Russia bans gasoline exports for 6 months from March 1

Russia bans gasoline exports for 6 months from March 1

Russia ordered a six-month ban on gasoline exports from March 1 to keep prices stable amid rising demand from consumers and farmers and to allow for maintenance of refineries in the world's second largest oil exporter, said Reuters.

The ban, first reported by Russia's RBC, was confirmed by a spokeswoman for Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, President Vladimir Putin's point man for Russia's vast energy sector.

RBC, citing an unidentified source, said Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin had approved the ban after Novak proposed it in a letter dated Feb. 21. A second source told Reuters that the decision had been made but the decree had not yet been issued.

"In order to offset excessive demand for petroleum products, it is necessary to take measures to help stabilize prices in the domestic market," Novak was quoted as saying in his proposal by RBC.

Domestic gasoline prices are sensitive for motorists and farmers in the world's biggest wheat exporter ahead of a March 15-17 presidential election, while some Russian refineries have been hit by Ukrainian drone attacks in recent months.

Russia and Ukraine have targeted each other's energy infrastructure in a bid to disrupt supply lines and logistics and demoralise their opponents, as they seek the edge in a nearly two-year-old conflict that shows no sign of ending.

Exports of oil, oil products and gas are by far Russia's biggest export, a major source of foreign currency revenue for Russia's $1.9 trillion economy, and ensure that Moscow has a place at the top table of global energy politics.

The Kremlin has been working with Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, to keep prices high as part of the broader OPEC+ grouping which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and key allies.

Russia is already voluntarily cutting its oil and fuel exports by 500,000 barrels per day in the first quarter as part of OPEC+ efforts to support prices.

We remind, SIBUR began construction of a research and technology scaling center in Kazan, which will provide for a full cycle of creating new synthetic materials for key sectors of the Russian economy, the company's press service said in a statement. The key areas of operation for SIBUR's R&D center will be the development and scaling of new polyolefin and heterogeneous catalysts, synthesis and piloting of new products for the development of the company's existing chains and creation of fundamentally new materials, process modeling and engineering, development of new technologies, implementation of projects aimed at decarbonization, a closed cycle economy and digital initiatives.

Linde elects new director

Linde elects new director

Linde plc announced that its Board of Directors has elected Paula Rosput Reynolds as a new director of Linde plc, effective February 27, 2024. Rosput Reynolds will serve on the Audit and Sustainability committees, said the company.

Rosput Reynolds is a seasoned energy executive who brings substantial knowledge and global experience to the Linde plc Board of Directors. Over the course of her career, she has held several senior roles including CEO of Duke Energy Power Services, Chair, President & CEO of AGL Resources, Chair & CEO of Safeco Corporation, and Vice Chair & Chief Restructuring Officer at AIG. She is currently President and CEO of PreferWest LLC, a business advisory firm.

Rosput Reynolds is currently Chair of National Grid plc and serves as a director at General Electric Company and senior independent director at BP plc. She has previously served on a number of Boards including at BAE Systems, CBRE, TransCanada and Delta Air Lines, among others.

"Paula has a distinguished track record of executive leadership and board service,” said Steve Angel, Chairman of Linde plc. "Her in-depth knowledge of the energy sector, strategic insights and international experience will be an asset to the company and further strengthen our Board."

We remind, Linde announced it has signed two new long-term power purchase agreements for the supply of renewable energy in China. Linde has signed separate 25-year agreements with Guangdong Energy Group (GEG) and China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) to secure a total of 320 gigawatt hours per year of renewable energy. The renewable power will be generated by solar projects located in the provinces of Guangdong and Jiangsu, and supply is due to start in the first quarter of 2024.

LyondellBasell prices public offering of guaranteed notes

LyondellBasell prices public offering of guaranteed notes

LyondellBasell announced that LYB International Finance III, LLC, its wholly-owned subsidiary, priced a public offering of USD750,000,000 aggregate principal amount of 5.500% Guaranteed Notes due 2034, said the company.

The Notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed by LyondellBasell. The Offering is expected to close on February 28, 2024, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

The net proceeds of the Offering are expected to be used for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment of the 5.75% Senior Notes due 2024 issued by LyondellBasell.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Mizuho Securities USA LLC are acting as the joint book-running managers for the Offering.

We remind, LyondellBasell today announced it has declared a dividend of USD1.25 per share, to be paid March 11, 2024, to shareholders of record on March 4, 2024, with an ex-dividend date of March 1, 2024.

LyondellBasell selects Emerson to modernize automation technology at olefins production plants

LyondellBasell selects Emerson to modernize automation technology at olefins production plants

Global software and technology leader Emerson has been selected by multinational chemical company LyondellBasell to modernize control systems and software at its Wesseling complex in Germany, said the company.

The implementation of advanced automation technology will help to enhance operation of an ethylene cracker and butadiene production plant. Emerson digital tools and project engineering services will help to ensure a smooth transition during the planned plant shutdown in 2024.

The Wesseling site is LyondellBasell‘s largest manufacturing facility in Europe. As part of a global modernization program, LyondellBasell is standardizing its control system technology. Emerson was selected for the project after demonstrating that it could implement all hardware and software upgrades during the two-week turnaround period.

Emerson’s DeltaV™ distributed control system and DeltaV Live software will be deployed to operate the ethylene cracker safely and efficiently, with the company’s AMS Device Manager software supporting the start-up process and ongoing management of field instrumentation. The advanced automation solutions will significantly reduce engineering time for implementing control strategies aimed at improving efficiency. DeltaV Live software will provide modern user interfaces that simplify management of the plant, enable operators to identify issues earlier and maximize worker productivity.

Virtual DeltaV systems will be used throughout the project to support development, testing and training. An operator training solution using Emerson’s MIMIC™ process simulation software will help operators to familiarize themselves with the new control system prior to start-up, minimizing the risk of potential issues and optimize operator efficiency. Emerson on-site engineers will provide start-up support and consult on the implementation of modern control strategies.

We remind, LyondellBasell announced it has acquired mechanical recycling assets containing rigid plastics recycling processing lines from PreZero, a global recycling leader and waste management service provider, said the company.
The transaction includes leasing the processing facility in Jurupa Valley, Calif., which has a production capacity of approximately 50 million pounds per year for recycled materials.

Linde Increases Dividend 9%

Linde Increases Dividend 9%

Linde plc announced its Board of Directors has declared a 9% increase in the company's quarterly dividend to $1.39 per share. This marks the 31st consecutive year of quarterly dividend increases on the company’s stock, said the company.

The dividend is payable on March 28, 2024 to shareholders of record on March 14, 2024.

We remind, Linde plc reported 4Q 2023 results. Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) sales of $2100 M were up 4% versus prior year. Compared with 4Q 2022, underlying sales grew 2%, driven by 6% higher pricing partially offset by 4% lower volumes. Operating profit of $615 M was 29.3% of sales, 420 basis points above prior year and 350 basis points higher when excluding the effects of cost pass-through.