The 15th Argus LPG Moscow conference took place on 7-8 October. More than 150 participants from 27 countries gathered at the Hyatt Regency Moscow Petrovsky Park hotel to discuss key industry trends and forecasts. The delegates who were unable to attend in person joined the conference online.
The general partner of the conference was Sibur Holding, while Avestra Group was a strategic partner. The conference was also supported by Quest Group, Impexneftekhim, EGAZ, Intertrans, Filhet-Allard Maritime and Vixon Gas.
Alexey Markov, Head of Hydrocarbon Feedstocks at Sibur Holding, welcomed delegates, giving an overview of the latest trends in the Russian LPG market and the company’s current projects and development plans. He highlighted Sibur’s business achievements this year, such as the 2mn t of polyethylene produced at the Zapsibneftekhim facility and the continued construction of the Amur Gas Chemical Complex, which will be used to increase production of plastics by another 2.7mn t/yr, and the conclusion of a merger with the petrochemical assets of Taif. The resulting company will be one of the five largest global petrochemical players, producing 8mn t/yr of polymer products and 1.2mn t/yr of rubber.
David Tyler, Project Director of the World LPG Association, spoke about the latest changes and global trends in the LPG market, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on international LPG supplies. The topic was continued by Ewa Abramiuk-Lete, CEO of Liquid Gas Europe, who presented a review of the European LPG market, and changes in the transport and energy policies of the EU.
David Appleton, Head of Business Development at Argus, covered the outlook for the global LPG market. He told delegates that the market is clearly undersupplied, inventories are low and prices are likely to be quite high by the end of the year, driven by low inventories in the US, among other factors. In this respect, the market has concerns about supply in anticipation of peak consumption for this coming winter. LPG is in short supply, which may affect both the US market and export destinations and has been the key driver that has spurred prices in the past six weeks, Appleton said.
Svetlana Novolodskaya, Head of LPG in Russia and the FSU at Argus, presented a report on the development of the LPG market in the FSU. Russian LPG exports are falling, despite an increase in production, she said. In numerical terms, the highest exports were in 2018 at almost 6.6mn t. Output of commercial gas was also the highest that year at 14.6mn t. Exports began to decline from 2019 due to the increased use of LPG as a feedstock at Zapsibneftekhim in Tobolsk.
Regional markets were covered by Philip Shevo from Evicor, who reviewed road transportation in Europe, and Andrey Arbuzov from VKV Oil and Gas, who presented an update of the LPG market in Kyrgyzstan.
A discussion on LPG infrastructure and transshipment closed out the first day, with speakers from Avestra, Gazprom Neft, Ruskhimalliance and Fearnleys all making contributions.
The second day of the conference was dedicated to the use of LPG in petrochemicals and the recovery of regional markets following the Covid-19 pandemic.