McDermott to upgrade fluid catalytic cracking unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- McDermott International, Inc. announced that it has been awarded a sizeable technology contract by Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS) for the modernization of its existing Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) unit to be implemented at their refinery in Pancevo, Serbia, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

As part of this project, McDermott's Lummus Technology will provide the license and basic engineering for the Indmax FCC technology and a grassroots CDEtbe unit for production of bio ethanol base Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE). The state-of-the-art Indmax FCC technology, which was jointly developed by Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) and Lummus, will shift the yield of the existing FCC unit toward production of valuable olefins and higher-octane naphtha. Part of the olefins will be converted with bio-ethanol to ETBE using Lummus' CDEtbe technology, which is used as a clean, octane-boosting gasoline-blending component.

"We are extremely pleased that NIS has again selected Lummus Technology to upgrade their refinery," said Leon de Bruyn, Senior Vice President of Lummus Technology. "This award represents the first license of the Indmax FCC technology in Europe, demonstrating the increasing interest in Indmax FCC globally. It also demonstrates our ability to supply integrated and optimized solutions to our clients from our broad portfolio of technologies. NIS will benefit from the added process flexibility and improved economics for many years to come."

Previously, NIS has also selected the hydrocracking technology from Lummus Technology's joint venture, Chevron Lummus Global (CLG), as well as, more recently, Lummus Technology's delayed coking technology.

McDermott's Lummus Technology is a leading licensor of proprietary petrochemicals, refining, gasification and gas processing technologies, and a supplier of proprietary catalysts and related engineering. With a heritage spanning more than 100 years, encompassing approximately 3,400 patents and patent applications, Lummus Technology provides one of the industry's most diversified technology portfolios to the hydrocarbon processing sector.

The award for the license and basic engineering will be reflected in McDermott's fourth quarter 2019 backlog.

As MRC wrote before, in October 2017, Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft, through its subsidiary NIS, started construction of a new deep conversion complex (DCC) at its Pancevo Refinery in Serbia with an investment of over EUR300m.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,724,670 tonnes in the first ten months of 2019, up by 7% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market in January-October 2019 totalled 1,066,520 tonnes, up by 7% year on year. Supply of block copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymer) and homopolymer of propylene (homopolymer PP) increased, demand for statistical copolymers (PP random copolymer) decreased.

NIS is one of the largest integrated oil and gas companies in South-Eastern Europe, engaged in exploration, production and refining of oil and gas, and marketing petroleum products. Major shareholders are Gazprom Neft (56.15%) and the Government of the Republic of Serbia. (29.88%). The rest of the shares are owned by minority shareholders.

Industrie Ilpea opened a factory for the production of PVC seals near Lipetsk

MOSCOW (MRC) - Industrie Ilpea Spa (Italy, "Industry Ilpea SPA") launched a plant for the production of PVC seals near Lipetsk on 13 December, Kommersant reports.

At the first stage, they will produce rubber seals made of polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) for refrigerators and washing machines using extrusion technology. Subsequently, they will establish a production line of gaskets for metal doors.

The volume of investments in the project amounted to 600 million roubles. The company already employs about a hundred people - residents of Lipetsk and the Lipetsk region. In the future, there will be another fifty jobs. The average salary at the enterprise is 40,000 roubles.

At the initial stage, the company will produce about two million seals for refrigerators and one million seals for washing machines per year.

After the equipment is moved from the company’s enterprise being liquidated in Saratov, Sentsovskiy’s production capacity will triple.

It was previously reported that in August 2019, the Chinese company Haier launched a plant for the production of washing machines with a capacity of 500 thousand units annually in Naberezhnye Chelny, Tatarstan.

Ilpea-Sar LLC was registered in August 2010 in Saratov for the production of synthetic rubber in primary forms. with an authorized capital of 27 million roubles. The average headcount is 34 people, and Vladimir Ignatov has been appointed Director General. The company is 100% owned by Ilpea, whose founders are 99.98% owned by the Italian JSC Industry Ilpea S.P.A.


Mizushima PX eyes maintenance at paraxylene unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mizushima PX is likely to halt operations at the paraxylene (PX) plant for a turnaround, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Japan informed that the company has scheduled turnaround at the plant in February 2020 for a period of around 6-7 weeks. The exact date of shutdown could not be ascertained.

Located at Mizushima, Japan, the PX plant has a production capacity of 350,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote previously, the company conducted scheduled two-month maintenance works at this plant from mid-February, 2019.

PX is a feedstock for the production of purified terephthalic acid (PTA). PTA is used to produce polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which, in its turn, is used in the manufacturing of plastic bottles, films, packaging containers, in the textile and food industries.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall estimated PET consumption reached 42,020 tonnes in October 2019, down by 32% year on year. PET consumption in Russia increased to 593,480 tonnes in January-October 2019, up by 5% year on year.

Nord Stream 2 pipelayer Allseas suspends operations on US sanctions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Switzerland-based Allseas - which has been integral to laying the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany - has suspended pipelaying activity after US President Donald Trump signed new sanctions into law late last Friday, reported S&P Global with reference to the company's statement.

The move by Allseas will certainly mean new delays to the completion of the 55 Bcm/year pipeline, which had originally been scheduled to start operations at the end of 2019.

"In anticipation of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Allseas has suspended its Nord Stream 2 pipelay activities," the company said in a brief statement.

"Allseas will proceed, consistent with the legislation's wind down provision and expect guidance comprising of the necessary regulatory, technical and environmental clarifications from the relevant US authority," it said.

The new sanctions language against Nord Stream 2 is part of the NDAA, which had already been approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

It calls for the US State and Treasury departments to submit a report within 60 days that identifies "vessels that engaged in pipe-laying at depths of 100 feet or more below sea level for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, the TurkStream pipeline project or any project that is a successor to either such project." Those ships and identified executives involved with those ships could then face sanctions.

According to cFlow, S&P Global Platts trade flow software, two Switzerland-based Allseas pipelaying ships have been moving in a northeast-southwest direction off the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.

The Pioneering Spirit began laying the Danish part of Nord Stream 2 around November 28 and has tracked some 60% of its route to the border with Germany's Exclusive Economic Zone, according to Platts cFlow.

The Solitaire is around four days behind the Pioneering Spirit, according to cFlow.

According to S&P Global Platts Analytics, Nord Stream 2 would have to seek alternative vessels and contractors to complete the remaining section of pipe in Danish waters if the sanctions are enacted.

"While the most challenging parts of Nord Stream 2 have been laid in water depths of around 200 meters, the remaining section in Danish waters at 90 meters depth remains complicated," it said.

Russian companies operate capable offshore pipe-lay vessels, which have completed projects in challenging Arctic conditions, including the MRTS Defender, which worked on the offshore stretch of the Bovanenkovo-Ukhta pipeline.

Platts Analytics believes MRTS Fortuna could be used to complete Nord Stream 2, but is capable of laying just 1 km/d.

A further obstacle, according to Platts Analytics, is that the Danish permit application states that it is assumed that the vessels used to complete the Danish section will have dynamic positioning capabilities (such as those of the Allseas vessels) which are not present on MRTS Fortuna.

A Russian pipelaying vessel that already has dynamic positioning capabilities, Akademik Cherskiy, could be used, but it would take up to two months to arrive to Danish waters as it is currently stationed in Russia's Far East.

As MRC informed earlier, Gazprom Neft, part of Gazprom, and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) have entered into a Framework Agreement on Strategic Cooperation. The companies will explore opportunities for implementing joint projects in the upstream and downstream sectors, as well as in information technologies, artificial intelligence, and other areas.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,724,670 tonnes in the first ten months of 2019, up by 7% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market in January-October 2019 totalled 1,066,520 tonnes, up by 7% year on year. Supply of block copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymer) and homopolymer of propylene (homopolymer PP) increased, demand for statistical copolymers (PP random copolymer) decreased.

Sinopec Maoming will close HDPE line for turnaround in May

MOSCOW (MRC) - Sinopec Maoming, a subsidiary of one of the world's largest energy and chemical companies - Sinopec, plans to close production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) production line in Guangdong Province (Guangdong, China) on 5 May, 2020 for scheduled maintenances, Polymerupdate reports.

Planned work on this line with a capacity of 400,000 tonnes of HDPE per year will continue until 14 July. In the same numbers, the LDPE line with a capacity of 280,000 tonnes per year will be also closed.

At a site in Guangdong, Sinopec Maoming also runs another LDPE line with a capacity of 120,000 tons per year.

As per MRC's ScanPlast, November HDPE production in Russia grew to 65,500 tonnes, whereas this figure was 45,900 tonnes a month earlier. Low output in October was a result of shutdowns for maintenance at Stavrolen and Kazanorgsintez. Thus, overall HDPE production reached 795,800 tonnes in January-November 2019, compared to 877,600 tonnes a year earlier.

Sinopec corp. is one of the world's largest integrated energy and chemical companies. Business Sinopec Corp. includes oil and gas exploration, production and transportation of oil and gas, oil refining, petrochemical production, production of mineral fertilizers and other chemical products. In terms of refining capacity, Sinopec Corp. ranks second in the world, in terms of ethylene capacity - fourth.