PVC imports to Belarus rose by 49% in Q1 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into Belarus increased in the first three months of 2018 by 49% to 8,800 tonnes, according to MRC's DataScope report.

According to the Statistical Committee of Republic of Belarus, in March 2018, local converters maintained the February level of PVC purchasing, despite weak demand for finished products. March imports was 3,100 tonnes.

Thus, imports of unmixed PVC grew in the first three months of 2018 to 8,800 tonnes from 6,000 tonnes a year earlier, with local windows producers accounting for the main increase in demand.

Russian producers with the share of 89% of the Belarusian market were the key suppliers of resin to Belarus in the first quarter. Producers from Germany and Ukraine were the second and third largest suppliers, respectively.

New GES contract win for WorleyParsons Saudi Arabia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- WorleyParsons has been awarded a general engineering service (GES) contract by Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company Ltd (YASREF), as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

YASREF operates a full-conversion refinery that covers about 5.2 million square meters in the Yanbu Industrial City in Saudi Arabia. WorleyParsons will deliver engineering and consultancy services for the refinery to optimize the production of YASREF’s facilities.

The services will be provided from WorleyParsons’ offices in Saudi Arabia for a term of three years with an option to extend for a further three years.

“We are pleased to be awarded this contract by YASREF to allow us to continue to support them in optimizing the facilities in the Yanbu Industrial City,” said Andrew Wood, Chief Executive Officer of WorleyParsons

LyondellBasell Bayport Complex receives prestigious Safety Award

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the world's largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies, has announced that its Bayport Complex located in Pasadena, Texas, has received the Distinguished Safety Award (DSA) from American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) for exemplary safety performance in 2017, as per the company's press release.

The DSA represents the highest achievement in safety and reflects excellence in occupational safety, process safety and occupational health in the domestic refining and petrochemical manufacturing industries.

"Safety is a core value for LyondellBasell and we are very proud of the Bayport Complex for this recognition of safety excellence," said Dale Friedrichs, LyondellBasell vice president, Health, Safety and Environment. "It is not about measuring the number, it’s about knowing our people go home safe at the end of every shift, every day."

The LyondellBasell Bayport Complex is one of only three manufacturing sites in the country to receive the prestigious honor this year. The announcement was made at the AFPM National Occupational and Process Safety Conference in San Antonio on May 16.

"From the moment you set foot on our site, you will hear our safety message, see it in action and understand our mission," said Stephen Goff, Bayport Complex site manager. "This achievement is the result of our team having great attention to detail and remaining vigilant when it comes to safety."

In addition to the Bayport Complex, four other LyondellBasell sites received top safety awards from AFPM. The Elite Gold Safety Award, which recognizes facilities with safety performance in the top one percentile, was presented to the company’s Chocolate Bayou facility in Alvin, Texas, as well as its Clinton, Iowa, facility. Additionally, LyondellBasell’s Victoria, Texas, and Edison, New Jersey, plants received the Elite Silver Safety Award, which recognizes facilities with safety performance in the top five percent.

The AFPM Safety Awards Program is part of a comprehensive safety program developed by AFPM’s Safety and Health Committee to promote accident prevention in the petroleum refining and petrochemical manufacturing industries.

As MRC wrote previously, in August 2016, LyondellBasell made the final investment decision to build a high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant on the US Gulf Coast. The plant will have an annual capacity of 1.1 billion pounds (500,000 metric tons) and will be the first commercial plant to employ LyondellBasell's new proprietary Hyperzone PE technology. The start-up of the new plant is scheduled for 2019.

LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its 13,000 employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, and improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road. LyondellBasell sells products into approximately 100 countries and is the world's largest licensor of polyolefin technologies.

Exxon Beaumont refinery overhauling coker, hydrotreater

MOSCOW (MRC) - Exxon Mobil Corp plans to carry out work on the coker at its 362,300 barrel-per-day (bpd) Beaumont, Texas, refinery in May and June while a hydrotreater is shut for overhaul, sources familiar with plant operations said, as per Reuters.

Exxon spokeswoman Sarah Nordin confirmed that the Beaumont refinery was overhauling some units.

"The Beaumont plant has shut down some of its units and associated operations for planned maintenance beginning May 13, 2018," Nordin said. "We have communicated this turnaround to our customers and expect to meet all contractual commitments."

Exxon is overhauling the 40,000 bpd CHD-2 diesel hydrotreater through the last week of June, the sources said. Maintenance work is also being done on a sulfur recovery unit.

Work will be performed on two of the furnaces on the 40,000 bpd coker. One furnace will remain in operation while the other is shut, the sources said.

The Beaumont refinery coker converts residual crude oil from distillation units into motor fuel feedstocks and petroleum coke, which can be used as a coal substitute.

Hydrotreaters remove hydrogen sulfide from motor fuels and their feedstocks in compliance with U.S. environmental


Egypt aims for USD10B foreign investment in oil, gas in 2018/19

MOSCOW (MRC) - Egypt aims for foreign investment in the oil and gas sector to reach about USD10 billion in the 2018/19 fiscal year that begins in July, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Molla said he expected foreign investments to total the same amount for the current fiscal year, marking a 25 percent increase from the previous year.

The 25 percent gain comes as a result of foreign companies investing in major gas projects in the Mediterranean, he said.

Egypt aims to increase its gas production from newly discovered fields, which include the mammoth Zohr asset discovered by Italy’s Eni in 2015.

Once a gas exporter, Egypt hopes to halt imports by 2019.