Low-sulphur petcoke supplies will sink this summer in the former Soviet Union region, as major refineries—Turkmenbashi and Baku—will undergo maintenance during July and August.
This may lead to a low-sulphur petcoke supply deficit in the third and fourth quarters of 2016, according to DYM Resources.
Turkmenbashi refinery informed clients on July 14 that it has planned maintenance for 15 days starting July 15, and its coking unit will be fully shut. The refinery has loaded previously accumulated stocks of green and calcined petcoke from July 15 to 22. The calcining unit continued production on previously produced feedstock.
“It is minor maintenance, a regular stop that is needed to check if everything is okay with the coker,” a source said. “It should restart in early August.”
But some market participants expect that volumes loaded from the refinery will be lower in late July and early August this year.
Turkmenbashi refinery has a coker with an annual capacity of 200,000 tons of below 0.6 percent sulphur green petcoke. The refinery has a calcining unit as well. Calcined petroleum coke was exported into Tajikistan in the first half of 2016.
Turkmenbashi refinery exported 52,500 tons of green coke to Russia by rail in the first half of 2016. The refinery loaded 15,000 to 30,000 tons to Tajikistan during the same period.
Baku refinery will undergo maintenance during the same period, in August 2016, which should significantly impact low-sulphur petcoke supplies and exports.
“We already see loading volumes decreased from Baku refinery in July. Possibly that refinery is accumulating stocks for the maintenance period,” a market participant commented.
Baku refinery is able to produce 300,000 tons of below 0.6 percent sulphur petroleum coke per year.
Baku exported 98,800 tons of petroleum coke to Russia between January and June 2016.
In 2016, Baku refinery exported at least 261,000 tons of petroleum coke and around two thirds, or 177,000 tons, ended up in Russia. Petroleum coke was also exported to Ukraine, Canada, and India.
Low-sulphur Petcoke Supplies and Alternatives
Romania’s Petrom 1 percent sulphur petroleum coke could be an alternative in August and September for the ex-USSR market.
“DYM Resources is able to supply 1 percent low-sulphur petroleum coke from Romania by dry-bulk vessel or rail tank cars in August and September 2016 within the Black Sea,” Yury Burenko, head of petroleum coke operations at DYM Resources, said.
Romania loads petroleum coke from the Constanta port. In 2016, Petrom’s petcoke was exported to China and within the Black Sea region.