LyondellBasell to build new propylene oxide, TBA plant on US Gulf Coast

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell on Monday announced plans to build a world scale PO/TBA plant on the US Gulf Coast with capacity of 900 million lb/year of propylene oxide (PO) and 2 billion lb/year of tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) and its derivatives, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The preliminary timetable is to have the plant operational in 2019. The project is expected to generate up to 1,200 construction jobs at its peak.

The plant is expected to sell PO in the global marketplace to meet growing demand for polyurethanes, which are used primarily for the manufacture of bedding, furniture, carpets and car seats.

Meanwhile, TBA and its derivatives will be sold to meet the need for high octane gasoline blending components as well as for use in manufacturing synthetic rubber and lubricant additives.

"While we have not finalized the exact location of the plant, the abundant natural gas liquids associated with shale gas make the US Gulf Coast an advantaged feedstock region," said Pat Quarles, LyondellBasell's senior vice president of intermediates and derivatives.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, LyondellBasell, the world’s biggest maker of polypropylene plastic, has delayed the start-up of expanded production at its ethylene plant in La Porte, Tex., until later this year. A mechanical issue with a compressor at the plant was partially to blame for the extended turnaround at La Porte.

The revised timeline for the newly expanded plant project, which was scheduled to begin production this summer resulted from a delay in the completion of extensive scheduled maintenance at the La Porte plant during the second quarter. The company expects to begin production from its 800 million lb/year La Porte ethylene during this year’s third quarter.

LyondellBasell Industries NV is a manufacturing company. The company produces chemicals, fuels, and polymers used for packaging, clean fuels, durable textiles, medical applications, construction materials, and automotive parts. LyondellBasell Industries operates globally and is headquartered in the Netherlands. LyondellBasell is also a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies. The more than 250 polyolefin process licenses granted by LyondellBasell are twice that of any other polyolefin technology licensor.

CB&I to license technology for new on-purpose propylene unit in Poland

MOSCOW (MRC) -- CB&I has announced Thursday it has been awarded a contract by Poland's PKN for the license and engineering design of a new on-purpose propylene production unit to be located in Plock, Poland, as per the company's press release.

The unit will use CB&I's proprietary Olefins Conversion Technology (OCT) to produce 100,000 tpy of propylene to be used internally.

Feedstock for the unit will be sourced from PKN's Plock refinery and petrochemical complex.

"As evidenced by this latest technology award, when producers want to make additional polymer grade propylene, they use CB&I's broad range of propylene producing technologies such as the Olefins Conversion Technology," said Daniel McCarthy, president of CB&I's technology operating group.

As MRC informed previously, in late July 2014, CB&I announced a cooperation agreement by which CB&I will market and provide engineering services for Versalis' low density polyethylene (LDPE) and ethyl vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) technologies in North America.

Besides, also in July 2014, CB&I and Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, announced that their new Ziegler-Natta (ZN) polypropylene catalyst plant in Louisville, Kentucky, is on schedule to begin production in 2015.
The plant is part of a long-term strategic partnership between Clariant’s catalysts business and CB&I’s Lummus Novolen Technology business. Based at Clariant’s largest US production hub, the new facility will combine innovative catalysts jointly developed by both companies with high-capacity output.

Petronas awards several contracts for Pengerang complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Malaysia's Petronas has recently awarded several major contracts for its Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) project, which comprises the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) complex and associated facilities, reported Apic-online.

Petronas said the recent awards included an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contract to Toyo Engineering Corp. for the steam cracker complex.

A consortium of CTCI Corp., Chiyoda Corp., Synerlitz Sdn Bhd and MIE Industrial Sdn Bhd will handle the EPCC work for the residue fluid catalytic cracking units, the liquefied petroleum gas treating unit, propylene recovery unit and caustic neutralization units.

Sinopec Engineering Group received EPCC contracts for the crude distillation, atmospheric residue desulphurization and hydrogen collection and distribution units.

Additionally, Technicas Reunidas received the EPCC contracts for the kerosene hydrotreating, diesel hydrotreating, naphtha hydrotreating, cracked naphtha hydrotreating and continuous catalytic reformer units.

Petronas also awarded Petrofac the EPCC contract for the 300,000-b/d refinery package, which will supply naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas feedstock for the Rapid petrochemical complex. The package includes sulphur recovery, amine regeneration, sour water stripping, liquid sulphur storage and sulphur solidification package units.

As MRC wrote before, Petronas has pushed back the completion date for its Johor refinery-petrochemical project to 2017 as a final investment decision has been delayed. The company was expected to give the project the green light this year but had to push it back due to political uncertainty during the national elections early this year, industry sources said.

Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, is a Malaysian oil and gas company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. The Group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.

Belarusian PP market increased by 1.5% in H1 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Polypropylene (PP) supplies to the Belarusian market rose over the first six months of 2014 by 1.5% year on year and reached 39,600 tonnes, according to MRC DataScope Report.

June PP imports to the Republic of Belarus dropped to 6,200 tonnes from 8,800 tonnes in May. Nevertheless, PP impots to the local market rose in the first half of the year to 39,600 tonnes versus 39,000 tonnes a year earlier. Demand for propylene copolymers increased, whereas demand for propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) declined.

The structure of PP consumption by grades looks the following way over the stated period.

June imports of homopolymer PP fell to 4,000 tonnes from 6,000 tonnes a month earlier. The overall imports of propylene homopolymers to the local market dropped from January to June 2014 to 26,600 tonnes versus 29,100 tonnes a year earlier. Russian producers with the share of about 50% in the total imports are the key suppliers of homopolymer PP to Belarus.

June imports of propylene copolymers were 2,200 tonnes (2,800 tonnes in May). Imports of propylene copolymers into Belarus increased over the said period by 31.3% and totalled about 13,000 tonnes. German producers with a share of 59% in the total imports are the main suppliers of propylene copolymers to the local market.

As reported earlier, the import duty on all PP grades (imposed on 2 September 2013) will be reduced to 6.5% from the current 9.1% for homopolymer PP and 8.3% for copolymers of propylene on 1 September 2014. Imports of all PP from the CIS countries are not subject to import duty.

INEOS, Sasol award EPC contract to KBR for new Texas polyethylene plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR has been awarded a contract from INEOS and Sasol to provide engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for a new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) facility to be located at INEOS's Battleground complex in La Porte, Texas, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to officials' statement.

The contract value was not disclosed.

The new facility is designed to produce 470,000 tpy of bimodal HDPE using Innovene S process technology licensed from INEOS Technologies. The new, single-train facility will include new polymerization, pelletization, and railcar load-out facilities, plus upgrades to existing utilities and infrastructure.

Engineering and procurement services will be split between KBR's Houston operating center and KBR's Monterrey engineering center. KBR will provide direct hire construction with selected subcontracts to construct the new facility.

Upon completion, the new facility will be one of the largest in the Americas.

As MRC wrote before, in June 2014, Sasol Chemicals North America and INEOS Olefins & Polymers announced that they had reached final investment decision to form a 50/50 joint venture to build an HDPE plant in La Porte, Texas. The ethylene required for the production of the HDPE will be supplied by Sasol and INEOS in proportion to their respective ownership positions.

Sasol Limited is an integrated energy and chemical company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It develops and commercialises technologies, including synthetic fuels technologies, and produces different liquid fuels, chemicals and electricity.

INEOS is a global manufacturer of petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and oil products. It comprises 15 businesses each with a major chemical company heritage. Its production network spans 51 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries throughout the world.