Fluor to provide project management consultancy services for petrochemicals project in India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Fluor Corporation announced that it was awarded a project management consultancy services contract by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) for its Polyols Petrochemicals Project at its existing integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex in Kochi, Kerala, India, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Fluor’s scope of work includes front-end engineering and design of both the inside and outside battery limits as well as detailed design, engineering, procurement and construction management services for the facility’s utilities and offsites. Fluor booked its portion of the undisclosed contract value in the fourth quarter of 2019.

"Fluor is honored to be selected as the project management consultant for BPCL’s prestigious polyols project in Kochi," said Mark Fields, group president of Fluor’s Energy & Chemicals business. "We look forward to working with BPCL to deliver a world-class facility that will help meet growing domestic demand for polyols and reduce India’s dependence on petrochemicals imports."

Six new process units will be built as part of this project and integrated into the existing refinery. New process units will include propylene oxide, propylene glycol, polyols, ethylene oxide/monoethylene glycol (MEG), ethylene recovery unit and a cumene unit.

When complete, the Kochi complex will produce propylene glycol, ethylene glycol and various grades of polyols based on 250 kilotonnes per annum of polymer grade propylene. Polyols are used for a variety of applications in the automobile, textile and furniture industries. They are also widely used in construction as insulation and sealants.

“BPCL is making major advancements at its Kochi Refinery to produce niche petrochemicals that are extensively imported into India to manufacture polyurethanes used in footwear, foam and other items," said Mr. Murali Madhavan, executive director of BPCL’s Kochi Refinery. "We are happy that Fluor, an internationally reputed engineering and consultancy organization, has been selected as the project management consultant for the project."

Fluor's New Delhi office will lead project execution with support provided by Fluor’s network of global experts.

As MRC informed previously, BPCL plans to set up a petrochemicals unit at its Bina refinery in Madhya Pradesh as part of its Rs25,000 crore expansion plan for the refinery. The petrochemical unit, which will include a 1.5 mln tpa naphtha cracker, is expected to cost Rs6,000-7,000 crore.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,093,260 tonnes in 2019, up by 6% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. PE shipments rose from both domestic producers and foreign suppliers. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market was 1,260,400 tonnes in January-December 2019, up by 4% year on year. Supply of almost all grades of propylene polymers increased, except for statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers).

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) is an Indian state-controlled oil and gas company headquartered in Mumbai, India. Bharat Petroleum owns refineries at Mumbai, Maharashtra and Kochi, Kerala (Kochi Refineries) with a capacity of 12 and 9.5 million metric tonnes per year.

Evonik and PeroxyChem finalised acquisition

MOSCOW (MRC) -- German speciality chemicals company Evonik has completed the acquisition of US-based chemical manufacturing firm PeroxyChem for USD640m, said the company.

The deal was closed after a court in Washington DC dismissed the lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to block the acquisition. Evonik executive board chairman Christian Kullmann said: “In its judgment, the court confirmed our view of the H2O2 and PAA market and, above all, the strong speciality focus of PeroxyChem’s portfolio.

"The acquisition unlocks additional growth opportunities for us, especially in the market for environmentally friendly disinfectants."

In 2018, Evonik entered an agreement with One Equity Partners to acquire PeroxyChem.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, PeroxyChem is involved in the manufacturing of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and peracetic acid.

Hydrogen peroxide is a sustainable and resource-efficient chemical that is converted into hydrogen and water during processing.

The anti-trust authorities outside the US had also given their clearance for the transaction. However, the FTC had filed a lawsuit to stop the completion of the acquisition in August 2019.

As MRC informed earlier, Evonik joined with other manufacturers in the High Phthalates Panel (HPP), a sector group of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), in a voluntary manufacturer request to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct a broad-based risk evaluation of the uses of DINP. The EPA granted the request in early December 2019, a decision welcomed by Evonik. The EPA’s risk evaluation will be performed using the best available science and weight of scientific evidence. The process will be documented and open for public review and comment.

As per MRC's ScanPlast, Russia's overall production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) reached 975,000 tonnes in 2019, up by 2% year on year. At the same time, not all Russian producers raised their output. December total production of unmixed PVC was about 81,400 tonnes versus 84,600 tonnes a month earlier, RusVinyl decreased their capacity utilisation in November. Overall PVC production reached 975,000 tonnes in January-December 2019, compared to 958,600 tonnes a year earlier. All plants raised their output, except for Kaustik Volgograd.

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The focus on more specialty businesses, customer-oriented innovative prowess and a trustful and performance-oriented corporate culture form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. They are the lever for profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company. Evonik benefits specifically from its customer proximity and leading market positions. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world with more than 36,000 employees.

China 2019 and December crude oil runs hit record highs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China’s crude oil throughput rose to a record high in 2019 following the start-up of two mega-refineries, official data showed, with December posting the highest daily run-rate on record, reported Reuters.

The total amount of oil processed for the year reached 651.98 million tonnes, or about 13.04 million barrels per day (bpd) according to Reuters calculations, up 7.6% from 2018, National Bureau of Statistics figures showed.

Refinery runs in December came in at 58.51 million tonnes, or about 13.78 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 12.07 million bpd a year ago.

China added 28.5 million tonnes of new refining capacity in 2019 from mega-sized integrated refining plants, taking its total crude throughput capacity to 860 million tonnes.

The country is expected to launch at least another six refineries this year with combined oil processing capacity of 27 million tonnes, according to a think tank at China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

The group also forecast China’s crude oil throughput would grow to 675 million tonnes in 2020, with average utilization rate at refineries across the country to hold at around 75%.

The increased refining capacity and tepid demand in the local market knocked profit margins at refineries to around break-even in December, from a profit of nearly 300 yuan ($43.55) a ton in October, analysts estimated.

"Domestic demand for refined oil products is very weak, which sent prices of the refined products down and largely reduced the revenue at refineries, but meanwhile raw material prices were high," said Wang Zhao, analyst at Sublime Information Corp, before the data was released.

Friday’s data also showed China’s domestic crude oil output fell 1.9% in December from a year earlier to 16.06 million tonnes, or about 3.78 million bpd.

For 2019, crude output edged up 0.8% on year, reaching 191.01 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, China’s natural gas production rose 7.5% year-on-year to 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) in December, while full year output rose to 173.6 bcm, up 9.8%, in line with a central government push to boost domestic supply.

DuPont launches new SRU technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DuPont Clean Technologies (DuPont), supplier of world-leading scrubbing and other environmental technologies, has introduced a new, advanced steam plume suppression solution for its MECS DynaWave scrubbers in SRU (sulfur recovery units) applications, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Called Sennuba plume suppression technology, it employs two heat exchangers and a heat transfer medium to heat stack gas from the wet scrubbers that are used to remove pollutants from flue gases, with steam produced with the heat of the gas at the inlet of those scrubbers. This solution avoids the high operating costs associated with other methods of steam plume control, as it recovers otherwise lost heat from the process to generate the necessary steam to suppress the visible plume. Sennuba™ is designed with a heat transfer medium so there is no chance of leakage of the process gas directly to the stack gas. In this design, there is no forced circulation of the heat transfer medium.

"Our aim was to develop a solution that would offer the refining industry a cost effective, simple to operate and low maintenance plume suppression technology for its SRU scrubbers,” said Yves Herssens, Global Licensing Manager – Scrubbing Technologies, DuPont Clean Technologies. “Sennuba™ offers reliable plume suppression and corrosion control in a scrubbing system that is at minimal risk of plugging."

As MRC informed earlier, DuPont Teijin Films has launched a new depolymerisation process which upcycles post-consumer PET waste into technically-advanced BOPET films suitable for use in various applications.

As per MRC's DataScope, imports of injection moulding PET chips in Russia increased by 13% in 2019 compared with the same period a year ago and reached 126,600 tonnes. The same indicator in January-December 2018 amounted to 111,700 tonnes, according to MRC"s ScanPlast. The share of imports from China of bottled PET remained at the level of the previous year and amounted to 87% in January - December 2019.

BP chief financial officer Brian Gilvary retires and be succeeded by Murray Auchincloss

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The board of BP p.l.c. has recently announced that Brian Gilvary, BP chief financial officer (CFO), has decided to retire from the company and step down from the BP board on 30 June 2020, as per the company's press release.

Gilvary has had a 34-year career with BP, including over eight years as CFO.

He will be succeeded by Murray Auchincloss, currently CFO of BP’s Upstream segment, who will take up the role of BP CFO and join the board on 1 July 2020. Gilvary and Auchincloss will work together between now and the end of June to ensure an orderly transition.

BP chairman Helge Lund said: "We will miss Brian’s financial stewardship and strategic insights. He is one of the architects of today’s BP, key to its transformation into a safer, simpler and stronger company. After a thorough selection process, the board is pleased to have chosen Murray as BP’s next CFO. With his international financial and commercial experience and a deep understanding of the whole group, he will play an important role as BP continues to develop in a fast-changing energy market. On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Brian for all he has done for BP and look forward to welcoming Murray to the board."

Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive said: "I have worked closely with Brian for more than two decades and have always valued his financial expertise, strategic guidance and his unwavering dedication to the company. It is difficult to overstate the contribution he has made to BP: few CFOs have faced challenges of the scale that he has, and far fewer have managed them as successfully. As now we both approach retirement, I will miss working with him."

Bernard Looney, currently chief executive Upstream and BP group chief executive from 5 February 2020, said: "All of us at BP will greatly miss Brian’s clarity of thought, his candour and his commitment to the company. I appreciate that he has agreed to stay in post until mid-year to ensure a successful handover to Murray. I have worked side-by-side with Murray for many years and have the utmost confidence in his ability to step into this critical role."

Gilvary joined BP in 1986 with a PhD in mathematics from the University of Manchester. After a variety of commercial and financial roles internationally in BP’s upstream, downstream and trading businesses, he became chief executive of BP ‘s integrated supply and trading function in 2005 and in 2010 deputy CFO and head of finance. He became BP CFO and joined the board in January 2012.

During his time as CFO he has managed some of the most complex issues to face BP: leading the rebuilding and strengthening of the group’s finances and the resolution of complex litigation after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; managing the impacts of the oil price crash of 2014/15; and playing an integral role in evolving BP’s position in Russia.

As MRC reported before, in September 2019, six world's major petrochemical companies in Flanders, Belgium, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the Netherlands (Trilateral Region) announced the creation of a consortium to jointly investigate how naphtha or gas steam crackers could be operated using renewable electricity instead of fossil fuels. The Cracker of the Future consortium, which includes BASF, Borealis, BP, LyondellBasell, SABIC and Total, aims to produce base chemicals while also significantly reducing carbon emissions. The companies agreed to invest in R&D and knowledge sharing as they assess the possibility of transitioning their base chemical production to renewable electricity.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,093,260 tonnes in 2019, up by 6% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. PE shipments rose from both domestic producers and foreign suppliers. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market was 1,260,400 tonnes in January-December 2019, up by 4% year on year. Supply of almost all grades of propylene polymers increased, except for statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers).

BP is one of the world's leading international oil and gas companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items.