Floods halt firms' operations in Brazil's south

  • : Agriculture, Metals, Petrochemicals
  • 24/05/06

Several Brazilian companies have suspended operations in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul because of heavy rainfall that has caused severe floods and infrastructure damage.

Flooding from the record rains has left at least 83 dead with 111 people missing, according to the state government. More than 23,000 people have been forced from of their homes amid widespread damage, including washed out bridges and roads across several cities.

The dam of the 100MW 14 de Julho hydroelectric plant, on the Antas River, ruptured last week under the heavy rains. Power generation company Companhia Energetica Rio das Antas, which runs the plant, implemented an emergency evacuation plan on 1 May.

  • Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau that it suspended its operations in two mills at the state until it can ensure "people's protection and safety." The company did not disclose the produced volume of steel at those two mills.
  • Logistics company Rumo partially interrupted operations and said that "damages to assets are still being properly measured".
  • Petrochemical giant Braskem shut down its facilities at the Triunfo petrochemical complex as a preventive measure because of "extreme weather events" in the state, it said on 3 May. The company added there was no expected date to resume activities there. Braskem operates eight industrial units in Rio Grande do Sul that make 5mn metric tonnes/yr of basic petrochemicals, polyethylene and polypropylene, according to its website.

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24/06/14

FAA, EASA probe Boeing, Airbus Ti parts

FAA, EASA probe Boeing, Airbus Ti parts

Houston, 14 June (Argus) — The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are investigating whether falsified documents were used to verify the authenticity of titanium used in parts manufactured by Spirit Aerosystems and others for Boeing and Airbus jets. The US probe arose after Boeing alerted the federal regulator that material was procured through a distributor "who may have falsified or provided incorrect records," the FAA told Argus . The FAA is looking into the scope and impact of the issue. The EASA was notified by the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (Enac) of the issue and has subsequently started an investigation to determine if the traceability issue also has safety implications, an EASA spokesperson told Argus . There is currently no evidence of a safety issue in the fleet, it added, but it will investigate the root cause and monitor new developments. "This is about titanium that has entered the supply system via documents that have been counterfeited," a Spirit spokesperson told Argus . Boeing added that the issue affected some titanium shipments received by a "limited set of suppliers," including its fuselage maker Spirit, and relates to a "very small number of parts" on any of its aircraft. Boeing declined to specify on which programs and for what components the titanium in question was used, but it said the correct titanium alloy was used. Affected parts were produced from 2019-2023, Spirit said. Boeing is removing suspect parts on its planes before delivering them to customers for compliance purposes, but confirmed its in-service fleet is safe to operate based on an internal analysis, it said. Airbus confirmed the airworthiness of its A220 aircraft after conducting "numerous tests" on parts coming from the same source of supply, and said it is working in close collaboration with its supplier, an Airbus spokesperson told Argus . Spirit removed the units from production and performed over 1,000 tests to ensure the "mechanical and metallurgical properties" of the titanium continued to meet airworthiness standards. Spirit supplies an array of parts to Airbus and Boeing including fuselages, pylons, and wing structures. Titanium alloys are typically used in engine components such as turbines and compressor blades, landing gears and fasteners. Aerospace companies including Airbus and Boeing earlier this year formed a coalition to help prevent unauthorized parts from entering the supply chain. It followed actions taken by CFM International, and its parent companies GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines, last years in response to engine parts sold by British distributor AOG Technics with forged documents. By Alex Nicoll and Samuel Wood Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

S Africa's ANC, DA agree to form government


24/06/14
24/06/14

S Africa's ANC, DA agree to form government

Cape Town, 14 June (Argus) — South Africa's African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) political parties today agreed to form a government while the first sitting of the new parliament was underway. The agreement, which includes the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), paves the way for ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa to be re-elected president. The parties will assume various positions in government broadly in proportion to their share of seats. The government of national unity (GNU) agreement is the result of two weeks of intense negotiations after the ANC lost its long-held majority in the national election on 29 May. It secured 40.2pc of the vote, and the centre-right, pro-market DA retained its position as the official opposition with 21.8pc. The deal scuppers the possibility of an alliance between the ANC and the two largest left-wing parties, MK (uMkhonto weSizwe) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which credit ratings agency Fitch warned could pose risks to macroeconomic stability . MK party unseated the EFF in the election to come third, winning 14.6pc of the vote. The EFF secured 9.5pc, and the IFP came a distant fifth with 3.85pc. The MK and EFF are populist parties that campaigned on agendas including wide-scale land expropriation without compensation, nationalisation of economic assets — including mines, the central bank and large banks and insurers — halting fiscal consolidation and aggressively increasing social grants. The GNU parties agreed the new administration should focus on rapid economic growth, job creation, infrastructure development and fiscal sustainability. Other priorities include building a professional, merit-based and non-partisan public service, as well as strengthening law enforcement agencies to address crime and corruption. Through a national dialogue that will include civil society, labour and business, parties will seek to develop a national social compact to enable South Africa to meet its developmental goals, they said. The GNU will take decisions in accordance with the established practice of consensus, but where no consensus is possible a principle of sufficient consensus will apply. By Elaine Mills Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

India implements e-PVC anti-dumping duties


24/06/14
24/06/14

India implements e-PVC anti-dumping duties

Singapore, 14 June (Argus) — India's central government has imposed additional anti-dumping duties (ADDs) on imports of paste polyvinyl chloride (e-PVC) from China, South Korea, Malaysia, Norway, Taiwan, and Thailand from 13 June. The implementation comes after Indian authorities concluded investigations on 26 April which found that imports were purchased at dumped prices from these countries. Authorities also noted there was a substantial increase in imports from these countries and concluded that the domestic industry was affected negatively because of this. But the authorities also incorporated exclusions to the ADDs. These were on PVC resins with a K-value below 60K, PVC blending resins, co-polymers of PVC paste resin, battery separator resins and the brand name "Biovyn" produced by European PVC producer Innovyn. The announcement of the ADDs comes at a time when regional freight challenges have been a significant concern for Indian importers. Limited container availability has resulted in South Korean producers Hanwha Solutions and LG Chem postponing shipments of cargoes that were purchased by Indian buyers for arrival in June and early July. The producers sent letters to their customers informing them of the freight challenges. Both producers indicated a raise in prices for shipments, with LG Chem indicating a rise in PVC prices by $100/t. Key Taiwanese PVC producer Formosa was forced to postpone the announcement of its offers for July shipment from this week to next week because of shipping uncertainties, according to market participants. With the lack of imports, Indian producers this week raised domestic prices of suspension-PVC (s-PVC) by 4,000 rupees/t ($48/t) and e-PVC by Rs5,000/t. Offers of Chinese-origin cargoes have been limited, with some s-PVC offers at $930-950/t this week. Chinese producers are trying to circumvent freight difficulties by shipping PVC cargoes in jumbo bags in bulk vessels instead of containers. But acceptance by Indian buyers has been underwhelming, according to market participants. The ADDs will be enforced for a period of six months from 13 June and are payable in Indian rupees. By Matthew Rajendra India e-PVC ADD list $/t Country of Origin Country of export Producer Duty China Any Formosa Industries (Ningbo) Co., Ltd. 546 China Any Shenyang Chemical Co. Ltd 115 China Any Other Chinese producers except above 600 Any China Any 600 South Korea Any Hanwha Solutions Corporation 0 South Korea Any Other South Korean producers 41 Any South Koreaa Any 41 Malaysia Any Kaneka Paste Sdn. Bhd. 317 Malaysia Any Other Malaysian producers 375 Any Malaysia Any 375 Taiwan Any Formosa Plastics Corporation 118 Taiwan Any Other Taiwanese producers 168 Any Taiwan Any 168 Thailand Any TPC Paste Resin Co. Ltd. 195 Thailand Any Other Thai producers 252 Any Thailand Any 252 Norway Any Any 328 Any Norway Any 328 Data from India's Ministry of Finance Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Inpex invests in Australian solar, battery project


24/06/14
24/06/14

Inpex invests in Australian solar, battery project

Tokyo, 14 June (Argus) — Japanese upstream firm Inpex has decided to invest in a hybrid solar and battery project in the Australian state of New South Wales, aiming to boost its renewable energy business abroad. Inpex reached a final investment decision on the Quorn Park Hybrid project in Australia, a joint venture project with Italian utility Enel's wholly-owned Australian renewable energy firm Enel Green Power Australia (EGPA), the Japanese firm announced on 14 June. The project consists of solar farm construction and power generation with a photovoltaic and battery system. Batteries are usually a necessary back-up power source to stabilise power grids that utilise renewable energy. The project aims to produce around 210GWh/yr from solar power with around 40MWh/yr from battery storage, according to EGPA, with an operational capacity of around 98MW for solar and 20MW for battery. The firms plan to start construction during the second half of 2024, before it starts commercial operations during the first half of 2026, according to an Inpex representative that spoke to Argus . The Japanese firm did not disclose the investment amount but the investment value for construction of the project is estimated at "over $190mn", according to EGPA's website. Inpex bought a 50pc stake in EGPA in July 2023, with an aim of expanding its renewable generation portfolio. The firm regards Australia as a "core area" for boosting its renewable energy business, according to Inpex. By Yusuke Maekawa Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Low-CO2 biofuel feedstock imports to rise: USDA


24/06/13
24/06/13

Low-CO2 biofuel feedstock imports to rise: USDA

New York, 13 June (Argus) — A new US tax credit kicking off next year that is more generous for fuels that produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions will likely spur more imports of low-carbon feedstocks, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a report this week. A raft of government incentives, including the federal renewable fuel standard and low-carbon fuel standards (LCFS) in states like California, has already spurred a boom in renewable diesel production, upping demand for feedstocks that can be used to make the fuel. The US was a net soybean oil importer for the first time ever in 2023 because of strong demand from domestic refineries, and the value of US imports of animal fats and vegetable oils more than doubled from 2020 to 2023 according to the report. That trend could become even more pronounced next year as the Inflation Reduction Act's 45Z tax credit, which offers up to $1.75/USG for sustainable aviation fuel and up to $1/USG for other fuels like renewable diesel, comes into force. The credit can only be claimed for fuel produced in the US, likely cutting biofuel imports and sending more feedstocks that would have been refined abroad to the US instead, the report says. The 45Z credit will also be more generous to fuels with lower carbon intensity, upping demand for waste feedstocks like used cooking oil that already fetch greater discounts in LCFS programs. Fast-rising imports of China-origin used cooking oil have already frustrated some agricultural groups, which lose out if there are more ample supplies of waste feedstocks. The report says that while soybean oil was the "crucial feedstock" allowing for the recent growth in US renewable diesel, its share of the feedstock mix has been trending downwards because of competition from lower-carbon feedstocks and lower-cost canola oil from Canada. While soybean oil exports have plunged because of the renewable diesel boom, they could recover slightly if refineries increasingly turning to waste feedstocks cuts into US soybean oil's current premium over global vegetable oils. The report adds that soybean oil's role in renewable diesel production is also at risk from rising supplies of soybean meal, which is produced alongside oil at crush plants and where the global demand picture is less clear. "Based on global demand for soybean meal, soybean oil cannot continue to fuel renewable diesel production growth at current rates during the next few years without major changes to global soybean meal demand, shifts in exporter market shares, or lower supplies in other exporting countries," the report says. By Cole Martin Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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