MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies SE plans to begin restarting the gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracker unit (FCCU) at its 225,500 barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery by Oct. 14, said sources familiar with plant operation, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
TotalEnergies did not reply to a request for comment. The 76,000-bpd FCCU shut down on Sept. 9 because of a boiler leak, forcing a shutdown of the entire refinery due to the loss of steam supply from the FCCU, the sources said.
Late last week, Total restarted the 40,000-bpd ACU-2 crude distillation unit (CDU) and its attached 51,000-bpd vacuum distillation unit-1 (VDU-1), according to the sources. Both units shut down on Sept. 9.
ACU-2 is the smaller of two CDUs at the refinery. The 150,000-bpd ACU-1 CDU and its attached 60,000-bpd VDU-2 as well as the 60,000-bpd coker are remaining shut for a planned overhaul scheduled to last about two months, the sources said.
CDUs do the initial breakdown of crude oil into feedstocks for all other units at the refinery. VDUs refine at vacuum pressure residual crude from the CDUs, which operate at atmospheric pressure. Cokers convert residual crude from distillation units into either motor fuel feedstocks or petroleum coke, a coal substitute.
Total has had a string of issues at its French refineries in recent years. The 240,000 b/d Gonfreville refinery near Le Havre only resumed crude runs in June following a fire at the end of 2019. Cracks in a pipeline that supplied crude to the 93,000 b/d Grandpuits refinery were discovered last year, forcing the plant to shut ahead of schedule. Grandpuits was already earmarked for conversion into a biorefinery. A previous pipeline leak shut the refinery in June 2014.
Leaks in the pipeline supplying Feyzin forced a three-week shutdown in the summer of 2019. And a crack was also found earlier this year in a pipeline that supplies crude to TotalEnergies' 222,000 b/d Donges refinery. Donges was shut on economic grounds at the time and is due to remain closed until next year.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,396,960 tonnes in January-July 2021, up by 7% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 841,990 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by 29% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.
Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.