Total says incident at Gonfreville refinery did not affect output

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A gas blast that injured five people at Total's 247-Mbpd Gonfreville refinery in northern France did not impact production, because the unit was on scheduled maintenance, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Total said in a statement that the gas leak has been reduced and the fire was extinguished.

"The main refinery units and the Petrochemical part of the platform are not affected," Total said, adding that only the bitumen blowing unit was shut down because of the gas leak.

As MRC informed earlier, Total said on 25 October that a gas leak at its 247 Mbpd Gonfreville refinery in Normandy had caused an explosion that injured five workers. The blast in northern France occurred during a scheduled maintenance work on a gas compressor

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.

Taiyo Vinyl to shut PVC plant in Yokkaichi for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Taiyo Vinyl is likely to take its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant off-stream for a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Japan informed that the plant is planned to be shut in Q1, 2017. The plant is expected to be taken off-line in March-April 2017 and will remain shut for around 4-5 weeks.

Located in Yokkaichi in Japan, the PVC plant has a production capacity of 310,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported before, in mid-April 2016, Taiyo Vinyl restarted its PVC plant following a maintenance turnaround. The plant was taken offstream in early March 2016. Located in Yokkaichi in Japan, the PVC plant has a production capacity of 310,000 mt/year.

Besides, Taiyo Vinyl took off-stream its another PVC plant for a maintenance turnaround on August 17, 2016. The plant remained shut for around four weeks. Located in Chiba in Japan, the PVC plant has a production capacity of 90,000 mt/year.

Taiyo Vinyl Corporation, a subsidiary of Tosoh Group, is one of Japan's largest manufacturers of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The plant in Chiba is one of the company's key assests, which supplies 50% of its products to the domestic market. The company also produces PVC at the plants in Yokkaichi and Osaka with the annual capacity of 310,000 and 150,000 tonnes, respectively.

Gas leak at Statoill Mongstad refinery contained

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Statoil has shut down the production of gasoline at its Mongstad refinery on Norway's west coast following a hydrogen gas leak on Tuesday, said Reuters.

"We evacuated 600 people from the facility just after 1pm (1100 GMT)," said a company spokesman. "We have closed down one of the areas of the refinery, the one producing gasoline."

It was too early to say when production could resume and at what rate the unit was producing when the incident occurred, he said, adding that the alert was now over.

"The alarm is being called off," he said.

As MRC infomed earlier, in 2014, Borealis announced a new long term agreement to source ethane from Statoil for its flexible steam cracker in Stenungsund. This contract will continue to provide Borealis with an attractive source of feedstock for its petrochemical complex in Stenungsund.

Statoil ASA is an international energy company with operations in 36 countries. Building on 40 years of experience from oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf, it is committed to accommodating the world’s energy needs in a responsible manner, applying technology and creating innovative business solutions. Statoil is headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, with approximately 23,000 employees worldwide.

Air Products invests in Korea to support growing market demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Air Products will build a new large air separation unit (LASU) in Ulsan, South Korea, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The investment demonstrates the company's commitment to the southern region and across Korea to meet increasing demand driven by the refining, petrochemical, and non-ferrous metals industries, as well as the merchant gas market.

Scheduled to come onstream in 2018, the 1,750 tpd LASU will produce gaseous and liquefied oxygen, nitrogen and argon. The plant will meet the increasing demand of Air Products' existing and future pipeline customers in Ulsan, as well as the liquid gas market.

Ulsan is an industrial powerhouse for the country and home to many sectors including oil refining, automobile production, and shipbuilding. Air Products has been supplying the region for nearly 30 years and has built a pipeline system and gas facilities in Onsan's large non-ferrous metals complex and Yongyeon's petrochemical complex. This latest investment will enable the company to produce extra oxygen and nitrogen to meet increasing needs. The additional high-purity liquid argon, which is used in the chip manufacturing process and to maintain an ultra-clean atmosphere to protect manufacturing tools, will position Air Products to better serve the demand driven by integrated circuit and display customers.

As MRC informed earlier, Air Products is in advanced talks to sell its performance materials operations to Evonik Industries.

Air Products has more than 50 years of hydrogen experience and an extensive patent portfolio with over 50 patents in hydrogen dispensing technology. Air Products provides liquid and gaseous hydrogen and a variety of enabling devices and protocols for fuel dispensing at varied pressures. Hydrogen for these stations can be delivered to a site via truck or pipeline, produced by natural gas reformation, biomass conversion, or by electrolysis, including electrolysis that is solar and wind driven.

Mitsui Phenols expects to raise Singapore solvents plant run rate to 100% by 1 November 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsui Phenols Singapore or MPS expects to raise the operating rate of its solvents plant to 100% of capacity by November 1, a source close to the company said Tuesday, reported Apic-online.

This was based on expectations that Shell Chemicals, the company's supplier of feedstock propylene, would restart its cracker at Pulau Bukom "at the end of October," the source said.

MPS delayed or canceled some of its October phenol shipments after reducing its operating rate by 30-40% on October 1 following the shutdown of Shell Chemicals' cracker on September 27.

Shell Chemicals issued a force majeure on base chemicals from its Pulau Bukom complex on September 29, two days after the steam cracker was shut.

A Shell spokesperson Monday said the company had nothing new to add to its previous statement that the "ethylene cracker complex at Pulau Bukom is currently shut down for unplanned maintenance [and] supply teams are working hard to minimize the impact from this disruption."

No restart date for the complex has been given. Shell Chemicals' petrochemical complex comprises a steam cracker that is able to produce 960,000 mt/year of ethylene, 540,000 mt/year of propylene and 186,000 mt/year of butadiene.

The site also has a 276,000 mt/year benzene unit and a 750,000 mt/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant. MPS' plant can produce 310,000 mt/year of phenol and 180,000 mt/year of acetone.

As MRC wrote before, in late July 2016, Mitsui Chemicals' wholly-owned unit - Osaka Petrochemical Industries Ltd -restarted commercial operations of its 500,000-tonne-per-year naphtha cracker at its Osaka plant in western Japan. The cracker was shut since June 22. The scheduled shutdown was not part of any government-mandated planned maintenance but for cleaning and other production adjustment purposes to coincide with maintenance of some other related units.

Mitsui Chemicals is a leading manufacturer and supplier of value added specialty chemicals, plastics and materials for the automotive, healthcare, packaging, agricultural, building, and semiconductor and electronics markets. Mitsui Chemicals is a Japanese Chemicals company, a part of the Mitsui conglomerate. The company has a turnover of around 15 billion USD and has business interests in Japan, Europe, China, Southeast Asia and the USA. The company mainly deals in performance materials, petro and basic chemicals and functional polymeric materials.