Honeywell UOP opens Shreveport catalyst production line

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell UOP has opened a new production line at its catalyst manufacturing facility in Shreveport, Louisiana, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The USD150-MM investment will enable the company to produce a new range of catalysts for the oil refining industry at the facility, which employs 290 people. The new production line will manufacture catalysts for hydroprocessing, which removes impurities from fractionated crude oil and also makes transportation fuels.

"This is Honeywell UOP's fourth production line at Shreveport, giving us new capacity to meet increased demand in the industry for hydroprocessing catalysts," said Ken Stacherski, vice president and general manager for Honeywell UOP's Catalysts, Adsorbents and Specialties business. "With this and other investments we've made in the last two years, our Shreveport plant becomes one of the most modern catalyst manufacturing facilities in the world."

Construction of the new production line began late in 2014, coinciding with several other investments, including expansion of the facility's third production line and installation of a new kiln and water clarification system. As a result of these investments, the Shreveport plant now will be able to produce catalysts in less time while keeping inventories lower. Most of the plant's production is for export to other countries. The Shreveport facility manufactures catalysts that can be used in Honeywell UOP's Oleflex, isomerization and hydroprocessing processes, and for processing naphtha.

Honeywell UOP established the Shreveport plant in 1950 to manufacture its own proprietary catalyst designs. Today, the company also manufactures catalyst and adsorbent products in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; McCook, Illinois; Reggio de Calabria, Italy; Shanghai and Zhangjiagang, China; and through its Nikki-Universal and Union Showa K.K. joint ventures in Hiratsuka and Yakkaichi, Japan, respectively.

Catalysts are proprietary structures made of silica, alumina and other elements that aid in the production of specific chemical intermediates from naphtha and distillate. As pellets or powders, they are used in refineries and petrochemical plants and as part of proprietary processes to make a wide range of transportation fuels and petrochemicals.

As MRC informed earlier, Honeywell announced that its Honeywell UOP business broke ground on a new manufacturing capacity outside Shanghai to produce materials used to convert methanol from coal into feedstocks for making plastics, a significant milestone to enable China to meet the growing demand for plastics.

Honeywell UOP has an 80-year history in China, beginning in 1937 when it built one of China’s first refineries in Yumen. It was one of the first American companies invited back to China during the 1970s, to help modernize the Chinese petroleum industry. More recently, Honeywell UOP hydroprocessing and Platforming technology has helped China develop cleaner-burning transportation fuels to combat air pollution.

Taiwan CPC says Talin refinery capacity to rise by 17 pct by end-2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- State-owned Taiwanese refiner CPC Corp is expected to start operations at four new units in southern Taiwan by the end of this year, lifting the refinery's crude processing capacity by 17 percent, said Reuters.

The company is building a 150,000 barrel per day (bpd) crude distillation unit (CDU) at its Talin refinery which will replace an older 100,000-bpd CDU at the same site, spokesman Ray-Chung Chang told Reuters.

This will bring the refinery's crude processing capacity to 350,000 bpd, up from 300,000 bpd currently, he said. The company also operates a 200,000-bpd refinery in Taoyuan.

CPC mothballed its 220,000-bpd refinery in Kaohsiung in November after local residents campaigned for its closure on environmental grounds.

At the Talin complex, CPC is also building two hydrotreaters with a total capacity of 70,000 bpd, and a 50,000-bpd condensate splitter, Chang said.

"The units will be started up one after another by the end of this year," he said.

CPC will become a condensate importer and the new units will increase its naphtha, low-sulphur diesel and jet fuel production.

"We will meet domestic demand first," Chang said, when asked if CPC would become a naphtha exporter.

We remind that, as MRC reported earlier, CPC Corp. is in negotiations with an unidentified Indonesian firm regarding the purchase and relocation of CPC's Kaohsiung, Taiwan, naphtha cracker to Indonesia.

CPC operates two naphtha crackers with a total capacity of more than 1 million tonnes per year (tpy) which require more than 280,000 tonnes of naphtha a month if they are at high rates. Part of this requirement is met through imports.

CPC Corporation, Taiwan, is engaged in the exploration, production, refining, procurement, transportation, storage, and marketing of oil and gas. The company provides fuel oil, including automotive unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel, low-sulfur fuel oil, marine distillate fuels, marine residual fuels, and aviation fuel; petrochemicals, such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, para-xylene, and ortho-xylene; liquefied petroleum gas products comprising liquefied petroleum gas, propane, butane, and a propane/butane mixture; lubricants, motor oil, industrial oil, grease, and marilube oil; SNC products, including petroleum ether, naphtha, toluene, xylene, crude octene, methyl alcohol, normal paraffin, viscosity-graded asphalt cement, and sulfur; and natural gas.


French court finds Total guilty over 2009 petrochemicals blast

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A petrochemical unit of French oil and gas company Total, Europe’s third-largest oil company, has been found guilty and fined EUR200,000 by a French court for a 2009 blast at its Carling plant that killed two and injured six, reported Reuters.

A former manager of the petrochemical plant at the time of the accident was handed a one year suspended prison sentence and fined EUR20,000.

"The disrespect of the procedure by field operators is the direct cause of the explosion but is not the sole and exclusive cause," he court said.

It added that the explosion would not have occurred if flame detectors that were supposed to have prevented the accident had worked properly. The judges rejected the company's argument of human error.

The blast at the Carling petrochemical unit near Strasbourg in the east of France occurred when workers tried to rekindle a gas oven used for cracking naphtha.

As MRC informed before, in September 2013, Total announced that it intended to invest EUR160m before 2016 to adapt its petrochemical platform in Carling, in the Lorraine region of eastern France, and to restore its competitiveness. Total plans indeed to develop new activities on the platform in the growing markets for hydrocarbon resins (Cray Valley) and for polymers, while shutting down the acutely loss-making steam cracker in the second half of 2015.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Celanese announces increases in July prices of acetic acid in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, will increase list and off-list selling prices for acetic acid in the European region, as per the company's press release.

The price increase below will be effective July 1, 2016, or as contracts allow and will be EUR30/tonne.

As MRC informed previously, Celanese Corporation raised list and off-list selling prices for vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) from 1 June, 2016, or as contracts allowed, as follows:

- by EUR50/mt - for Europe;
- by USD50/mt for Central and South America and Mexico;
- by USD0.02/lb for USA and Canada.

Besides, earlier, Celanese Corporation increased its list and off-list selling prices for Ateva EVA and LDPE polymers, effective May 1st, 2016 or as contracts allowed. Prices of Ateva EVA rose by USD50/tonne for Asia, whereas LDPE prices grew by USD0.04/lg (USD 0.09/kg or USD90/tonne) for North and South America and by USD50/tonne for Asia.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 7,000 employees worldwide and had 2015 net sales of USD5.7 billion.

CNOOC names chairman Yang CEO after Li moves to energy agency

MOSCOW (MRC) -- CNOOC, China’s crude oil and natural gas producer, has made changes in directors and senior management of the company, including the change of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said the company on its site.

Following the resignation of its current CEO, President, and Executive Director Li Fanrong, appointed in 2011, CNOOC named Yang Hua as its new CEO and re-designated to the position of Executive Director. Yang Hua also remains the Chairman of the company.

He is a professor-level senior economist and graduate from the China University of Petroleum with a degree in petroleum engineering who joined CNOOC in 1982 and has over 30 years of experience in petroleum exploration and production, the company said.

Furthermore, the company stated that Wu Guangqi, an Executive Director of the company since 2005, has been re-designated as a Non-executive Director and has resigned as Compliance Officer and that the position has been filled by Chen Wei, who has also been appointed to the position of General Counsel.

Yuan Guangyu, also serving as the Director of CNOOC China and CNOOC International – subsidiaries of the company, has been appointed as President and Executive Director.

The oil company added that all the changes take effect from June 15, 2016.

As it was informed earlier, China's largest offshore oil producer CNOOC reached an agreement with its partner Royal Dutch Shell Plc to expand the existing ethylene cracker in their joint venture, amid a rapid growth in the ethylene demand in the world's second-largest economy. The pair set up the joint venture CNOOC-Shell Petrochemicals Co Ltd in 2000 and currently operate a USD4.1 billion petrochemical complex known as Nanhai, in the Daya Bay of Huizhou in Guangdong province.

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the largest offshore oil & gas producer in China. CNOOC businesses cover the main segments of oil & gas exploration and development, engineering & technical services, refining and marketing, natural gas and power generation, and financial services.