Honeywell and Equate sign agreement to enhance productivity of petrochemical plants in Kuwait

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell and Equate Petrochemical Company, a global producer of petrochemicals, have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to further the development of innovative technologies to support operations at Equate’s industrial complexes, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Equate is currently the owner and single-operator of several fully integrated world-class petrochemical complexes in Kuwait, North America and Europe. The company is Kuwait’s first international petrochemical joint venture and the world’s second-largest producer of ethylene glycol (EG).

"As a global software-industrial company, Honeywell has supplied the petrochemical industry with leading technologies and services for decades," said George Bou Mitri, president of Honeywell Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. "After half a century in Kuwait, Honeywell’s commitment to deliver solutions that enhance the productivity of our customers is as strong as ever. We are proud to work with Equate to build local petrochemical capability that supports the New Kuwait 2035 strategy to become a global hub for the oil, gas and petrochemicals industry."

As part of the MOU, Equate will test newly released Honeywell technologies, including the latest additions to the Honeywell Connected Plant portfolio, as well as assess Equate’s requirements and new ideas at Honeywell facilities. The companies will join efforts to analyze Equate’s needs and create added value through increased productivity and reduced downtime, setting a new standard for the petrochemical industry in the region.

"We are firm believers that success requires input from all our key stakeholders, including our technology suppliers, such as Honeywell," said Tareq Jafar Al-Kandari, vice president of Technical Services, Equate. "Being part of the global petrochemical industry with operations in three continents and contributing to various economies, Equate is strongly committed to absolute reliability and sustainability in all operations and activities. Our relationship with Honeywell is based on innovation and trust, which are key factors to ensure overall progress."

Honeywell has had a presence in Kuwait for more than 53 years and is the leading automation provider in the country that has about 9% of the world’s oil reserves and is among the world’s top ten oil exporters. Honeywell has successfully delivered more than 2,000 projects in Kuwait and services 50 sites daily.

As MRC informed before, Kuwait-based Equate Petrochemical Company continued its global growth through its wholly owned subsidiary MEGlobal with the launch of work on a new world-scale ethylene glycol (EG) manufacturing facility in Freeport, Texas, US, in August 2016. With this plant, Equate is the first Kuwaiti petrochemical company to invest in the US. The new facility, to be completed during 2019, will increase Equate’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) capacity by 750,000 metric tonnes annually and will enhance the company’s global presence to meet customer needs.

Equate is the world’s second largest EG producer with 12% of the global market share.

Equate Petrochemical Company K.S.C.C., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures, markets, and distributes petrochemical products. The company produces ethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene, styrene monomer, paraxylene, heavy aromatics, and benzene; polyethylene for various applications, including flexible and food packaging, industrial packaging, agricultural films, HIC, and others; and monoethylene and diethylene glycol that are used in polyester fiber for fabrics, water-based adhesive materials, shoe polish, and printer inks, as well as automotive anti-freeze and coolants. The company sells its products in Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, North America, Asia, Europe, and internationally. Equate Petrochemical Company K.S.C.C. was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Safat, Kuwait.

Alberta energy diversification recommendations serve as model for rest of Canada

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) welcomed Alberta's Energy Diversification Advisory Committee (EDAC) report, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The expert committee shared its recommendations to increase the value of energy resources, create jobs and attract new investment to Alberta. "CIAC shares the goals of seeking to optimize the return to Albertans and support continued industry investment, economic diversification and responsible development," said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC. "The EDAC panel engaged with stakeholders in extensive consultation and has brought forth meaningful recommendations worth consideration."

"Alberta and Canada need to compete for new investments in resource value-added chemical manufacturing," continued Masterson. "This is an important step in understanding the opportunity for Alberta with expanded resource value-added manufacturing but also the competitiveness issues that exist when investors are looking at Alberta versus other North American jurisdictions."

The chemistry sector is already a key contributor to Alberta's energy value-add strategy. Natural gas liquids, in particular ethane, and natural gas itself (methane) are converted into high-value chemicals and fertilizers resulting in USD16 billion in sales in 2016, with over USD8 billion in exports. Additionally, the industry creates well-paid high-value jobs (over 1/3 of its employees have university degrees) with important multiplier effects within local economies – each chemical job results in another five in related sectors and services.

"By adding value to Canada's low-carbon energy resources, the chemistry sector is helping Canada take a leadership position in meeting the global climate challenge," added Masterson. "We look forward to working closely with the government as these recommendations get implemented."

Nghi Son oil refinery in Vietnam is ready for start-up on 28 February

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Vietnam's second oil refinery, Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical, will be ready for start-up on Feb. 28, its parent firm Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, or PetroVietnam said, reported Reuters.

The USD9 billion plant, co-owned by Kuwait Petroleum Europe BV and Japanese firms Idemitsu Kosan and Mitsui Chemicals , is designed to help Vietnam cope with a shortage of refined oil products.

Vietnam's first refinery Dung Quat currently supplies 30 percent of the country's total domestic fuel demand. The 200 Mbpd Nghi Son plant along with Dung Quat will help Vietnam meet 80 percent of its fuel demand.

Operations at Nghi Son, in Thanh Hoa province south of the capital of Hanoi, were previously delay but are now expected to begin producing commercial products such as paraxylene starting in April and, starting in May, A95 gasoline and diesel fuel, PetroVietnam said.

Nghi Son will process Kuwaiti crude oil to produce liquefied petroleum gas, gasoline, diesel, kerosene and jet fuel, mainly for the domestic market.

Kuwait Petroleum International and Idemitsu Kosan each own 35.1 percent, while PetroVietnam holds a 25.1 percent stake and Mitsui Chemicals has 4.7 percent.

Vietnam exports some crude oil but its shipments have been decreasing as production declines from older fields and as some production has become uneconomic amid lower oil prices.

Late last week, Thailand's Siam Cement and PetroVietnam started construction of a USD5.4 billion petrochemical site at Long Son, near the city of Vung Tau, east of Ho Chi Minh City. The site is scheduled to start operations in 2022.

FS Bioenergia, game changer in Brazil's ethanol industry, starts production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- There is a significant new player in the Brazilian biofuels industry. A grand opening was held this past week signaling the start of operations at FS Bioenergia, a USD115 million corn-only ethanol production facility located in Lucas do Rio Verde, Mato Grosso, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

FS Bioenergia is the first large-scale corn ethanol production plant in Brazil and is the result of an international collaboration between Brazilian agribusiness Fiagril and U.S.-based Summit Agricultural Group headquartered in Alden, Iowa. FS Bioenergia is the first corn-only ethanol production facility in Brazil. The landmark $115 million plant is an international collaboration between U.S.-based Summit Agricultural Group and Brazilian agribusiness Fiagril.
FS Bioenergia is the first corn-only ethanol production facility in Brazil. The landmark $115 million plant is an international collaboration between U.S.-based Summit Agricultural Group and Brazilian agribusiness Fiagril.
In its initial phase of operations, FS Bioenergia will annually process 22 million bushels of corn and produce more than 60 million gallons of corn ethanol, 6,200 tons of corn oil and 170,000 tons of valuable feed rations for Brazil's growing livestock industry. By 2018, FS Bioenergia's second phase of operations will increase corn processing and ethanol production two-fold.

"FS Bioenergia is the most modern and efficient ethanol production operation in the world and will revolutionize the biofuels landscape in Brazil," said Bruce Rastetter, founder and CEO of Summit Agricultural Group. "Summit Ag Group and Fiagril are proud to have delivered this historic project to Mato Grosso, and we look forward to the development of the region as a leader in ethanol, corn and livestock production."

FS Bioenergia's corn ethanol operation is considered a landmark project in Brazil that will deliver immediate value to the country. First, the plant will offset the country's increasing demand for domestic ethanol, which can't be met by the existing sugarcane ethanol production. Second, the facility will introduce to Mato Grosso valuable fiber and protein co-products known as dried distillers' grains (DDGs), which will serve as high-value feed for the expanding Brazilian livestock industry.

"This is a transformative moment for both agriculture and the renewable fuels industry in Brazil, said Marino Franz, founder of Fiagril. "FS Bioenergia will not only meet Brazil's growing demand for ethanol but it sets the stage for Mato Grosso to become a global leader in the production of corn ethanol."

Brazil began sugar cane ethanol production in the mid-1970s and today produces approximately 25 percent of the world's ethanol. Bank of America estimated that annual ethanol sales in Brazil could reach 13.5 billion U.S. gallons in 2022, two-thirds greater than the 8.1 billion gallons estimated in sugar cane ethanol production in 2016. The Mato Grosso region's substantial corn production – both proven and potential – make corn-derived ethanol the most viable option to complement existing sugar cane ethanol production and fulfill an annual multi-billion gallon shortfall.

Summit Agricultural Group and Fiagril broke ground on the corn-only ethanol production facility in early 2016. FS Bioenergia will employ roughly 150 full-time workers. In addition to ethanol and co-products for livestock feed, the ethanol facility will generate 60,000 megawatts of electricity to the local power grid.

FS Bioenergia utilized process technologies from ICM, Inc. of Colwich, Kansas. Since 1995, ICM has provided engineering, construction and operational services for more than 100 ethanol plants in North America.

India seeks 'reasonable' oil price from Saudi Arabia: minister

MOSCOW (MRC) - India is seeking a reasonable price for crude oil from Saudi Arabia, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, as per Reuters.

"Some instrument can be developed so that the pricing is suitable for both of us," Pradhan said after a meeting with Saudi Arabian counterpart Khalid al-Falih. "We must get a reasonable price for crude oil and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas)," he said.

Asia has become the biggest and most important buyer of crude oil from Saudi Aramco and the oil company wants to secure Asian markets for the long term as it faces competition from suppliers such as Russia and the United States.

In a bid to woo Saudi Arabian investment, India has offered Saudi Arabia a stake in the second phase of the country’s strategic oil reserves storage facility, Pradhan said. India is building a six million ton strategic oil reserve. It already has a 5 million ton strategic reserved stored at three locations.

"The way we have done an arrangement with ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) for storage facility, the same way we are discussing with Aramco (Saudi Aramco)," Pradhan said.

India and Saudi Arabia also discussed investment opportunities in a proposed oil refinery on the west coast of India with a capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day and a petrochemicals project in the southern city of Kakinada, Pradhan said.

"They are more than interested, we are discussing the nitty gritty of the projects " he said.

Saudi Aramco, world’s biggest oil producer, is investing in refineries abroad to help lock in demand for its crude and expand its market share ahead of its planned initial public offering. Last year Saudi Arabia pledged billions of dollars of investment in projects in Indonesia and Malaysia as part of long-term oil supply deals.