Honeywell acquires remaining stake in UOP Russell

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell announced that it has acquired the remaining 30 percent stake in UOP Russell LLC, which develops technology and manufactures modular equipment to process natural gas, for approximately USD240 million, said the company on its site.

In 2012, Honeywell acquired a 70 percent stake in the Thomas Russell Co. to form UOP Russell, which became part of Honeywell UOP. The parties agreed to a mechanism for Honeywell to acquire the remaining stake within three years of closing.

The UOP Russell product line includes skid-mounted, pre-engineered modular equipment that is factory built to precise specifications. The equipment is easily delivered to remote locations and then assembled on-site, significantly reducing construction time and expense and improving operational reliability. This modular approach enables customers to begin processing gas and earning revenue more quickly versus conventional field-erected execution methods.

Honeywell UOP has applied UOP Russell methods to expand its offerings of modular equipment for critical refining and petrochemical process units and other applications. As with UOP Russell equipment, modular design and construction of critical refining equipment speeds construction, while ensuring superior quality, and is particularly suited for remote locations.

UOP Russell’s modular equipment is one of the delivery platforms offered by Honeywell UOP to treat and process natural gas. The business also provides technologies to recover valuable condensate and natural gas liquids such as ethane, propane and butane, and to separate water, mercury, sulfur, carbon dioxide, and other contaminants from raw natural gas streams.

As MRC informed earlier, LUXI Chemical Group Co., Ltd. selected Honeywell process technology and automation controls to convert coal to key plastic building blocks.

Honeywell UOP is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment, and consulting services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. Honeywell UOP is part of Honeywell’s Performance Materials and Technologies strategic business group, which also includes Honeywell Process Solutions, a pioneer in automation control, instrumentation and services for the oil and gas, refining, petrochemical, chemical and other industries.

Kazakh Neftekhim Ltd suspended PP production due to fire

MOSCOW (MRC) - Kazakh Neftekhim Ltd, the only producer of polypropylene (PP) in the country, had to suspend PET production because of the fire that occurred on 4, January 2016, said a source for MRC company.

A fire at the company's PP warehouse broke out on 4, January at 18.45 of the local time. The fire was extinguished after 4 hours. Two people died because of the fire. Three people were taken to the hospital with burns. Area of the fire was 150 square meters.

According to the director Nurlan Kusainov, the plant is currently under reconstruction, a special commission investigates the incident.

As MRC informed earlier, Neftekhim Ltd launched production of polypropylene powder granulation on 25, December.
The project worth Tenge5.8 bn allows the company to produce 47,800 tonnes of granulated PP per year.

Neftekhim Ltd was commissioned in 2009. The plant has two productions: methyl t-butyl ether (MTBE) and polypropylene (PP). 30,000 tonnes/year PP capacities were launched in 2011; the plant did not have PP granulation unit, PP was produced in the form of powder, which limited its scope. The producer hasd to sell all produced PP to export markets, particularly in China, as local producers could not use PP in powder form.

Banking sanctions on Iranian petrochemical export lifted

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The banking sanctions on Iranian petrochemical export have been lifted after receipt of money for the product exports from a Spanish bank, as per Chemicals-technology.

The Iranian Petrochemical Commercial Company (IPCC) account with a Spanish bank has been activated for first time with a European bank in the past five years.

IPCC said that an earlier contract between IPCC and the association of Spanish manufacturers was signed through an "escrow account agreement" that officially leads the way for the banking transactions for its export activities, reports Press TV. Executive director of IPCC Mehdi Sharifi Niknafs was quoted by the Mehr news agency as saying: "accordingly, the commercial contract between IPCC and the association of Spanish manufacturers was finalised."

Niknafs further added: "On the basis of the reached agreements and receiving of official approvals the government and central bank of Spain, the limitations of receiving of money as well as export of products from various world countries were practically removed." IPCC will now go ahead with the sale of petrochemical products, after the removal of restrictions on the sale after the preliminary agreement between the country and six world powers in Geneva.

A meeting was held recently between the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Valiollah Seif and top bankers, who discussed the actions that needed to be taken in preparation for the lifting of the sanctions, as well as the course of action to be taken post-sanctions.

No official date has been declared for the lifting of sanctions. Iranian banks have been kept out of the global monetary system. Following the removal of the ban, banks will be able to transfer unlimited money in and out of Iran. The lifting of the sanctions also include several other benefits, and the move is expected to reconnect Iran with the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) financial-transactions system.

The last Iranian fiscal year, that ended on 20 March 2015, has reportedly recorded petrochemical production of 44.4t, which is 10% higher year-on-year. Iran's actual production capacity is approximately 60t, but the lack of natural gas as feedstock, coupled with other issues such as old production facilities, have effected exports, as well as production capacity.

The petrochemical plants in Iran require 37 million cubic meters of natural gas per day, last year the country could provide only 2.8t of ethane. This year, Iran is planning to increase this volume to 4.2t.


Petro Rabigh Phase II expansion project to be delayed by nine months

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabian petrochemical producer and refiner Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Company (Petro Rabigh) has announced that the completion of its Phase II expansion project will be delayed by nine months, as per Chemicals-technology.

The delay will increase the project cost and compel the company to seek more cash from shareholders. The expansion was started in 2009 and the completion of the project got delayed mainly due to cost factor.

"The company's existing plant produces 18 million tonnes of refined products and 2.4 million tonnes of petrochemical products." Currently, the company expects to complete the expansion by September this year.

With the expansion, Petro Rabigh, a joint-venture between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, aims to produce higher margin petrochemical products. Now, the total cost of the project stands at SAR31bn (USD8.3bn), which is SAR1bn (USD266m) more than the earlier estimation. According to a report of Reuters, Petro Rabigh attributed the delay to 'the failure of the key contractors of the project to meet the planned implementation schedule."

The delay in the project indicates that its plan to raise funding capital through rights issues will need to increase to SAR9.26bn, which is SAR2.24bn more than it initially planned in April, in order to support the increased funding costs.

To fund the project, Petro Rabigh has taken loans worth SAR19.4bn (USD5.2bn), with most of the money coming from Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and the state-owned Public Investment Fund. An existing ethane cracker unit will be expanded and a new aromatics facility will be established under the Phase II expansion.

The company's existing plant produces 18 million tonnes of refined products and 2.4 million tonnes of petrochemical products, and the new aromatics facility will be able to process more than 2.7 million tonnes of naphtha per year in order to manufacture petrochemical products of higher value.

The expansion of the ethane cracker facility is now expected to be completed by the first quarter of this year. Petro Rabigh plans to gradually operate the expanded units from the beginning of the second half of this year.

As MRC informed earlier, Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Co. (Petro Rabigh) has received ownership of the Rabigh Phase II project from Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, major shareholders in Petro Rabigh, and will now integrate the project into Petro Rabigh's existing refining and petrochemical complex in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia.

PetroRabigh, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemical, has an annual output capacity of 18 million tonnes of refined products and 2.4 million tonnes of petrochemicals. Thus, the complex currently has a cracker to produce 1.3-million t/y of ethylene and 900,000 t/y of propylene, as well as downstream production of polyethylene, polypropylene, propylene oxide, ethylene glycol and butene-1.

Praxair combines Joint Venture operations in southeastern US

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Praxair Distribution, Inc. (PDI), a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc., announced its two joint venture companies operating in the southeastern U.S. have merged. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, said the company on its site.

The transaction involves merging Praxair Distribution Southeast, LLC (PDSE), a PDI joint venture operating in Florida and southeast Georgia since 1997, into Memphis, Tennessee- based nexAir, LLC (nexAir), a 75-year old company which entered into a joint venture with PDI in 2012, with locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. nexAir will grow to have annual sales of more than USD200 million and 67 locations with the merger, adding coverage throughout the state of Florida. Its existing senior management team will continue to lead the combined business.

"Both the PDSE and nexAir businesses have been very successful partnerships for PDI in the southeast and it makes sense to now combine them. It will allow us to streamline and simplify our management processes and improve customer focus and clarity around PDI’s channel strategy. Together we will provide a stronger network of services and capabilities throughout the region," said Scott Kaltrider, president Praxair Distribution, Inc.

As MRC informed earlier, Praxair started up its new air separation plant at the Liaoning Oxiranchem (Oxiran) facility in Yangzhou Chemical Industrial Park in China's Jiangsu Province.

Praxair, Inc., a Fortune 250 company with 2014 sales of USD12.3 billion, is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies are making our planet more productive by bringing efficiency and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, primary metals and many others.