Croatian INA plans to modernise Rijeka refinery, convert second plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Croatian energy group INA plans to invest more than four billion kuna (USD616 million) to modernize its largest refinery but a second, smaller refinery will be converted into an industrial plant, it said, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The investment plan, approved by INA’s management board on Wednesday, is aimed at stemming losses in its refining division, currently running at around one billion kuna a year. INA owns two refineries in Croatia, one in the northern Adriatic port of Rijeka, and a smaller one in the central town of Sisak.

The plan foresees major investment in Rijeka to turn it into a top-level European refinery, INA said in a statement. “Total investments are worth more than 4 billion kuna, which would represent the single largest investment project in the history of the company,” it said.

“The final investment decision is planned for 2019, provided all preconditions assuring return on investment are met,” INA said. The modernized refinery should be ready to operate in 2023. INA’s biggest shareholder is Hungary’s MOL which owns slightly below half, while the Croatian government controls close to 45 percent.

Under the investment plan, the Sisak refinery will be turned into another type of industrial facility. The Sisak site would remain a major employer, but it was necessary to convert it from loss-making crude oil processing to “viable alternative industrial activities,” the statement said.

The new business in Sisak may include bio-component refining and petrochemical production, INA said, adding that it could also involve a modern logistics hub, bitumen, renewables and lubricant production.

Without giving details of possible job losses at Sisak, INA said it was prepared to offer alternative jobs to affected workers and severance payments significantly higher than the Croatian average. Workers at Sisak have repeatedly voiced concerns in recent years about MOL’s alleged plans to shut down the plant, putting pressure on the Croatian government to prevent it.

The company estimated that, if fully implemented, its plans would increase average yearly core profit, or EBITDA, by more than one billion kuna.

MOL and the Croatian government have been at odds for several years about management rights and investment policy at INA. Two years ago, the Zagreb government announced it intended to buy back INA shares from MOL, but little has happened since.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic recently said that a final decision would depend on the price set by MOL.

In the first nine months of this year, INA’s revenues were 16.23 billion kuna, 21 percent more than in the same period last year. EBITDA amounted to 2.7 billion kuna, roughly the same as in the first nine months of 2017. (USD1 = 6.4948 kuna)

INEOS Styrolution makes final investment decision for ASA capacity in the Americas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, announces today the final investment decision to construct a new 100kt capacity ASA plant at its site in Bayport, Texas, as per the company's press release.

The new ASA (acrylonitrile styrene acrylate polymer) facility strengthens the INEOS Styrolution position as the only global producer with ASA production capacity in all regions. Upon the start-up, scheduled for 2021, the new facility will unleash additional capacity of ABS polymers at the existing INEOS Styrolution Altamira plant in Mexico.

A contract for engineering, procurement, and construction has been awarded to WorleyParsons, a leading global provider for the chemical industry.

"I am looking forward to offering our customers additional ASA capacity allowing for more flexible production of specialty grades per their growing demand in the Americas. In addition, we will be able to produce more ABS in our existing plant in Mexico also serving the growing ABS market,” explains Alexander Glueck, President Americas.
Kevin McQuade, CEO INEOS Styrolution, comments: “We continue to follow a strong growth path to meet customer needs, particularly in growth markets like the Americas. Our Triple Shift growth strategy continues to serve as an excellent advisor."

INEOS Styrolution is the leading, global styrenics supplier with a focus on styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialties. With world-class production facilities and more than 85 years of experience, INEOS Styrolution helps its customers succeed by offering the best possible solution, designed to give them a competitive edge in their markets. The company provides styrenic applications for many everyday products across a broad range of industries, including Automotive, Electronics, Household, Construction, Healthcare, Packaging and Toys/ Sports/ Leisure. In 2017, sales were at 5.3 billion euros. INEOS Styrolution employs approximately 3,300 people and operates 18 production sites in nine countries.


Wood providing EPC services to proposed world-class ethylene project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wood has been awarded a major contract to deliver engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services on a reimbursable basis for a world-class plastics manufacturing facility along the US Gulf Coast, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The actual construction of the plant is contingent on receipt of environmental permits.

The five-year contract will see Wood deliver EPC services for key infrastructure to support the plastics facility, including a world-class ethane steam cracker unit, feeding a monoethylene glycol unit and two polyethylene units.

Andrew Stewart, CEO of Wood’s Asset Solutions Americas business, said: "This is a strategic and significant contract to Wood. We have invested significantly in establishing best in class EPC services and in developing our chemicals expertise. This contract serves to underline the return on that investment. We understand the needs of our client on this mega project and are committed to delivering excellence."

The contract, which is already underway, is one of the largest contracts in Wood’s Americas business, and will see around 1100 employees deployed during peak construction. Wood’s project team has already achieved one million safe man hours on the project.

Pending receipt of environmental permits, anticipated work completion is scheduled for late 2021.

As MRC reported earlier, in October 2017, Wood was awarded a new multi-million dollar contract by Total, supporting their Lindsey Oil Refinery located in North Killinghome, Lincolnshire, UK. The 5-yr contract is to provide onshore maintenance services and includes the option to be extended up to 2 yr.

Clariant and Saudi Kayan to evaluate alkoxylates joint venture

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Kayan, a Saudi joint stock company leading in the field of chemicals, polymers and specialty products, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

As defined by the MoU, both parties have agreed to evaluate the formation of a joint venture with the aim of establishing a manufacturing facility for alkoxylates. This facility is planned to combine Clariant’s alkoxylates production technology with Saudi Kayan’s raw materials and would, therefore, be based within Saudi Kayan’s Petrochemical Company complex in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia.

Alkoxylates are a downstream product of ethylene oxide and are used in a variety of specialty applications in Clariant’s home care, personal care and industrial applications segments.

Saudi Kayan is an affiliate of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC). SABIC is also Clariant’s largest strategic anchor shareholder with a 24.99% stake. This MoU between Clariant and Saudi Kayan is a part of the further evaluation of additional collaborative businesses opportunities between Clariant and SABIC, as previously communicated by both parties.

As MRC informed previously, Saudi Kayan conducted maintenance at its cracker at Al-Jubail from mid-November to end-December 2017. Located at Al-Jubail in Saudi Arabia, the cracker has a production capacity of 1.5 million mt/year.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company is a manufacturing affiliate of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic). Saudi Kayan is the fifth-largest petrochemical manufacturer by market value in Saudi Arabia.

Shell Louisiana refinery hydrocracker back in production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc brought the hydrocracker at its at its 209,787-barrel-per-day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana, refinery back into production after fixing a malfunction on Tuesday, reported Reuters with reference to sources familiar with plant operations.

Shell on Tuesday afternoon was raising the production level on the 45,000 bpd heavy oil hydrocracker called the H-Oil Unit after unplugging a valve that led Shell early on Tuesday to begin bringing the unit down, the sources said.

As MRC wrote before, in May 2018, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Shell Nanhai B.V. (part of Shell) announced the official start-up of the second ethylene cracker at their Nanhai petrochemicals complex in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.