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COVID-19 - News digest as of 07.04.2020

April 07/2020

1. Covid-19 compounds European refinersí challenges

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The demand impact from widespread lockdowns causes an immediate demand headache. But longer-term structural obstacles remain, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. ďThe prospects for European gasoline look particularly grim at the moment.Ē So says Chris Judge, vice-president, crude and oil products at price reporting agency Argus Media and an analyst of European refined products markets for well over 20 years. Or, rather said. As, to put into context the scale of both the short and longer-term challenges facing the European refining sector, Judge uttered these words in late February, before the extent of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on European and global products demand was clear.

2. Australian Caltex to extend planned shutdown for oil refinery amid pandemic

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.

3. Vietnamese Dung Quat oil refinery cuts output on virus-hit demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Vietnamís Dung Quat oil refinery plans to cut output because of weaker domestic fuel demand caused by the coronavirus oubreak, the facilityís operator said Reuters. Domestic demand for refined fuels has fallen 30% to 40% since February, Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical said in a news release on its website, without saying how much refining production it has cut, adding that it may have to cease production if demand continues to decline.

4. Nova Chemicals suspends construction activities on Ontario and Alberta projects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nova Chemicals Corp. is making substantial reductions in its construction activities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Kemicalinfo. "We are adjusting construction work on our new AST2 polyethylene facility and Corunna cracker expansion projects in Ontario to temporarily focus on only the most critical work, which will result in a reduction of approximately 90% of our total construction workforce," Nova Chemicals CEO Todd Karran said. Karran said that the companyís commissioning and construction activities have been suspended on its furnace refurbishment project in Alberta.

5. Refinery in Pakistan to close in a week unless demand rises

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Pakistanís Attock Refinery is operating its 54,000 barrels per day (bpd) plant at 29% capacity and is prepared to shut the complex in a weekís time if local demand does not recover, reported Reuters with reference to the companyís top official. If it closes, it would be the third Pakistani refinery to halt operations because of the collapse in demand as the country implements a lockdown to try to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, PE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Nova Chemicals, COVID-19, Australia, Vietnam, Canada, Pakistan.
Category:General News
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