KBR wins engineering services contract for DuPont plants in US and Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR has been awarded a five-year master services agreement (MSA) with DuPont Engineering to provide engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services for most DuPont facilities in the US and Mexico, reported Hydrocarbonprocessig with reference to the company officials' statement.

This contract extends the long-standing EPCM services support of DuPont facilities in the US Northeast region to now include the entire US region and Mexico.

In combination with the recently awarded industrial services contract, KBR will now provide comprehensive engineering, procurement, construction management, and continuous construction and maintenance services for most DuPont manufacturing sites in the US.

As part of this expanded relationship, KBR will also open a new office in Charleston, West Virginia.

"We have a long and proud history of top quartile project execution with DuPont, and this agreement is an outstanding milestone in further strengthening KBR's 20-plus year partnership with an industry leader in the safe and efficient development and execution of capital projects," said Roy Oelking, president of KBR's hydrocarbons business.

As MRC wrote previously, in October 2013, BP and DuPont announced a joint venture to retrofit an ethanol plant in Minnesota to make biobutanol, a successor renewable fuel. The production of biobutanol, which is made from corn, is important because the company says it has lower greenhouse-gas emissions than corn-based ethanol and doesn’t present the same kind of refining issues.

DuPont, an American chemical company, is the world's third largest chemical company based on market capitalization and ninth based on revenue in 2012. DuPont businesses are organized into the following five categories, known as marketing "platforms": Electronic and Communication Technologies, Performance Materials, Coatings and Color Technologies, Safety and Protection, and Agriculture and Nutrition.

Tianjin Bohai shut PDH unit in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tianjin Bohai Chemical Industry Group has taken off-stream a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit owing to technical issues, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the unit was shut on January 12, 2014. The unit is expected to resume production towards the end of this week.

Located in Tianjin, China, the unit has a propylene production capacity of 600,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, earlier this year INEOS Nitriles and Tianjin Bohai Chemical Industry Group Corporation signed their intention to establish a 50/50 JV, to build and operate a world scale acrylonitrile plant to be located in Tianjin, China.

It is expected that the plant, which will be designed using the latest INEOS process and catalyst technology, will be completed by the end of 2016. The initial annual capacity of the new facility will be 260,000 tonnes of acrylonitrile with an expectation of possible future expansion, in line with growing demand across Asia.

Tianjin Bohai is a state owned enterprise, with over 100 subsidiaries and 35,000 employees. It has joint venture relationships with a number of foreign partners, including: LG Chem, Solvay, Akzo Nobel, Clariant, Veolia, Air Liquide and Vopak.

Capco restarted No. 6 PTA plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China American Petrochemical Co (Capco) is in plans to restart its No.6 purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Taiwan informed that the plant is likely to restart in late January 2014. It was shut on January 4, 2014 for a maintenance turnaround.

Located in Taichung, Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of 700,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote earlier, China based Xianglu Petrochemical started a new PTA plant in end-November 2013. Located in Xiamen, China, the plant has a production capacity of 1.5 million mt/year.

Besides, Oriental Petrochemical restarted its PTA plant in end-December 2013. It was shut down on November 6, 2013 for maintenance turnaround. Located in Taoyuan, Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

Eni looks for Polish shale exit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Italy’s Eni is set to deal Poland’s fledgling shale gas industry a further blow by joining other large oil players in pulling out, reported Upstreamonline.

The major is set to let its three concessions in the north of the country expire, according to a report in Polish newspaper Pulz Biznesu, citing unidentified sources.

Reuters later reported that Eni has already let two of the licences expire, citing confirmation from Poland's Environment Ministry. The third licence is due to expire in June.

Nobody was immediately available for comment at Eni on Tuesday.

Companies have begun an exodus from Poland amid unclear regulations and mixed well results.

Last year independents Marathon Oil and Talisman Energy followed US supermajor ExxonMobil in quitting the Polish shale arena, which was once seen as Europe's best shale prospect with substantial reserves and a friendly government.

Poland is trying to make its unconventionals market more attractive with a draft law to regulate the exploration for and extraction of shale gas set for approval.

In December, however, Chevron signed a preliminary deal with Poland’s PGNiG that may lead to the joint exploration for shale gas in the south-east of the country. US giant ConocoPhillips also remains in the Polish shale game.

Yansab Q4 profit drops 31% on plant shutdown

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia’s Yanbu National Petrochemical Co (Yansab) posted a 31% slump in fourth-quarter net profit on Monday, citing a shutdown at its plant for the decline, said Gulfbusiness.

The firm made a net profit of SAR442.2 million (USD117.9 million) in the three-month period to Dec. 31, it said in a bourse filing, down from SAR640.8 million during the same period of 2012.

The earnings were well below the average forecast of seven analysts polled by Reuters, who expected a net profit of SAR619.3 million for the quarter. Yansab attributed the fall to the shutdown of its complex and an increase in its Zakat payment. Zakat is a charitable donation which firms in Saudi Arabia are obligated to pay.

Yansab, a subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corp , was forced to shut its petrochemicals complex for three weeks for maintenance at the end of October due to a problem with a water cooling network. It estimated the financial loss from the shutdown, at the time, as SAR160 million.

Full-year profit for 2013 was higher year-on-year. Yansab reported a net profit of SAR2.64 billion, versus SAR2.45 billion in 2012, citing higher prices for its products and lower financing costs.

Yansab produces 400,000 tonnes/year each of high density PE (HDPE), linear low density PE (LLDPE) and polypropylene (PP). Yansab, a joint-stock company, is 51%-owned by petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC).