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Concluding the startup procedure that begun in December at its Geismar facility, Shell Chemical LP started production of the fourth alpha olefins (AO) unit. Total AO production at Geismar has increased to more than 1.3 million tpa, post the 425,000-tpa capacity expansion. The addition of new AO unit at Geismar has demonstrated the tactical value of its integrated downstream division.
Supermajor, BP and Azerbaijani state-owned SOCAR’s subsidiary in Turkey yesterday entered into a Heads of Agreement (HoA). Under the agreement, the two oil firms agreed to assess the formation of a joint venture for building and operating a world-scale petrochemicals complex in Turkey. The complex is expected to manufacture 1.25 million tpa of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), 840,000 tpa paraxylene (PX) and 340,000 tpa benzene.
French supermajor Total’s JV with Amsterdam-based Corbion, Total Corbion PLA informed about starting-up the new bioplastics plant in Rayong, Thailand. The 75,000 tpa-capacity plant will produce poly lactic acid (PLA), which is in high demand. The firms are looking to meet rising demand in markets such as consumer goods, packaging, 3D printing and the automotive industries.
Swiss technology leader, ABB has secured an automation contract from JG Summit Petrochemical Corporation for the petrochemical expansion project. Under the scope of contract, ABB will carry out designing, engineering, manufacturing, and will provide a complete plant electrification system for the proposed expansion. The project aims at increasing cracker production of ethylene, propylene, apart from upgrading the capacity of the new bimodal polyethylene and the existing polypropylene plant.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction yesterday informed through a regulatory filing about dropping the $521 million deal to construct a petrochemicals complex in Iran. The South Korean firm cited US sanctions on Iran as the reason. It said that the Iranian customer’s ability to fund the project had been hit by the outlook of sanctions against the Persian country.
Shell’s subsidiary, Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC has announced the successful installation of its quench tower at the under-construction Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex. The lift of the 87 metres tall and 2,000 tonnes quench tower was described as an important milestone in the project. Some 3,000 workers are on site at the Pennsylvania Petrochemicals project, which is bringing economic growth and jobs to the region.
SNC-Lavalin has secured a Project Management Contract from Long Son Petrochemicals Company Limited (LSP). The Montreal-based engineering major will form an integrated team of personnel with LSP to manage a variety of contractors on site. President, Oil & Gas at SNC-Lavalin said that the project will leverage SNC-Lavalin’s project management and technical skills. LSP is investing US$5.4 billion to develop, construct and operate Vietnam’s first integrated petrochemicals complex.
Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL) is launching a new pilot project next month to evaluate the feasibility of methanol as a cooking fuel. The project is part of an initiative by policy think tank, Niti Aayog, to promote the use of methanol. APL chairman yesterday said that methanol is estimated to be at least 30% cheaper than LPG.
Continuing on the downstream expansion strategy, oil major, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) incorporated a specialised coker unit as part of its Carbon Black and Coker Project. The new delayed coker unit will enable ADNOC to recover highly specialised and valuable grades of carbon black and calcined coke. The UAE state-owned firm is eyeing the growth in Asian market for its petrochemical business.
On Wednesday, one of South Korea's largest refiner, S-Oil, said that it is planning to spend more than $4.5 billion on a petrochemical project by 2023. The new facilities will be built in Ulsan where the company’s 669,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery is located. According to sources, S-Oil is conducting a feasibility study in order to expand its petrochemical business.
Jacobs Engineering secured a two-year contract renewal from Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company (SATORP). Jacobs continues to provide services that include basic engineering, front-end engineering design (FEED), detailed design, procurement through to construction management, commissioning support at the SATORP Jubail II refinery. Jacobs has developed strong partnerships in Saudi Arabia, operating in various segments for over 40 years.
Zhejiang Petrochemicals of China, owned by Rongsheng Group, reportedly secured an oil import quota to import 5 million tonnes of crude oil this year. The huge import quota will allow Zhejiang to sustain the recently built oil refining and petrochemical complex. The complex will consist of two 400,000 barrels-per-day oil refineries and two 1.4 million tonnes-a-year ethylene plants.
The Paradip petrochemical plant, operated by IOCL, has attracted an investment of $6.6 billion from Taiwan’s state-owned CPC Corporation. IOCL currently processes 300, 000 barrels a day in the Paradip refinery. The project will utilise the feedstock produced at the Paradip refinery for operations. The Indian Oil Minister met with a delegation led by CPC yesterday to finalise the deal.
Mumbai-based conglomerate, Reliance Industries (RIL) issued their first quarterly report, Q1, on Friday. Reliance reported a 3.85% rise with record profit of Rs 9,459 crore for the first quarter that ended on June 30. The earnings have doubled mainly due to their petrochemical business. Chairman of RIL, Mukesh Ambani commented on the reports by saying that this quarter reports have highlighted the strength of their petrochemical industry.
Houston-based fracking expert, Halliburton International has acquired solutions provider, Athlon Solutions Chemicals. Athlon, which is a provider of specialty water and process treatment chemicals and customized engineering solutions, serves all major refineries and petrochemical areas in the US. With this acquisition, Halliburton entered reactive chemistry space and will find new support for its chemicals technology, manufacturing, and supply chain.
Saudi Aramco has informed that they are in talks with one of the world’s biggest petrochemical company, SABIC, to procure a strategic stake in the company. CEO, Saudi Aramco believes that the move will improve company’s revenues and make it less vulnerable to unstable oil prices. The deal would be made within the premises of CMA regulations.
Austrian petrochemical giant, Borealis yesterday announced plans to acquire Ecoplast Kunststoffrecycling. 35,000 mt/year of plastic waste from industry as well as the consumer is treated in Ecoplast to produce recycled LDPE and HDPE. Borealis has already procured mtm plastics, the German plastic recycler, in 2016 and is planning to expand polyolefins recycling capacity of mtm up to 80,000mt/year.
Due to hot weather, a military-owned petrochemical plant near the Cairo International Airport exploded, reported Al-Ahram Online. Eight people were supposedly injured, while no deaths have been reported yet. The fire was put out successfully by firefighters, while army sent rescue teams to the scene assistance. Although large plumes of smoke were reportedly rising in the air, Ministry of Civil Aviation has denied any disruption in the air traffic.