Refinery reduces gasoline output after fire

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil Corp has reduced gasoline production at its 560,500 barrel per day (bpd) Baytown, Texas, refinery after a hydrotreater fire on Saturday, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

There were no injuries reported in the blaze at the Hydrofining Unit 9 on Saturday, the sources said. In an emailed statement, Exxon said it had now contained the fire, which started at about 12:30 p.m. local time (1730 GMT). It confirmed no injuries had been reported.

"We are cooperating with necessary regulatory agencies, and a thorough investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of this incident," Exxon said.

The unit uses hydrogen and a catalyst to remove sulfur from gasoline in compliance with U.S. environmental rules.

Thyssenkrupp gets Egypt fertilizer plant order

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thyssenkrupp AG said Monday that it has received a large order from Egypt's El Nasr Company for Intermediate Chemicals to design and build a fertilizer complex, said the company.

The German engineering group said the order value is several hundred million euros.

Thyssenkrupp said the new complex will be built around 100 kilometers (62 miles) southeast of Cairo and should begin operations in 2022.

The complex is expected to be operational in 2022 and will have an annual production of up to 440,000 tonnes of ammonia, 380,000 tonnes of urea and 300,000 tonnes of calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN).

The new plants are part of NCIC’s plans to expand its current product portfolio to include high-quality nitrogen fertilizer for local and export markets, said the release.

Tank fire sends black smoke plume across major US city

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A storage tank fire on the Houston Ship Channel sent a plume of black smoke across the eastern half of the city on Sunday forcing residents in the suburb of Deer Park, Texas, to remain indoors, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

A giant storage tank containing volatile naphtha at Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) Deer Park site continued to burn six hours after the blaze broke out at about 10:30 a.m. local time (1530 GMT).

Ships were continuing to move along the ship channel which connects refineries and chemical plants in Houston and Texas City, Texas, with the Gulf of Mexico. The only restriction on shipping was an order from the U.S. Coast Guard not to dock at ITC or an adjoining terminal.

The fire was not affecting operations at the nearby Royal Dutch Shell Plc joint-venture refinery in Deer Park, according to Shell spokesman Ray Fisher.

ITC Vice President Alice Richardson said the company was attempting to gain control over the fire by using fire-suppressing foam. “We’re fighting this fire defensively to keep it contained to this tank,” Richardson told a news conference.

The burning tank is surrounded by several other storage tanks within a spill containment dike.

Naphtha derived from refining crude oil is most often used to create reformates which boost octane in gasoline.

Uganda, Saipem plan next steps for refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Uganda has approved Italian oil services firm Saipem’s plan for early engineering work on what is due to become a 60,000 barrel per day refinery in the East African country, a nascent oil producer, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to Saipem.

In April last year, Uganda signed a deal with a consortium, including a subsidiary of General Electric, to build and operate a 60,000 barrel per day refinery that will cost $3 billion-$4 billion and is due to come online by 2023.

The other members in the consortium, which expects to give the final go-ahead for investment in the project by the end of 2020, are YAATRA Africa and LionWorks Group.

"(Ugandan Energy) Minister (Irene) Muloni approved the proposal for a technical solution developed by Saipem" for early-phase engineering and procurement for the refinery project, the company said.

France’s Total, Britain’s Tullow and China’s CNOOC are developing Uganda’s onshore oil.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has said he wants his country to process some of the crude the country expects to start producing by 2022 to help create jobs and wring more benefits from the sector by using the refinery to develop associated petrochemical industries.

The refinery could put Uganda on a different path from many other African crude producers whose lack of refining capacity means they have to export the resource in raw form and buy back costly fuel, draining their foreign exchange earnings and sapping local economies.

As MRC reported previously, in November 2016, oil firms including China's Sinopec expressed an interest in developing Uganda's planned oil refinery, and an investor for the project was to be selected by February 2017.

Celanese raises March prices for Ateva EVA polymers in Asia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global specialty materials company, has increased March list and off-list selling prices for Ateva EVA polymers in Asia, as per the company's press release.

The price increases below was effective for orders shipped on or after 13 March, 2018, or as contracts otherwise allow.

Thus, the company's EVA prices went up by USD80/mt for Asia.

As MRC wrote before, Celanese last raised its Ateva EVA polymers prices in Asia on 1 November 2018 by USD110/mt.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 7,600 employees worldwide and had 2018 net sales of USD7.2 billion.