Azerikimya to launch new facilities by 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Azerikimya Production Union of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR will build a number of new units by 2020, Fazail Yusifov, deputy head of Modernization and Reconstruction Department of Azerikimya, said AzerNews with reference to Trend.

He made the remarks at the fourth international conference in Baku titled "Oil refining and petrochemistry of the Caspian Sea and Central Asia" on November 29.

He said that construction of new units started last year and will cover the period until the end of 2019.

"Four new steam pyrolysis furnaces and a pressure swing absorption (PSA) hydrogen treatment unit will be built within the framework of the petrochemical production’s modernization project, and this will make it possible to bring purification of the hydrogen fraction to 99.9 percent," he said. "It is also planned to build a new hydrogen electrolysis unit, a new propane-propylene fraction (PPF) purification unit, which cleans raw materials from polluting substances and poisons (sulfur, water, arsenic, mercury, phosphine, mono and carbon dioxide), a dry gas cleaning unit, a new distributed control system (DCS) for ethylene and propylene plant (EP-300), and a new ethylene and propylene storage facility."

He added that at the same time, a lot of work is being done to modernize and reconstruct the existing units.

"In particular, we plan to reconstruct the existing propane-propylene fraction separation unit in order to increase propylene productivity from 136,000 to 187,000 tons, modernize hot and cold sections, existing C2 and C3 selective hydrogenation units, and this means replacing existing isothermal reactors with new ones," he said. "We expect to optimize the work of existing compressors of pyrogas, ethylene, propylene and a propylene heat pump, as well as upgrade auxiliary facilities and infrastructure. The work on the construction of treatment facilities, modernization of existing power substations and increase of the efficiency of the electrical system is underway."

As MRC informed earlier, in October 2017, Marketing and Economic Operations Department under the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) exported 51,129 tonnes of diesel fuel, 9,527 tonnes of aircraft fuel, 3,321 tonnes of liquid pyrolysis resin, 2,439 tonnes of high-pressure polyethylene, and 2,134 tonnes of propylene. SOCAR totally exported 452,288 tonnes of diesel fuel, 43,110 tonnes of aircraft fuel, 236 tonnes of furnace oil, 50,306 tonnes of liquid pyrolysis resin, 58,704 tonnes of high-pressure polyethylene, and 31,384 tonnes of propylene in January-October 2017.

WR Grace licenses UNIPOL PP Process Technology to Oriental Energy in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- W. R. Grace & Co., a supplier of polyolefin catalyst technology and polypropylene (PP) process technology, has contracted to license its UNIPOL PP Process Technology to Oriental Energy (Ningbo) New Material Co., Ltd. for an expansion at its facility in Ningbo, China, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The two new 400-kiloton capacity lines are expected to begin operations in 2020 to produce homopolymer and random copolymers.

The Ningbo operation is a subsidiary of Oriental Energy Co. Ltd. of Nanjing City, China, a comprehensive alkane resources operator that develops clean energy and new material for the international market. Oriental Energy previously licensed UNIPOL PP Process Technology for a 400-kiloton PP line in 2012.

The project represents the 22nd and 23rd UNIPOL PP Process Technology reactor lines licensed in China. With this license, the total design and operating capacity of UNIPOL PP lines in China will exceed 7,500 kilotons per year.

Grace's all gas-phase UNIPOL PP Process Technology provides the most advanced and broadest range of homopolymers, random copolymers, and impact copolymers in the industry. As the simplest of all PP process technologies, with fewer moving parts and less equipment than any alternative, its reliable, stable, and predictable operation leads to lower capital, operating, and maintenance costs.

Wang Mingxiang, Chairman of Oriental Energy, said, "The focus for our new plant is to serve the growing PP market demand in China with the most economical investment and with broad product capability. We are glad to work with Grace to meet our business objectives leveraging our excellent experience using the UNIPOL PP technology."

Al Beninati, President of Grace's Specialty Catalysts business segment, said, "Grace is very pleased that the success of our previous license with Oriental Energy resulted in an additional license at the facility. Combined with our non-phthalate CONSISTA catalysts, the state-of-the-art technology will enable the Ningbo facility to provide a wide portfolio of advanced products to their customers."

As MRC informed before, W. R. Grace & Co., has recently contracted to license its UNIPOL PP process technology to Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) for the integrated petrochemical complex at its Al-Zour refinery and Sinochem Quanzhou Petrochemical Co., Ltd. for a 1-MMtpy ethylene cracker and refinery expansion project at its facility in Quanzhou, Fujian province, China. Expected to open in 2023, the KIPIC complex is designed to produce 940 ktpy of PP, including high-end homopolymer, random copolymer and impact copolymer thermoplastic resins. KIPIC is a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), Kuwait’s national oil company. A long-time Grace customer, KPC previously licensed UNIPOL PP Process Technology for an affiliate’s JV.

Lanxess completes expansion of Saltigo facility in Leverkusen

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lanxess has completed the expansion of its custom synthesis Saltigo business unit in Leverkusen, Germany, as per the company's press release.

The company invested EUR60m in building two new multi-purpose production lines at the Central Organics Pilot Plant (ZeTO) as well as the construction of a neighbouring tank container storage facility.

"Production will already be up and running in the new facilities by early January 2018," said Saltigo managing director Torsten Derr. "The additional capacities will be available at just the right time, on schedule and within budget as we had planned."

Following the expansion, ZeTO’s total reactor volume will be 570 cubic metres (cbm) with the largest of the 75 stirred-tank reactors having a capacity of 16cbm. Capacities for solids isolation have also been expanded significantly, the company said.

As MRC informed before, in early 2016, Lanxess AG started up a second production line for high-performance plastics compounding at its facility in Gastonia, N.C. The new line represented an investment of about USD15 million and doubles the site’s annual production capacity from 20,000 to 40,000 metric tons. In the plant, the basic polymers nylon and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) are mixed and refined with special additives and glass fiber, according to client requirements, to make the high-performance plastic product lines Durethan and Pocan.

Lanxess is a leading specialty chemicals company with about 16,600 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of Lanxess is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.

Magellan Midstream hits full capacity at Corpus Christi condensate splitter

MOSCOW (MRC) — Magellan Midstream Partners said on Tuesday that its condensate splitter in Corpus Christi, Texas, reached maximum processing capacity of 50,000 bpd after being knocked offline because of Hurricane Harvey, said Reuters.

The splitter was taken out of service on Aug. 24 and returned to service a month later, according to spokesman Bruce Heine. The company expects the facility to be operating through the rest of the fourth quarter.

Asia LNG spot prices steady at 3-year high on outages, tender awards, oil

MOSCOW (MRC) - Asian spot LNG prices held steady near three-year highs this week as production problems in Indonesia, higher oil and European gas benchmarks and tender awards lent support, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Spot prices for January delivery were unchanged at USD9.85/MMBtu. Renewed Indian demand for spot cargoes in January and beyond helped buoy markets even as traders assessed that the two biggest buyers, South Korea and Japan, may keep a low profile for the rest of winter, barring unseasonably cold weather.

Korea Gas Corp is estimated to have recently purchased 10 cargoes to cover the remainder of its winter needs and Japanese importers showed few signs of topping up stocks for now. It is possible that technical faults affecting Indonesia's giant Bontang export facility - triggering the loss of up to 7 cargoes, or 20% of monthly output - may push Japanese off-takers to seek alternative supply.

There was no sign yet of this happening, with some sources saying Bontang was discussing with suppliers to reschedule deliveries. Exxon Mobil evacuated non-essential staff working in the highlands of Papua New Guinea due to unrest in the area but there have been no signs of LNG export disruptions as yet.

"Beyond India, buyers are pretty shy about showing their requirements," a trader said, due to wariness about triggering further price gains. India's Bharat Petroleum came out this week with two tenders seeking a spot cargo in January and three more spread across May, August and October.

Gujarat State Petroleum Corp sought a delivery in the second half of December. Coal stockpiles across India remain precariously low, adding to pressure for price-sensitive importers to continue buying LNG, despite the fact spot prices hold premiums to long-term, oil-linked contract levels.

Chinese buying has been a key ingredient in the months-long Asian rally, though the extent of residual spot winter demand remains uncertain. PetroChina's terminal in east China is expected to receive 31 shipments this winter through March, with volumes up 21% from a year ago.

China's October imports were the second-highest on record. Further support came from rising Brent crude oil, up nearly four percent from a week ago to USD63.63/bbl, and January gas at Britain's gas trading hub, which rose nine percent during the period.

Additionally, Russia's Sakhalin-II liquefaction plant sold two cargos via tender for January loading at prices estimated to be around USD9.85/MMBtu, traders said. It was not immediately possible to confirm the identities of the buyers.

On the supply side, Angola LNG put up Nov. 28-30 loading cargo for sale via tender on Friday. France's Engie was assessing potential for a reload from Britain's Isle of Grain terminal or France's Montoir in December, holding vessel charter talks. December demand from Turkey was reported by traders.

In Italy, Dufenergy Trading won a tender to supply the OLT floating import terminal offshore Toscana in December. Further forward, Pakistan LNG continued with its pattern of locking-in supply for the spare capacity of its second terminal, the BW Integrity, due to begin operations this month or in December.

The terminal received its first cool-down, or commissioning cargo, from trader Gunvor using the Golar Kelvin tanker. On Friday, Pakistan LNG put out a call for four March cargoes.

The Golar Winter floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) took on a small cool-down cargo at Spain's Mugardos terminal on Oct. 22 and currently appears to be heading back to Brazil, where is serves as an import terminal.