Investors dump oil after U.S. refinery shutdown

Investors dump oil after U.S. refinery shutdown

MRC -- Portfolio investors abandoned hope for an early rally in crude prices after a site-wide electricity failure caused an unexpected shutdown in production at bp’s refinery at Whiting in Indiana on 1 Feb, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The refinery is the largest in the U.S. Midwest and processes more than 400,000 barrels per day, so the extended closure for safety checks and restart processes threatens to reduce crude consumption significantly.

Surplus crude is likely to accumulate across the Midwest and especially around the NYMEX delivery point at Cushing in Oklahoma. Before the power failure, Cushing inventories had been depleting, and investors were positioning for a squeeze on deliverable supplies.

The prospect of a squeeze had been lifting prices for both U.S. crude and Brent, but the outage has delayed further depletion and sent prices sliding. Hedge funds and other money managers sold the equivalent of 86 million barrels in the six most important petroleum-related futures and options contracts over the seven days ending on Feb. 6.

There were heavy sales of NYMEX and ICE WTI (-62 million barrels) and Brent (-23 million) as fund managers anticipated a significant increase in the amount of crude available. Funds sold WTI at the fastest rate since October 2023 and before that July 2021 as the prospect of a squeeze receded.

The combined position in WTI was cut to a three-week low of 55 million barrels (4th percentile for all weeks since 2013) down from 117 million barrels (16th percentile) the previous week. Fund managers had been trying to become bullish again about WTI since the middle of January on the prospect of sustained inventory depletion and renewed growth in U.S. manufacturing.

But the Whiting power failure has pushed that scenario back by at least several weeks.

We remind, Phillips 66 is committed to playing a meaningful role in the energy transition by offering lower-carbon solutions to supplement its production of traditional fuels. That was the message delivered by Suresh Vaidyanathan, the company’s vice president of renewable fuels, at the Argus America Crude Summit in Houston on Jan. 24. He was joined by executives from other refiners operating in the U.S. on a panel discussion exploring refining in a low-carbon world.

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Phillips 66 reports fire at its Billings, Montana, refinery

Phillips 66 reports fire at its Billings, Montana, refinery

Phillips 66, said there was a fire at its 60,000-bpd Billings, Montana, refinery which resulted in visible smoke, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

There were no injuries reported and an investigation into the cause was under way, the company said in an emailed statement.

We remind, Phillips 66 is committed to playing a meaningful role in the energy transition by offering lower-carbon solutions to supplement its production of traditional fuels. That was the message delivered by Suresh Vaidyanathan, the company’s vice president of renewable fuels, at the Argus America Crude Summit in Houston on Jan. 24. He was joined by executives from other refiners operating in the U.S. on a panel discussion exploring refining in a low-carbon world.

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Plant's coal exit affirms Solvay’s commitment to pursue sustainable operational practices

Plant's coal exit affirms Solvay’s commitment to pursue sustainable operational practices

From the entrances of its Green River, Wyoming soda ash plant and Brussels headquarters, Solvay leaders announced the successful completion of the North American-based facility’s coal phase-out initiative, said Hydrocarbonprocessiing.

The Green River facility produces soda ash and sodium bicarbonate from trona, a naturally occurring mineral. These products are used in numerous applications including flat glass for building insulation, container glass, detergents, animal feed, food and flue gas treatment, as well as fast growing markets for solar panels and lithium carbonate for electric battery vehicles.

“Solvay is determined to undertake its energy transition and reduce its carbon footprint through a number of initiatives, including coal phase-out. From today, we will no longer use coal at Green River. The decision to power this strategic, natural soda ash facility with natural gas enhances Solvay’s long-term competitiveness and sustainability,” said Philippe Kehren, Solvay CEO.

The Green River plant historically used coal as a primary energy source. Solvay’s global sustainability goals include a commitment to phase out coal for energy production before 2030. By 2025, overall emissions from Green River will have decreased by 20% compared to 2021, despite a 25% increase in production.

Following acquisition of the plant’s full ownership, Solvay announced plans in November 2022 to resume the construction of a 600 kiloton soda ash capacity expansion. The completion of the new terminal at the port of Vancouver US will support this expanded capacity and meet customers’ growing demand for a secure, competitive and decarbonized supply of soda ash.

“The capacity expansion remains on track, with production set to begin early next year,” said Philippe Kehren. “On top of the coal phase-out, Green River will soon deploy innovative technology to further reduce its emissions. Solvay is the first company to implement regenerative thermal oxidation to abate greenhouse gas emissions in a trona mine.”

Solvay operates seven soda ash plants worldwide. Beyond Green River, coal is being phased out at two plants, located in France and Germany. By the end of 2024, Solvay’s Rheinberg, Germany site will become the first soda ash plant in the world to be powered primarily with renewable energy. The last two Solvay plants using coal for energy production, located in Spain and Bulgaria, have also begun their journey with partial introduction of biomass and gas.

We remind, Solvay and Huatai expand hydrogen peroxide capacity in China to meet growing photovoltaic demand. said the company. Building on its existing partnership with Huatai Chemical, the strategic alliance will enable the site to produce 48 kilotons of photovoltaic-grade hydrogen peroxide annually by 2025. This strategic investment not only reinforces Solvay's worldwide market leadership but also positions it to efficiently meet the rising demand from the photovoltaic industry, further supporting the growth of the renewable energy sector in Northern China.

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Teijin financial statements summary for 1-3Q FY 2023

Teijin financial statements summary for 1-3Q FY 2023

On 8 Feb 2024, Teijin announced its financial results for 1-3Q FY 2023 ended 31 Dec 2023, said the company.

During the period, the company achieved net sales of Yen 759,599 M (1-3Q FY 2022: Yen 765,099 M); operating income of Yen 4857 M (Yen 14,834 M); ordinary income of Yen 7637 M (Yen 17,456 M); and profit attributable to owners of parent of Yen 3452 M [Yen (7053) M].

As of 31 Dec 2023, the firm recorded EPS of Yen 17.94 [Yen (36.69)]; and diluted EPS of Yen 17.92 (nil). It also achieved total assets of Yen 1,284,311 M (as of 31 Mar 2023: Yen 1,242,433 M); net assets of Yen 466,376 M (Yen 451,084 M); and shareholders' equity ratio of 34.2% (34.2%).

We remind, Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd., the Teijin Group’s fibers and products converting company, announced it has developed a new foreign material removal technology to eliminate polyurethane (PU) elastomer fiber from discarded polyester apparel. The technology features a new processing agent used during the pretreatment phase of the chemical recycling process, which helps improve the quality of the recycled polyester fiber that is derived from clothing containing PU elastomer fiber.

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Rumpke and Eastman join forces to expand recycling of PET waste

Rumpke and Eastman join forces to expand recycling of PET waste

Rumpke Waste & Recycling (Rumpke) and molecular recycling pioneer Eastman, today announced a groundbreaking partnership to help address the global plastic waste crisis, said the company.

Later this year, Rumpke will begin collecting and sorting hard-to-recycle and colored PET packaging waste, materials that are largely unaddressed in today’s recycling ecosystem and will provide 100 percent of this waste stream as feedstock to Eastman’s molecular recycling process. Eastman will then turn this waste stream into virgin quality polyesters with its molecular recycling technology to be used across a range of packaging applications and to expand the circular economy for polyesters.

“The world is currently grappling with a significant problem, with a large portion of plastic waste either not being collected for recycling, or is considered non-recyclable by traditional methods,” said Jeff Snyder, director of recycling at Rumpke. “This partnership creates a new market for hard-to-recycle colored and opaque waste that is not currently recycled today.”

Colored and opaque PET is used across a range of consumer applications, including personal care and cosmetic packaging, detergent and soap packaging and various dairy and food packaging. Historically many of these applications have been unable to transition to fully circular packaging. Through Rumpke’s investment in innovation processing and Eastman’s molecular recycling technology, this partnership will enable circularity for many applications. By diverting this waste from incineration or landfill, both companies are making significant strides toward their shared vision of a world without waste.

By harnessing the power of innovation, Rumpke and Eastman are keeping fossil resources in the ground and contributing to a more sustainable future. The partnership sets an example for the industry and demonstrates the importance of collaboration in achieving true circularity.

“Rumpke and Eastman are both committed to innovative approaches to reducing plastic waste through collaboration,” said Brad Lich, Eastman executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “This partnership reinforces the complementary nature of molecular and mechanical recycling to keep more raw materials in the circular economy enabling brands to meet their recycled content goals.”

We remind, Effective 15 Feb 2024, or as contracts allow, Eastman Chemical Company is announcing an off-list price Increase in NAR and LAR for the following product: Eastman 2-Ethylhexanol, all grades and packages: USD0.04/lb (USD0.09/kg).

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