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COVID-19 - News digest as of 13.07.2020

July 13/2020

1. Marathon Galveston Bay, Texas, refinery overhaul to finish in late July

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Marathon Petroleum Corp plans to finish a multi-unit overhaul in late July at its 585,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas, said sources familiar with plant operations, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. Marathon shut the 225,000-bpd Pipestill 3B crude distillation unit (CDU) on Monday to begin connecting to it the units shut for the overhaul, the sources said. Marathon spokesman Sid Barth declined to comment. The company began the overhaul on May 23 with the shutdown of a 65,000-bpd reformer, a 60,000-bpd residual oil hydrotreater and an aromatics unit, the sources said. Five days later, the 60,000-bpd hydrocracker, the 31,500-bpd alkylation unit and a 47,500-bpd aromatics recovery unit were shut along with a sulfur recovery unit. The overhaul was originally scheduled to begin in March, but was pushed back twice to reduce the risk that large numbers of contract workers at the refinery would spread novel coronavirus, according to the sources.

2. S&P reduces Braskem rating

MOSCOW (MRC) -- S&P Global Ratings lowered its rating for Braskem to speculative grade because the company"s debt is expected to exceed the previous estimates of the credit agency, said the company. The rating now stands at BB+, down from BBB-. The outlook is stable. By the end of 2020, Braskem could report a net debt ratio of 3.5x-4.5x in relation to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), S&P said. That compares with the agency"s earlier estimate of 3.0x-3.5x. The higher debt ratio reflects the fall in demand for petrochemicals around the world, a decline caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19). Given the effects of the pandemic, Braskem"s utilisation rates for its crackers fell to 70-75%, S&P said. Based on those lower rates, S&P expects Braskem"s volumes to fall by 5-10% in 2020.

3. Marathon refineries operating despite COVID-19 cases

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Marathon Petroleum Corps Galveston Bay Refinery and three Houston-area refineries continue operating amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to sources familiar with operations at the plants. As many as 100 people have come down with COVID-19 at Marathons Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas, since the diseases US outbreak in late January, sources familiar with plant operations said on Thursday. Most of those infected were contractors working within the plant, with some employees also catching the disease, the sources said. The refinery has had as many 5,000 people on site while performing a multi-unit overhaul that began in late May.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PVC, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, petrochemistry, Braskem, COVID-19, Brazil, USA.
Category:General News
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