Japan Inpex sells second condensate cargo from Ichthys project

MOSCOW (MRC) - Inpex Corp, Japan’s top explorer, sold its second condensate cargo from the Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia, industry sources said, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The company sold the late October-loading cargo to commodities trader Trafigura for delivery into the latter’s Papua New Guinea refinery at Napa Napa, one of the sources said.

Inpex has provisionally chartered the vessel “Sea Vine” to ship 80,000 tonnes of the condensate to Napa Napa, shipping fixtures showed.

Inpex last sold its maiden cargo from the project - 350,000 barrels of Ichthys condensate - to load between Sept. 28 and Oct. 8 to Exxon Mobil Corp, traders have said.

Inpex this week is also set to load the first LNG cargo from the project in northwestern Australia. An Inpex spokesman in Tokyo said production had been going smoothly and that shipments of LNG and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) were set to begin, but he declined to comment on commercial matters including the schedule for shipments.

Trafigura could not be immediately reached for comment. Ichthys has seen multiple delays and cost overruns of billions of dollars due to technical difficulties. It was originally slated to start in 2016.

At full operation, Ichthys is expected to produce 8.9 million tonnes of LNG a year, along with about 1.7 million tonnes of LPG and about 100,000 barrels per day of condensate, an ultra-light form of crude oil. The company expects to take two to three years to reach full production.

India BPCL offers light diesel oil; unit restart seen delayed to Dec

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd has offered light diesel oil (LDO) in a rare move following an extended shutdown of a secondary unit at its Mumbai refinery that could last until December, reported Reuters with reference to a source who tracks refined oil products.

BPCL is looking to sell up to 33,000 tonnes of LDO for Oct. 27-30 loading from Mumbai through a tender closing on Oct. 18.

In August, the state-owned refiner shut a 6,000-tonnes-per day hydrocracker at its 120,000-barrel-per day (bpd) Mumbai refinery following a fire that left 40 people injured.

A hydrocracker is a unit needed to make middle distillates, namely diesel and jet fuel, while LDO, which is used as feedstock for the cracker, is a blend of gasoil and residual fuel often used as marine fuel or in industrial equipment.

The hydrocracker was previously expected to restart last month but this could now be delayed to early December, the same source said.

As MRC informed previously, BPCL plans to build a USD3 billion petrochemical unit to serve the Mumbai region and to profit from the country's expected surge in demand for petrochemicals as its economy expands.

ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing and BASF Corporation to decrease sulfur emissions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC and BASF Corporation are conducting a full-scale commercial demonstration of a new gas treating solvent at Imperial Oil’s Sarnia Refinery, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The companies jointly developed the new amine-based solvent aimed at meeting stringent sulfur emissions standards with greater efficiency, further raising the bar for tail gas treating and acid gas removal processes.

The innovative technology improves the selective removal of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and minimizes the co-absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2) from gas streams. The highly selective properties of the solvent allow refiners and gas processors to increase capacity and lower operating costs in existing equipment. For new treating facilities, the usage of the technology will reduce the size of the equipment and the initial capital investments.

When used in a tail gas treating unit in conjunction with a Claus sulfur recovery unit (SRU), the new technology has the capability to achieve greater than 99.99% overall sulfur recovery and very low emissions to cope with future requirements. Pilot plant testing has demonstrated superior performance characteristics over methyldiethanolamine (MDEA) formulations and even improvements over FLEXSORB SE/ SE Plus solvents.

"The new solvent technology will provide immediate benefits to ExxonMobil facilities and to our gas treating customers," said Dan Moore, President of ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC. "This commercial demonstration is to tangibly show the new level of performance."

"Thoroughly tested at BASF’s dedicated pilot plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, the solvent showed improved H2S selectivity and lower energy consumption than other selective solvents," said Andreas Northemann, Vice President of BASF Gas Treatment.

As MRC wrote before, in October 2017, ExxonMobil Chemical Company announced that it had commenced production on the first of two new 650,000 tons-per-year high-performance polyethylene (PE) lines at its plastics plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.

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.

Demineralised water unit at ZapSibNeftekhim ready for commissioning

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ZapSibNeftekhim has prepared its demineralised water unit for commissioning. It is a two-stage reverse osmosis and electric deionisation plant with a total capacity of 244 cu m per hour, as per the company's press release.

"A similar plant is in use at our operating production facility SIBUR Tobolsk," commented Andrey Kolyshnitsyn, Head of Commissioning at ZapSibNeftekhim’s Pyrolysis. “It is designed to treat and fully demineralise process water. In its turn, treated water will be used to feed pyrolysis and butadiene production facilities."

Demineralised water serves as boiler feedwater to generate steam in low and high pressure boilers, fill turbine condensers and other systems in pyrolysis furnaces, and wash feedstock for the methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) production. The technology was developed by EnviroChemie.

HDPE production in Russia up by 2.5% in January-September 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) totalled 731,700 tonnes in January-September 2018, up by 2.5% year on year. At the same time, only two out of four Russian producers increased their output, according to MRC's ScanPlast report.

September total HDPE production in Russia decreased to 79,200 tonnes, whereas this figure was 81,500 tonnes a month earlier. Shutdown for a scheduled maintenance at Russia's largest producer - Kazanorgsintez - was the main reason. Overall HDPE production reached 731,700 tonnes in the first nine months of 2018, compared to 713,600 tonnes a year earlier. Gazprom neftekhim Salavat and Stavrolen increased their output, whereas Nizhnekamskneftekhim reduced its production by almost twice in favour of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE).

The structure of polyethylene (PE) production by plants looked the following way over the stated period.

Kazanorgsintez's total HDPE output fell to 38,200 tonnes in September from 46,400 tonnes a month earlier, the Kazan plant shut down its production capacities for a turnaround on 25 September. The Kazan plant's overall HDPE production reached 395,600 tonnes in January-September 2018, which corresponded to the last year's figure.

Stavrolen produced about 25,000 tonnes last month versus 24,500 tonnes in August. The plant's overall HDPE output reached 222,400 tonnes in the first nine months of 2018, up by 8% year on year.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat reduced its capacity utilisation in September, the plant produced 9,500 tonnes last month, compared to 10,500 tonnes a month earlier. The Bashkir plant's overall HDPE production reached 89,400 tonnes in the first nine months of 2018, up by 39% year on year. Such a high amount of the increase in the output was caused by the absence of a long scheduled maintenance this year.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim produced HDPE only in April-May and in late September during the stated period. Thus, the Nizhnekamsk producer manufactured only 24,200 tonnes over the incomplete three months of operations versus 46,300 tonnes a year earlier.