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Portugaese Galp halts fuel production at Matosinhos refinery

October 19/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Portugals Galp Energia temporarily suspended fuel production at its smallest oil refinery at Matosinhos due to unstable national and international markets shaken by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Hydrocarboprocessing with reference to a Galp spokesman's statement.

Supply of the national market is guaranteed to remain, with an adequate level of products to satisfy the needs of the Portuguese, companies and industrial units, he said in a statement.

Galp said that although the suspension had no end date as yet, no workers would be laid off.

The suspension, which began on Oct. 10, was Galps second at the refinery this year, after one in April along with a halt at its largest refinery in Sines. The two refineries comprise 20% of refining capacity on the Iberian peninsula.

Galp resumed production at both refineries in June, a month after Portugal slowly started to emerge from a coronavirus lockdown.

Portugal has recorded nearly 90,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 2,110 deaths - far fewer than in many other European countries. But the pandemic is set to leave lasting scars on the Portuguese economy, with the government predicting gross domestic product to contract 8.5% this year.

Earlier this year, Galp said it would kick off its green business by installing renewable energy capacity of 10 gigawatts in the next decade, enough to power millions of homes.

As MRC reported before, earlier this year BP set one of the oil sector's most ambitious targets for curbing emissions, although some environmental campaigners accused it of greenwash and said it had not given enough detail on how it would achieve its targets.

We remind that , in September 2019, six world's major petrochemical companies in Flanders, Belgium, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the Netherlands (Trilateral Region) announced the creation of a consortium to jointly investigate how naphtha or gas steam crackers could be operated using renewable electricity instead of fossil fuels. The Cracker of the Future consortium, which includes BASF, Borealis, BP, LyondellBasell, SABIC and Total, aims to produce base chemicals while also significantly reducing carbon emissions. The companies agreed to invest in R&D and knowledge sharing as they assess the possibility of transitioning their base chemical production to renewable electricity.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,496,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of all ethylene polymers increased, except for linear low desnity polyethylene (LLDPE). At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 767,2900 tonnes in the eight months of 2020 (calculated using the formula - production minus exports plus imports - and not counting producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, PP, PE, LLDPE, crude and gaz condensate, PP random copolymer, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, BASF, Borealis, BP Plc, LyondellBasell, Sabic, Total Petrochemicals, Portugal, Russia.
Category:General News
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