Petrobras refinery halted after fire, no impact seen on fuel supply

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said it has halted operations at its Abreu and Lima refinery in Pernambuco state after a fire broke out there early in the morning, said Reuters.

The fire, which occurred in a tower of the coking unit, caused no injuries and has been put out, Petrobras said, adding that it should not affect fuel supply.

As MRC informed earlier, Brazilian state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA is operating its refineries at a utilization rate of 85 percent and has gained market share in diesel after a subsidy program was instituted.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras is an integrated energy firm. Petrobras' activities include exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks as well as refining, processing, trade and transport of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons, in addition to other energy-related activities.

MFG Chemical upgrades newly acquired Pasadena, Texas plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- MFG Chemical, a global leader in specialty and custom chemical manufacturing, is upgrading its Pasadena, Texas plant, which the company acquired in March 2018, and sits on 24.5 acres, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The acquisition of the Pasadena plant, together with the company’s 3 plants in Northwest Georgia, makes MFG Chemical one of America’s largest consumers of Maleic Anhydride.

Pasadena plant improvements are scheduled for completion by the end of the 1st Quarter of 2019, and entail a multi-million dollar investment.

Improvements include debottlenecking and new capacity additions, including two new reactors, one of which is 20,000 gallons in size.

Keith Arnold, CEO of MFG Chemical and Member of the SOCMA Board of Governors, commented, "MFG is increasing its capacity to meet its customers’ growing needs for custom and specialty chemistries."

As MRC reported earlier, in October 2016, SIBUR signed an agreement with Conser, an Italian engineering company, to acquire a license for maleic anhydride (MAN) production technology for its Tobolsk facility.

Maleic anhydride is used in the construction, agriculture, automotive, paint and varnish, furniture, pharmaceutical and other industries. It serves as feedstock for films, synthetic fibers, pharmaceuticals, detergents, fuel components and oils. The use of MAN allows achieve high strength of the material as well as its resistance to moisture, extreme temperature and mechanical stress.

KBR awarded ammonia plant revamp contract in India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR, Inc. announced that it has been awarded a contract to supply proprietary equipment to Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation Ltd. India for its plant located in Thoothukudi in the State of Tamil Nadu, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Under the contract, KBR will supply an ammonia converter basket as proprietary equipment for the project.

In 2017, KBR supplied License and Basic Engineering Design (LBED) for revamp of the plant to reduce the energy consumption along with marginal capacity increase, including revamp of the furnace, ammonia converter and exchanger.

"KBR is proud to work with Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation to revamp its ammonia plant using our energy efficient ammonia technology," said John Derbyshire, KBR President, Technology. "Our proven ammonia technology has the lowest energy consumption in the industry making it the first choice for ammonia producers globally."

KBR has a long track record of successfully revamping ammonia plants all over the world, including non-KBR technology plants. KBR is a global 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 previously, in January 2018, KBR, Inc. announced today that it had been awarded a contract from Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals Limited (Indorama) and Toyo Engineering Corporation (Toyo) for the Train 2 ammonia plant at Indorama's Port Harcourt site in Nigeria.

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.

Kemira has formed a joint venture in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kemira has received final authority permits and closed the deal announced on September 29, 2017, said the company.

Kemira has formed a joint venture with an AKD producer in China. Kemira forms a joint venture – Kemira TC Wanfeng Chemicals Yanzhou – with Shandong Tiancheng Wanfeng Chemical Technology.

NewCo strengthens Kemira’s position as a leading global supplier for the Pulp & Paper industry. NewCo will mainly produce AKD wax and its key raw material fatty acid chloride (FACL). AKD wax, where the main component is based on renewable raw material, is a sizing chemical used in board and paper manufacturing to create resistance against liquid absorption. Kemira is the global market leader in sizing chemicals.

Through the backward integration, Kemira expands its position in the value chain. NewCo will provide a high-quality AKD wax and will be globally the largest AKD wax manufacturing unit significantly improving Kemira’s AKD wax capacity. NewCo’s site is located in the same chemical park with Kemira’s first AKD wax plant in Yanzhou, China and the proximity of the two sites results in operational synergies. The NewCo site also offers growth opportunities for other relevant chemicals.

In addition, NewCo will produce polyaluminum chloride (PAC) which is a coagulant for water treatment. NewCo will start the production of chemicals in the second half of 2019 after necessary investments and the ramp-up phase are completed.

“The joint venture is a good strategic fit. We strengthen our position in the market with a quality asset and secure our supply of the key raw material for AKD wax. With the newly built site, we ensure our capacity utilization and support our customers better with our global delivery capability. At the same time, this enables us to grow even faster in APAC”, says Kim Poulsen, President, Pulp & Paper.

Kemira has 80% and TC Wanfeng 20% of NewCo. Value of the investment for the 80% share is around EUR 55 million and Kemira has an option to acquire TC Wanfeng’s 20% in the coming years with pre-defined conditions.

Pepsi bottler in Mexico adds stretch, shrink film production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Pepsi bottler Grupo GEPP SAPI de CV is installing its own shrink and stretch film production lines in Mexico using technology supplied by Italy's Amut SpA. said Plasticsnews.

According to Geronimo Rotundo, director of GEPP bottling operation Procesos Plasticos SA de CV (Proplasa), the aim is to produce in excess of 14,000 tons of shrink film and 4,500 tons of stretch film a year.

The project has been in the works for the past two years and will "optimize packaging costs for all of [GEPP's] dedicated plants around Mexico," Rotundo added in a news release from Amut.

Riccardo Castello, Amut Dolci Extrusion's sales director, said Amut is supplying three coextrusion lines for blown polyethylene shrink film, one cast line for stretch film, one slitting machine, a system for the recovery of flawed rolls, a chiller, piping for water distribution and an intensive training program for GEPP technicians.

According to Amut, the three blown extrusion lines are identical and each has a 3-layer shrink PE film configuration, net width of 2.4 meters (7.87 feet) and a capacity of 800 kg/h with 50 ? of thickness.

The cast line will produce 5-layer stretch film with a net width of 1.5 meters (4.92 feet). The line is based on four extruders with water-cooled drives and a Prowind 4.0 super-fast winder.

GEPP's headquarters is in Mexico City and the Proplasa plant is in Tultitlan. Amut is based in Novara, Italy.

Apart from being PepsiCo Inc.'s exclusive bottler in Mexico, GEPP has its own water brand, Epura, and works with other brands including Gatorade, Lipton, 7Up, Cosecha Pura, Squirt and Garci Crespo.