Iraq extends bid deadline for construction of Mosul oil refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) - Iraq has extended the deadline for foreign companies and investors to bid for the construction and operation of a new 100 Mbpd refinery near Mosul in the northern province of Nineveh, the oil ministry said on Sunday, as per Reuters.

Bidding documents provide for two investment models – build-own-operate (BOO) and build-operate-transfer (BOOT), the ministry said in a statement.

Documents for the bidding process will be now available until May 15 instead of April 1 and the bidding will close on June 14 instead of May 15, it said.

Lianyungang selects CB&I technology for two new Chinese ethylene units

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shanghai Lianyungang Petrochemical Co., a subsidiary of Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical Co., has awarded a technology contract to CB&I for two new ethylene units at Lianyungang's petrochemical facility in Jiangsu Prov-ince, China, as per Apic-online.

CB&I's scope of work includes a process design package, heater engineering and technology license for the ethylene facilities, which will have a capacity of 1.25-million t/y each. A schedule for the project and value of the contract were not disclosed.

CB&I will utilize its "market-leading," low-cost ethane cracker flowsheet, which reduces investment costs by eliminating plant equipment, CB&I noted.

"Once complete, these will be China's first ethylene plants to crack 100% ethane feed, signifying a new wave of ethylene projects fed by shale gas ethane sourced from the U.S.," explained CB&I. "Currently all large ethylene plants in China crack mixed feeds of liquid feeds."

Raizen buys Shell downstream assets in Argentina for USD950 mln

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazil's Raizen Combustiveis SA agreed to buy downstream assets in Argentina from Royal Dutch Shell PLC for USD950 million, according to a securities filing, reported Reuters.

Raizen Combustiveis, a joint venture between Brazil?s Cosan SA Industria e Comercio and Shell, will have a 20 percent market share in fuel distribution in Argentina after acquiring a network of 645 gas stations in the country.

Raizen also is acquiring a refinery in Buenos Aires, LPG and aviation fuel terminals and a lubricant plant, among others, which have an annual net revenue of USD3.3 billion.

Reuters first reported that Raizen would buy the business last August.

The deal in Argentina is similar to the model Shell operates in downstream assets in Brazil. The network of 6,200 gas stations that uses the Shell brand is owned by its joint venture with Cosan.

During the sale process, Raizen?s bid topped rival offers by Argentine oil company YPF SA, Chile's Quinenco SA and China National Petroleum Corp's Petrochina Co.

The businesses acquired by Raizen will continue their relationships with Shell through various commercial agreements, representing an estimated value of $300 million, Shell said.

The Anglo-Dutch company said it will keep its upstream interests in the Vaca Muerta shale formation, which was not included in the Raizen deal, as it "sees substantial long-term growth potential in Argentina's shale resources."

The sale is part of Shell's strategy to simplify its portfolio through a USD30 billion divestment program by 2018, and follows a strategic review of the downstream business in Argentina that began in August 2016.

As MRC informed before, Royal Dutch Shell Plc is selling its upstream assets in New Zealand to Austria’s OMV AG (OMVV.VI) for USD578 million. The March agreement includes the sale of Maui, Pohokura and Tank Farms. After deal closure, Shell Taranaki and Shell New Zealand employees will become a part of OMV New Zealand, Shell said.

Royal Dutch Shell, commonly known as Shell, is an Anglo–Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the United Kingdom.Created by the merger of Royal Dutch Petroleum and UK-based Shell Transport & Trading, it is the fourth largest company in the world as of 2014, in terms of revenue, and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors".

Japan policy shift to allow use of U.S. ethanol applauded

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Growth Energy and their member organizations welcome the news that the Japanese government’s new biofuel policy will allow imports of ETBE made from U.S. corn-based ethanol, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"The U.S. Grains Council is pleased by this decision and that Japan recognizes these improved benefits of U.S. product. We continue to work around the world, sharing the benefits of U.S. ethanol with other countries that are serious about reducing their GHG emissions,” said Tom Sleight, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Grains Council, which has an office in Japan working closely with the Japanese government and industry. "From this decision, it is unequivocal that continued improvements in carbon intensity reductions are critical to gain and maintain market access for U.S. ethanol."

The change comes as part of the country's update of its existing sustainability policy, approved in 2010, in which only sugarcane-based ethanol was eligible for import and which only allowed sugarcane-based ethanol for the production of ETBE, an oxygenate. The new policy calls for an increase in the carbon intensity reduction requirements of ethanol used as a feedstock to make ETBE to meet a 55 percent reduction, up from 50 percent, and recognizes corn-based, U.S.-produced ethanol’s ability to meet that goal, even with the higher greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction standard.

Japan will now allow U.S. ethanol to meet up to 44 percent of a total estimated demand of 217 million gallons of ethanol used to make ETBE, or potentially 95.5 million gallons of U.S.-produced ethanol annually. Japan imports nearly all of the ETBE from ethanol that it uses.

This decision by the Japanese government is based on its evaluation and life cycle assessment update of U.S. corn-based ethanol. The U.S. industry’s efforts to maximize production efficiency through technological innovations that lead to higher GHG emission reductions for corn-based ethanol and the emergence of co-products like distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) have supported this new access to the Japanese market while positively contributing to the feed and energy value chains.

RusVinyl shut down PVC production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- RusVinyl, Russia's largest polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer (Nizhny Novgorod region), a joint venture of SIBUR Holding and Belgian group Solvay, shut down its PVC production for a scheduled turnaround, reported MRC analytsts.

The plant's representatives said RusVinyl took off-stream its PVC production for a scheduled maintenance last weekend. The outage will not be long and will last approximately until 5 May. RusVinyl's design capacity is 300,000 tonnes/year of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) and 30,000 tonnes/year of emulsion polyvinyl chloride (EPVC).

This is the first scheduled shutdown for maintenance at Russian PVC plants this year.

SayanskKhimPlast will be the second one to shut down its production capacities for a turnaround. The exact dates of the outage have not been announced by the Sayansk producer yet, but the turnaround is scheduled for July and will last for about a month. The plant's annual production capacity is 300,000 tonnes.