TPC Group approved funding for the next phase of engineering to produce on-purpose butadiene

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TPC Group Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved funding for the next phase of engineering to produce on-purpose butadiene, targeting the restart of its second dehydrogenation asset at the Company's Houston plant, coupled with construction of a TPC Group OXO-DTM production unit.

These assets would produce butadiene for the North American marketplace in order to meet growing market demand and address the structural shortage of supply caused by the shift from heavier to lighter cracker feedslates. This engineering phase is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter 2012. Normal butane, a natural gas liquid whose production volumes continue to increase as a result of U.S. shale gas development, has been selected as the primary feedstock.

Utilization of the TPC Group OXO-DTM technology allows highly efficient on-purpose butadiene production, and is expected to yield up to 600 million pounds per year of product with this project and to have the capability to expand as needed through additional phases as the market grows.


Kraton-Formosa joint venture to produce HSBC polymer grades

(Plastemart) -- Kraton Performance Polymers (Kraton) Formosa Petrochemical Corporation (FPCC) hae inked an agreement for a 50:50 joint venture to construct and operate a 30 kiloton hydrogenated styrenic block copolymer HSBC plant, to be located in Mailiao, Taiwan. The plant will be operated by the joint venture and Kraton will undertake the global marketing of all products manufactured at the facility. This is subject to the completion of the necessary definitive agreements.

The agreement establishes a framework between Kraton and FPCC governing all commercial, operational, technical and management aspects of the planned joint venture company. The paper work will be finalized by end of 2011 and the plant operations will in the H2-2013. The cost of the plant is currently expected to range from USD 165-200 mln.


Borealis reported a net profit of EUR 168m for the three months

(ICIS) -- The expansion of Austrian plastic maker Borealis's joint venture Borouge project in Abu Dhabi drove an 82% year-on-year gain in second-quarter net profits, the company's CEO said on Thursday.

Borealis reported a net profit of EUR 168m (USD 240m) for the three months to the end of June, on the back of sales of EUR 1.9bn. This was an increase from the same period of 2010, when the company recorded a net profit of EUR 92m and sales of EUR 1.6bn.

CEO Mark Garrett said that the second phase of capacity at the company's Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge) joint venture with state energy giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) drove profitability at the firm as polyolefin margins softened in Europe.

Borouge completed the second-phase expansion of its production complex at Ruwais, 240km (150 miles) west of the city of Abu Dhabi, in June 2010 and reported that it was producing commercial volumes from the facility in October of that year. It lifted the company's production capacity from 600 KTa of polyethylene (PE) to 1.2m tonnes/year of PE and 800 KTa of polypropylene (PP).


Saudi Industrial Investment Group posted USD 117.5m profits

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Saudi Industrial Investment Group (SIIG) has posted USD 117.5m profits during the first seven months on 2011, a 188% increase compared to the USD 40.85m posted during the same period last year.

The company also said that it posted USD 16.13m profits during the month of July, compared to USD 4.03m losses for the same period year ago.

SIIG has three nearby operational downstream projects in joint venture with Chevron Philips including Saudi Chevron Philips which produces Benzene and Cyclohexane, Jubail Chevron Phillips which includes an olefins cracker that is integrated with world-scale Ethyl Benzene and Styrene production facilities, in addition to the National Petrochemical Company (Petrochem), which is under construction and set to produce 1,165 million tonne of ethylene and other olefins and polyolefins.

In addition, the company announced plans to establish a USD 533.3m joint venture with Arabian Chevron Phillips to produce nylon 6.6 slated for completion by 2013.


Shell has been involved of some of the largest capex projects in the Middle East

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Integrated oil giant Shell and Emerson Process Management have signed a five-year Enterprise Framework Agreement that makes Emerson the single-source supplier of on/off valve actuators to Shell and its affiliates.

Under the agreement, Emerson will provide products from its broad portfolio of valve automation technologies, including Bettis pneumatic and hydraulic actuators and EIM electric and electro-hydraulic actuators. In addition to new actuators for both new and existing facilities, Emerson will also provide ongoing support of Shell's previously installed actuators.

The relationship builds on an existing agreement under which Emerson serves as a Main Automation Contractor for Shell capital projects. Shell also recently selected Emerson as a global strategic supplier of pressure, temperature and flow field instruments.