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The downstream rundown: In case you missed it 09/02

In case you missed any downstream news, here are the top stories from last week

 U.S issues fuel, truck driver waivers after bp Whiting shutdown

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department took steps to help alleviate potential fuel shortages in four states after the unanticipated shutdown of the bp Whiting, Indiana refinery.

Reuters reported Friday the 435,000 barrel-per-day refinery was shut down and undergoing damage assessment following loss of electrical power and cooling water systems in a Wednesday fire.

Shell Catalysts & Technologies and Braskem agree to extend relationship

Leaders from Braskem and Shell Catalysts & Technologies (SC&T) met at Shell’s research center in Amsterdam recently to participate in a technical exchange. During the meeting, SC&T and Braskem agreed to extend their 15-year relationship for an additional five years. SC&T provides technical support and works with Braskem to improve operational performance and maintenance.

“We appreciate the long-standing relationship between SC&T and Braskem,” said Aloisio Souza Azevedo, global process manager for Braskem. “Shell is a key partner to Braskem and this relationship has brought us safety and added value to our operations. We look forward to continuing this relationship for the next five years and to our efforts to explore areas of collaboration and navigate together our transformation agenda.”

Axens pyrolysis gasoline unit successfully started-up at Hyundai Chemical petrochemical complex in South Korea

Axens and Hyundai Chemical Co. successfully achieve the start-up of the pyrolysis gasoline (Pygas) unit, part of the Hyundai Chemical petrochemical grassroots complex in Daesan, South Korea. The product has been on-specification regarding the aromatics recovery and the sulfur content in a short period.

Thanks to the strong support of Axens personnel on-site during the commissioning and start-up activities, Axens and Hyundai Chemical, started-up the Pygas units (Pygas first and second stage) in December 2021, few months after entering into a collaboration. 

Malaysia's Petronas reports profit jump., doubles dividend to government

 Malaysian state energy company Petronas reported a jump in second-quarter profit on higher oil and gas prices and said it would double its dividend to the government this year.

The world's fourth-biggest LNG exporter reported a profit for the April-June period of 23 B ringgit ($5.13 B), up from 9.6 B a year earlier. Revenue rose 63% to 93.3 B ringgit.

Petronas will pay the government, its sole shareholder, a total of 50 B ringgit ($11.16 B) in dividends this year, CEO Tengku Muhammad Taufik told a media briefing.

Technip Energies acquires Biosuccinium Technology from DSM for bio-sourced and fully biodegradable polymers production

Technip Energies announced the purchase of Biosuccinium technology from DSM, adding a technology solution to its growing Sustainable Chemicals portfolio. This technology synergizes with recently developed proprietary bio-polymer technologies and provides a commercially referenced production of bio-based succinic acid (bio-SAc) that serves as feedstock for the production of polybutylene succinate (PBS).

PBS itself is fully biodegradable and, if based on bio-SAc, is an ideal bio-based sustainable packaging material for food contact applications. It addresses consumers and governments concerns for better materials with lower carbon footprints and environmental impacts.

EIA expects U.S. ethane production to grow by 9% in the second half of 2022

Ethane production has been increasing in the United States for the past five years, and it reached a monthly record of 2.5 MMbpd in March. More than 2.4 MMbpd of ethane has been produced in the United States every month since then. In our Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), we forecast ethane production in the second half of 2022 to grow by 9% compared with the first half of 2022, averaging over 2.6 MMbpd. We expect that production in 2022 will exceed production in 2021 by 16%, or 340,000 bpd.

Our STEO forecasts annual ethane production to increase again in the United States during 2023 by 7% to nearly 2.7 MMbpd to support continued growth in U.S. consumption and exports. Ethane is consumed almost exclusively as a feedstock in petrochemical plants known as steam crackers to produce ethylene, a precursor chemical for manufacturing many plastics and resins. Three new petrochemical crackers have come online to support growth in domestic ethylene production: two in Texas and one in Pennsylvania.

Alder Fuels and NREL partner to scale SAF technology for commercial use

A critical pathway for producing large quantities of low- to negative-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is en route to market following a collaborative research and development agreement between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Alder Fuels.

The technology—an advanced pyrolysis process that converts biomass into refinery-ready biocrude oil—is backed by millions of dollars in funding from United Airlines, Honeywell UOP, AvFuel, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Bioenergy Technologies Office.

ADNOC sends first low-carbon ammonia shipment from the UAE to Germany

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced that its first shipment of low-carbon ammonia has left the United Arab Emirates (UAE) bound for Hamburg, Germany. This is the first ever cargo of low-carbon ammonia to be shipped to Germany. 

The demonstration cargo will be delivered to Aurubis, a leading global provider of non-ferrous metals and one of the largest copper recyclers worldwide, that has its headquarters in Hamburg. On arrival in Germany, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), one of Europe’s leading logistics companies will handle the cargo.

thyssenkrupp Uhde to build world-scale blue ammonia plant in Qatar

thyssenkrupp Uhde has won a new contract from its long-standing customer and QatarEnergy’s affiliate, Qatar Fertiliser Company (QAFCO), for the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of a world-scale ammonia plant, capable of producing its full output as Blue Ammonia.

The contract was signed on August 31, 2022, and the plant is planned to be completed by the first quarter of 2026. The project is realized in a consortium with Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), a leading construction company in the Middle East. Thanks to the uhde ammonia technology, the single-train plant will have a record capacity of 3,500 metric tons/day.

U.S. expected to announce 3 years of biofuel blending mandates in Nov.

The Biden administration is expected to announce a rule this year that would detail annual biofuel blending mandates for the refining industry for a three-year period instead of just for one, three sources familiar with the discussions said.

The switch to a multi-year target would be aimed at providing longer-term certainty to the refining and biofuels industries, which have battled nearly constantly over the annual mandates since they began more than a decade ago under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

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