Saudi forces foil bombing attempt on Aramco fuel distribution terminal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi forces foiled an attempt from Yemen to blow up an Aramco fuel terminal in the southern Jazan province using a boat laden with high explosives, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA, said Reuters.

The agency said forces opened fire on the boat, which was operated by remote control, stopping it at sea before it reached its target. There were no immediate reports of any injuries in the incident.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries in the incident, which the statement said targeted an Aramco fuel terminal and distribution station in Jazan.

The statement accused the Iran-aligned Houthis of being behind the attempted attack, saying the group which controls much of northern Yemen was "threatening waterways and naval facilities using booby-trapped boats and naval mines".

Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab coalition that is fighting the Houthis, who have seized much of northern Yemen since 2014 and forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.

In January, Saudi Arabia said one of its frigates was damaged in a suicide boat attack by the Houthis off the Yemeni port of Hodeidah. The Houthis said the frigate was hit by a missile fired by the group.

Uzbekistan starts construction of $2.2-B oil refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Uzbekistan started construction of a USD2.2 B refinery on Thursday, which will use oil imported from Russia and Kazakhstan, state news agency UzA reported, as per Reuters.

The state-run project in the Jizzakh region bordering oil-rich Kazakhstan will receive crude through a pipeline which has not yet been built, the report said.

The Jizzakh refinery will produce more than 3.7 MMt of gasoline, more than 700,000 t of jet fuel and about 300,000 t of other oil products annually, to be sold both domestically and abroad.

UzA said Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev had secured oil supplies from Russia and Kazakhstan during his visits to those countries in the last few weeks.

It did not say when construction would be completed.

The Central Asian nation operates three refineries but has faced shortages of both crude oil and fuel.

BASF launches new MasterTop flooring series on the European market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- With the new MasterTop 1327 series BASF has launched two fully liquid-applied, sound deadening flooring system specifications which combine high walking comfort with exclusive design possibilities and enhanced sound deadening properties. This complements the BASF product portfolio of chemical solutions for construction, which is bundled under the Master Builders Solutions brand, said the producer on its site.

The new system specifications MasterTop1327-16dB and MasterTop1327-20dB offer a number of advantages in terms of room acoustics, application, design and sustainability: thanks to the sound deadening layer, vertical sound transmission, like impact noise, is reduced by 16 up to 20 dB, which results in a pleasant living and working environment. This innovative, sound deadening layer is applied in liquid form, just like all the other components of MasterTop 1327 systems. Thus the application of the flooring is simplified - especially in rooms with complex shapes. Moreover, liquid application allows for maximum creative freedom and individual floor designs in terms of form and color. All systems of the new MasterTop 1327 series contribute to optimal indoor air quality and comply with the low emission limits of the AgBB standard (Committee for Health-related Evaluation of Building Products). Thanks to their extreme durability and easy maintenance they generate low life-cycle costs.

"With the launch of our MasterTop 1327 series we are further strengthening our product portfolio in the area of decorative flooring systems that focus on immensely challenging aesthetic floors. Of course our aim is to offer our customers state-of-the-art flooring. For instance MasterTop1327-20dB is the first and only fully liquid-applied flooring system on the market which reduces impact noise by 20 dB," says Luc Van Eldere, Head of Performance Flooring Europe at BASF.

MasterTop 1327 seamless flooring systems are well-suited for applications in buildings where a pleasing appearance, high walking comfort and minimum noise levels are equally important: in hospitals silence and well-being are important for patients to recover; in educational facilities a quiet environment for children to learn is required; this also applies to offices, where employees need to concentrate; in hotels guests want to rest in a feel-good atmosphere.

MasterTop 1327-20dB is also part of BASF?s recently introduced sustainability campaign: Master Builders Solutions experts together with European customers present selected cases that demonstrate how superior chemistry enables customers to increase their productivity as well as decrease operational costs and carbon footprint.

As MRC wrote previously, within the next five years, BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) plans to invest globally more than EUR200 million in its plastic additives business, approximately half of which in Asia, focusing on capacity expansions and operational excellence. Plastic additives improve product properties such as scratch resistance or light stability, and optimize plastics manufacturing processes.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

PP imports to Belarus rose by 0.4% in the first two months of 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polypropylene (PP) into Belarus increased to about 12,600 tonnes in first two months of this year, up 0.4% year on year, compared to the same period of 2016. The greatest increase in imports occurred for homopolymer PP, according to MRC DataScope.

February PP imports into Belarus decreased to 6,000 tonnes against 6,600 tonnes a month earlier, local converters reduced their purchases of injection moulding PP random copolymers. Total PP imports into the country reached 12,600 tonnes in January - February, compared with 12,500 tonnes year on year. The demand for only homopolymer PP increased, but demand for propylene copolymers decreased.

Structure of PP supplies over the reported period looked as follows.

February imports of homopolymer PP into the country remained practically at the January level and slightly exceeded 4,200 tonnes. Overall shipments of homopolymer PP exceeded 8,400 tonnes in the first two months of 2017 versus 8,300 tonnes a year earlier. Russian producers, with the share of 83% of the total shipments, were the key suppliers.

February imports of propylene copolymers into Belarus fell to 1,700 tonnes from 2,400 tonnes a month earlier. The largest producer of packaging reduced the volume of injection moulding propylene copolymers in Russia. Total imports of propylene copolymers into Belarus exceeded 4,100 tonnes in January-February, compared with 4,200 tonnes year on year. Russian producers, with the share of over 69%, were also the main suppliers of propylene copolymers.

Honeywell awarded equipment contract for Dangote’s largest single-train refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- UOP LLC, a division of Honeywell International Inc. announced that it has won a contract from Dangote Oil Refinery Company Ltd. for critical equipment, technology licensing and design services for a world-scale integrated refinery and petrochemical plant, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

When completed, the integrated complex in Lekki, near the capital of Lagos in Nigeria, will be the largest single-train refinery in the world.

Included in the agreement is proprietary specialist equipment required for UOP LLC’s licensed RFCC, Unicracking, CCR Platforming, Penex and Butamer processes.

The proprietary specialist equipment includes catalyst regeneration and dryer regeneration control systems, high-performance column trays, and heat exchanger tubes. The packaged equipment includes a modular CCR unit, catalyst coolers, a Third-Stage Separator System for the RFCC unit—which upgrades heavy oil—and two pressure swing adsorption (PSA) units to purify hydrogen.

"Nigeria has the second-largest proven oil reserves in Africa—more than 37 billion barrels—but currently imports most of its refined products because it has limited domestic refining capacity," said Mike Millard, vice president and general manager of UOP LLC’s Process Technology & Equipment business. "This new refinery will help Nigeria meet its own growing demand for fuels and petrochemicals while raising the profitability of the nation’s crude oil."

The Lekki facility will be the largest single-train refinery in the world producing Euro-V quality gasoline and diesel, as well as jet fuel meeting international aviation specifications along with world-scale quantities of polypropylene, a primary component used in plastics and packaging. The plant’s RFCC unit will be the largest in the world.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, Nigeria in 2015 produced 2.3 MMbpd of petroleum and other liquids, about 2 MM of which was exported. That same year, Nigeria relied on imports of refined fuels to meet more than 70% of its domestic needs.