Owners of idle St. Croix oil refinery plan 2019 restart

MOSCOW (MRC) - The owners of a long-closed oil refinery on St. Croix will disclose an agreement with the Caribbean island’s governor to restart the plant and begin producing fuels late next year, according to people familiar with the talks, as per Reuters.

The refinery would process up to 150,000 barrels per day (Mbpd) and supply low-sulfur fuels required by an International Maritime Organization mandate that begins in 2020, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency review of the project.

The Caribbean is facing declining fuel supplies from Venezuela, which has sharply cut its shipments to the region.

Kenneth Mapp, the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, has scheduled a press conference for Monday morning to detail the deal with ArcLight Capital Partners and Limetree Bay Terminals LLC, which own the refinery, spokeswoman Lisa Posey said on Sunday. Any restart requires approval by the governor and legislature of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

BP Plc separately is in talks with the refinery’s owners to supply crude to the plant, said two of the people familiar with the matter. The deal under discussion would be similar to a supply and marketing arrangement BP struck with NARL Refining for the 115 Mbpd Come By Chance refinery in Newfoundland, one of the people said. That deal soured over two years ago.

BP spokesman Mike Abendhoff declined to comment. In the 1970s, the former Hovensa refinery on St. Croix was one of the world’s largest, able to process 650 Mbpd. It halted processing in 2012, filed for bankruptcy three years later and was sold to ArcLight and trading firm Freepoint Commodities. The two companies run Limetree Bay Terminals, a 32 million barrel oil storage and marine terminal on the site.


KBR technology selected for GS Caltex Grassroots Olefins Plant in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR, Inc. announced that it has been awarded a contract to supply its proprietary SCORETM Ethylene Technology to GS Caltex Corporation for a grassroots mixed feed cracker (MFC) for its project in Yeosu, South Korea, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide its innovative Selective Cracking Optimum Recovery (SCORETM) technology license and basic engineering design services for a 700 KTA ethylene mixed feed cracker to be built by GS Caltex, a company owned by GS Energy and U.S. based Chevron Corp. The new plant will use naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas and refinery off-gases as its main feedstocks. It will be constructed in the South Korean southern city of Yeosu where GS Caltex's 790,000 barrels-per-day refinery is located. The project will use KBR's highly selective SC-1 furnaces for the highest yield and flexibility.

"We are honored to be selected as the licensor for GS Caltex's first ethylene plant," said John Derbyshire, KBR President, Technology. "SCORETMtechnology is highly flexible and enables producers to maximize profitability through superior yield, energy, and operational performance."

KBR has been a leader in olefin plant design, construction and technology development for more than 50 years. Since 1990 over 20 new ethylene plants with a combined capacity of 13 million metric tons per year have been brought on-stream using KBR's cost-effective cracking technologies and flexible plant designs to produce ethylene, propylene and other byproducts from a variety of feedstocks.

China CNOOC plans USD2.2 billion LNG terminal in east China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China National Offshore Oil Company, or CNOOC, plans to build a receiving terminal of liquefied natural gas in the eastern province of Jiangsu that is expected to cost 14.4 billion yuan (USD2.17 billion), said Reuters.

The project, located in the city of Yancheng, will include a berth to anchor 100,000 ton vessels, land-based storage and a pipeline grid and is expected to be completed in December 2020, the official local newspaper Xinhua Daily reported, without saying how it received the information.

The storage tanks will each have a storage capacity of 220,000 cubic metres, or roughly 90,000 tonnes, the paper said, without giving the total planned storage capacity at the site.

CNOOC, parent of CNOOC Ltd, is China’s largest operator of LNG import terminals.

CNOOC did not immediately respond to request for comment.

KBR awarded contract to revamp Haifa Chemicals nitric acid plant in Israel

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR announced that it has been awarded a nitric acid plant revamp contract by Haifa Chemicals Ltd for its plant in Mishor-Rotem, Israel, as per the company press release.

Under the terms of the contract, KBR subsidiary Weatherly, Inc. will design, supply and commission a complete system for the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) of nitrogen oxides (NOx), with additional catalyst beds for N2O and NH3 slip abatement. The SCR system will be integrated into two existing Nitric Acid plants of 240 mtpd and 147 mtpd capacity that Haifa operates in Israel. Both plants were designed by KBR Weatherly and commissioned in 1987 and 1999 respectively.

"We are proud of these two successful plants that were designed by KBR Weatherly and we look forward to modifying them to meet stricter environmental regulations," said John Derbyshire, KBR President, Technology. "This revamp contract is a testimony to the trust placed by our clients in technologies from KBR Weatherly during the past six decades."

Weatherly Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of KBR, has a distinguished history serving the fertilizer industry with over 250 installations worldwide including over 75 nitric acid plants.

KBR is a global provider of differentiated professional services and technologies across the asset and program lifecycle within the Government Services and Hydrocarbons sectors. KBR employs approximately 34,000 people worldwide (including our joint ventures), with customers in more than 75 countries, and operations in 40 countries, across three synergistic global businesses

EU conditionally clears Tronox to buy Cristal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The European Commission on Wednesday cleared U.S. chemical group Tronox to buy Saudi Arabia’s Cristal, on the condition that it sells its global business in titanium dioxide pigment for paper laminate, as per Reuters.

The Commission had investigated the market of titanium dioxide pigment, which is used in the production of products such plastics or paper, and found that the companies needed to divest a business to get approval.

"Tronox and Cristal are two of the four major players in this market but we can approve their merger because the companies offered a suitable remedy that fully addresses our competition concerns," the Commission, which oversees mergers in the European Union, said.

The Commission will have to approve the buyer of the business that Tronox will sell before clearing the deal.

Reuters reported in June that the deal would be approved.