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.

Axiall and Lotte Chemical break ground on its grassroots ethane cracker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LACC LLC, the joint-venture company formed by Axiall Corp. and Lotte Chemical Corp., held a groundbreaking ceremony at its Calcasieu Parish, La. construction site, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This follows a December 2015 announcement that the boards of Lotte and Axiall reached final investment decisions to construct an ethane cracker facility adjacent to Axiall’s existing Lake Charles complex. In addition to constructing the ethane cracker that is expected to produce 1 MMtpy of ethylene, Lotte Chemical will also construct an adjacent plant to produce 700 Mtpy of ethylene glycol (EG).

"Among Korean petrochemical companies, Lotte Chemical is the first to locate a project in the US; as such, this project represents a significant investment by Lotte Chemical," said Soo Young Huh, Lotte Chemical president and chief executive officer.

"For Axiall this commitment marks the next phase of our continued investment in the Lake Charles area," said Tim Mann, Axiall president and chief executive officer. "Our construction site is just west of our largest chemicals plant, where we have operated for nearly 70 years."

The groundbreaking marks the beginning of the construction phase, which follows months of land clearing and preparation on approximately 250 acres at the southwest corner of the interchange of Interstate highways 10 and 210 in the greater Lake Charles, La. area. The groundbreaking ceremony brought together business and government leaders from the Republic of Korea, the State of Louisiana, as well as senior executives of Lotte Group, Lotte Chemical and Axiall Corp.

Building the new chemical facilities is expected to have a positive economic impact on southwestern Louisiana. The total capital investment in the facilities is estimated to be USD3 B. Together, the facilities are expected to create more than 200 new direct jobs and over 1,800 indirect jobs in the community. In addition, an estimated 2,000 temporary construction jobs are expected to be created during the project.

CB&I will execute the main steam cracker contract, using its proprietary technology, following successful completion of front-end engineering and design, and other early-stage engineering works. LACC will engage a number of other firms to execute ancillary offsite facilities developments and tie-ins to existing infrastructure.

The state-of-the-art steam cracking facility will be built adjacent to Axiall’s largest chlor-alkali chemical facility, located in Lake Charles, to take advantage of Axiall’s existing infrastructure, access to competitive feedstock resources, and ethylene distribution infrastructure. The facility’s anticipated start-up would be in early 2019.

As MRC wrote previously, in June 2015, US based Axiall Corporation and South Korean Lotte Chemical Corporation have finalised a joint venture (JV) agreement to construct an ethane cracker. And in December 2015, they made the final investment decision. LACC LLC will invest USD1.9 billion to build the steam cracker adjacent to Axiall’s Lake Charles chlor-alkali manufacturing plants to take advantage of existing infrastructure, competitive US shale feedstock resources, and ethylene distribution infrastructure, according to a series of releases from the JV and Louisiana Economic Development (LED).

Lotte Chemical is a member of the Lotte Group in Korea, which has been listed on the Korean Stock Exchange since 1991. Lotte Chemical is a leading manufacturer of petrochemical products, such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene, polyethylene, polypropylene, ethylene oxide/glycol, compound resin, polyethylene terephthalate, polycarbonate, methyl methacrylate, ethylene oxide derivatives, benzene, toluene, mixed xylene, purified terephthalic acid and purified isophthalic acid among others. Lotte Chemical, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, has manufacturing facilities located throughout South Korea, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, UK and the USA.

Axiall Corporation is a leading integrated chemicals and building products company. Headquartered in Atlanta, Axiall has manufacturing facilities located throughout North America and in Asia to provide industry-leading materials and services to customers.

Jacobs wins contract for Sahara Petrochemicals facilities in Saudi Arabia

MOSCOW (MRC)-- Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. announced it received a three-year contract from Sahara Petrochemicals (Sahara) to provide general engineering services at Sahara’s Jubail Industrial City facilities in Saudi Arabia, said the company on its site.

Under the terms of the contract, Jacobs is expected to provide engineering, procurement, construction supervision, project management, pre-commissioning and commissioning support to a range of small- to medium-sized capital projects for Sahara’s propane dehydrogenation, polypropylene, chlor alkyl, ethylene dichloride and peripheral utilities operating facilities.

In making the announcement, Jacobs Senior Vice President Oil and Gas Bassim D. Shebaro stated, “Jacobs has had a presence in the Middle East for many years serving the Oil, Gas, Buildings and Infrastructure sectors. This contract enables us to expand our presence in Jubail as part of our overall commitment to providing world-class services to our clients across the region."

As MRC informed earlier, Jacobs Engineering Group was awarded a contract to provide engineering services for the expansion of Mitsubishi’s polyester film plant in Greenville County, South Carolina. Mitsubishi Polyester Film is the American subsidiary of Japan-based Mitsubishi Plastics. and the largest polyester film plant in the US.

Jacobs is one of the world's largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional and construction services.


Evonik to prepare for reopening of mid-molecular polyester plant in Mobile, Alabama

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik Corporation will begin preparations for reopening its specialty polyesters production plant located in Mobile, Ala, as per the company's press release.

The revitalization of the plant is scheduled to be completed in 2018 and will have an annual production capacity of several thousand metric tons. The investment will create new jobs in Mobile, where the group currently has more than 800 employees. Specialty polyesters are focused in the reactive hot melt adhesive market and in the pre-coated metal market as a binder for paints, coil coatings and increasingly, in food can coatings.

Dr. Dietmar Wewers, global head of the Coating & Adhesive Resins Business Line at Evonik, said, "As an innovative supplier of high-quality specialty polyesters we strive to provide a global manufacturing footprint for our polyester platform to support projected market growth."

Demand in the specialty polyester market is driven by the trend towards bisphenol A-free can coating resins. Specialty polyesters are also highly desired in the automotive market, supporting the increased use of adhesives for mixed material bonding and lightweight fuel efficient designs.

Andreas Kripzak, vice president, Coating & Adhesive Resins Americas, added, "As the solutions partner for the coatings, adhesives and packaging industry, we will reinvest in the United States to become a local, reliable supplier fully committed to our customers’ needs and growth."

Evonik is one of the world’s leading suppliers of polyesters for pre-coated metals and reactive hot melts. The company has production facilities at its sites in Marl and Witten, Germany and Shanghai, China. Polyesters from the DYNAPOL brand serve as binders for paints. In addition to coil coatings, they are also increasingly used for food can coatings as well as in flexible packaging. Polyesters from the DYNACOLL brand are used in reactive hot melt applications.

As MRC informed earlier, Essen-based Evonik Industries invested over EUR400 mln in its plants in Germany in 2015. Last year, Evonik once again demonstrated its considerable power to create at its German sites. Thus, according to a recent projection, the company invested more than EUR 400 million in its domestic production plants. The lion’s share of the funds (around two-thirds) was divided among Evonik’s five-largest sites in Germany: Marl (hundreds of millions of euros), Hanau, Essen, Darmstadt, and Wesseling (tens of millions of euros at each site).

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2013 more than 33,500 employees generated sales of around EUR12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about EUR2.0 billion.

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.