KBR awarded contract by Linggu Chemical for an ammonia synthesis unit in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR, Inc. has announced that it has been awarded a contract by Linggu Chemical Co. Ltd (Linggu) for an ammonia plant in Yixing City, Jiangsu Province in China, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide the technology licensing and basic engineering design (LBED) package for building a new 1,500 metric tons per day ammonia synthesis unit as a replacement for one of their existing units in Yixing, China. The plant will utilize KBR's proprietary ammonia synloop technology.

KBR's ammonia synloop provides a cost-effective ammonia synthesis solution with low energy consumption, and low CAPEX and OPEX for a reliable and efficient plant. This is the second grassroots ammonia synthesis unit for Linggu using KBR technology. KBR licensed the first synloop unit to Linggu in 2015.

"With KBR's advanced ammonia synthesis technology, we believe our plants will stand out in the coal-to-ammonia market in China," said Mr. Tan Fuyuan, Chairman of Linggu.

"We are honored to deliver this second ammonia unit to Linggu," said John Derbyshire, KBR President, Technology. "This project award showcases the superiority of KBR's Ammonia Synthesis Technology and its great fit for the market needs in China."

KBR is a leader in ammonia technology and has been involved in the licensing, design, engineering, and/or construction of more than 230 grass roots ammonia plants and over 100 revamp ammonia projects globally.

As MRC wrote before, this autumn, KBR, Inc. Houston was awarded contracts for a technology license, basic engineering design services and proprietary catalyst supply by Lihuayi Lijin Refining & Chemical Co., Ltd., for a new olefins production unit in Dongying, China. The unit will use KBR’s proprietary Catalytic Olefins Technology (K-COT) and Selective Cracking Optimum Recovery (SCORE) Technology.

Biofuel groups ask federal judge to freeze U.S. refinery waiver program

MOSCOW (MRC) - A group representing biofuel companies asked a federal judge on Tuesday to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stop exempting small refineries from renewable fuel laws until a lawsuit challenging the agency’s actions is resolved, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Producers United argued, among other things, the EPA violated the law when it issued retroactive biofuel credits to HollyFrontier and Sinclair Oil this year as part of a legal settlement. The EPA’s decision, first reported by Reuters, lowers statutory renewable fuel mandates without any required public notice, the group alleges in the challenge, filed in U.S. Appelate Court in Washington.

Several biofuel organizations have brought similar lawsuits against the EPA related to small refinery hardship waivers, but Producers United is the first to ask a judge to freeze the program. The group did not disclose its members.

The EPA declined to comment. “We don’t comment on pending litigation,” an agency spokesman said. The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requires refiners to blend biofuels like ethanol into their fuel pool or buy compliance credits from competitors who do. Refineries with a capacity less than 75,000 barrels-per-day can receive waivers if they prove compliance would cause them disproportionate hardship.

The EPA, under President Donald Trump, has greatly expanded the waiver program, awarding 29 exemptions for the 2017 calendar year, up from 16 in 2016 and just seven in 2015, EPA data shows. The EPA says lawsuits brought by HollyFrontier and Sinclair forced the agency to expand the definition of hardship, but biofuel groups say the shift was politically motivated and driven by former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.

The EPA gave HollyFrontier nearly $34 million worth of credits for this year to reverse denial of a waiver for one of its Wyoming plants dating back to 2015. Sinclair received waivers worth undisclosed millions for two facilities in the same state for 2014 and 2015.

Both companies had challenged EPA’s denials in a federal appellate court in Colorado in 2016. Producers United claims the EPA’s expansion of the program was done largely in secret and must be legally scrutinized before it can be allowed to continue.

INEOS to acquire the Ashland Composites Business for USD1.1 billion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS Enterprises has today agreed to acquire the entire composites business from Ashland Global Holdings Inc.for USD1.1 billion, as per producer's press-release.

The businesses included in the transaction have combined sales of more than USD1.1 billion per year. They employ 1,300 employees across 20 sites in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Middle East.

The deal, is expected to complete in the first half of 2019, subject to regulatory approval and consultation processes.

Ashley Reed, CEO INEOS Enterprises said, “Ashland’s composite resins have been the materials of choice for the world’s boat builders for 30 years, and for good reason. They are light, strong and resistant to attack from chemicals and even fire. Unlike wood they don’t rot, unlike metal they don’t corrode and unlike concrete they don’t crack. We believe that they have great potential for growth under INEOS ownership and we are looking forward to working with a great team of people who are determined to meet the developing needs of our customers."

Ashland’s Composites Business is a global leader in unsaturated polyester resins, vinyl ester resins and gel coats. In addition to its wide range of gelcoats, the business also provides corrosion-resistant fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) which provide exceptional durability, superior heat resistance, low maintenance and high performance for challenging environments.

Bill Wulfsohn, Ashland chairman and chief executive officer said, “Composites and Marl are outstanding businesses with strong market positions and high-performing teams. At the same time, the divestiture of these businesses is consistent with Ashland’s vision of becoming the premier specialty chemicals company. With a more streamlined and focused product portfolio, improved margins and reduced earnings volatility, Ashland will be better positioned to deliver sustained earnings growth and unlock significant value for shareholders."

The deal also includes a BDO facility in Germany producing key intermediates for high performance polyesters and polyurethanes.

Valence acted as Financial advisors to INEOS. DLA Piper provided legal guidance and PwC provided finance and accounting support.

Global oil, gas and petrochemical leaders discuss evolving energy landscape

MOSCOW (MRC) – Twenty-six of the world’s leading oil and gas sector leaders gathered in Abu Dhabi for a high-level industry forum focused on the evolving dynamics of the energy landscape and the opportunities for hydrocarbon produced energy to support global growth, today, and in the future, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, met with the CEOs attending the third annual Abu Dhabi CEO Roundtable. The roundtable brought together senior executives, representing many of the world’s leading oil, gas and petrochemical companies. The exclusive, invitation only, event was hosted by H.E. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO.

The roundtable, held under the Chatham House Rule to encourage openness of discussion, focused on the critical role oil and gas companies will play in enabling a step change in global growth as the fourth industrial age unfolds, in particular how advanced new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, predictive data and analytics and blockchain will enable oil and gas companies to help meet the world’s growing energy needs.

H.E. Dr Al Jaber said: “This important gathering underlined Abu Dhabi’s convening power as a global hub for the world’s oil, gas and petrochemical industries and its position at the center of the conversation shaping the future of our industry. The Fourth Industrial Age will create many new opportunities for the oil and gas industry to contribute to growth and people’s prosperity for decades to come. This roundtable was an important opportunity for us to share insights and perspectives on the future of our industry and to deepen the understanding of the factors shaping the evolving energy landscape and how best to navigate them."

In addition to H.E. Dr Al Jaber, the roundtable will be attended by Amin H. Al-Nasser, President and CEO, Saudi Aramco; Alfred Stern, CEO Borealis; Bob Dudley, Group Chief Executive, BP; Pedro Miro Roig, Vice Chairman and CEO, CEPSA; H.E. Mr. Wang Yilin, Chairman, CNPC; Claudio Descalzi, CEO, ENI; Hunter L. Hunt, President, Hunt Consolidated Energy; Sanjiv Singh, CEO, Indian Oil Company; Takayuki Ueda, President and CEO, INPEX: Tsutomu Sugimori, President, JXTG Holdings (JX-Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration); Dr. Vagit U. Alekperov, President, LUKOIL; Musabbeh Al Kaabi, CEO Petroleum and Petrochemicals, Mubadala Investment Company; Todd Karran, President and CEO, Nova Chemicals; Dr. Rainer Seele, Chairman and CEO, OMV; Vicki A. Hollub, President and CEO, OXY; Dr. Antonio Costa Silva, Chairman of the Management Commission, Partex; Carlos Trevino, CEO, PEMEX; Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, President and Group CEO, Petronas; Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Total; Ben van Beurden, CEO, Royal Dutch Shell and Raoul Restucci, Managing Director, Petroleum Development Oman: Dr Josephine Wapakabulo, CEO, Uganda National Oil Company; Nassef Sawiris, CEO, OCI: Kim Jun, President and CEO of SK Innovation and Dr Carlos Saturnino Guerra Sousa e Olivera, Chairman and CEO, Sonangol Group.

The roundtable was moderated by Dr. Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of HIS Markit. “The Abu Dhabi CEO Roundtable provides a unique opportunity to discuss with leaders from around the world key issues and trends that will shape the future of the oil and gas industry and world energy,” he said.

Reliance starts maintenance at Dahej PVC plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) has taken off-stream its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant for a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in India informed that the company has commenced turnaround at the plant earlier this week. The plant is likely to remain under maintenance for about two weeks.

Located at Dahej in Gujarat, India, the plant has a production capacity of 315,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, last year, RIL undertook a three-week planned shutdown for maintenance at its PVC plant in Dahej. The plant was taken off-stream in mid-May 2017.

Earlier, in the secon half of April 2016, RIL shut down its PVC plant in Dahej owing to a shortage of water.

Reliance Industries is one of the world's largest producers of polymers. The company produces polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride and other petrochemical products.