Australia unlikely to use bio-bitumen in near term

  • Spanish Market: Oil products
  • 14/03/24

Australia's use of bio-bitumen asphalt is unlikely to become widespread in the near term because of a lack of alternative materials to replace stone feedstock used in asphalt mixes.

More time is also needed to find ways to economically acquire alternative materials for the bio-bitumen asphalt mix and produce it, market participants said.

Australia has been searching for alternatives to stone feedstock in asphalt mixes because of a potential shortage of stone material from a lack of newly built stone quarries.

This, coupled with Australia's net zero emissions by 2050 goal in the transportation sector, has led to some trials measuring the suitability of using bio-bitumen asphalt to lay roads in Australia.

This includes a trial started last week by New South Wales (NSW) government transport and road agency Transport for NSW, which used bio-bitumen asphalt to lay a section of road in eastern NSW's Raymond Terrace city, according to Jenny Aitchison, minister for regional transport and roads.

The bio-bitumen asphalt used in the trial, also known as ECO5, lowers carbon footprint of conventional asphalt by 30pc, Aitchison said.

Transport for NSW will monitor the trial over the coming months. Bio-bitumen asphalt usage could potentially become widespread in the country if the trial is successful, Aitchison said.

But this will not happen in the short term as bio-bitumen asphalt is still in its early-development stages and road authorities will have to first approve the design of the bio-bitumen asphalt mixes as well, market participants said.

Asphalt company Colas developed the bio-bitumen used in the trial, at its Tomago plant in Port Stephens.

Australia imports significant quantities of bitumen from Asia every year. The country imported around 932,000t of bitumen in 2023, of which Singapore accounted for 30pc, followed by China at 22pc, according to data from the Australia Petroleum Statistics.


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22/05/24

Mexico crude exports up after Tula refinery outage

Mexico crude exports up after Tula refinery outage

Mexico City, 22 May (Argus) — Mexican crude exports have bounced back in May after a power outage hit state-owned Pemex's 315,000 b/d Tula refinery last week, likely freeing more crude for the export market. Crude exports rose to about 838,000 b/d so far in May, up by 18pc from full-month April but still 22pc lower compared with all of May 2023, according to trade analytics firm Kpler data. The month-over-month hike was likely supported by a power outage at the Tula refinery on 13 May, which affected up to 20 processing plants, according to market sources. It remains unclear if the refinery has resumed operations, but sources said the restart could take about two weeks. The Tula refinery, which supplies refined products to Mexico City's metropolitan area, processed 246,500 b/d of crude in March, of which 182,000 b/d, or 74pc, was medium or light sour crude, according to the latest Pemex data. Medium and light sour crude exports rose by 13pc to 336,000 b/d so far in May from the previous month, Kpler data show. Additionally, fires at the Salina Cruz and Minatitlan refineries in late April could have also added to the uptick of crude exports. Mexico this year trimmed crude exports to feed its domestic refineries as President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador seeks to cut fuel imports in his final year in office, in line with his campaign promise to make Mexico more energy independent. Pemex's six domestic refineries processed over 1mn b/d in March for the first time in almost eight years, driven by billion-dollar investments in maintenance since 2019 and the cut in crude exports. The start-up of the new 340,000 b/d Olmeca refinery could further reduce crude exports, but the refinery still faces multiple delays . By Antonio Gozain Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Alabama Demopolis lock reopens early


22/05/24
22/05/24

Alabama Demopolis lock reopens early

Houston, 22 May (Argus) — The failed Demopolis Lock, at the intersection of the Tombigbee Waterway and Black Warrior rivers in Alabama, has reopened two weeks earlier than projected. The lock reopened on 16 May, ahead of the scheduled 30 May opening . Vessels carrying commodities such as asphalt, coal, petcoke, metals and fertilizers have been able to pass through the lock without a long queue since the reopening, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers. The lock had been closed since 16 January when the concrete sill underneath the lock doors failed. The lock was largely rebuilt over the ensuing four months Traffic that would typically pass through the lock was rerouted during the closure. Multiple steel mills in Alabama and Mississippi move some of their feedstock and finished product through the Demopolis lock. Those mills have 8.16mn short tons (st)/yr of flat, long, semifinished and pipe steel production capacity. By Meghan Yoyotte Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

México compra más gasolina asiática


21/05/24
21/05/24

México compra más gasolina asiática

Mexico City, 21 May (Argus) — México está recurriendo más a la gasolina asiática, complementando las importaciones desde la costa del Golfo de EE. UU. para ayudar a satisfacer alrededor de 60pc de la demanda que la producción doméstica no cubre. PMI, el brazo de comercio internacional de la estatal Pemex, compró inusualmente la semana pasada cuatro cargamentos de gasolina asiática para cargar en mayo, además de un envío que ya había comprado para cargar entre el 20 y el 22 de mayo, lo que llevó el total de cargas asiáticas a cinco en el mes. Las cargas se compraron a una refinería estatal china, una empresa comercial estatal china y una empresa comercial con sede en Suiza, según fuentes del mercado. Como resultado, es probable que cinco cargas de aproximadamente 296,000 bl cada una se dirijan a México en mayo. Se esperaba que Asia enviara solo una carga de gasolina a México en mayo, en comparación con cuatro cargas enviadas en abril debido a un arbitraje cerrado. Pero un incidente en la refinería de Tula de Pemex (315,000 b/d), que produce alrededor de 24pc de la gasolina de la empresa, podría haber influido en la decisión de la empresa de comprar más gasolina asiática. Pemex está trabajando para reiniciar la refinería después de un corte de energía el 13 de mayo, y los trabajos de reparación podrían tardar unas dos semanas, dicen las fuentes. México ha importado gasolina ocasionalmente desde Asia durante varios años, pero PMI se convirtió en un comprador frecuente desde abril de 2023. Los cargamentos de gasolina asiática que llegaron a puertos mexicanos ascienden a 54,000 b/d en mayo, frente a los 3,800 b/d de abril, según los datos de Vortexa. Las importaciones de gasolina asiática de mayo aumentaron en 7pc año con año, según los mismos datos. Durante todo el año 2023, México ingresó 47,000 b/d de gasolina de Asia, además de 18,000 b/d de diésel y 3,000 b/d de turbosina, para un total de 68,000 b/d de importaciones de combustible de Asia, tres veces más que en 2022, muestran los datos de Vortexa. México ha dependido de las importaciones, principalmente de la costa del Golfo de EE.UU., para cubrir parte de su demanda de gasolina desde 1990, pero la cuota de importaciones aumentó exponencialmente a partir de 2006, ya que las refinerías de Pemex no pudieron seguir el ritmo de aumento de la demanda. Las importaciones de gasolina aumentaron de nuevo tras la reforma energética de 2014, que abrió los mercados de combustibles a la inversión del sector privado. Retroceso Pero desde 2019, el país ha vuelto a un entorno más restrictivo para las empresas del sector privado bajo la administración del presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador, que ha realizado inversiones de miles de millones de dólares en las capacidades de refinación de Pemex para alcanzar el ambicioso objetivo de autosuficiencia en gasolina y diésel. Aunque estas inversiones dieron lugar a niveles máximos de ocho años en tasas de rendimiento de las refinerías domesticas de Pemex en marzo, impulsando la disminución de las importaciones de combustible, los participantes del mercado permanecen escépticos de una fuerte caída sostenida en las importaciones de combustible de México. A pesar del aumento en el proceso de crudo de las refinerías, Pemex y las empresas privadas siguen importando 481,000 b/d de gasolina, o 60pc de la demanda de gasolina de México, según los últimos datos de la secretaria de energía. Incluso cuando comience operaciones la nueva refinería Olmeca (340,000 b/d), que enfrenta múltiples retrasos, la creciente demanda y los desafíos operativos en las otras refinerías harán que México continúe dependiendo de las importaciones de combustible. Es probable que las importaciones de combustible de México aumenten en la segunda mitad del año, ya que los inventarios de Pemex tienden a disminuir en junio impulsados por el aumento de la demanda. Dado que las empresas del sector privado y Pemex importan la mayoría de las cargas de gasolina desde la costa del Golfo de EE.UU., se espera que la empresa estatal continúe importando ocasionalmente desde Asia. Las importaciones de combustible asiático representaron aproximadamente entre 7 y 8pc de las importaciones marítimas totales de combustible de México en 2023, y las importaciones desde EE. UU. representaron 78pc del total. Por Antonio Gozain Cargamentos de gasolina asiática enviados a México ’000b/d Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

US readies sale of 1mn bl gasoline reserve


21/05/24
21/05/24

US readies sale of 1mn bl gasoline reserve

Washington, 21 May (Argus) — President Joe Biden's administration is requesting bids for a congressionally mandated sale of a 1mn bl gasoline reserve that it says has been "strategically timed" to bring down prices during the peak of the summer driving season. The US Department of Energy (DOE) said the pending sale of the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve will release gasoline blendstocks into the commercial market by no later than 30 June. The sale will consist of 900,000 bl of gasoline in Port Reading, New Jersey, and nearly 99,000 bl of gasoline in South Portland, Maine. Bids for the competitive solicitation will be due no later than noon ET on 28 May. The administration was required to sell off the gasoline reserve, which was created in 2014 in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, by no later than 30 September under a bipartisan spending deal signed into law earlier this year. US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm said the administration organized the sale with a goal to bring down prices at the pump. "By strategically releasing this reserve in between Memorial Day and July 4, we are ensuring sufficient supply flows to the tri-state and northeast at a time hardworking Americans need it the most," Granholm said. US regular grade gasoline cost an average of $3.58/USG in the week ending on 20 May, down from a recent weekly high of $3.67/USG reached nearly a month earlier, according to US Energy Information Administration data. Biden administration officials have been paying close attention to fuel prices, which typically carry outsize weight in public perceptions about inflation. The Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve consists of gasoline held in leased commercial storage tanks that is commingled with commercial supplies. Congressional appropriators came to see the reserve as a waste of resources that should be liquidated. The US was spending about $13/bl annually to maintain the reserve even though it was not likely to be effective during an emergency, the US Government Accountability Office said in a 2022 report. By Chris Knight Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

ScanOcean to supply MGO-HVO blend in Sweden


21/05/24
21/05/24

ScanOcean to supply MGO-HVO blend in Sweden

London, 21 May (Argus) — Swedish bunker firm ScanOcean will supply a B30 marine biodiesel blend made of marine gasoil (MGO) and hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) by truck at all Swedish ports. The B30 blend will comprise 70pc MGO and 30pc HVO and meet ISO 8217:2017 MGO specifications, according to ScanOcean. The biofuel component will not contain any fatty acid methyl ester (Fame) and the blend will reportedly be accompanied by ISCC-EU certification and a proof of sustainability (PoS) document. ScanOcean added that they will supply the physical blend but that the HVO component will be sourced from the EU. The B30 blend will achieve a 25pc reduction of CO2 emissions on a well-to-wake basis when compared with conventional MGO, according to the Swedish supplier. By Hussein Al-Khalisy Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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