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Australian Caltex to extend planned shutdown for oil refinery amid pandemic

April 07/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Takeover target Caltex Australia Ltd said it would bring forward and extend the planned shutdown of its sole oil refinery Lytton refinery to ward off the expected hit to refining amid the pressures on demand from the coronavirus pandemic, reported Reuters.

The company said that operations at the refinery will restart once margin conditions recover.

As MRC wrote before, Italian energy group Eni said most of its oil refineries in Italy were working at around 60% of their capacity as the coronavirus emergency continues. The pandemic has shut down large parts of economies across the globe and prompted many governments to slap tough restrictions on travel, triggering a steep fall in the demand for refined oil products. In emailed comments, Eni said its biggest refinery Sannazzaro, in northern Italy, was running at around 50% of its capacity since it was also impacted by planned maintenance work.

We also remind that operations at Italian petrochemical producer Versalis (part of Eni) werenot affected by emergency quarantine measures in the country imposed in March 2020. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte extended its emergency coronavirus measures on 8 March and announced the closure of "non-essential" commercial businesses. This follows the announcement of a nationwide lockdown on 6 March, limiting movement for around 60 million people. Under these measures people are only allowed to leave their homes for work or health reasons. Versalis has three steam crackers in Italy, capable of producing 1.675 million mt of ethylene, 750,000 of propylene and 285,000 mt of butadiene a year.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 383,760 tonnes in the first two month of 2020, up by 14% year on year. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased due to the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 192,760 tonnes in January-February 2020, down by 6% year on year. Homopolymer PP accounted for the main decrease in imports.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, PP, PE, LLDPE, crude and gaz condensate, homopolymer PP, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Eni, Versalis, Australia, Italy, Russia.
Category:General News
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