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Industry News

Now-resolved Suez Canal blockage shows value of Arctic shipping route, Russia says

(Bellona.org) - While hundreds of ship and tankers were blocked from passing through the Suez Canal by a stranded container ship, Russia’s Energy Ministry wasted no time reminding the world of the Northern Sea Route, the 6,000-kilometer sea artery joining Europe and Asia through the Arctic said to lop days off conventional cargo passages.

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Canada finalizes critical minerals list

(CIM Magazine) Thirty-one: that is the number of minerals that Canada has identified as “critical minerals.” Addressing the virtual Prospector’s and Developer’s Association of Canada Convention on March 11, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan read out the newly formed list and called critical minerals “essential to the economic and energy security.”

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Suez Canal Blocked After Giant Container Ship Gets Stuck

(The New York Times) CAIRO — Trying to convey the sheer scale of the nearly quarter-mile-long container ship that has been stuck in the Suez Canal since Tuesday evening, some news outlets compared it to the length of four soccer fields. Others simply called it gigantic. But the main thing to know was this: After powerful winds forced the ship aground on one of the canal’s banks, it was big enough to block nearly the entire width of the canal, producing a large traffic jam in one of the world’s most important maritime arteries.
Related Story: https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/suez-canal-blocked-weeks

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Canadian Pacific Railway acquires Kansas City Southern railway for $25 billion

(KTTN) The Associated Press reported Canadian Pacific Railway’s acquisition of Kansas City Southern is a $25 billion deal in cash and stock. The sale creates the first rail network linking the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Railway officials say Kansas City, Missouri will be designated as the new U.S. headquarters for Canadian Pacific Kansas City, or CPKC. The combined company would operate about 20,000 miles of railway, employ 20,000 people and generate annual revenue of about $8.7 billion.

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ICL (ICL) Reports Acquisition of South American Plant Nutrition Business from Compass Minerals (CMP) for $402M

(Street Insider) ICL (NYSE: ICL), a leading global specialty minerals and specialty chemicals company, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP) América do Sul S.A., which includes the South American Plant Nutrition business of Compass Minerals – after a planned carve-out of the existing water treatment and chemicals businesses – for approximately R$2,207 million (~US$402 million, based on a Brazilian real-to-U.S. dollar exchange rate of R$5.4951/US$1.00). This amount includes the assumption of approximately R$600 million (~US$109 million) of net debt and is subject to customary post-closing adjustments. In addition, the transaction includes an earnout of up to approximately R$88 million (~US$16 million).

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Refinery rained oil onto Virgin Islands community that awaits cleanup a month later

(Seattle Times) Two hours after midnight in this island paradise, a cloudy vapor rose from a massive oil refinery and floated over nearby homes as quietly as a ghost. The fine mist of oil and water from Limetree Bay Refining rained down on the community of Clifton Hill, showering the slick mix onto cars, gardens, rooftops and cisterns filled with rainwater that residents use for daily tasks.

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U.S. transport chief to testify on infrastructure push

(Reuters) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will testify March 25 before a key U.S. House panel on the Biden administration's infrastructure push. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Peter DeFazio said Buttigieg will testify as lawmakers are working on a "transformational surface transportation reauthorization legislation". As a candidate, President Joe Biden pledged to invest $2 trillion in fixing highways, bridges and airports; building climate-resilient homes; wiring cities for broadband internet; encouraging the manufacturing of fuel-efficient cars and installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.

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European companies announce more clean fuel projects

(S&P Platts) - Finnish refiner and clean fuels producer Neste has identified Rotterdam in the Netherlands as the most likely site for its new "world scale" renewable products refinery, it said March 15. Neste also said a final investment decision for the project will be made either by the end of this year or early in 2022. "Based on the thorough studies and calculations, the overall cost of the investment is significantly lower in Rotterdam. Our decision relies on ensuring our future competitiveness and our renewables growth strategy execution," said Neste President and CEO Peter Vanacker.

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In numbers: how mining came to be Australia's most profitable sector

(Mining Technology) - Mining remains Australia's single largest sector, and a bastion of stability and profitability amid the uncertain times of the Covid-19 pandemic. We investigate the statistics behind the industry's recent meteoric rise to see how it has secured such a position of dominance and stability.

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Phosphate Fertilizers from Morocco and Russia Injure U.S. Industry, says USITC

(United States International Trade Commission) - The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of phosphate fertilizers from Morocco and Russia that the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) has determined are subsidized by the governments of those countries.

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Turning point in a turnaround for Tengizchevroil LLP

(Engineer Live) - Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is the world’s largest landlocked country, and the ninth largest country in the world, with an area of 1,052,100 square miles. Between its most distant points, Kazakhstan measures about 1,820 miles east to west and 960 miles north to south. It is a transcontinental country largely located in Asia, but with the most western parts in Europe. Kazakhstan is the dominant nation of Central Asia economically, generating 60% of the region’s GDP, primarily through its oil and gas industry. It also has vast mineral resources.

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The copper rush

(Switzer Daily) - While investor interest in ‘battery metals’ has focused on lithium and graphite, copper has been the quiet achiever in terms of its role in the renewable energy revolution.
But with the copper price testing record highs set a decade ago, the credentials of the red metal are getting louder by the day.

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FRA Hazmat Tank Car Impact Test Research

(Railway Age) - Approximately one out of every four railroad freight cars in North America is a tank car, according to the Association of American Railroads, Railroad Facts, 2019 Edition (p. 38). Each year, such cars transport roughly 2 million shipments of hazardous materials (hazmat), carrying goods that are essential to North America’s economy, public health and quality of life.

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From the Farm: Applying sulfur to corn

(WCIA) - Many of us are too young to remember acid rain and the damage it did.  But it contained sulfuric acid from coal-fired power plants — and its absence means a shortfall of sulfur needed by crops.

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Maritec Advises Shipowners On How To Be IMO2020 Compliant Amid High Sulphur Warning

(Hellenic Shipping News) Singapore-based independent test and research facility Maritec is advising shipowners on how best to meet IMO 2020 fuel testing requirements following reports of excessive sulphur in some very low sulphur fuel oils.

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Battery metals are critical over the next decade, Roskill says

(The Northern Miner) The growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is driving the increasing demand for lithium, nickel and cobalt – critical metals used as cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries in the automotive, energy and electronics industries. According to Deloitte's Electric Vehicle Trends, EV sales are forecast to grow from 2.5 million in 2020 to 11.2 million by 2025, and to 31.1 million by 2030. Analysts from Roskill, a commodity research firm and a leader in critical materials supply chains, provide an outlook on battery metals' markets over the next decade.

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Texas deep freeze hits energy sector, Houston ship channel shut

(Reuters) A deep freeze that hit Texas over the weekend wrought more havoc on the U.S. energy sector on Tuesday, curbing output in the largest U.S. oil field, knocking out a fifth of the nation’s refining capacity, and shutting a key shipping channel in Houston. (related article)

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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: Companies report lower throughput in Europe

(S&P Global by Platts) Oil companies in Europe have reported lower throughput in the fourth quarter and 2020 as a whole, with many refineries continuing with run cuts in the first quarter of 2021.

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Mines push on as South Africa plays catch-up

(Mining Review) The South African mining sector is managing the Covid-19 pandemic remarkably well, but the country needs to do more if it wants mining to benefit from the looming demand peak in ‘green minerals’, according to Ralf Hennecke of BME.

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EGYPTIAN AND EAST AFRICAN MARKETS ADAPTING TO IMO 2020

(Bunker Spot) Speakers at Petrospot’s Maritime Week Africa conference said that the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 0.50% global sulphur cap is bringing a ‘radical change’ to the bunker markets in Egypt and East Africa.

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Member News

Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc. celebrates groundbreaking in Ohio for fertilizer facility

Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc. held a celebratory groundbreaking to mark the commencement of construction on a new liquid fertilizer facility in Defiance, Ohio. The new 50,000-square-foot production facility will occupy 50 acres and is set to become operational in 2024. The facility will service the Eastern Great Lakes Region through its distribution partners and will include terminal loadouts for rail cars and tanker trucks.

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Ford to buy lithium from ioneer for U.S. EV battery plant

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) said on Thursday it will buy lithium from ioneer Ltd's (INR.AX) Rhyolite Ridge mining project in Nevada and use the metal to build electric vehicle batteries in the United States.

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Koch Ag Completes Acquisition, Forms Joint Venture With Moroccan Phosphate Subsidiary

(The Daily Scoop) - "The closing of this acquisition marks Koch's first substantial investment on the African continent," said Brad Razook, Executive VP of Koch Industries and CEO, Resources. "We are excited to add another nutrient to the KAES portfolio in collaboration with a world-class partner."

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Shell Pushes Big Plans To Drill More in Gulf

(The Wall Street Journal) - Political uncertainty is clouding prospects for new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but Shell PLC—the Gulf’s biggest producer—is still investing billions of dollars in its waters to pump oil for years to come.

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Rhyolite Ridge: Investing in the future

(Elko Daily) - Alot has been happening with the Rhyolite Ridge lithium/boron project in recent months.
“On March 31, U.S. President Joe Biden announced plans to invoke the Defense Production Act to provide hundreds of millions in new subsidies for the mining of minerals critical for the wind, solar and electric vehicles industries.

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Penflex Becomes The Sulphur Institute's Newest Member

(MSN) - Penflex Corporation recently became the newest member of The Sulphur Institute (TSI), an international, non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the safe use of sulfur.

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Koch to acquire 50% stake in JFC III from OCP

(Agri Business Global) - Koch Ag & Energy Solutions (Koch) and OCP have signed an agreement under which a Koch affiliate will acquire a 50% interest in Jorf Fertilizers Company III (JFC III) from OCP, the world's largest phosphate mining and leading global fertilizer group. When closed, the transaction will establish a 50/50 joint venture.

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Exxon posts biggest profit in seven years on high oil prices

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) on Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter profit of $8.87 billion, its largest in seven years, as the top U.S. oil producer benefited from strong energy prices.

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Shell ends 2021 on high note, hikes dividend and boosts buybacks

(Reuters) - Shell (SHEL.L) again boosted its dividend and share repurchases on Thursday after fourth quarter profits hit their highest in eight years, fuelled by higher oil and gas prices and strong gas trading performance.

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The Mosaic Company Comments on 10-Year High Fertilizer Prices

(The Daily Scoop) - Citing three key factors in today's fertilizer markets, The Mosaic Company says it recognizes fertilizer prices have increased dramatically in the past several months.

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