Unipetrol completes largest turnaround in its history at Kralupy Refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Unipetrol has completed the planned six-week turnaround of its refinery in Kralupy nad Vltavou and has fully restored its operation, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The total maintenance and modernization costs exceeded one billion crowns of which CZK 400 million were spent on new investment projects. Unipetrol performs regular turnarounds of its refineries according to the legislative requirements in roughly five-year cycles. The previous turnaround of the Kralupy Refinery took place in 2013.

"The shutdown is a planned halting of production, the primary reason being the regular maintenance of all technologies in the area according to legislative and technical and technological requirements. It is also an opportunity to implement investment projects and technological changes that we would otherwise have to install while operating or during a partial downtime, which could have an impact on the smoothness and economic efficiency of the operation," explained Jaroslav Hacko, Production Manager of the Unipetrol Group’s Kralupy nad Vltavou Refinery.

The turnaround at the Kralupy Refinery was the largest in its history. Compared to the past, it differed in the volume of service and investment work. "In addition to the detailed inspection and maintenance of all facilities, we have modernized the technologies in the main production units. In advance, we have thereby met the legislative requirements of the European Union and the Czech Republic to implement the so-called Best Available Techniques (BAT) that will come into force in 2020," said Jaroslav Hacko: "The restart of the production units was accompanied by temporary sound and lights effects. We apologize to all residents of the surrounding towns and villages for these inconveniences," he added.

The refinery and petrochemical group Unipetrol is the only crude oil processor in the Czech Republic, an important producer of fuels, plastics and fertilizers, and the owner of the Benzina petrol station network, which, with its 402 stations, is the largest network in the Czech Republic. Oil is fed to the Czech Republic from Russia via the Druzhba pipeline. From Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Arab and African countries, oil flows through the IKL pipeline (Ingolstadt - Kralupy nad Vltavou - Litvinov), which follows the TAL oil pipeline from Trieste, Italy. In the Czech Republic, two Unipetrol refineries process the imported crude oil - in Kralupy nad Vltavou and Zaluzi u Litvinova, where the related production of petrochemical products is based. The total volume of oil supplies to the Czech Republic reaches eight million tons a year, of which approximately one third is processed in the Kralupy nad Vltavou refinery.

As MRC reported earlier, in April 2017, technology, engineering and project management company Neste Jacobs and refinery and petrochemical group Unipetrol signed an agreement for Neste Jacobs to perform a comprehensive energy efficiency study of Unipetrol's Litvinov oil refinery in Czech Republic.

Unipetrol , a.s. is a group of companies operating in the petrochemical industry in the Czech Republic. In 2005 Unipetrol became a part of the PKN ORLEN Group, the largest oil processor in Central Europe. The UNIPETROL Group is oriented mostly towards oil processing, fuel distribution and petrochemical production. In all of these business areas the Unipetrol Group is among the key players both in the Czech Republic and on the Central European market. The Group ranks among the leading firms in the Czech Republic in terms of its revenues, and employs almost 4,000 people.

Valero signs long-term agreements to supply refined products to northern Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Valero Marketing and Supply de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Valero Energy Corporation, has announced that it has signed long-term agreements to directly supply refined products into northern Mexico from its Corpus Christi and Three Rivers, Texas, refineries via a pipeline and terminal expansion in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, recently announced by NuStar Energy, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This transaction enhances Valero’s existing infrastructure for supplying northern Mexico and improves the efficiency of fuel delivery into this area. The company expects to begin delivering products through this expanded facility by year-end. "This agreement is another step in our strategy to extend Valero’s supply chain," said Gary Simmons, Senior Vice President Marketing & Supply. "This transaction combined with our agreements to supply central Mexico demonstrates our commitment to efficiently supply gasoline and diesel to the growing Mexican markets and will further strengthen our distribution presence, including branded sales."

In August 2017, Valero announced a long-term agreement with IEnova to import refined products at the new Port of Veracruz and distribute into central Mexico. IEnova won the Port of Veracruz’s bid for a 20-year concession to build and operate a new terminal with 1.4 million barrels of storage capacity, which has since expanded to 2.1 million barrels.

In addition, IEnova is building two inland storage terminals strategically located near Puebla and Mexico City that will be supplied by rail. Valero has exclusive use of all three terminals. IEnova expects the Veracruz terminal to start operations by the end of second-quarter 2019, with the inland terminals coming online in third-quarter 2019.

As MRC reported before, in early May 2018, CB&I has announced that its CDAlky technology had been selected by Valero Refining - New Orleans LLC for its St. Charles Alkylation Project located in Norco, Louisiana

Akzo Nobel reports 28% drop in Q1 core profit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dutch paints and coatings maker Akzo Nobel reported a larger-than-expected 28 percent drop in first-quarter core profit, as sales in the marine and oil industry continued to decline, as per Reuters.

Akzo reported adjusted operating income of 149 million euros (USD182 million) for the first three months of the year, while analysts polled by Reuters had predicted a result of 181 million euros.

The results excluded Akzo’s speciality chemicals unit, which the maker of Dulux paints last month agreed to sell for 10.1 billion euros to a group of buyers led by Carlyle Group.

Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, active in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 55,000 people.

Invista announced success of latest P8 PTA technology in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Invista Performance Technologies (IPT) has announced the success of its latest P8 PTA technology deployed on Jiaxing Petrochemical’s second PTA Line, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Started up in record time in December 2017, the plant is now consistently operating at 100 percent design rate with a variable cost performance better than the target, firmly establishing Jiaxing Petrochemical’s second PTA Line as the global leader in terms of raw material and utility consumptions.

"It is a proud moment for IPT, seeing our P8 PTA technology demonstrate the productivity and variable cost performance that we promised to the market and our loyal customer, Jiaxing," Mike Pickens, President of Invista Performance Technologies said. This would not have been possible without the excellent teamwork and meticulous efforts put in by Jiaxing Petrochemicals and IPT teams."

Mr. Xu, President of Tongkun Group, is appreciative of the performance of Jiaxing Petrochemical’s second PTA line. He said, "The second PTA line is running well, and we look forward to continued support from Invista for further optimization of the plant. This represents yet another major achievement by IPT in the innovative development and successful deployment of industry-leading PTA technologies aimed at creating a competitive advantage for our global customers.

Invista’s latest P8 PTA technology is available as a license package from INVISTA Performance Technologies. For more information, please visitwww.ipt.invista.com.

As MRC wrote previously, Invista successfully started up a new 215,000-t/y hexamethylene diamine (HMD) facility at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park in China.

Invista is one of the world's largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications. With a business presence in over 20 countries, Invista's global businesses deliver exceptional value for their customers through technology innovations, market insights and a powerful portfolio of global trademarks.

Pertamina may look for partner in Balikpapan refinery upgrade

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indonesia's state energy firm PT Pertamina will consider looking for a partner to upgrade its Balikpapan refinery in East Kalimantan, acting Chief Executive Nicke Widyawati said, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"We are doing it ourselves for now, but along the way, we are open to the option of partnering," Widyawati told reporters, adding that a few foreign companies have expressed interest.

Pertamina had started upgrading the refinery last year and hopes to finish construction by 2021.

As MRC reported earlier, in 2016, PT Pertamina and Russia’s Rosneft OAO signed a cooperation agreement that includes a plan to build a new oil refinery in the Southeast Asian nation.

Pertamina is an Indonesian state-owned oil and natural gas corporation based in Jakarta. It was created in August 1968 by the merger of Pertamin (established 1961) and Permina (established 1957). Pertamina is the world's largest producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).