Refinery news roundup: European refineries cut production due to new lockdown measures

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LONDON-Oil refineries in Europe are reducing production because new lockdown measures have been implemented across the European continent to curb the spread of the coronavirus, while many oil refineries are still closed.
Oil companies reported low production in the third quarter, forecasts remain bleak, and many companies began to study biofuel conversion.
** Italy’s Eni Group stated that the output of the Italian refinery in the third quarter fell 35% year-on-year to 3.8 million tons, “in response to a severe downturn in refining caused by the demand background caused by the pandemic.” Similarly, the first nine months of this year Throughput dropped by 31% to 10.89 million tons. Its throughput in the third quarter of all refineries (including those outside Italy and the Adnoc refinery in the UAE where Eni acquired a 20% stake in August 2019) was 6.11 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 21%. The company stated on the conference call that despite the current losses, Adnoc is a very strong refinery and has the ability to withstand negative waves better than other assets and turn to positive results when the market returns to normal conditions. In addition, the average refinery utilization rate in the third quarter, including refineries outside of Italy, was 69%, which was lower than the 94% in the third quarter of 2019 and 68% in January-September, and lower than 89%. However, Eni said that due to the Gela biorefinery plant’s commissioning in August 2019 and the strong performance of the Venice plant, the overall biologic plant has increased significantly year-on-year. Eni said that considering the good performance of the industry and the major market opportunities expected in the next few years, including biojets, it may accelerate its biorefinery conversion plan to 2050.
** Repsol stated that it plans to expand its Spanish HVO production to more than 850,000 metric tons/year by 2025, and expand its total biofuel production to 1.4 million tons/year by 2030, as it eliminates the production of all five refineries in Spain The bottleneck to supplement the new 250,000 metric tons announced earlier this month that it would build a ton/year unit in Cartagena and increase the production capacity of bioethanol. Currently, the HVO capacity of the company’s refinery system is 380,000 metric tons/year. CEO Josu Jon Imaz told analysts during a conference call on October 29 that by eliminating bottlenecks in all five hydroprocessing units, Repsol will add another 250,000 metric tons/year of HVO production capacity by 2025. The new production will further increase. It was announced on October 22 that its new 250,000 metric ton/year biofuel refinery in Cartagena will begin production in 2023. The refinery will consist of industrial waste, recycled oil and possibly A mixture of raw materials imported from adjacent ports is supplied.
** PKN Orlen, Poland’s largest refiner, stated on October 28 that its overall crude oil throughput in the third quarter fell by 0.8% to 8.2 million tons. The output of the company’s main Polish refinery in Plock remained unchanged at 4.2 million tons, and the utilization rate increased by 1 percentage point year-on-year to 103%. The output of the company’s Orlen Lietuva refinery in Lithuania fell by 0.5% to 2.1 million tons, and the utilization rate fell by 20 percentage points year-on-year to 81%. “This is the result of adjusting production based on macroeconomic conditions.” The output of the PKN Czech refinery fell by 0.2% to 1.9 million tons, and the utilization rate dropped by 9 percentage points year-on-year to 88%, due to the “declining demand for middle distillates” and the maintenance of some petrochemical plants. As fuel demand was hit by COVID-19, total sales of refined products fell 12% year-on-year to 6.4 million tons. At the same time, its petrochemical business reported a 3% increase in olefin sales, a 12% increase in fertilizers, and a 9% increase in PVC, but polyolefin sales fell 5% and PTA sales fell 14%. The company expects that “permanent restructuring of the refining industry seems inevitable, and the integration of biofuels and petrochemical products should become more and more important.” It also said that before global production capacity is reduced by about 3 million barrels per day, Refining profits may still be under pressure, “this may take several quarters.”
** Grupa Lotos, the second largest refiner in Poland, said late on October 29 that its throughput in the third quarter fell 6% year-on-year to 2.55 million tons due to the decline in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lotos said that due to the recovery of fuel demand in Poland, its Gdansk refinery was operating at almost full capacity from July to September, with output increasing by 0.4% month-on-month. “After restricting non-essential travel, closing borders and suspending air traffic, Poland’s demand for petroleum products rebounded rapidly in the third quarter of 2020. Especially during the summer vacation, domestic travel increased significantly, stimulating the recovery of gasoline demand and further Increased month-on-month and year-on-year growth,” the company said in its third quarter report. “In August alone, the demand for gasoline for cars in Poland increased year-on-year.” Lotos said that due to the reduction in air traffic due to the pandemic, it maximized the production of gasoline, naphtha and bitumen and reduced middle distillates. The production of oil is mainly jet fuel.
** OMV, headquartered in Austria, stated that its refinery utilization rate from January to September was 87%, a year-on-year decrease of 9%. “In view of the impact of COVID-19, it is relatively resilient.” The utilization rate of European refineries is expected to be around 85% in 2020, lower than the 97% in 2019. The company reiterated that there are no major turnaround plans for European refineries in 2020. The refining profit rate index for January-September was US$2.69/barrel, a decrease of 37%, “mainly due to the lower cracks in middle distillates and gasoline.” The target profit rate for 2020 is expected to be approximately US$2.50/barrel, which is lower than before. The forecast is 3 USD/barrel and 2019′s 4.40 USD/barrel. The petrochemical profit margin is expected to be “slightly lower than” the profit margin of 433 Euro/ton in 2019. Utilization rates in the third quarter were also “at a resilient level,” falling from 96% to 90%, while sales in the third quarter fell 16% to 4.7 million tons, mainly due to the decline in aviation fuel demand. In the petrochemical sector, “although the ethylene/propylene net profit margin has dropped by 15%, the price gap between benzene and butadiene has shrunk significantly”, and the growth in petrochemical sales cannot fully offset the decline in profit margins.
**Shell stated that it plans to transform the footprint of its current 14 refineries into six “energy and chemical parks”, namely Deer Park (U.S.), Norco (U.S.), Pernis (Netherlands), Bucombe Island ( Singapore), Rheinland (Germany) and Scoford (Canada).
** France Total reported that the crude oil processing utilization rate of all its refineries was 62% from January to September, down from 83% last year. Its French refinery processed 242,000 barrels per day in nine months of this year, a decrease of 53% year-on-year. However, the utilization rate of the steam cracker remained unchanged at 81%. The utilization rate in the third quarter was 57%, down from 82% last year and 59% in the second quarter. The production of Total’s French refinery in the third quarter was 267,000 barrels per day, a decrease of 47% year-on-year, but higher than the second quarter. The French oil giant stated in its third-quarter report that the decline in refinery throughput in the third quarter was “mainly due to high refined oil inventories and declining demand.” The reduction is also attributable to the “extended closure of the distillation unit” at the Gonfreville refinery after the accident at the end of 2019, and the “safety outage” related to Hurricane Laura at the Port Arthur refinery in the United States.
** Galp CEO Carlos Gomes da Silva stated on October 26 that the smaller of its two Portuguese refineries in Porto is expected to continue to operate for most of the fourth quarter. In October of this year, these devices were shut down for the second time. 10 Due to the impact of COVID-19 on fuel demand and long-term inventory. The company also reported that due to weak distillate cracks, the refining margin in the second quarter was minus 70 cents per barrel.
**Italy’s Sarroch refinery stated that it will operate at the lowest level in October and November to offset the impact of the decline in refining profits in the past few months as part of its broader cost-cutting plan that it is rolling out in October. A statement issued on the 10th. 12 Said by factory owner Salas. The plan includes reductions in previously planned maintenance, although it is now expected that all devices needed to restore crude oil demand in 2021 will remain operational.
**Spain’s La Rabida will keep the two refinery units-fuel unit 1 and vacuum unit 2-offline after completing the current maintenance to accommodate the current weak demand for refined products. It will be released on October 8. Day representation. Cepsa said it was performing maintenance on one of the two crude oil distillation units at the site, but did not specify when it would be returned.
** The Rijeka Refinery in Croatia will optimize its operations for “a few months” from November, during which time it will “perform regular technical activities in the process unit through regular maintenance work, such as catalyst regeneration and new operations in 2021. Preparation for the process cycle,” the company said later on October 7. Earlier local media reported that the refinery will temporarily suspend production from November to January due to reduced demand due to the spring blockade and weak tourist season.
** Finland’s Neste stated on October 22 that it is continuing to explore the possibility of shutting down its Naantali refinery operations as part of the restructuring of its refinery operations in the country. Nestor stated on October 22: “We are exploring the closure of the Naantali refinery business, focusing the Naantali plant on the terminal and port business, and transforming the Porvoo refinery business into a collaborative processing of renewable and recycled raw materials. “It said that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect demand for physical products, and the margins of diesel and gasoline continue to be under pressure. In 2017, Neste completed the integration of Porvoo and Naantali refineries, which are now operating as a refinery with a total capacity of 13 million tons/year.
**Total stated that it will “turn its French Grandpuits refinery into a zero crude oil platform.” By 2024, the plant will focus on new industrial activities, including the production of renewable diesel mainly used in the aviation industry, the production of bioplastics, plastic recycling and the operation of two photovoltaic solar power plants. Crude oil refining will stop in the first quarter of 2021, and storage of petroleum products will end at the end of 2023. At the same time, the delivery of Granduits petroleum products was interrupted twice in October due to staff participating in an industrial operation. The strike exceeded expectations of unemployment for employees and subcontractors.
** The Gunvor Group stated on October 16 that it would seal up its Antwerp refinery, but “will continue to conduct terminal activities and further evaluate the future development opportunities of the land and existing installations.” The Gunvor Group said in June, It is considering whether to seal the Antwerp plant because “the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the convergence of geopolitical and macroeconomic events, putting the refinery in a very difficult economic situation.” The refinery stopped crude oil processing at the end of May.
**After Shell suspended the sale of its Fredericia refinery in Denmark in 2018, it recently restarted the sale.
** The Spanish refinery Repsol rolled off its fluidized catalytic cracking unit in Corunna in April. As of October 2, the situation has not changed. In Bilbao, the Crude 2 device, which went offline on May 9 due to market reasons, is still offline, the company said on October 2. The department is expected to remain offline until market conditions are assured. The shutdown affects 40% of the crude oil distillation in the refinery, including the visbreaker unit. The FCC went offline in April, and the company has not yet confirmed the restart.
** The refinery stated on October 27 that due to the end of the asphalt season, the German Heide plant “only slightly reduced its output”. “During periods of weak profit margins, this situation requires special attention to still economical production,” the refinery said, adding that it achieved this goal by slightly reducing production.
** According to sources, Schwedt in Germany is still running down. Traders said that since the end of September, the operating rate of the refinery has been around 80%.
** More positive news is that, according to data from the energy regulator, Portugal’s demand for gasoline and diesel in September returned to a level similar to that of the past three years, while aviation fuel continued to remain at three points of the normal level due to the continuing impact One or so. Travel restrictions in Europe. Entidade Nacional Para O Setor Energetico (ENSE) reported that total diesel demand in September was 403,481 metric tons, an increase of 3% year-on-year. Sales were also higher than the 401,000 metric tons reported in September 2018, but lower than the 418,000 metric tons reported in September 2017. Gasoline demand in September was 85,807 metric tons, an increase of 3% year-on-year, in line with the average of the previous three Septembers. For these two road fuels, September was the first month since the pandemic was announced in March, and both products showed year-on-year growth.
** According to data from the Ministry of Energy, Turkey’s diesel demand in the first 24 days of October increased by 3.4% year-on-year to 1.308 billion liters. The growth rate has slowed from the 5.9% year-on-year growth reported in September. Between October 1st and 24th, gasoline demand increased by 15% to 178.778 billion liters, which was lower than the 18.9% increase in September.
** Italian demand for refined oil fell by 7.5% in September, or a year-on-year drop of 392,000 tons to 4.8 million tons, due to the slowdown in the decline in previous months, which is due to the gradual recovery of demand after the economic slowdown in May-according to Industry organization Unione Petrolifera released data, one month of COVID-19 lockdown.
** Industry organization UFIP quoted data on October 14 as saying that French road fuel delivery in September increased by 0.7% year-on-year to 4.136 billion liters, of which diesel consumption fell by 0.4%, which was offset by a 4% increase in gasoline consumption from the country’s Petroleum Industry Commission. CPDP.
** In other news, Trafigura, a global commodity trading company, acquired a 3% stake in the Italian Saras, the owner of the 300,000 barrels/day Sarroch refinery in Sardinia, whose market value has shrunk by two-thirds this year above. Trafigura plans to “constructively engage with Sara as a supporting shareholder,” a spokesperson said on October 23, confirming local reports about the transaction.
** Eni’s Porto Marghera biodiesel refinery in northern Italy began a 13-day maintenance of its Ecofining unit on October 23, a person close to the refinery said on October 27. The biorefinery has taken its Ecofining unit’s HF1 plant off the assembly line during this period, according to sources, as part of the upgrade project.
** The production of the 220,000 barrels/day Izmir refinery in Tupras and the 212,000 barrels/day STAR plant in Socar was not affected by the magnitude 6.6 earthquake in the offshore center 40 kilometers south of Izmir, the capital of the Turkish Aegean region in late October. A spokesperson for Tupras confirmed that the refinery was not affected by the earthquake and production continued as normal, while Socar confirmed in a written reply that neither their STAR refinery nor the neighboring Petkim petrochemical plant were affected by the earthquake.
** Spain’s Petronor stated on October 27 that it will restart the hydrogen plant H3 at Plant 3, which was taken offline for maintenance on October 23. The refinery has recently overhauled a number of other units, including the No. 3 boiler that did not provide a restart date on October 20, and the alkylation unit AK3, which was also off-line for maintenance on October 19, and should be on December 13 Restart. Plant 3 contains most of the refinery conversion units. Earlier, Petronor stated that it would re-launch the N2 naphtha desulfurization unit at Plant 2 on October 16, but did not add details.
** According to information provided by sources close to the refinery, the Milazzo refinery in Sicily, Italy, resumed full operation of its FCC unit after maintenance work began between August and September. The duration of maintenance work is unknown, and there is no information on when the plant will resume full operations. According to sources close to the refinery, the Milazzo refinery will postpone the large-scale maintenance and upgrade cycle originally scheduled for October this year to next year, and will include the turboexpander plant. According to a source, maintenance may now take place in April and May next year. Another person close to the refinery said that “as long as market conditions permit”, it will be carried out between the first and second quarters of 2021. The company could not comment.
** A trade source said on October 26 that Lingen in Germany has completed part of the project originally scheduled for October and is fully back online.
** The general maintenance of Leuna in Germany will be carried out in the second quarter of 2021, but the specific time has not yet been determined, the company said on October 19. Maintenance and upgrades originally scheduled for this fall have been postponed, “due to “the ongoing pandemic and the resulting restrictions on travel and cargo transportation, as well as the impact on the international supply chain,” the company said earlier this year Standard & Poor’s Global Platts previously reported that the maintenance plan will be carried out within six weeks. Total said in 2019 that it will invest 150 million euros in the Leuna refinery between 2020-21 to increase demand as demand declines. Reduce the output of heavy products and increase the output of methanol, which is the main raw material of the chemical industry. Total said at the time that the project will deepen the integration of refining and petrochemical businesses and increase the competitiveness of the plant. Due to the output of visbreaking units The increase and the upgrade of the POX/methanol plant will increase methanol production by 20%. Work will continue until 2021, most of which will be carried out during the large-scale shutdown of the refinery in 2020, which will also cost about 150 million euros.
** The Godov plant of the Rhineland Refinery is being closed for full maintenance. The shutdown process will be completed on November 5. The project will last for several weeks. The refinery recently completed maintenance of the Wesseling site. The refinery consists of two sites, Wesseling (South) and Godorf (North).
**Shell’s Pernis refinery in the Netherlands will begin construction of a unit in mid-October, which means October 13th. Traders said that the project is expected to last about two to three months.
**Spain’s La Rabida will keep the two refinery units-fuel unit 1 and vacuum unit 2-offline after completing the current maintenance to accommodate the current weak demand for refined products. It will be held on October 8 Express. Cepsa told Standard & Poor’s Global Platts Energy Information on September 30 that it was maintaining one of the two crude oil distillation units at the site, but did not specify when it would return or whether other units were affected. However, these two units will not return immediately. Instead, the company said it will periodically reassess market conditions to determine when to bring these devices back online, and begin discussions with workers about temporary layoffs.
** Repsol stated that, as reported by the local newspaper Mi Ciudad Real, it plans to extend the planned turnaround period of its 1.83 million tons/year hydrocracking unit in Puertollano in November to start work on other units. Repsol also confirmed that the suspension will last approximately one month. The newspaper reported that several units related to the hydrocracking unit will be affected. These include a 1.6 million tons/year fluidized catalytic cracking unit, which has been at the lowest level due to travel restrictions due to the pandemic, a 3.9 million tons/year vacuum unit and a 1.4 million tons/year coking unit. The shutdown will also allow some maintenance work on the crude oil unit 2 or the alkylation unit, which could mean 80% of the refinery is shut down. According to the report, the lubricants department and petrochemical plants will maintain normal activities.
** The Rijeka refinery in Croatia will start in November to optimize its operations “for several months”, during which period it will “perform regular technical activities in the process unit through regular maintenance, such as catalyst regeneration and a new process cycle in 2021. Get ready,” the company said later on October 7. Earlier local media reported that the refinery will temporarily suspend production from November to January due to reduced demand due to the spring blockade and weak tourist season.
** Russian energy group Lukoil’s ISAB refinery in Sicily will start a two-month maintenance cycle from October 15 on the cracking and desulfurization unit and other units in the southern section of the refinery. A source told S&P Global Platts on October 13. ISAB consists of two refineries connected by pipelines. After the integration of two separate units in 2007, the northern and southern plants were operated as one refinery. The independent IGCC factory is connected to the two factories. Maintenance will also involve some work on the northern plant, although this will be limited compared to the southern plant upgrade. The source said that the refinery will suspend production throughout the period.
** The refinery stated that some devices in the Scholven part of the Gelsenkirchen refinery in Germany will stop scheduled maintenance from mid-October. Due to the coronavirus lockdown, maintenance that was originally planned for April has been postponed. It is expected to last about eight weeks.
** According to local media reports, Total’s refinery in Antwerp started maintenance at the end of September. The installation plan will restart on November 10. Turnaround involves increasing the efficiency of the furnace in one of the two CDUs. The project is planned for one of the two catalytic crackers.
** According to market sources, ExxonMobil’s Antwerp refinery is planning to start construction in October. The entire maintenance plan is carried out throughout the month.
** API’s refinery located in the Italian coastal town of Falconara Marittima is taking its U2500 desulfurization unit offline for maintenance and upgrading. After the refinery began to shut down operations in March, it was completely shut down in early April to offset the decline in Italy’s demand for refined products caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Since then it has been restarted, and the plant carried out maintenance and upgrades to its TK205 crude oil storage unit in June. The Falconara refinery resumed full operations in March after a 40-day turnaround that began on January 25.
** The Greek refinery Hellenic stated that the planned maintenance of its Aspropyrgos refinery is the first time after five years of operation. It will start on August 28 and will gradually shut down the unit and will continue for nine weeks, “two weeks more than planned. , Including additional safety measures against COVID-19.” Due to maintenance, Hellenic expects production to be reduced by 800,000 metric tons in the third and fourth quarters.
** Turkey’s Tupras stated that Izmir’s U-400 FCC, U-9200 CCR, U-9900 isomerization and U-9900 MQD units and Izmit’s Plt-6 desulfurizer are all planned Three to three fourth quarters every eight weeks, has been postponed to 2021.
** Two planned maintenance of the Castellon refinery in eastern Spain have been postponed and there is no fixed date for them now. The first one was originally scheduled to take place in May and lasted two to three weeks, affecting two distillation units, powerformer 1 and HVN. The second maintenance was originally scheduled to be carried out in November and lasted for two to three weeks, affecting a conversion unit (processing plant) and a 1.4 million tons/year coker. It has been postponed to 2021.
** Gunvor stated on June 23 that its Rotterdam refinery is undergoing a turnaround and was originally scheduled to be completed in October. The company said at the end of March that it was delaying its turnaround time due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gunvor had previously stated that for economic reasons and to prepare for the upcoming improvement in March, CDU1 was stopped in November. The refinery has 38,000 barrels/day and 50,000 barrels/day CDU units.
**Gonfreville in France operated at approximately 50% of its capacity after its CDU was damaged. According to market sources, repair work on the crude distillation unit at the Gonfreville refinery, which was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, has now resumed. Total said earlier that CDU was damaged by a fire in a pump supplying crude oil in December and will restart before the end of the year.
** Eni’s Sannazzaro de Burgondi refinery in northern Italy has begun another round of maintenance and upgrades, even if the decision to restart its Eni Mud Technology (EST) unit, which has been offline since the 2016 fire, is still pending. No information was provided on which factories were involved in maintenance and upgrade work, nor was there information on when the EST factory was restarted. The source said that the ongoing project is not a series of projects of the previously suspended EST installation plan.
** The only oil refinery in the Canary Islands in Tenerife will be permanently closed for a long time. There has been no production since 2014. Cepsa will install some logistics and storage facilities on site to carry out more extensive recycling projects.

Post time: Oct-04-2021
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