Light vehicle fuel efficiency gains see slow progress as SUVs sales rising: IEA; Terminal for ExxonMobil-Sabic venture’s resin plant in Corpus Christi completed; LyondellBasell posts quarterly cash earnings record; Brookfield buys InterPipeline

News Briefs

Image courtesy of John/Rudy Skitterias/Pixabay

Light vehicle fuel efficiency gains see slow progress as SUVs sales rising: IEA

The average fuel consumption of light vehicles has seen little change globally over the last few years and even increased in some major markets of the the EU and the U.S., with much faster rates needed to help meet carbon neutrality goals, the International Energy Agency said on Nov. 4, 2021.

Average global fuel consumption fell just under 1% over the past two years and this thanks mainly to stricter regulation in China, the Paris-based agency said citing the Global Fuel Economy Initiative report

The slowing pace of fuel efficiency improvement between 2017 and 2019 resulted from factors that include stagnating fuel economy standards in the U.S. and EU, as well as the rising market share of bigger vehicles like SUVs that now dominate some markets.

In 2020 in the U.S. there were two SUVs sold for each sedan automobile, according to a New York Times report in May 2021.

Until 2019 sedan vehicles had held the top spot in passenger vehicles for two decades but in that year the top selling sedan, the Toyota Camry, took spot number eight, as several SUVs reached higher shares of the light vehicle market than the Camry.

According to a Valuates Reports release on Oct. 14, growing income is the main factor for a push for more expensive vehicles  like luxury SUVs in China,  the EU, India, and the U.S.

The Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) is a partnership that includes the United Nations, the International Transport Forum of the OECD and the International Council on Clean Transportation.

Terminal for ExxonMobil-Sabic venture’s resin plant in Corpus Christi completed

Royal Vopak said on Oct. 28, 2021 that it completed an industrial terminal with 144,000 cubic meters capacity near Corpus Christi, Texas specifically built to serve the ExxonMobil-Sabic venture under a 20-year accord, but will remain fully owned and operated by Vopak.

Exxon Mobil and Sabic announced on July 26 that they had reached mechanical completion of a monoethylene glycol unit and two polyethylene units in Corpus Christi as the companies ready for the startup,  planned for the fourth quarter.

The project includes a 1.8-million metric ton ethane steam cracker. When completed, the venture will produce 1,100 tonnes/year of monoethylene glycol (used mostly as an intermediate for polyester production or as auto coolant) and 1,300 tonnes/year of polyethylene. ExxonMobil is the operator.

LyondellBasell posts quarterly cash earnings record

LyondellBasell posted a quarterly record for cash earnings from operations in the third quarter of 2021, CEO Bhavesh Patel said on Oct. 29.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was approximately $2.7 billion, a year-over-year quarterly improvement of $1.8 billion, according to the company’s third quarter results.

“Efficient cash conversion generated $2.1 billion in cash from operating activities, a new quarterly record for our company,” Patel said in his last quarterly earnings discussion as he is leaving the company in December.

“Increased costs for natural gas, ethane, naphtha and butane compressed margins for many products from the highs seen in the second quarter,” he added, according to a transcript of the call by Motley Fool.

As global reopening continues, an eventual normalization of supply chains will support continued growth, he said.

The company’s Olefins and Polyolefins Americas segment saw EBITDA at $1.6 billion, slightly lower than the second quarter.

Olefins results contracted about $75 million compared with the second quarter due to lower margins and volumes.

Brookfield Infrastructure completes purchase of Inter Pipeline, seeks CEO

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners said on Oct. 28 that it completed the acquisition of Inter Pipeline, a Canadian midstream company that will start up its first plastics resin plant in 2022.

Brookfield has appointed Brian Baker as interim Chief Executive Officer, pending a search to identify a permanent replacement. Inter Pipeline shares were going to be withdrawn from the Toronto stock exchange.

Brookfield Infrastructure is an asset management company that owns and operates utilities, transport, midstream and data sectors worldwide.

Inter Pipeline plans to start a PDH (propane dehydrogenator) and polypropylene plant near Edmonton, Alberta by the end of 2022.

By Reuters Events Downstream