Fire at Alpek Altamira Mexico PTA plant to impact Americas and Europe PET resin production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Fire at Alpek's Altamira Mexico polyethylene terephthalate (PTA) plant to impact Americas and Europe PET resin production, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Following a major fire at Alpek's Altamira Mexico PTA plant, which broke out on Sunday 15th July, PCI Wood Mackenzie Head of PET, Phil Marshall, said: "The fire occurred in one of Alpek's two PTA plants at the site, with each plant having a typical nameplate capacity of 500 kt of PTA.

"Although the extent of the damage is unknown at this time, videos and pictures from the site indicate significant damage which may keep at least one plant offline for an extended period of time. This outage is likely to negatively impact PET resin production in the Americas region as well as in Europe.

"Alpek's PTA plants at Altamira supply PTA to the adjacent M&G Mexico PET resin plant (now being operated by Alpek/DAK Americas), its sister company DAK Americans' PET resin plants at Pearl River Mississippi USA as well as exports to various South American and European polyester producers in Spain, Italy, Lithuania etc.

"This event comes at a particularly critical time for the Americas and European PET resin markets as both regions have been experiencing critically tight PET resin supply due to both PET resin and PTA plant outages."

"Whilst the fire is serious and will impact PTA production, the impact may not be as serious as first thought given that Alpek operates three PTA plants in Mexico and one in Brazil. It is still early to assess the duration of the asset outage but assuming it remains offline for the rest of the year, Mexican H2 2018 PTA production is forecast at 568kt v 673kt in H2 2017 as the other plants will see some increases in operating rate. Overall Mexican H2 2017 PTA operating rates averaged 80.6%, while we forecast H2 2018 to average 67.8%.

"The US is the biggest importer of Mexican PTA at 71kt in the first 4 months of 2018. We forecast H2 2018 Mexico PTA exports to be down by typically 110Kt when compared to H2 2017. Whether the majority of available exports will still be directed at the US remains to be seen. Once new steady state operating conditions are established, we forecast overall PET production in Mexico at similar levels to 2017, which saw disruption due to the M&G outage, but 115kt down on 2016 production."

As MRC informed before, in May 2017, Alpek has completed adding 5,000 mt of propylene storage to its Altamira port terminal.

Alpek is the petrochemicals unit of Mexican conglomerate Alfa.

Asias future energy needs on the agenda at Tank Storage Asia 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South East Asia’s bulk liquid storage market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 8.22% until 2024 as the region continues to be a key market despite previously turbulent market conditions in the oil and gas industry globally, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Singapore in particular has seen record bunker fuel sales of 50.6 million tons in the last year and remains Asia’s top petrochemical hub. Singapore will host industry leaders at Tank Storage Asia, as the exhibition and conference returns to the Marina Bay Sands on the 26th & 27th September, following last year’s successful event.

Tank Storage Asia is the only dedicated exhibition and conference in the region for the bulk liquid storage industry. It brings together the entire supply chain, from terminal suppliers and manufacturers through to tank storage operators, terminal owners, traders and analysts.
The event is supported and attended by major terminals across the region, including Stolthaven Terminals, Vopak, Oiltanking, VTTI and Horizon Terminals. Also supporting the event is the Singapore Manufacturing Federation, the Independent Power Producers’ Forum, RVB Tank Storage Solutions and the Corrosion Association Singapore.

Mark Lim, Assistant Commercial Manager at Stolthaven Singapore, comments: "The show is an excellent platform for networking, getting to know new suppliers and learning about updates within the industry. We’re very much looking forward to attending this year and supporting the event once again."

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit the exhibition where more than 80 local and international suppliers will showcase the latest equipment and state-of-the-art technologies. Exhibitors will include CTS Far East, Endress + Hauser, Kanon Loading Equipment, Krohne, OPW Engineered Systems, Concrete Canvas, BIOex, Larco, Protego, Emerson Automation Solutions and Emco Wheaton to name just a few. These span the entire supply chain, from tank design, construction and maintenance, through to innovations in metering and measuring, pumps and valves, automation and loading equipment, and inspection and certification services.

The exhibition will also include a dedicated Singapore Pavilion and Technology Start-Up Zone where local companies will be exhibiting, with financial backing from the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and iMAP funding initiative.


Africas richest man signs USD650M Afreximbank loan for oil refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) - Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, has signed a USD650 million loan facility with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) for his oil refinery project in Nigeria, as per Engineeringnews.

The seven-year term loan would attract a moratorium of five years, according to facility terms read out during the signing. Cairo-based Africa's trade bank also signed a USD750 million facility with Nigeria's development bank, the Bank of Industry.

Reuters witnessed the signing of both loans on Saturday. Dangote Group Executive Director Devakumar Edwin told Reuters last week that the oil refinery would cost around USD10 billion and should be completed by December 2019.

He said the company would borrow USD3.3 billion for the project, arranged by Standard Chartered Bank. The remainder will be funded by equity and through export agencies.

Dangote built his fortune on cement and now has interests in flour milling, agriculture and real estate. He is building the world's largest single oil refinery and also expanding into fertiliser, aiming to address long-standing problems in Nigeria's energy markets.

The refinery and petrochemical complex is located on 25,000 hectares of swampy land with a jetty to ferry products by sea within Nigeria and abroad including an undersea pipeline to transport gas. It would account for half of Dangote's sprawling assets when it is finished next year.

Dangote intends to process different grades of crude to meet local demand for refined petroleum products and also target export markets abroad.

Afreximbank, celebrating its 25 years of operation this year, aims to foster intra-African trade through the creation of a payment platform to ease settlement and currency risks.

China willing to invest USD3B in Nigerian oil operations

MOSCOW (MRC) - China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is willing to invest USD3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja, as per Reuters.

During a visit to Nigeria's state-owned NNPC, CNOOC Chief Executive Yuan Guangyu said the Beijing-based oil company had invested more than USD14 billion in its Nigerian operations and expressed readiness to invest more.

Guangyu said Nigeria was their largest investment destination and also asked the NNPC to seek common grounds with CNOOC for enhanced productivity.

Nigeria has been holding talks with oil majors over new finance agreements for joint ventures since last year. The NNPC last year signed financing agreements with Chevron and Shell worth at least $780 million to boost crude production and reserves.

Other western oil companies, including ExxonMobil (XOM.N), operate in Nigeria through joint ventures with NNPC.

Gas plant explosion prompts evacuations in Bellville Texas

MOSCOW (MRC) --Explosions at a gas plant in Bellville Tuesday prompted evacuations of residents and businesses in the area, local officials said, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Smoke and fire could be seen for miles from the Western International Gas plant where a series of early morning explosions were reported. The plant provides bulk industrial gases such as acetylene.

Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes said mandatory evacuations were ordered for anyone within a 1-mile radius of the plant. A voluntary evacuation was also ordered for anyone within two miles of the plant.

Brandes said the fire was still active hours after the initial incident was reported. Local emergency responders said they did not have a time frame as to when the fire would be out or when a nearby highway would reopen.

There were no reported injuries.