Honeywell UOP awarded major contract in Kuwait

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell announced today that Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) will use a range of process technologies from Honeywell UOP for the expansion of its refining and petrochemical complex at Al-Zour, south of Kuwait City, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Honeywell UOP will supply technology licenses, design services, key equipment, and state-of-the-art catalysts and adsorbents to produce clean-burning fuels, paraxylene, propylene and other petrochemicals.

"When completed, this will be the largest integrated refinery and petrochemicals plant ever constructed in Kuwait," said John Gugel, vice president and general manager, Process Technology and Equipment at Honeywell UOP. "In addition to aromatics and propylene, the Euro-V fuels it will produce will be the cornerstone of Kuwait’s clean fuels initiative."

The project includes a 50 Mbpd RFCC complex with ethylene and propylene recovery, and a 24 Mbpd Honeywell UOP Selectfining unit to produce low-sulfur gasoline. Two Honeywell UOP Merox units will be used to treat propane for propylene production, and isobutane to make clean-fuels blending components, including MTBE produced by a UOP Ethermax unit. Also included is a Butamer unit to convert normal butane to isobutane.

The contract also includes a 66 Mbpd CCR Platforming unit with a 74 Mbpd naphtha hydrotreater to make gasoline blend stock, and an LD Parex aromatics complex--including the Honeywell UOP Sulfolane, Isomar and Tatoray processes - to make 1.4 MMtpy of paraxylene, a primary ingredient in plastics.

In addition, an Oleflex propane dehydrogenation unit will produce 660 Mtpy of polymer-grade propylene - another basic component in the production of plastics, synthetic rubber and gasoline additives.

Honeywell UOP is a leading licensor of process technology for the production of aromatics. As of last year, Honeywell UOP licensed more than 100 complexes and more than 700 individual process units for the production of aromatics, including more than 300 CCR Platforming process units, 158 Sulfolane units, 80 Isomar units, 58 Tatoray units, 100 Parex units and 60 Oleflex units worldwide.

Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) is a new subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) set up by State of Kuwait to manage refinery, petrochemicals and LNG import operations in the Al-Zour complex.

As MRC informed before, in early March 2017, Honeywell announced that Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical Company, Ltd. had started its UOP Advanced Methanol-to-Olefins (MTO) unit during a 10-day test to confirm successful operation. It has an annual production capacity of 833,000 mtpy, making it the largest single-train MTO unit in the world.

Dark oil: Loophole lets Russian refiners dodge duties

MOSCOW (MRC) — Two Russian refiners are avoiding export duty on fuel oil and vacuum gas oil by renaming them as an oil product that is exempt from the charge, according to a Reuters analysis of customs and refining data, and four industry sources, said Reuters.

The practice takes advantage of a loophole in customs rules and has this year saved the refiners tens of millions of dollars which would otherwise have gone into the state budget, according to the government data and sources.

Novoshakhtinsky and Mariysky refineries shipped a total of 2 MMt of reclassified fuel in the first nine months of this year, saving about USD170 MM in tax, according to the data and sources. Novoshakhtinsky said in a statement that in producing and selling its products it acted in complete compliance with customs legislation.

Mariysky’s owner, New Stream Group, denied the refinery was avoiding customs duties on its oil products and said it was in compliance with customs legislation.

The Federal Customs Service (FCS) did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Russia’s Association of Oil Refiners and Petrochemists said it had no comment.

Fuel oil and vacuum gas oil are low-value refined oil products known among refiners and exporters as "dark oil" products, and are mostly used either for shipping fuel or as ingredients to make more complex products.

The duty for dark oil products has been USD86.7/t this year on average, and stood at USD96.1 in November, according to publicly available customs data. However there is zero duty on exports of fuel defined as products “containing more than 50% aromatic hydrocarbons."

The loophole lies in the fact that fuel oil and vacuum gas oil can be included in that latter definition, and therefore exported without duty under that customs code, according to the sources. The four people—a customs broker, two commercial executives at refiners and a refining engineer—asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of matter.

A fifth source, an FCS manager, also told Reuters that dark oil products were being exported under the zero-duty customs code, but did not identify the refineries involved.

DuPont awarded five alkylation technology licenses from Sinopec

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DuPont Clean Technologies has signed contracts with China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) for five grassroots STRATCO alkylation units at five Sinopec refineries in China, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The scope of these contracts includes the license, engineering and supply of proprietary equipment for grassroots STRATCO alkylation units. The most recent awards include one of China’s leading suppliers of olefins and aromatics, Sinopec Yangzi Company (YPC), as well as Sinopec Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Company (ZRCC). In the months prior to these awards, DuPont was commissioned to supply grassroots STRATCO alkylation units for three other large-scale refining facilities at Sinopec Tianjin, Sinopec Qilu and Sinopec Zhongke.

Sinopec is looking to DuPont Clean Technologies for help in complying with the strict gasoline emissions regulations introduced as part of the China V standards in January 2017. The STRATCO alkylation technology enables refiners to produce cleaner-burning fuel with high octane, extremely low sulfur content, low Rvp and zero olefins. The five STRATCO alkylation units commissioned by Sinopec range in size from 7,700 bpsd to 10,300 bpsd alkylate production and will be built in Tianjin municipality and Shandong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces. Startup for the first four alkylation units is expected by mid to late 2018.

STRATCO alkylation technology is the established global leader in the industry with more than 90 units licensed worldwide and more than 850,000 bpsd of installed capacity. The STRATCO alkylation technology is a sulfuric acid catalyzed process that converts olefins and low-value isobutane into high-value alkylate, a key desirable component for clean fuel. With units built more than 80 yr ago still in operation, the STRATCO alkylation technology is a highly effective, reliable solution for producing cleaner-burning fuel with high octane, low Rvp, low sulfur and zero olefins.

As MRC reported earlier, on 31 August 2017, Dow Chemical Co and DuPont said successfully completed their planned USD130 billion merger to form DowDuPont. Post-merger, Dow and DuPont are expected to break up into three independent, publicly traded units.

DuPont is an American chemical company that was founded in July, 1802. The company manufactures a wide range of chemical products, leading extensive innovative research in this field. The company is the inventor of many unique plastics and other materials, including neoprene, nylon, Teflon, Kevlar, Mylar, Tyvek, etc. DuPont was the developer and main producer of Freon used in the production of refrigeration equipment.

Copersucar partners with BP on ethanol complex in Brazil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazil’s Copersucar, one of the world’s largest ethanol merchants, and BP’s Brazil unit said on Thursday they will form a 50-50 logistics JV in the country, reported Reuters.

The venture will operate Copersucar’s recently built ethanol storage complex in the Brazilian city of Paulinia, the country’s largest fuels hub.

The announcement comes two days after Brazil’s lower house of Congress passed legislation proposing to increase the use of biofuels in the country while fuel sales start to recover from a two-year recession.

Copersucar’s Paulinia ethanol complex has capacity to move 2.3 B liters of the fuel per year and is able to store 180 MM liters at its ten tanks, the companies said in a statement.

"This partnership will allow BP to sharply increase its commercial presence in Brazil," Mario Lindenhayn, country head for BP, said in the statement.

Copersucar did not disclose financial details of the deal, which is subject to approval by regulators.

As MRC wrote previously, in May 2017, BP announced that it had agreed to sell its 50% stake in the Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Company Limited (SECCO) to Gaoqiao Petrochemical Co Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), BP’s joint venture partner, for a total consideration of USD1.68 bln.

BP is a leading producer of oil and gas and produces enough energy annually to light nearly the entire country for a year. Employing about 17,000 people across the country, BP supports more than 170,000 additional jobs through all of its business activities.

ExxonMobil to merge refining, marketing divisions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corporation announced it will combine its refining and marketing operations into a single company, ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company, in 1Q 2018. Bryan Milton, currently president of ExxonMobil Fuels, Lubricants & Specialties Marketing Company, has been appointed president of the combined division by ExxonMobil’s board of directors, effective Jan. 1, 2018, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

By combining activities of the two divisions—ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company and ExxonMobil Fuels, Lubricants & Specialties Marketing Company—the company will achieve further integration to improve decision making and enhance performance in the market. The improvements will help the company to better respond to the needs of its customers and compete more effectively.

ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company, along with ExxonMobil affiliates, will manage crude purchasing and logistics, refining, supply, trading, midstream, marketing and sales of refined products.

Milton, 53, joined Exxon Chemical in 1986 at Fawley in the U.K., where he worked in various plant and developmental engineering roles, including assignments as operations manager and as plant manager. He also spent time in upstream natural gas commercial sales. He previously held various leadership positions within ExxonMobil Chemical Company in Houston and in 2004 was named managing director for ExxonMobil Aviation fuels, based in the U.K.

Milton was appointed manager of the Baton Rouge chemical plant in 2006, and in 2008 he was assigned executive assistant to the chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil Corporation. In 2009, he was appointed vice president of Basic Chemicals for ExxonMobil Chemical Company. Before his current role, Milton was president of ExxonMobil Global Services Company. Milton was appointed to his current position in 2016