Clariant wins contract to supply CATOFIN catalysts for world largest PDH unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has announced that it was awarded a contract by Jinneng Science & Technology Company, to design the world’s largest singletrain propane dehydrogenation unit in collaboration with CB&I, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The plant will be located in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China and have the capacity to produce 900,000 metric tons per annum (MTA) of propylene when completed.

The project is based on CB&I’s advanced CATOFIN propane dehydrogenation technology combined with Clariant’s custom-made CATOFIN catalyst and Heat Generating Material. The partners have previously collaborated on numerous projects to design specialized propane dehydrogenation units both in China and around the world.

The CATOFIN process is a proven and highly reliable technology of producing olefins, such as propylene or isobutylene, from light paraffin feedstocks with high operational reliability and efficiency. Based on Clariant’s state-of-the-art catalysts, the technology allows maximum conversion of raw materials at optimum reactor pressure and temperature, resulting in high yields at lower operating costs.

Incorporated into the process, Clariant’s patented metal-oxide Heat Generating Material further increases the catalyst’s selectivity and yield, while conserving energy and reducing emissions. Jinneng Science & Technology Company, is a major industrial producer of fine chemical products and coal chemical products. As sustainability is a core component of their business strategy, the company integrates energy efficiency, environmental protection and innovative recycling practices into all production processes.

Mr. Qingping Qin, Founder and CEO of Jinneng Science & Technology Company commented, "We are proud to be building the world’s largest propane dehydrogenation unit using the proven and advanced CATOFIN technology. It will enable us to generate tremendous economic benefit and to realize our ambitious development strategy in the years to come." Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President & General Manager Business Unit Catalysts at Clariant, also welcomed the news, stating, "Clariant is honored to be part of this historic project for Jinneng Science & Technology Company. We share their passion for sustainability, which is an integral part of our innovation chain. Our CATOFIN catalysts and Heat Generating Material are perfect examples of how we are constantly developing new and improved products and services to help our customer meet their needs."

As MRC informed before, in June 2016, Clariant inaugurated its new production plant for water-based pigment preparations in Mexico. The new plant located in Santa Clara doubles Clariant’s Mexico annual production capacity for water-based pigment preparations and enhances its ability to serve customers across North and Latin America.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints. Clariant India has local masterbatch production activities at Rania, Kalol and Nandesari (Gujarat) and Vashere (Maharashtra) sites in India.

Renewable Energy Group completes USD32 M Ralston Biodiesel expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Renewable Energy Group, Inc. celebrated with local, state and industry leaders the completion of upgrades at its Ralston, Iowa biorefinery increasing the production capacity from 12 to 30 million gallons per yearas, per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

REG invested USD32 million dollars to expand the production capacity as well as significant upgrades to logistics and storage capabilities.

“REG is positioned for long-term growth along with the entire biodiesel industry. We are proud of the project’s completion as it shows our ability to deliver more high quality products to meet market demand.” said Randy Howard, CEO. “The investment to further expand production was an easy decision for our company with the growth of our feedstock provider (Landus Cooperative) and the state of Iowa’s support of incentivizing higher biodiesel blends."

REG broke ground on this expansion in November of 2016 with an initial USD24 million commitment. As the project developed, REG invested USD8 million for additional improvements. First Midwest Bank provided USD20 million to partially finance the expansion.

In total, the project included 150,000 man hours and onsite peak manpower was up to 160 workers. The project was completed with zero recordable injuries.

"The Ralston plant was first built in 2002, as we moved forward with the expansion, we also took the time to improve key safety items including a fire protection system and a storm shelter,” said Derek Winkel, Executive Director, Manufacturing Operations. “Our new load out system enhances our ability to efficiently load and unload products for our transportation suppliers and customers."

REG Ralston is one of the company’s 13 biomass-based diesel refineries. REG has a combined effective production capacity of 565 million gallons per year.

Total to develop integrated gas project in Oman

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Oman to develop natural gas resources in Oman. This MoU covers both upstream and downstream businesses, as per the company's press-release.

Total and Shell as operator will develop several natural gas discoveries located in the Greater Barik area on onshore Block 6 with respective shares of 25% and 75%, as per the agreement between both companies and before possible State back-in, with the objective of an initial gas production of around 500 MMcfd and a potential to reach 1 bcf/d at a later stage.

Total will use its equity gas entitlement as feedstock to develop in Oman a regional hub for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering service to supply LNG as a fuel to marine vessels. This will be achieved thanks to a new small-scale modular liquefaction plant to be built in Sohar port. The plant will comprise a train of around 1 Mt per year and will offer the flexibility for expansion as required by the development of the LNG bunkering market.

"We are pleased to sign this MoU with the Sultanate of Oman that will give us access to new gas resources and the opportunity to develop an integrated gas project,” stated Arnaud Breuillac, President Exploration & Production at Total. "We will bring our expertise in LNG and will introduce access to a new gas market for the Sultanate. Developing an LNG bunkering service will generate in-country value and job opportunities, and will support industry diversification through fostering the shipping activity in Oman."

Univar to distribute BASF care chemicals

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Univar Inc., a global chemical and ingredient distributor and provider of value-added services has announced the expansion of their agreement with BASF to include the Care Chemicals business for the US Home, Industrial & Institutional, as well as Vehicle Care product lines, as per CISION PR Newswire.

As a leading supplier in North America, and with dedicated technical experts to help customers overcome their formulation and application challenges, Univar serves as a trusted advisor to customers in the Household & Industrial Cleaning (HIC) segment. BASF's Care Chemicals business offers a broad portfolio of products for the hygiene, personal care, home care, industrial & institutional cleaning, as well as technical applications. Additionally, BASF's leading position in the HIC market coupled with Univar's breadth of technical services, global network reach, and industry leading digital commerce platform, provides unmatched support for customer formulation needs.

"This expanded agreement means Univar customers will enjoy access to the complete range of HIC products within BASF's portfolio, while also enjoying the support of our dedicated HIC labs across the country and technical experts with excellent formulation competency. We continue to assess market needs so that we can offer our customers products and services designed to help them overcome challenges," said Aaron Lee, Univar's director of surfactants, chelants and HIC.

"Customers will also continue to benefit from our digital market leadership through the platform with its 24/7 access from any device, document downloads, two-click reordering, and Univar's entire catalog at their fingertips. By serving this market with these product lines, we will help customers stay ahead of industry trends like "Safer Choice," which will continue to gain popularity as millennials' buying power increases, and as regulations like REACH continue to expand," said Brian Jurcak, Univar's vice president of product management.

Founded in 1924, Univar is a global chemical and ingredient distributor and provider of value-added services, working with leading suppliers worldwide. Supported by a comprehensive team of sales and technical professionals with deep specialty and market expertise, Univar operates hundreds of distribution facilities throughout North America, Western Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

As MRC informed previously, in December 2017, BASF’s Coatings division inaugurated a new automotive coatings plant at its Bangpoo manufacturing site, Samutprakarn province, Thailand. The new plant is the first BASF automotive coatings manufacturing facility in ASEAN, and will produce solventborne and waterborne automotive coatings to meet growing market demand in the region.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It 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. BASF generated sales of EUR64.5 billion in 2017.

Study reveals USD7B profit potential for unconventional oil and gas operators that reach top quartile

MOSCOW (MRC) -- By adopting advanced automation technologies and new processes, unconventional oil and gas operators can move from average to top-quartile performance, capturing up to USD7 billion in profits annually, according to a recent study conducted by Emerson and industry benchmarking firms of onshore producers in the lower 48, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

In a "lower-for-longer" oil price environment, many companies are turning to Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies and the promise of digital transformation to help embed expertise in work processes, improve production and begin the path to operational excellence. Emerson’s Operational Certainty™ program helps oil and gas operators confidently deploy a digital transformation strategy in a targeted, scalable and measurable manner. Emerson estimates an average operator that adopts a comprehensive improvement program could see profitability improve by as much as 10 percent.

The analysis shows higher production rates, lower lease operating expenses (LOE) and a reduction in safety risks have the greatest impact on overall operational improvements. Improvement in these areas matters most to liquids-weighted unconventional oil and gas operators and helps them achieve top quartile performance. Top Quartile is defined as achieving operations and capital performance in the top 25 percent of peer companies and requires changing historic work processes across multiple functions.

For unconventional oil and gas operators, Emerson identified key technologies to quickly improve operations in a scalable way:
• Optimizing production with automated production surveillance, modeling and analytics and implementing produced fluids management techniques to reduce lost and unaccounted-for production
• Improving equipment reliability by leveraging analytics and automation diagnostics to lower LOE, providing greater visibility of costs per well