Fujairah joins other ports to tighten exhaust rules ahead of 2020 fuel rules

MOSCOW (MRC) - Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates has become the latest major port to ban a type of fuel exhaust cleaning system to comply with a coming tightening in rules regarding global sulfur emissions, mirroring similar moves in Singapore and China, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into effect from 2020, ships will have to reduce the sulphur content in their fuel to less than 0.5%, compared with 3.5% now, forcing huge changes upon global shippers and also oil refiners.

Fujairah's harbor master said in a faxed document seen by Reuters that the port "has decided to ban the use of open-loop scrubbers in its waters ... (and) ships will have to use compliant fuel once the IMO 2020 sulfur cap comes into force."

This follows top marine fueling port of Singapore announcing a similar move in November, while China banned the use of open-loop scrubbers from Jan. 1, 2019.

Singapore, China and Fujairah marine sales volumes represent a quarter of global ship refueling, also known as bunkering.

Impact for shippers. To comply with IMO 2020 rules, shippers can switch to burning cleaner but more expensive oil, invest in exhaust cleaning systems known as scrubbers that may allow them to still use cheaper high-sulfur fuels, or redesign vessels to run on alternatives like liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Scrubbers use water to clean up fuel emissions, preventing them from being released into the atmosphere. Open-loop scrubbers are the cheapest option, but they have come under criticism as they wash heavy metals and sulfur from the waste water into seas instead of storing it for a controlled discharge in ports, as closed-loop scrubbers do.

Of the more than 2,000 ships that have so far opted to invest in scrubbers, around three-quarters have installed the cheaper, open-loop type, shipping sources estimated.

Closed-loop scrubbers, which store wash water for later discharge, are still accepted in most ports.

KBR receives contract for solid acid alkylation technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR Inc. has announced that it has entered into a contract with Wynnewood Refining Co. LLC (Wynnewood) for engineering and design services relating to KBR's Solid Acid Alkylation Technology (K-SAAT™) for Wynnewood's refinery located in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, US, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide basic engineering and design (BED) services for its K-SAAT™ technology and the opportunity to utilise the technology to revamp the existing hydrofluoric acid (HF) alkylation unit at the Wynnewood Refinery.

K-SAAT™ produces alkylate, which is an ultra-clean gasoline blendstock. It does this by combining light olefins and isobutane using a solid catalyst, avoiding complex acid handling and cooling cost.

Hanwha Total Petrochemical Issues USD400 mln worth of overseas bonds

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co. has issued USD400 million (449 billion won) worth of overseas bonds for the first time since its founding, as per BusinessKorea.

The company has sold the bonds to institutional investors in Asia and Europe. The US dollar-denominated senior unsecured notes carry a coupon rate of 3.914 percent. A total of 92 institutional investors participated in the bond offering, subscribing to USd1.5 billion (1.68 trillion won) worth of bonds.

Hanwha Total Petrochemical has decided to invest the funds from the overseas bond offering in its facilities. The company will make a 1.43 trillion won (USd1.27 billion) investment in its plant in Daesan, South Chungcheong Province, by 2020 to boost production of ethylene to 460,000 tons, polyethylene 400,000 tons and polypropylene 400,000 tons.

Meanwhile, Moody's Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings assigned aa1 and BBB rating with a stable outlook, respectively, to the senior unsecured notes to be issued by Hanwha Total Petrochemical.

As MRC reported before, Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co Ltd said in December 2017 it plans to spend USD331.29 MM on a new factory in South Korea to increase polyethylene (PE) output by 400 Mtpy by 2019.

Hanwha Group is one of the largest business conglomerate in South Korea. Founded in 1952 as Korea Explosives Inc., the group has grown into a large multi-profile business conglomerate, with diversified holdings stretching from explosives, their original business, to retail to financial services.

Five workers hospitalized after leak at Pennsylvania refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) - Five workers were hospitalized after a hydrofluoric acid leak on Wednesday at Monroe Energy’s Trainer, Pennsylvania refinery, a report with Delaware Online said, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The situation was under control within 30 minutes and there was no risk to the community, the company said in a statement.

Monroe Energy, which is a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, operates the 190,000 barrel-per-day refinery.

Saudi Aramco hires SMBC, Riyad Bank for Amiral project financing

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco has hired Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) and Riyad Bank to advise it on financing Amiral, a petrochemical project it plans to develop with France’s Total, reported Reuters with reference to sources familiar with the matter.

The Saudi state-owned oil producer approached banks for the financing of the project, which is expected to be around USD5 billion, late last year, sources told Reuters at the time.

Total declined to comment. Aramco, Riyad Bank and SMBC did not respond to requests for immediate comment.

Aramco, the world’s largest crude producer, plans to boost investment in refining and petrochemicals in a bid to cut reliance on crude as demand for oil slows.

Plans for the giant Amiral petrochemical complex in the Saudi city of Jubail were announced in April 2018.

The project - scheduled to start up in 2024 - will be located next to the Satorp refinery, which is also jointly owned and operated by Aramco and Total.

The companies said last year the facility would comprise a mixed-feed cracker with a capacity to produce 1.5 million tonnes a year of ethylene. It will also have other units producing high-value petrochemicals.

As MRC informed earlier, in October 2018, Saudi Aramco signed an agreement to invest in a refinery-petrochemical project in eastern China, part of its strategy to expand in downstream operations globally. The memorandum of understanding between the company and Zhejiang province included plans to invest in a new refinery and co-operate in crude oil supply, storage and trading, according to details released by the Zhoushan government after a signing ceremony in the city south of Shanghai.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco"s value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world"s most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.