Eni recently presented its 20112014 strategic
plan to the financial community in
London. In the new plan, Eni
confirms the consolidation of its leadership in the Italian and
European gas markets and a cost-reduction program aimed at
recovering profitability in refining and marketing. The gas
market scenario over the plan period will be characterized by a
growth in European consumption, as well as by a rapid rise in
demand from emerging markets; both factors will contribute to
absorb the oversupply in Europe.
Enis strategy in refining and marketing is aimed at
increasing operational efficiency, thereby reducing fixed and
variable costs by 200 million by 2014. In refining, Eni
will increase the flexibility of the plants and the yield in
middle distillates, exploiting its proprietary technologies. In
plans to improve results by rebranding its distribution
network, growing in key European markets and the expansion of non-oil activities.
In the US Congress, several bills have been
introduced that seek to strip ethanol tax credits from the federal
budget. These various pieces of legislation, introduced by
several influential US lawmakers, aim to either allow the tax
credits for ethanol to expire or to immediately repeal them
outright. Pressure is also coming from broad coalitions
(including one campaign that has drawn more than 100 varied
industry groups together) to repeal the volumetric ethanol excise tax credit, and
resist ethanol industry calls for spending on infrastructure. A
recent Government Accountability Office report identifying
duplicative federal programs that lawmakers say is providing a
roadmap for cutting spending, noted that the ethanol tax credit is unnecessary
because of the Renewable Fuels Standard implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the report, eliminating these programs could
reduce federal revenue losses by up to $5.7 billion
Foster Wheeler AGs Global Engineering and Construction Group has been
awarded a contract by Cynar Plc to provide basic process
engineering design services for a 6,000-tpy plant to convert
non-recyclable waste plastics into liquid fuels, primarily
diesel. The plant will use Cynars pyrolysis technology, supplemented with Foster
Wheelers refining knowledge to produce liquid
fuels. The basic design package is expected to be completed
during the first quarter of 2011. The demonstration plant is
located in Portlaoise, Ireland. Foster Wheeler has been working
with Cynar over the past year to improve the quality of the
fuel produced there.
Last month, an undertaking began to allow more than
3,000 European polypropylene (PP) processors the
opportunity to provide extensive feedback to their resin
suppliers regarding product and service offerings. The effort
is being spearheaded by global market research firm Townsend
Solutions. The 2011 Europe Polypropylene Customer
Satisfaction and Loyalty Survey (CLASS) is sponsored by major
polymer suppliers including Borealis, INEOS, LyondellBasell and
SABIC. The CLASS programs offer an independent, third-party
perspective and insight into the needs and expectations of the
plastic processing community. CLASS will explore plastic
processors changing priorities and their satisfaction
with the performance of resin suppliers on more than 15 key
issues ranging from product performance to sustainability.
Last year, BASF reduced specific greenhouse gas emissions by 29% when
compared with 2002 emissions. This means that the company
reached its emissions goal pathway for 2020 for
the first time. A report issued in March details the
achievement of this climate protection goal and further
explains BASFs goals in the realms of economic,
ecological and social aspects. It documents BASFs
entrepreneurial performance and shows how sustainability contributes to
Next-gen oil sands
A next generation of oil sands development in Canada is set
to emerge amid rising world demand for energy resources,
according to Imperial Oil CEO Bruce March. Mr. Marchs remarks, in
which he said that Canadas 170 billion barrels of
recoverable oil sands reserves are needed to help provide the
energy required to fuel improving living standards throughout
the developing world, were captured during last months
annual IHS CERA executive conference in Houston, Texas.
Oil sands investments are now in a period of recovery,
driven by resurgent world demand for energy resources and by a
positive long-term outlook for energy, said Mr.
Oil sands development also represents an important economic
opportunity for Canada and the US in terms of energy security,
job creation and economic activity. Mr. March said that oil
sands development will be a key component of the US economy,
and could generate 340,000 new US jobs plus 590,000 jobs in
Canada over the next 25 years.
While recognizing there are important environmental considerations from
oil sands development, positive progress as a result of new technology is being achieved, Mr.
March said, citing the Kearl project in northern Alberta as a
next-generation oil sands facility. The project, currently under construction, is scheduled for
startup in late 2012.
Mr. March said that Kearl tailings will be smaller, mined
land will be reclaimed faster, and greater quantities of water
will be recycled. Kearl will also adopt technologies to reduce
The September IHS CERA study indicates that our Kearl
project will result in life-cycle
greenhouse-gas emissions no greater than the
average of oil refined in the US, Mr. March said.
The oil sands industry has a positive story to tell and
North Americans shouldnt have to choose between energy
security, economic well-being and a cleaner environment.