilization of its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant in Sckhopau, Germany, aiming to achieve 100% capacity. Market sources have indicated that both production lines, with a combined capacity of 335 thousand tons of PET per year, are currently operational and functioning near full capacity.