KP Engineering wins syngas EPC contract for Praxair expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KP Engineering, an industry leader in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) solutions, has been awarded a fixed-price EPC contract by Praxair, Inc. to expand carbon monoxide production at its Geismar, Louisiana plant, said Praxair.

The award from Praxair is among several major projects KPE has secured within the last 12 months, including the recently awarded fixed-price contract from Targa Terminals LLC, valued in excess of USD100 million.

"We appreciate Praxair’s confidence in our ability to deliver world-class results for this important expansion in Geismar," said William Preston, President and Chief Operating Officer of KP Engineering. "KPE's expertise integrates well with Praxair’s vision and forms an important part of our business, complementing our positions in the refining, midstream, and petrochemical sectors."

The overall scope of the KPE project includes engineering, procurement, and construction. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.

Praxair previously said that it plans to invest USD100m to expand its Geismar syngas processing unit in response to growing demand.

Praxair, Inc., a Fortune 250 company with 2015 sales of USD11 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.

Kralupy refinery resumes crude oil processing

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ceska rafinerska completed the shutdown at its Kralupy refinery and resumed crude oil processing, said the producer on its site.

The refinery was in shutdown due to an extraordinary event at the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit which occurred on May 17, 2016. The Kralupy refinery achieved full standard processing capacity.

While repairing the FCC unit we replaced the damaged parts of the unit and checked the state of relating production facilities. Total damage to technologies was estimated at CZK 0.4 billion. "We managed to make use of the unplanned shutdown for the additional maintenance and performed turnaround works that were foreseen to take place in 2017," said Ceska Rafinerska’s CEO Krzysztof Zdziarski. Another major shutdown of operation should thus not occur until 2018.

The extraordinary event was caused by hydrocarbons flare-up which resulted in loosening the heater and damaging the FCC unit’s equipment. Unipetrol holds an insurance policy both against property damage as well as against the relating business interruption. Unipetrol is liaising with the insurer and provides all cooperation for the proper assessment of the loss caused by extraordinary event.

Since 2001 the Kralupy refinery has been a complex refinery with a state-of-the-art fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit, through which the original hydro skimming refinery with a capacity of 3.3 million tons of crude oil a year was further developed. The existence of the MTBE unit provides the possibility to produce high-octane lead-free petrol, while the equipment installed under the "Clean Fuels" program allows the production of low-sulphur and sulphur-free fuels. The Kralupy refinery produces the JET A1 aviation fuel used at Prague international airport.

As MRC informed earlier, repair works on the steam cracker in Chempark Zaluzi, which has been out of the operation since last year’s extraordinary event on August 13, are completed and also the construction of new pyrolysis heaters is coming to the end.

Unipetrol , a.s. is a group of companies operating in the petrochemical industry in the Czech Republic. In 2005 Unipetrol became a part of the PKN ORLEN Group, the largest oil processor in Central Europe. The UNIPETROL Group is oriented mostly towards oil processing, fuel distribution and petrochemical production. In all of these business areas the Unipetrol Group is among the key players both in the Czech Republic and on the Central European market. The Group ranks among the leading firms in the Czech Republic in terms of its revenues, and employs almost 4,000 people.


Pevalen of Perstorp receives ECO Passport by OEKO-TEX

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Perstorp, a leading provider of PVC plasticizers and other specialty chemicals, has been awarded ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX for its Pevalen (pentaerythritol tetravalerate or PETV) true non-phthalate plasticizer, said the producer in its press release.

This certifies that Pevalen can be used in sustainable textile production and verifies that using Pevalen in textiles has no harmful effects on human health or the environment.

"We are very proud to have received this important independent certification!" says Hakan Bjornberg, Perstorp’s VP of Innovation. "It confirms that Perstorp is on track with its ambitions to create safe and sustainable solutions."

"Along with a continuously increasing demand for Pevalen because of its non-phthalate nature, we have also seen an increased demand for OEKO-TEX certification from the coated fabrics industry," Bjornberg notes. "This certificate assures customers requiring a high-performance non-phthalate plasticizer for their PVC coated textiles that Pevalen is the choice for them."

Perstorp is the first company to introduce PETV to the market.

As MRC informed before, in March 2015, Perstop announced that producers of surfactants and hard-surface cleaners around the world now have access to a major new supply of a highly cost-effective raw material, 2-propyl heptanol (2-PH). With the January 2015 start-up of its major new Oxo plant for chemical intermediates and finished products in Stenungsund, Sweden, Perstorp now has sufficient capacity to supply 2-PH to the merchant market as well as its own downstream operations.

Plasticizers are a vital component in soft PVC plastics where durability and flexibility are important properties - in flooring, artificial leathers, tarpaulins, toys, automotive interiors, and cables.

Perstorp is one of the world leaders in various sectors of the specialty chemicals market, it's pioneer in formalin chemistry, plastics and surface materials. Perstorp was founded in 1881 and is controlled by PAI partners,a major European private equity company. The company has around 1,500 employees in with 22 production plants in Europe, Asia and North America.

Marathon sues BP for breach of contract in Texas oil refinery sale

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Marathon Petroleum Corp. alleged BP failed to deliver a Texas oil refinery and three products terminals in the condition promised under a USD2.4-B sales agreement signed in 2012, according to Reuters.

Marathon took over the 459-Mbpd refinery in Texas City, Texas, and terminals when the transaction closed on Feb. 1, 2013, and began finding problems that breached the sale agreement, according to the lawsuit.

"After assuming operation of the refinery, Marathon Petroleum discovered that, in numerous respects, the refinery and the terminals were not in compliance with environmental laws," according to the lawsuit.

BP also failed to maintain process safety information on 3,756 pressure vessels at the refinery, Marathon alleged.

BP began a project in 2010 to compile the process safety information on the pressure vessels, "but it abandoned this project in April 2012 having only completed documentation for 555 of the vessels," according to the lawsuit.

Marathon also said BP planned to carry out an overhaul of an aromatics recovery unit prior to the sale being complete, but did not do so after signing the sale agreement, according to the lawsuit.

Marathon also wants to terminate payments, as of July 31, 2016, it has been making to BP for servicing retail stations Marathon received as part of the sale, according to the suit.

The BP Texas City refinery was the site of a March 23, 2005, explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 180 others. BP was fined USD84.6 MM by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration between 2005 and 2012 for safety rules violations found at the refinery in investigations following the blast.

BP pleaded guilty to a federal environmental law violation and paid USD50 MM to the US Justice Department in 2009. BP also paid more than USD2 B to settle lawsuits stemming from the 2005 explosion. Monday's lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for Southern Texas in Galveston, Texas by Marathon subsidiary Marathon Petroleum Co. against BP subsidiaries BP Products North America Inc. and BP Pipelines (North America) Inc.

BP is one of the world"s leading international oil and gas companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items.

No casualties reported after China refinery blast

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Equipment at an oil refinery in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing caught fire and exploded on Sunday, state media said, in the country's latest industrial accident, said Reuters.

The explosion occurred at around 1:50 p.m. at the Jinlingshihua Nanjing Refinery, a subsidiary of Sinopec Group, the official Xinhua news agency said, adding that no casualties had yet been reported.

Xinhua said fire fighters had been dispatched to battle the flames and pictures carried by state media showed thick black smoke rising into the sky above an industrial complex.

The blaze had been controlled and there was not currently a secondary environmental or security risk, the company said on its official microblog.

Deadly accidents are relatively common at industrial plants in China, and anger over lax standards is growing after three decades of swift economic growth marred by incidents from mining disasters to factory fires.

China has vowed to improve safety at such facilities. President Xi Jinping has said authorities would learn the lessons paid for with blood after chemical blasts in the port city of Tianjin on Aug. 12 last year killed more than 170 people.

As MRC informed earlier, in 2014 there was a fire at a Sinopec oil refinery in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. The explosion was likely caused by a fire which started at the wastewater-treatment equipment and spread to the nearby crude oil tanks. Located at Nanjing in east China, Sinopec Yangzi has a crude refining capacity of 160,000 bbl/day.