Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2022.08.01]






China's first offshore shale exploration well in South China Sea

China has tapped commercial flows of oil and gas from a shale exploration well in the South China Sea for the first time.

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), China's largest offshore oil and gas producer, said on Thursday that it had implemented a successful fracking test and extracted commercial flow of shale oil.

Exploration well Weiye-1, located in the southwestern trough of the Beibu Gulf in the South China Sea, tested a daily production of 20 cubic meters (126 barrels) of oil and 1,589 cubic meters of natural gas, Shanghai Securities Journal reported.

'After two years of bottleneck-breaking work, including the study of the characteristic of shale oil reserve in the southwestern trough in the Beibu Gulf, rounds of verification on the feasibility of the project and the fracking test, we deployed China's first offshore shale oil exploration well, which has unleashed shale oil and gained commercial flow of shale oil,' said Deng Yong, chief geologist with the CNOOC Zhanjiang branch.

'The latest success of China's first offshore shale oil exploration well is a major breakthrough in offshore oil and gas explorations of the country. It means that China is able to independently explore and develop its offshore shale oil and gas resources with its own equipment and technologies, which opens a new page in China's exploration and development of unconventional offshore oil and gas,' said Xu Changgui, general manager of the exploration department of CNOOC.

The company estimated that the trough could have 800 million tonnes of shale oil resource, and the whole Beibu Gulf could hold about 1.2 billion tonnes of prospective shale oil.


Shell to establish first’ hydrogen refuelling network in Asia under new joint venture

Shell has announced plans to build its first’ hydrogen refuelling network in Asia under a new joint venture.

Shell and Shanghai Shenergy Innovation and Development Co. have revealed today (July 29) they have signed an agreement to form a joint venture to develop a network of hydrogen refuelling stations in Shanghai.

The new joint venture, Shanghai Shenergy and Shell New Energy Company Limited plan to build six to 10 stations in Shanghai and Yangzte River Delta over the next five years, with intentions to scale up to 30 stations across the Yangzte River Delta by 2030.

It is hoped, once established the stations could supply hydrogen to approximately 3,000 fuel cell trucks and buses every day, helping to accelerate the adoption of the clean technology in road freight, public transport, municipal services and port areas in the region.

H2 View understands, the stations will use low-emission hydrogen produced as a by-product from the local chemical industry in the short term, with the partners saying they will also explore opportunities for the production and supply of green hydrogen in the long term.

Jason Wong, Executive Chairman of Shall Companies in China, said, Hydrogen will play an important role in reducing emissions of hard-to-abate sectors such as transport and heavy industry in China.

It is also expected that hydrogen will scale up significantly and make up at least 5% of Chinas energy system by 2030. We see opportunities across the hydrogen value chain in China. Through the partnership with Shenergy, we are glad to support the development of hydrogen in China and contribute to Chinas carbon targets.

Additionally, the plans for hydrogen infrastructure hope to support the development of the Shanghai National Fuel Cell Vehicle Demonstration City Cluster.

Huang Dinan, Chairman of Shenergy Group, said, Under the guidance of its carbon-peak and carbon-neutrality strategy, China is moving towards a clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient energy system.

As an integrated energy company, Shenery Group maps path in hydrogen industry to support the strategy. In accordance with its strategic plan, Shenergy Group aims to build a full value chain that covers production, storage, transportation, refuelling and utilisation of hydrogen. We hope to collaborate with Shell to give full play to our advantages, and co-build safe, reliable, and high-quality hydrogen infrastructures.

Taking this as a starting point, we look forward to collaborating with more partners to support the development of hydrogen and contribute to the energy transition of Shanghai and China.



FRANKFURT, Germany, July 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of the overall cooperation between INEOS and Sinopec, the two organisations today announce the formation of a 50/50 Joint Venture to produce and sell ABS. The Joint Venture will build production of 1.2 million tonnes of ABS to supply the rapidly growing domestic market in China.

The world-scale ABS plant in Ningbo, which is currently under construction by INEOS Styrolution and planned to become operational in 2023, will become part of the new Joint Venture. This will provide a strong cornerstone in an organisation that is poised to become an ABS leader in China.

Steve Harrington, CEO INEOS Styrolution, comments: 'INEOS Styrolution has come a long way from being a Joint Venture itself in its early years. After acquisitions and investing into new green-field production sites, setting up this Joint Venture with a strong partner in China feels like the natural next step for growth. We entered China with our first local production sites in 2019. The collaboration with Sinopec allows us to continue to grow in China in fast-forward mode.'

Rob Buntinx, President APAC at INEOS Styrolution, adds: 'We are particularly excited that our Terluran® ABS is the basis for this cooperation. While INEOS Styrolution contributes to the Joint Venture with technology, customers, and market expertise, Sinopec provides feedstock integration, and an unequalled network in China. We are looking forward to the collaboration with Sinopec. A one-off opportunity to accelerate our growth ambitions in Asia.'


Russian energy corporation Gazprom cuts off gas to Latvia

MOSCOW -- Russia's state-owned natural gas corporation said Saturday it has halted shipments to Latvia because of contract violations.

In a brief statement, gas giant Gazprom said the shipments were stopped because Latvia broke terms for extraction of gas.” It did not elaborate.

The statement likely referred to a refusal to meet Russia's demand for gas payments in rubles rather than other currencies. Gazprom previously suspended shipments to other European Union countries, including the Netherlands, Poland and Bulgaria, because they would not pay in rubles.

The immediate effects of the cutoff were not clear. Latvian media reported this week that the country had resumed buying Russian gas from another supplier.

After the EU imposed sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in March that unfriendly foreign buyers” would have to transact with Gazprom in rubles instead of dollars and euros.

The Kremlin said importers had to establish an account in dollars or euros at Russias third-largest bank, Gazprombank, then a second account in rubles. The importer would pay the gas bill in euros or dollars and direct the bank to exchange the money for rubles.

Many countries refused to comply, saying the new payment system could put them in the position of breaking sanctions terms.


Exxon Plans Another 35 Wells Offshore Guyana

ExxonMobil, which has so far found 11 billion barrels of oil at place offshore Guyana, is seeking environmental approval to drill another 35 wells on the very prolific Stabroek Block offshore the South American country beginning in 2023.

Exxons local subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) has applied with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Guyana for the massive drilling campaign, expected to begin next year and end in 2028, Oil & Gas Journal reports.

The application, seen by Guyanas Kaieteur News, says that The exact locations of the 35 exploration/appraisal wells comprising the Project have not yet been finalized. While some of the 35 wells will be drilled for exploration purposes, it is also possible that some of the wells may be drilled as appraisal wells within the proximity of previously drilled exploration areas. Therefore, four areas of interest have been identified within the Stabroek Block as the possible locations for the proposed 35 exploration/appraisal wells to occur.

Exxon has helped make Guyana the latest oil-producing and oil-exporting nation in late 2019. Since 2015, when it first discovered oil offshore Guyana, Exxon has made more than 20 discoveries in the waters of the South American nation.

In February this year, Exxon said it started production at Guyanas second offshore oil development on the Stabroek Block, Liza Phase 2, bringing total production capacity to more than 340,000 barrels per day (bpd). Production at the Liza Unity floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel is expected to reach its target of 220,000 bpd this year, and adds to the more than 120,000 bpd of capacity at the Liza Phase 1 project that launched in December 2019.

In April, Exxon approved its fourth offshore project in Guyana, at Yellowtail, which is expected to produce 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) starting in 2025.

By 2027, Exxon plans to produce more than 850,000 bpd from Guyanas offshore, the U.S. supermajor said in a presentation on its investor day in March.

Exxon Mobil

NextDecade Strikes 20-Year LNG Supply Deal with Exxon Mobil

NextDecade Corp. has entered a 20-year sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with an affiliate of Exxon Mobil for the supply of LNG from NextDecades Rio Grande LNG export project (RGLNG) in Brownsville, Texas.

Under the SPA, ExxonMobil LNG Asia Pacific will purchase 1.0 million metric tonnes per annum of LNG. The LNG will be supplied from the first two trains of Rio Grande LNG, with the first train expected to start commercial operations as early as 2026.

LNG will play an increasingly important role in helping society reduce emissions during the energy transition,” Peter Clarke, senior vice president of LNG for the Exxon Mobil Upstream Co., said. We look forward to working with NextDecade to continue growing Exxon Mobils LNG portfolio and delivering the lower-emissions energy the world needs.


TotalEnergies begins production from Nigerian offshore oil field

French oil and energy company TotalEnergies and its partner have started production from the Ikike field in production licence 99 (OML 99) in Nigeria.

The field is expected to reach a peak production capacity of 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) by the end of this year.

TotalEnergies operates the OML99 licence with a 40% stake while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owns the remaining 60% interest.

Located 20km off the coast and at a water depth of approximately 20m, the Ikike platform is tied back through a 14km multiphase pipeline to the existing Amenam offshore facilities.

TotalEnergies said that the project makes use of existing facilities to reduce costs. It is also designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

TotalEnergies Africa exploration and production senior vice-president Henri-Max Ndong-Nzue said: TotalEnergies is pleased to start production at Ikike, which was launched a few months before the Covid pandemic, and whose success owes a lot to the full mobilisation of the teams. By tapping discoveries close to existing facilities, this project fits the companys strategy of focusing on low-cost and low-emission oil projects.

TotalEnergies has been present in Nigeria for more than 60 years and currently employs more than 1,800 people across different business segments.

In 2021, TotalEnergies reported production rates of 240,000boepd.

The firm also operates a distribution network including approximately 540 service stations in the West African country.

In May 2022, Reuters reported that TotalEnergies was looking to sell its 10% stake in the Nigerian joint venture (JV) Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC).

Other JV partners in SPDC include Shell (30%), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) (55%), and Nigerian Agip Oil Company limited (NAOC), a unit of Italys Eni, which owns a 5% stake.

SPDC operates over 6,000km of pipelines , 87 flowstations, eight gas plants, and over 1,000 producing wells.


US, Europe PE margins expected to decline in Q3 versus Q2 – Dow CEO

US and Europe polyethylene (PE) margins are expected to decline in Q3 versus Q2 levels, the CEO of Dow said on Thursday.

We have a good integrated margin outlook for the US Gulf Coast in Q3 – similar, maybe 1 cent lower than what we had in Q2. In Europe, I expect it will come off a few cents… from Q2,” said Dow CEO Jim Fitterling on the companys Q2 earnings conference call.

Packaging [demand] continues to be strong. Our volumes in Q2 were up 5% year over year. Without logistics constraints they would have been higher,” he added.

Dow expects Q3 sales to decline across all three of its segments versus Q2, including by 5-8% in Packaging & Specialty Plastics (P&SP), which houses its polyethylene (PE) business.

Planned cracker turnarounds in Texas, Argentina and Canada will dampen sales and be a $75m headwind to operating earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) in Q3. Higher energy costs in Europe and near-term regional supply imbalances are expected to present a $125m headwind in Q3.

Inventory builds in US PE were impacted by supply chain congestion which held up product exiting ports, and on-purpose building ahead of hurricane season on the US Gulf Coast, with each factor accounting for about half the build-up in Q2, the CEO noted.

Theres still supply chain congestion at the ports and were working through that,” said Fitterling, who pointed to marine packed cargo being the main issue, as rail and truck transport has been relatively smooth.


Sources: ConocoPhillips Eyes Gulf of Mexico Exit to Strengthen Permian Position

ConocoPhillips is exploring a sale of its stake in the Ursa platform and Princess subsea well in the Gulf of Mexico, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, in what would mark its exit from deepwater energy production off the U.S. Gulf coast.

The oil producer has been offloading assets as it shifts to become a major operator in the Permian basin, the heart of the shale industry in the United States. It has targeted between $4 billion and $5 billion in divestments by the end of 2023.

Conoco has retained a financial adviser to sell its 15.9% holding in the Ursa/Princess development, which is likely to be valued in the high hundreds of millions of dollars, according to two sources.

The sources cautioned that no deal was guaranteed, and Conoco could retain the asset if it does not secure a suitable offer. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential information.

Conoco declined comment.

The Houston-based firm has become a major producer in the Permian, aided by a $23 billion spending spree over the last two years during which it bought Shell's assets in the region and rival Concho Resources.

With U.S. crude prices trading above $100 a barrel, having touched a multi-year high back in March, the backdrop for those wanting to explore potential divestments is favorable. Volatile commodity prices are making it hard for buyers and sellers to agree terms though, industry sources have said.

Conoco's net production from the Ursa/Princess development averaged 13,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2021, according to its website. Shell is the operator, with BP Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. holding minority stakes.

Cheniere Energy

Cheniere Inks 20-Year LNG Supply Deal with Thailands PTT

Cheniere Energy Inc. has secured a 20-year LNG sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with a subsidiary of PTT Public Co. Ltd. (PTT), Thailands largest state-owned, multinational energy company.

Under the SPA, PTT Global LNG Cp. Ltd. (PTTGL) has agreed to purchase 1.0 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG from Corpus Christi Liquefaction LLC for 20 years beginning in 2026.

This is the first direct LNG contract from a US LNG producer for PTTGL, and this agreement not only reflects the critical need for long-term, reliable LNG supply across the globe, but also the important role LNG has to play in powering growing economies for decades to come,” Jack Fusco, Chenieres president and CEO, said.

The customized structure of this deal represents a further evolution in Chenieres commercial offerings tailored to the specific needs of LNG customers around the world.

We actively engage in the LNG business and target to be a Global LNG Player by managing an LNG portfolio of 9 MTPA by 2030. By the end of this year, PTTs LNG receiving terminals will be able to accommodate regasification capacity up to 19 million tons per year with our new terminal,” Auttapol Rerkpiboon, PTTs president and CEO, said.


Shell USA, Shell Midstream Partners to Merge in $1.96 Billion Deal

Shell USA Inc. has agreed to merge with Shell Midstream Partners LP in a deal valued at $1.96 billion, the company said on Monday.

As part of the merger agreement, Shell USA will acquire all of the common units representing limited partner interests in Shell Midstream Partners held by the public at $15.85 per public common unit in cash for a total value of approximately $1.96 billion.

Shell Midstream Partners’ assets include interests in crude oil and refined products pipelines and terminals that serve as key infrastructure to transport onshore and offshore crude oil production to U.S. Gulf Coast and Midwest refining markets. Its assets also include natural gas and refinery gas pipelines that transport offshore natural gas to market hubs and deliver refinery gas from refineries and plants to chemical sites along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.


TotalEnergies and Veolia Partner to Build the Largest Solar System for a Desalination Plant in Om

TotalEnergies and Veolia have signed an agreement to start the construction of the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) systems providing power for a desalination plant in Oman, in the city of Sur. The power plant will be located on the site of the Sharqiyah Desalination plant, which is a reference in Oman and in the gulf region, supplying drinking water to more than 600,000 inhabitants of the Sharqiyah region.

This 17-megawatt peak (MWp) solar project will be the first of its kind to be installed in the region. It produces annually over 30,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of green electricity, or more than a third of the desalination plant's daily consumption, enabling it to avoid close to 300,000 tons of CO(2) emissions.

This is in line with Oman's National Energy Strategy to convert 30% of its electricity use to renewable sources by 2030. The plant will be equipped with more than 32,000 high-efficiency solar panels and will use an innovative East-West tracker system to increase energy production. It will cover an area of 130,000 square meters, equivalent to approximately 18 football pitches.


bp opens its first electric truck charging facilities to support the decarbonization of transport

bp has opened its first ultra-fast-charging facilities aimed at medium and heavy-duty electric trucks to support the decarbonization of the sector – where, according to the IEA, tailpipe CO2 emissions have increased on average 2.2% annually since 2000, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Operated by bps Aral brand, the retail site at Schwegenheim in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany now has two state-of-the-art 300kw ultra-fast chargers intended for electric trucks, powered by 100% renewable energy. Situated on the major B9 road, the Schwegenheim site provides truck drivers with a convenient, safe, well-lit station where an electric truck capable of charging at 300kw could increase its remaining range by around 150-200km during a drivers mandatory 45-minute break. And the driver has access to additional services such as food and drink for their journeys, as well as toilets.

Emma Delaney, executive vice president, customers & products, bp said: With the transition to electric vehicles well underway in Europe, were now seeing the move towards electric trucks. Truck manufacturers and truck fleet operators are demanding low carbon alternative fuels and electrification is an attractive option. Opening our first truck charging facilities at Schwegenheim is an important milestone for bp and the industry.

Schwegenheim is a perfect example of what the industry needs – ultra-fast charging with safe charging bays for trucks, close to strategic road networks and a place where drivers can take a break and refresh with food and drinks. In 2021 around 1,000 battery electric trucks were sold in Germany. In Europe that number is expected to reach over 150,000 units by 2030 with the highest penetration in Germany, at 43%v.

Daimler Truck, who are based in Germany and one of the worlds largest commercial vehicle manufacturers, launched their battery-electric Mercedes-Benz eActros for heavy urban distribution in 2021. The company has worked closely with bp to provide insights into the required layout, charging speeds, and convenience offers to provide truck drivers with the accessibility they need and a comfortable charging experience.

I am pleased that bp and Aral pulse continue to support the electrification of German truck fleets. Zero tailpipe emission trucks will be crucial if we are to reach our decarbonization goals and to expand the charging infrastructure across Germany. This project is another milestone for the electrification of mobility in Germany and Europe', says Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, CEO & Spokesman NOW GmbH, National Organization Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology.


Unigel to build green hydrogen plant with USD120 mln investment

Brazilian chemical maker Unigel announced plans to build a green hydrogen plant in the northeastern state of Bahia, with an initial investment of USD120 million and the goal of making it one of the largest of its kind in the world, said Reuters.

The plant will starts its production planned for late 2023. At this moment, Unigel's integrated green hydrogen and green ammonia plant is expected to be the largest in the world. In the first phase of the project, Unigel installs three 20 MW standard electrolyzers from thyssenkrupp nucera, adding up to a total capacity of 60 MW. The company plans to quadruple its production of green hydrogen in the years following the inauguration by expanding the electrolyzer plant to a multi-hundred MW facility, which will produce approximately 40,000 tons of green hydrogen. The new factory is expected to employ more than 500 people, so that the chemical company also gives an important impulse for the whole region.

'Throughout our nearly 60-year history, we have always been attentive to technological innovations and have invested to meet industrial and agribusiness demands. With this project, Unigel takes the first step towards the decarbonization of several sectors, contributing substantially to combating climate change on the planet', emphasizes Henri Slezynger, Chairman of the Board of Directors and founder of Unigel.

China Railway Group

China Railway Group sees surging overseas business in H1

A train crosses a bridge on the China-Laos Railway in Yunnan province. [Photo/China Daily]

BEIJING -- China Railway Group Limited, a leading construction and engineering contractor worldwide, reported a surge in overseas business in the first half of the year.

The company has signed new contracts worth 79.83 billion yuan ($11.79 billion) in overseas markets in the January-June period, soaring 90.7 percent from a year ago, according to a report it filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The value of new contracts signed domestically rose 14.1 percent year-on-year to over 1.13 trillion yuan during the period, the report showed.

Among the company's diverse businesses, infrastructure development saw the largest new contracts volume in H1, which totaled some 1.03 trillion yuan, up 13.7 percent year-on-year.

China Mobile

China Mobile's Migu builds metaverse headquarters in Xiamen

China Mobile is making a major push into the metaverse, as its digital content subsidiary Migu Co Ltd is setting up metaverse headquarters in Xiamen, Fujian province.

Migu created a strategic cooperation agreement with the Xiamen government on building a metaverse, a tech buzzword that promises a digital world created by technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality.

By leveraging its advantages in 5G and VR and AR technologies, Migu will cooperate with China Mobile's Fujian branch to build Xiamen into a benchmark for metaverse construction, and help make it a 'high-quality, high-value, modern and international' city with digital intelligence.

More efforts will be made to implement key application scenarios such as building a metaverse version of Gulangyu Island, and accelerating the research on digital governance of mateverse, Migu said.


Update sets Huawei OS on growth trend

Huawei Technologies Co's self-developed operating system HarmonyOS is expected to see wider application in China, as it made progress in optimizing the system's performance, but more efforts are needed to build a robust software ecosystem for it, experts said on Thursday.

Their comments came after Huawei launched an updated version of its proprietary operating system HarmonyOS 3 on Wednesday night, as part of its broader push to counter the US government restrictions.

Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Information Consumption Alliance, a telecom industry association, said HarmonyOS is showing a positive development trend, and large-scale upgrades have also been carried out for older Huawei models, which reflects the company's innovation capacity.

'For the survival of an OS, it is crucial to see how consumers are responding to it. Though doubts exist, the general feedback to HarmonyOS is so far, so good,' Xiang said.

Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei's device business group and CEO of the company's intelligent automotive solution business unit, said more than 300 million of the company's devices have now been equipped with HarmonyOS 2, which makes it the world's fastest-growing operating system.

Meanwhile, more than 170 million third-party products that are equipped with HarmonyOS Connect for the internet of things have also been shipped out of factories to retailers across China, Yu said.

The latest HarmonyOS version features an improved experience in aspects including smooth performance, privacy and security, Huawei said.

HarmonyOS was first unveiled in August 2019, after the US government restricted Huawei's access to Google's Android operating system. But Huawei has underlined that HarmonyOS is not a replacement to Android. Instead, it is a next-generation OS designed for the IoT era and seeks to deliver a smooth experience across different devices.

HarmonyOS has already been used in a wide range of devices including smartphones, PCs, tablets, smartwatches, and smart home appliances such as ovens. Huawei also developed an in-car version of the HarmonyOS for electric vehicles it co-produced with Chinese carmaker Seres.

Xiang Jiangxu, vice-president and chief technology officer of home appliance maker Midea's IoT business, said, HarmonyOS covered 'almost all categories of our products'some 200 varietieslast year.

Yin Dong, a Beijing-based software developer who has been using tools from HarmonyOS to develop mobile applications for months, said he is optimistic about the operating system's future, but more efforts are needed to build a more vibrant software ecosystem centering around HarmonyOS.


Budweiser says cheers to China and women consumers

Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Limited has vowed to continue its expansion strategy for China after registering increased revenue in the first half of the year, thanks to rising women consumers and an increasing appetite for the company's premium beer.

The company saw a decline in sales volume as channels got disrupted because of sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks, but the business recovered in June once the conditions improved.

According to the company's fiscal report for the first six months of 2022, as released on Thursday, the total sales volume of Budweiser APAC has declined 1.4 percent year-on-year, while revenue per hectoliter rose by 4.2 percent on a yearly basis.

In China, the beer producer saw volumes decline by 5.5 percent year-on-year, but revenue per hectoliter increased by 2.4 percent. As a result, revenue decreased by 3.2 percent from a year earlier.

The report said that channel disruptions in the Chinese market, including nightlife and restaurant closures owing to outbreaks, peaked in April before gradually easing through May and into June. Overall, the company saw a month-over-month recovery throughout the second quarter, with underlying consumer demands remaining strong.

By June, volumes recovered and grew high-single digits with premium and super premium portfolios bouncing back with double-digit growth.

On the new beer consumption trend in China, Jan Craps, CEO and co-chair of Budweiser APAC, said that the company has observed women consumers' growing purchasing power in China, leading the company to launch new innovation and line extensions especially targeting them.


Xiaomi car-making project on track

Xiaomi Corp's $10 billion car-making project is progressing as per schedule, and a license is not needed at the moment. This is because the project is still in research and development mode and has not entered production stage, sources familiar with the matter said.

The comments come after Bloomberg reported that Xiaomi has been talking to National Development and Reform Commission officials about licensing for its car project for months without success.

While Xiaomi did not respond to requests for comments, sources familiar with the matter told China Daily on Friday that Xiaomi's car-making project is progressing well and its auto team already has over 1,600 employees.

The sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks have not affected Xiaomi's research and development in its car project. Sources further said that at a recent internal meeting, Lei Jun, chairman and CEO of Xiaomi, praised the company's automobile engineering research and development team for progress made.

Xiaomi is scheduled to mass produce its own electric vehicle in the first half of 2024. Currently, its team is accelerating steps to push forward R&D, including testing vehicles for autonomous driving technologies as reported earlier, sources said.

According to the sources, the license only affects the production of electric vehicles and is not needed until production equipment enters a plant.


Coca-Cola prioritizes core brands and focuses on digital strategy

Beverage major Coca-Cola Company's business in the Chinese market improved in June as it focused on core branded products and reallocated resources to digital engagements as consumers switched to at-home consumption.

The company's second-quarter 2022 fiscal results show its global revenue went up 12 percent year-on-year to $11.33 billion,exceeding market expectations. Its operating income reached $2.34 billion and net income $1.90 billion.

James Quincey, chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, said:'... Volume was down for all months in the quarter, but the team persevered through a challenging environment, and recovery began in June as most (COVID-19 prevention) restrictions started to lift. We focused on the core, prioritized top SKUs (stock keeping unit) and reallocated resources to digital engagement, e-commerce and O2O, as consumer demand shifted to at-home consumption.'

Following the launch of Coca-Cola Starlight in the first quarter, the second limited-edition product, Coca-Cola Byte, which was inspired by metaverse, was launched in China in May, to communicate with more young consumers, the company officials said.

In the meantime, multiple brands of the company launched more than 10 new products.

During this year's 'June 18' e-commerce festival, on the JD platform, the Coca-Cola self-operated flagship store grew 18 percent in year-on-year sales, ranking No 1 in the nonalcoholic ready-to-drink category.

Globally, in the quarter, Coca-Cola's unit case volume grew 8 percent year-on-year, with sparkling soft drinks growing 8 percent, trademark Coca-Cola 7 percent, and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar 12 percent, driven by double-digit growth across developed, developing and emerging markets. Sparkling flavors grew 11 percent, led by Asia Pacific and other markets.

In the Asia Pacific, unit case volume grew 11 percent. The company gained value share in total nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages led by share gains in China, Japan and Australia, said the report.

China Post

China Post hoping to brew up new customer connections with coffee

Launched by China Post, Beijing's first Post Coffee store opened on July 24 and it soon became a photogenic spot among local coffee enthusiasts and young consumers.

The coffee house is decorated in China Post's classic green color scheme and features iconic postal items such as postboxes. In addition to coffee, it offers tea, bread and branded merchandise.

'I love the cafe's retro designs and its nice latte,' a netizen said on Xiaohongshu, a lifestyle-focused social networking site.

Dong Kexin, chief marketing officer of Post Coffee, said they will open more outlets in Beijing in the near future. The long-term plan is to expand operations based on the vast postal network around the country.

In February, the first Post Coffee shop was revealed in a renovated post office in Xiamen, Fujian province.

'The post office will no longer be a simple place for postal services. It's more about a social setting where people can try premium coffee drinks and experience postal culture. We would like to build a new post office image that is associated with fun, fashion and diversity,' Post Coffee said in a statement on its official Weibo account.

Wen Zhihong, an expert in chain businesses, said China Post has clear advantages in its huge number of post offices and cultural significance. But it faces challenges in chain store management as a newcomer to the industry.

'Post Coffee needs to improve its brand image and promote postal culture, bringing better experiences to consumers,' Wang added.

China Post is just one of the non-beverage businesses to set foot in the booming coffee industry. According to iiMedia Research, a Guangzhou-based data analysis agency, China's coffee market was valued at 381.7 billion yuan ($56.57 billion) in 2021 and is forecast to hit 1 trillion yuan in 2025.

Domestic sportswear giant Li-Ning has launched a freshly brewed coffee service in some of its outlets and has applied to register its brand as Ning Coffee. It is a new attempt that aims to enhance customers' shopping experiences, according to Li-Ning, which owns more than 7,000 stores nationwide.

Before them, China's leading oil refiner Sinopec and Beijing TRT Group, a traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy, established their own coffee shops.


Pilots with Germany's Lufthansa back possible strike action

BERLIN -- Pilots with Germany's Lufthansa have voted in favor of possible strike action, a union announced Sunday, saying that walkouts can still be avoided but calling the result an unmistakable signal” to the company in a pay dispute.

The Vereinigung Cockpit union is calling for a 5.5% pay increase this year and an automatic adjustment for inflation starting next year. It has argued that Lufthansa hasn't yet made a negotiable offer in six rounds of talks.

The union said that 97.6% of pilots who took part in a ballot approved its call. It said in statement that the vote doesn't yet necessarily lead to strike measures, but it is an unmistakable signal to Lufthansa to take the cockpit staff's needs seriously.

The dispute comes on top of a separate altercation with a union representing Lufthansa ground staff in Germany. A one-day strike on Wednesday in that standoff led to the cancellation of over 1,000 flights.


GTT receives DNV approvals for maritime liquid hydrogen designs

French naval engineering company, Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) has been granted two Approvals in Principle (AIP) from classification society DNV, offering hope of progressing the use of liquid hydrogen in the maritime industry.

GTT revealed today (July 28) the AiPs cover the design of a liquid hydrogen membrane type containment system, and for the preliminary design of a liquid hydrogen carrier vessel.

Coming as part of an agreement with Shell, announced in February 2022 to develop scalable and safe liquified hydrogen shipping technologies, the approvals set the course for the next stages of the project.


bp, Iberdrola plan to produce 600,000 tonnes of green hydrogen in Spain, Portugal and UK

Spanish-based Iberdrola and oil giant bp have today (July 28) unveiled a strategic alliance with plans of developing annual green hydrogen production capacity of 600,000 tonnes across large-scale green hydrogen production centres in Spain, Portugal, and the UK.

The companies have said they intend to establish a joint venture for the integrated production of green hydrogen, ammonia and other derivatives across the countries, with potential to be exported to northern Europe.

H2 View understands the collaboration plans to leverage on Iberdrolas vast renewable energy development experience and global customer base, and bps experience in gas and process systems, marketing and worldwide customer base.

bps Castellón refinery green hydrogen project in Spain is set to form part of the deal, with other industrial projects under development by both bp and Iberdrola set to come under the agreement, with a goal of finalising the constitution of the joint venture by the end of 2022.

Motive Fuels

Motive Fuels and Tevva partner on UK hydrogen refuelling

UK hydrogen refuelling operator, Motive Fuels has today (July 29) announced a new partnership with the hydrogen and electric truck manufacturer, Tevva.

Under the partnership, Motive Fuels will offer green hydrogen fuel as package with Tevvas hydrogen-powered trucks offering a zero-emission solution to UK truck operators in a push to decarbonise the heavy transport sector.

Motive has said it will supply hydrogen through its existing network of stations across England, and UK-wide mobile refuelling stations which it claims can be deployed in days, as well as revealing intentions of building new hydrogen stations.

Through the new collaboration, H2 View understands, Tevva plans to offer a range of its newly unveiled hydrogen-electric 7.5, 12, and 19 tonne trucks.


Bratislava set to receive Solaris hydrogen buses

The public transport operator in Bratislava, Slovakia has signed a contract to purchase four hydrogen fuel cell buses, set to be delivered to the Slovakian capital in July 2023.

Polish bus & coach manufacturer, Solaris revealed today (July 29) the contract for the Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen buses was signed by Dopravný podnik Bratislava (DPB) also allowing for an eventual order of up to 40 buses.

Powered by a 70kW fuel cell pack, the Urbino 12 hydrogen bus was unveiled in 2019, and has subsequently seen testing in Austria, Italy and Germany.