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Saudi Advanced Petrochemical secures SR6.1bn funding for
      Jubail project
Saudi Advanced Petrochemical secures SR6.1bn funding for Jubail project
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Advanced Petrochemical has secured about Saudi riyal (SR) 6.1bn ($1.6bn) to fund construction of a propane dehydrogenation (PDH), a polypropylene (PP) and an isopropanol (IPA) plants in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The PDH plant will have a propylene nameplate capacity of 843,000 tonnes/year, with the downstream PP plant’s capacity will be 800,000 tonnes/year. The IPA plant will have a 70,000 tonne/year capacity, Advanced Petrochemical said in a filing on Saudi Exchange or Tadawul on 6 July. The company’s subsidiary Advanced Polyolefins Industry Company (APOC) has signed various Shari’ah-compliant Islamic facility agreements with a consortium of financial institutions for the project. The funds were secured via four facilities from nine financial institutions, namely Alinma Bank, Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corp, Arab National Bank, Arab Petroleum Investments Corp, Bank Albilad, Banque Saudi Fransi, Riyad Bank, The Saudi British Bank, and The Saudi National Bank. The first two facilities are repayable in 22 unequal semi-annual installments from 31 May 2025 until 30 November 2035, the company said. The bridge and VAT Murabaha facilities, meanwhile, will be payable no later than 31 May 2026. As guarantee offered for the financing, Advanced Petrochemical provided a debt service undertaking for an amount up to $250m and a pledge of the shareholders’ shares in APOC. The company first announced the PDH/PP complex project, which will be a joint venture with Korean SK Gas three years ago. In late June 2019, Advanced Petrochemical had said that the project, which was slated to start up in the second half of 2024, would produce value-added PP grades to manufacture PP compounds for the automotive industry. The company produces propylene and PP in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, while Its South Korean subsidiary SK Advanced produces propylene in Ulsan. ($1 = SR3.75)
Crude trades below $100/bbl on global recession fears
Crude trades below $100/bbl on global recession fears
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Oil prices were extending losses on Thursday, with both key benchmarks trading below the psychological $100/bbl mark, amid growing concerns that the global economy will again plunge into a recession. 02:20 GMT (in $/bbl) Contract Low High Open Last Previous Change Low Change Brent Sept 98.5 100.51 100.14 99.58 100.69 -1.11 -2.19 WTI Aug 96.57 98.57 98.22 97.47 98.53 -1.06 -1.96 Recession fears had sent crude futures tumbling on Wednesday, outweighing concerns over tight global supply. A strong US dollar, which surged to a 20-year high, was also exerting heavy downward pressure on the market as the appreciation makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies. International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Kristalina Georgieva, in an interview with newswire agency Reuters on 6 July, said that the outlook for the global economy had “darkened significantly” since April and she could not rule out a possible global recession next year given the elevated risks. In the coming weeks, the IMF – the global financial stability watchdog – is expected downgrade its 2022 growth forecast of 3.6% published earlier in April, she said. In 2021, the global economy expanded by 6.1%, according to IMF data. Global economies are dealing with inflation at multi-year highs as commodities prices surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February. The war in Ukraine will shave $1tr from the global economy in 2022, research and analysis firm Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said in a report on Thursday. “The war in Ukraine is affecting the global economy via higher commodity prices, supply-chain disruptions and worsening sentiment for both households and businesses,” it stated. “These three factors are causing global inflation to spike and growth to slow,” the EIU said, adding that the situation is expected to continue over the rest of the year. The EIU forecasts global growth to slow down to 2.8% this year, sharply lower than its pre-war forecast of 3.9%. TIGHT SUPPLY CAPS CRUDE LOSSES “Fundamentally, little has changed,” Dutch banking and financial information services provider ING said in a note on Thursday, adding that “any further downside in the market to be fairly limited”. “The oil market remains tight and given the expectation that Russian oil supply will decline as we move through the year, the market is set to remain tight,” it added. Adding to supply concerns was the US imposition fresh sanctions an “international network of individuals and entities” that the Department of Treasury said facilitated the delivery and sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products from Iranian companies to east Asia. Iran is among the world’s biggest crude exporter and is a member of the oil cartel OPEC. “While the United States is committed to achieving an agreement with Iran that seeks a mutual return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will continue to use all our authorities to enforce sanctions on the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemicals,” said Brian Nelson, US treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. Several rounds of talks in Vienna, starting in April last year, has failed to secure a return to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Focus article by Nurluqman Suratman Click here to read the Ukraine topic page, which examines the impact of the conflict on oil, gas, fertilizer and chemical markets.
Asia petchems mired in bearishness on elevated recession
Asia petchems mired in bearishness on elevated recession fears
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asian petrochemical markets are in a jam, with price bearishness across the board as recession risks continue to mount. Elevated concerns on the economic front, from the fallout of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and sanctions on Russia, plus fears of upward spiralling inflation continue to weigh on sentiment. The increase in interest rates from central banks to combat inflationary pressures around the world has also fanned concerns of sending the world into a recession. In addition, it would be a long shot for markets to look to support from China, the world’s second-largest economy. Supply recovery coupled with slow demand recovery led to an overall decline in China’s petrochemical market in June. In early June, the market jumped quickly on the back of stimulus policies but has since retreated. Compared with the end of May, the ICIS China Petrochemical Price Index fell 3.8%, to 1374.99 at the end of June. Downstream by product, Asia’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) market plunged to its lowest level this week since the end of 2020, as the crude slump and weak downstream demand exerted downward pressure on spot discussions. Polyester producers have started a new round of production cuts after reducing operations in April due to COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai, as end-demand remained sluggish amid global inflation and recession concerns. Ongoing supply cuts did little to prevent the recent price declines, as the overall demand slowdown outweighed supply reductions. Meanwhile, selling interest for light grade soda ash emerged at lower levels on the back of subdued buying interest. Buyer sentiment in Asia was subdued on a combination of factors, including increased costs of imports due to the depreciation of Asian currencies, including the won and the baht against the US dollar. Concerns that rising interest rates and pressure on working capital might continue to drag on downstream demand in the third quarter further weighed on restocking momentum in Asia. The Asian methylene chloride (MEC) market will be under pressure from oversupply, as booming new capacity in India may quickly turn the country into an exporter. In the second quarter of 2022, spot prices of MEC slumped quickly to the lowest level seen in more than a year, after the long uptrend that had started in the fourth quarter of 2021. With the two-month COVID-19 lockdown in several Chinese cities, domestic consumption was significantly reduced, resulting in greater interest in exporting cargo overseas. In regard to ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), the spot market may stay bearish as demand has yet to pick up pace. In the import-reliant southeast Asian and Indian outlets, CFR (cost & freight) prices have lost 10-12% between H2 May and end June, ICIS data shows. Producers of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) in Asia opened discussions for July-delivery cargoes on a soft note, as end-user demand was clipped by inflation across countries. Uptake of fibre-grade R-PET flakes and pellets for low-end applications were significantly impacted, as converters opted to lift virgin PET materials on more competitive pricing. Demand for R-PET cargoes for fibre applications is expected to further shrink, amid struggles to compete with lower-priced PET cargoes. The ethanolamines markets in east Asia and south Asia look set to remain on a downtrend as demand remains in a low ebb. Buyers remain hesitant to commit to large parcels, as most of them anticipate further weakness in the market. Focus article by Felicia Loo Additional reporting by Helen Lee, Clive Ong, Judith Wang, Keven Zhang, Ai Teng Lim and Arianne Perez Photo: Asian petrochemical markets are bearish as recession risks continue to mount. (By RUNGROJ YONGRIT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
Hidalgo state to push forward with energy transition
Hidalgo state to push forward with energy transition
HOUSTON (ICIS)–Daniel Hernandez, director of the Hidalgo state energy agency (AEEH), said its energy transition plan is flexible enough to continue having influence despite the upcoming September state government change. Hidalgo elected a new government in early June, but Hernandez said in an interview with ICIS that the momentum they have created to advance the energy transition dialogue and action will not die out easily. The energy transition plan released in early June is more of a reference for best practices than a strict manual to follow, Hernandez said. “It is a guide but it is not written in stone.” Hernandez said the flexibility of the document will make it easier for the incoming Hidalgo state administration, set to start in early September, to use it. POTENTIAL MARKET IMPACT Hernandez said advancements in some of the indicators outlined in the plan would have the most important impact on the local energy market in coming years. He highlighted that nearly 4% of Hidalgo’s energy still comes from wood, something that studies have shown presents numerous risks to vulnerable populations. Almost 94% of energy consumed in the state comes from fossil fuels, according to the plan, with renewables accounting for 2%. Renewables potential in Hidalgo includes solar, wind and geothermal among others. Hernandez said that solar energy has the greatest potential in the state and that two solar projects with installed capacity of nearly 104MW have entered operation during the current state administration’s term. Hidalgo’s three competitive advantages in solar are its proximity to the high-demand Mexico City and Valle de Mexico area, robust electricity transmission infrastructure and certain geographic characteristics that improve its ability to capture solar energy. The infrastructure and specific details are explained in the transition planning document. The state also has geothermal and wind potential. Studies remain to be done, however, to confirm if and how much of Hidalgo’s geothermal energy could be used, according to Hernandez, and its wind potential is more limited than that  of other states. The Hidalgo energy transition plan also notes that there are not currently any projects, permits or concessions for the exploration of geothermal energy in the state. The small state of Hidalgo’s economic activity totals nearly 2% of Mexico’s national GDP, with potential to grow if its industry has access to more affordable energy. The manufacturing sector accounted for 24% of Hidalgo’s GDP in 2021, which is among the more energy-intensive of the main economic activities in the state. The state government of Hidalgo currently has a joint initiative with the private sector to offset the costs for Hidalgo-based companies who apply to install solar panels to reduce their electricity costs. The program listed on the AEEH website says it is supported in part by Banverde, which says it is the largest solar distributed generation financing company in Mexico. Hernandez said all the different facets of the energy transition plan from attracting energy investment to improving energy efficiency and reducing energy poverty must be addressed and advanced at the same time to keep stakeholders of all kinds engaged. Claudia De La Rosa
Brazil Potash awaiting installation licence for construction
      to start at Autazes Project
Brazil Potash awaiting installation licence for construction to start at Autazes Project
HOUSTON (ICIS)–Canadian producer Brazil Potash said in an update on their Autazes Project located in the state of Amazonas, Brazil, that it is currently in the pre-revenue development stage and has not yet commenced mining or construction operations as it awaits an installation licence. The company said there are currently two outstanding items required to obtain the company’s installation licence from the Brazilian Amazonas Environmental Protection Institute, which is required prior to commencing construction at Autazes. In anticipation of securing the licence, German firm ERCOSPLAN has been engaged to update the technical report and feasibility study they initially undertook for the project. Brazil Potash said the need for the country to establish greater production is clear as potash prices remain high and Brazilian demand is robust, with imports of potash being calculated as having increasing 42% to 3.1m tonnes during Q1 2022. The company said the outstanding items regarding the installation are related to consultations with the Mura indigenous people, who make up the over 40 indigenous communities and tribes near the project. Consultations with the applicable indigenous communities restarted in early April and are currently ongoing. “We believe our company’s relationship with the Mura Indigenous people is very positive as Brazil Potash aspires to develop its Autazes Project in a sustainable manner by creating legacy benefits for the local indigenous people,” said Adriano Espeschit, Potassio do Brasil president. Potassio do Brasil is the company’s subsidiary in Brazil. Brazil Potash said management, supported by a third-party specialist team, has finalised their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report which affirms the company view that the Autazes Project will be one of the most environmentally clean potash projects in the world as it is expected to emit 79% less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The reduction in GHG emissions comes from a combination of 85% of the Autazes Project’s energy needs coming from renewable energy sources and the company avoiding unnecessarily long distances when transporting finished product to Brazilian customers.
INSIGHT: Spotlight on carbon footprint, Scope 3 emissions to
      intensify on road to net zero
INSIGHT: Spotlight on carbon footprint, Scope 3 emissions to intensify on road to net zero
NEW YORK (ICIS)–Scope 1 and 2 emissions are the ‘easy’ parts to address on the road to net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – reducing the emissions you produce (Scope 1) and the emissions from the energy you consume (Scope 2). The heavy lifting will come from Scope 3 emissions – all the rest that come from upstream and downstream that indirectly impact the value chain. Scope 3 is the hardest to both control and measure but will also have the greatest impact on overall emissions reductions. For the upstream part, a key aspect is ensuring the raw materials you buy, including the way they get to you, are also low carbon or carbon neutral. That is where substantial momentum is building. Chemical companies are increasingly being asked by customers about the carbon footprint of their products, which not only takes into account the direct emissions emitted to make that product and the energy required, but the carbon footprint of the raw materials used to make it. Regulatory pressure on Scope 3 emissions disclosures is building as well – particularly in Europe and the US. BROADENING OF INTEREST IN CARBON FOOTPRINTSSwitzerland-based Clariant is seeing a broadening of its customer base seeking carbon footprints of the products they buy. “Even six months ago I would have said consumer-facing customers are more likely to be asking for product carbon footprints but we’re seeing it now across all industries,” said Richard Haldimann, chief technology and sustainability officer at Clariant, in an interview with ICIS. “For tenders that are going into purely industrial applications and where you might think that the product carbon footprint is not going to play a significant role, we still have customers asking for this, for us to participate in a tender,” he added. Clariant aims to cut Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% and Scope 3 emissions by 14% by 2030 – targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). It is one of the few chemical companies that have outlined a Scope 3 emissions target. Source: Clariant Germany-based Covestro in March announced a target of achieving net zero Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2035, with a 60% reduction by 2030. The company plans to set targets for Scope 3 emissions some time in 2023. Scope 3 emissions comprise about 80% of Covestro’s CO2 footprint. “Our biggest lever to reduce emissions is the inputs [Scope 3], along with the process energy [Scope 2],” said Thomas Toepfer, chief financial officer of Covestro, in an interview with ICIS. “If you want to be a relevant player, especially in Europe and the US, you have to move towards CO2 reductions or you will not be an accepted corporate citizen. We want to be at the forefront,” he added. SCOPE 3 THE LARGEST PART OF EMISSIONS PICTUREOn the journey to net zero GHG emissions, measuring and reducing Scope 3 emissions is critical as it is by far the largest part of the overall emissions picture. “For manufactured products, typically 60-80% of the total emissions will be Scope 3. When you start addressing Scope 3, you’re addressing the biggest part of your emissions,” said Arne Kaetelhoen, co-founder and CEO of life cycle assessment (LCA) company Carbon Minds, in an interview with ICIS. For chemical companies, Scope 3 typically represents the majority of total emissions. US-based Dow estimates its 2021 Scope 1 emissions were 28.3m tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent and Scope 2 emissions were 5.7m tonnes. That compares to estimated Scope 3 emissions of 77.6m tonnes, or 70% of the total. Of Scope 3, which includes upstream as well as downstream emissions, over 50% was from purchased goods and services. Dow had collected climate data from around 100 suppliers, representing 31% of its 2020 raw materials spend, and is targeting engagement with around 350 suppliers in 2022 and 500 in 2023, asking these suppliers to disclose carbon emissions data and reduction plans. The company plans to use the data to improve the accuracy of measuring its own Scope 3 emissions along with its ability to take action and track progress toward its emissions reduction goals. Dow is targeting a 15% reduction in net carbon emissions by 2030 from a 2020 baseline en-route to net zero by 2050. The magnitude of the challenge in Scope 3 is evidenced by the fact that very few chemical companies have outlined targets for these emissions thus far. They have predominantly focused on goals for reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Driving down Scope 1 and 2 emissions to net zero is itself a big challenge, requiring substantial capital expenditures (capex). Dow plans to allocate around $1bn/year in capex – about a third of its total capex budget – to decarbonising its plants from now through 2050. Companies running world-scale crackers such as Dow will require significant capex to get to net zero. Other companies producing mostly specialties, intermediates and engineering plastics may need less. Covestro, which produces polyurethanes, polycarbonate and coatings materials, in March announced it will spend €250-600m by 2030 in a bid to achieve net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2035. Of course, chemicals companies’ Scope 1 and 2 emissions become part of their customers’ Scope 3 emissions through the products they sell. FOCUS ON SUPPLIER CARBON FOOTPRINTSMeasuring and comparing carbon footprints of raw materials and products is a monumental challenge and critical for chemical companies to meet the sustainability goals of their customers. ICIS recently partnered with Carbon Minds to launch Supplier Carbon Footprints, which provides carbon emissions data for 71 bulk chemicals and plastics by supplier, plant and region on a global basis. “This is a huge step forward for chemical companies in managing Scope 3 emissions. It will provide the information to create supply chains with lower climate impacts and find the right suppliers to achieve this goal,” said Kaetelhoen from Carbon Minds. As companies see the climate impact of their supply chains and compare suppliers’ carbon footprints, “changing just one supplier could make an immediate and significant difference to Scope 3 emissions”, said Alison Jones, strategy director at ICIS. Companies can also engage existing suppliers and help them implement sustainability initiatives, Kaetelhoen pointed out. For companies looking to quantify and reduce their Scope 3 emissions, getting a more complete picture by product and actual plant location is vitally important. “It’s always the life cycle perspective, including the entire upstream supply chain. For example, if you look at a polymer, the production process uses energy and has some direct emissions – together, this would be Scope 1 and 2,” said Kaetelhoen. “But the far bigger part of the emissions picture will be upstream Scope 3 – how the input materials for this polymerisation process are produced, the oil or gas that comes out of the ground and the transportation in between. The sum of these emissions is what we call the carbon footprint of this product,” he explained. Ultimately, these chemicals and polymers and their carbon footprints flow downstream to end market consumers, including brand owners and fast moving consumer goods companies (FMCGs) that are becoming hyper-focused on carbon impact. “If you look at the entire life cycle, the emissions of your supplier are your emissions. If the end-consumer facing company decides they need to improve this and has market power, everyone in the supply chain has to do it, because if there’s only one weak spot in the supply chain, the end product will still have a lot of emissions,” said Kaetelhoen. Chemical companies seeking to stay relevant through the next decade must be able to evaluate their suppliers’ carbon footprints as well as benchmark their plants and products versus competitors globally. “The status quo is that this data for many chemicals is typically only available on a country average level. The problem is that in the same country you might have the dirtiest producer and the cleanest producer in the world sitting right next to each other. In this case, the country average can be almost meaningless. This is what we are changing,” said Kaetelhoen. There can be wide ranges in the carbon footprints of the same chemicals, depending on process technology as well as feedstock. “If you compare not only the most emission-intensive producer, but also the average producer to the cleanest producer, it’s a substantial difference across all the chemicals that we cover,” said Kaetelhoen. CHALLENGES IN CALCULATING SCOPE 3 EMISSIONSAnother challenge in evaluating Scope 3 emissions is that companies use different methodologies and data sources. Often primary data (from suppliers) is not readily available. “We can now imagine hundreds of companies starting to calculate their carbon footprints. Some have specialised people and others don’t. At the moment, it’s a huge mess. People use different technology, different methodologies, different data sources. And right now, primary results are not comparable,” said Kaetelhoen. The data from Supplier Carbon Footprints, while secondary data, is methodologically consistent, allowing for fair comparisons, he pointed out. Carbon Minds also plans to adapt its carbon footprint model to new low-carbon process technologies as they are implemented. “Our aim is to always model the current status of the chemical industry as precisely as possible. If in the future a non-negligible amount is produced based on a certain new technology, we need to keep up with it and include the impact,” said Kaetelhoen. BASF, CLARIANT MAP OUT CARBON FOOTPRINTSHighlighting the importance of measuring carbon impact, the world’s largest chemical company – Germany-based BASF – has completed a massive project to measure carbon footprints for its entire product portfolio. The company uses 20,000 raw materials to make 45,000 chemicals produced in 700 plants around the world. The analysis includes the carbon used right up the chain to the exploration, production and refining of oil and conversion to naphtha or other upstream chemical feedstocks. BASF has developed a Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) tool to show customers how they can reduce their Scope 3 carbon footprint through the use of products made, for example, with recycled feedstocks or green energy. In June, BASF announced a range of chemical intermediates with carbon footprints well below the global market average. The company aims to help its supply chain as well as competitors develop a consistent approach to carbon measurement for a level playing field. It is sharing its proprietary PCF digital solution and methodology to third parties active in software through licensing agreements. “Although there are standards, there is room for interpretation of the standards. There is uncertainty about how you allocate emissions – for example when multiple products emerge from the same process – so if we want to benchmark companies we need more standardisation,” said Jan Schoeneboom, team lead, lifecycle assessment at BASF, in an interview with ICIS last year. Ultimately, he believes, a consistent algorithmic allocation will be required for every company that participates in carbon data exchange along the value chain, based on consensus methodology. “We realise we are quite a leader in this area of product carbon footprint quantification, but it will not be any good for us if we just keep this for ourselves. This is because the measurements will not be comparable, and hence, not useful along the value chain,” said Schoeneboom. After providing carbon footprint transparency to customers since earlier this year, BASF is now working with them to develop tailor-made low carbon and net zero carbon products. In March, BASF and Henkel announced an initiative to replace fossil carbon feedstock with renewable feedstock for most products in Henkel’s European Laundry & Home Care and Beauty Care businesses over the next four years. Fossil feedstock for around 110,000 tonnes/year of ingredients will be substituted with renewable feedstock using BASF’s certified biomass balance approach, resulting in the avoidance of around 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, according to the companies. Clariant in April concluded a project to calculate its own product carbon footprints which includes Scope 3 plus its own Scope 1 and 2 emissions mapped onto the products. It is now working to make this information available to its customers to help them calculate their own Scope 3 emissions, said Haldimann. The accuracy of the carbon footprints of the products naturally relies on the accuracy of the carbon footprints of the raw materials. “As is the case for the whole chemicals industry, we still have a lot of gaps. The databases are only covering a fraction of the chemicals,” Haldimann pointed out. Clariant has product specific carbon footprints for at least 97% by weight of all the raw materials included in its products, he noted. While methodologies may differ, transparency for customers is critical. “We always prefer primary data… but it’s also about recognising that not all primary data is created the same. We should also be aiming for transparency – understanding methodologies and really working with suppliers and customers to support that transparency,” said Liam McCarroll, director of sustainability at US-based chemical distributor Univar Solutions, in an interview with ICIS. “It’s important to them, as well as important to us. It’s not just about the number – it’s about how that number is achieved,” he added. Univar will work with suppliers to put forward products that contribute to more sustainable solutions, he noted. IMPORTANT TO START NOWWhile not all information is available today to fully measure Scope 3 emissions, it is still important to get ahead of what is no doubt going to be a big priority for customers as they work to meet their sustainability goals. “There are a significant number of challenges remaining for an accurate measurement of Scope 3 emissions, but it doesn’t mean that we should not work towards reducing our Scope 3 already with what we have,” said Haldimann. “We are fully aware and are working to improve the quality of Scope 3 data, but we believe that it’s critical and mandatory that we work with what we have and start now rather than wait until we have the highest precision,” he added. Thus far there is no common agreement on how to best measure Scope 3 emissions in the chemicals industry, he pointed out. The second part of ICIS’ in-depth look at carbon footprints in the chemicals sector will be published on Thursday. Insight article by Joseph Chang Additional reporting by Will Beacham For more information on Supplier Carbon Footprints launched by ICIS in partnership with Carbon Minds, visit here Thumbnail picture source: Shutterstock
India’s 2025 hydrogen output goal needs $360m government
India’s 2025 hydrogen output goal needs $360m government investment
MUMBAI (ICIS)–India needs to build 25 scalable green hydrogen projects and five national hydrogen hubs by 2025 for energy security and would require $360m in financial support from the government, according to the India Hydrogen Alliance (IH2A), The proposed 25/25 National Green Hydrogen Hub Development Plan is being pushed by IH2A, a coalition of firms, with Indian petrochemical major Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), steel major JSW Steel and US-based Chart Industries – global manufacturer of equipment used in the hydrocarbon and industrial gases industries – as lead members. NITI Aayog, a public policy think tank of the Indian government is also a member of the IH2A. The plan focusses on creating green hydrogen projects and hubs that can grow to gigawatt-scale in three years. Twelve industrial decarbonisation projects in chemicals, refinery and steel industries; three heavy-duty transport projects; three hydrogen blending projects in city gas distribution (CGD) networks; and seven waste-to-hydrogen municipal projects would be built under the plan. Five states – Gujarat and Maharashtra in western India and Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh in southern India -– were identified as potential hubs for the projects. At these hubs, multi-sectoral demand for green hydrogen can be produced and used without building expensive new infrastructure in the next three years, according to IH2A. As part of the plan, IH2A proposes building a green chemicals and ammonia fertilizer hub in Gujarat producing 8,000 tonnes/year of green hydrogen. The Bellary-Nellore belt spanning the two states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh can be developed as a green steel and chemicals corridor producing 5,000 tonnes/year of green hydrogen, the industry body stated. The government’s $360m capital outlay would go into electrolyzers and equipment for the green hydrogen projects, it added. In a separate report, the Indian government think tank, the NITI Aayog has proposed that by 2030, the refinery and fertilizer sectors should be mandated to use 50% and 100% green hydrogen, respectively. The report – Harnessing Green Hydrogen: Opportunities for Deep Decarbonisation in India released on 30 June – has proposed that the government should set up hydrogen corridors and provide grants for the production, storage and export of green hydrogen. In February, India announced a target of producing 5m tonnes/year of green hydrogen by 2030. The Indian government is currently in the process of holding consultations with stakeholders and is expected to launch a comprehensive green hydrogen mission which could announce purchase obligations for various industries, according to media reports. Focus article by Priya Jestin
OPEC secretary general Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo dies
OPEC secretary general Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo dies
MADRID (ICIS)–OPEC’s secretary general Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo died late on Tuesday in his home country of Nigeria, the crude oil producing cartel said on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Barkindo had delivered a speech to the Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) conference in Abuja, Nigeria. A spokesperson for OPEC confirmed to ICIS Barkindo’s passing at the age of 63. OPEC, headquartered in Vienna, published a post on social network Twitter at 8:06 local time on Wednesday: “OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, passed away yesterday [Tuesday] in his home country Nigeria. “He was the much-loved leader of the OPEC Secretariat and his passing is a profound loss to the entire OPEC family, the oil industry and the international community.”
Video: Asia PVC spot supply to outpace demand in the near
Video: Asia PVC spot supply to outpace demand in the near term
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Watch ICIS  Editor Jonathan Chou discuss current developments in Asian PVC market and its outlook. Asia’s spot prices on general downtrend since late April Asia to see improved spot availability despite upcoming turnaround Demand may remain muted Visit the ICIS Coronavirus topic page for analysis of the impact on chemical markets and links to latest news.
BLOG: China 2022 PE demand: latest data point towards a 2%
      contraction as confusion over outlook builds
BLOG: China 2022 PE demand: latest data point towards a 2% contraction as confusion over outlook builds
SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson. The China Beige Book, the independent economic analysis service, has found that: China services and manufacturing businesses saw a slowdown in the second quarter from the first quarter, reflecting the prolonged impact of COVID controls. · Orders for domestic consumption and overseas export mostly fell during Q2. Orders for textiles and chemicals processing were among the worst affected. This is in line with what our contacts have been saying and what the ICIS polyolefins data appears to be indicating. Based on the January-May numbers 2022, the outlook for full year polypropylene (PP)) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) demand seems to have deteriorated. We worry that China’s options for turning its economy around in 2022 are narrowing. At least in low-density PE (LDPE), as we discuss in, the outlook has not got any worse. This is small consolation, as it had already become bleak before May. Our latest worst-case scenario is that LDPE demand may decline by 8% this year. LDPE stands out from the other grades of polyolefins because China CFR LDPE price spreads over CFR Japan naphtha costs have held up very well this year. In PP, HDPE and linear-low density PE (LLDPE), spreads have hit record lows. Why LDPE appears to be different is because supply has been reduced, thereby keeping prices relatively high, because ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)/LDPE swing plants have swung to more EVA production as EVA demand seems to be booming. The EVA price premiums over LDPE are at or close-to record highs, depending on the ICIS price assessment. And LDPE film price premiums over C4 LLDPE film have also reached record highs in China in 2022. The two resins compete for many of the same end-use markets. LLDPE supply is much longer. So, it is not just the economy that LDPE players in China have to worry about, but these other dynamics as well. This may be the third year in a row of negative LDPE demand growth in China because of these other factors – and now an economy that could see a recession. Meanwhile, as with the other grades of polyolefins, LDPE exporters to China need to be also concerned about a potential significant fall in China’s LDPE imports. Our worst-case scenario sees China’s net imports in 2022 some 500,000 tonnes lower than in 2021. We are sorry it is so gloomy, and, hopefully, conditions will pick up. But hope is not a strategy. The chemicals industry needs to prepare for worst-case outcomes. Editor’s note: This blog post is an opinion piece. The views expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of ICIS.
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