Strike action, outages in France's refined product sector

Strike action, outages in France's refined product sector

MOSCOW (MRC) -- France's refined products sector is under strain as a result of strike action over pay and unplanned maintenance which have led to more than 40% of its refining capacity being taken offline, said Reuters.

The outages come at a time where Europe is looking to ease its dependence on Russian fuel. Here are the oil companies and sites affected by strike action and outages.

French unions CGT and Force Ouvriere called for a strike on Sept. 20 following wage negotiations with ExxonMobil related to rising inflation in Europe. Strike action continued on Sept. 27 with wage discussions still underway, an ExxonMobil spokesperson told Reuters.

"This unfortunate situation may impact our customers, contractors, suppliers, and employees, and affects the international reputation of Exxon Mobil activities in France," the spokesperson said. Exxon began gradually closing the 240,000 barrel per day (bpd) Port Jerome-Gravenchon oil refinery on Sept. 20, which was completed on the weekend of Sept. 24.

Exxon began closing the NGD petrochemical site on Sept. 20 as a result of strike action and completed the shutdown on the weekend of Sept. 24.

Strike action spread to Exxon’s 235,000 bpd Fos-Sur-Mer refinery on Sept. 21, leading to a gradual shutdown of the plant, which was completed on the weekend of Sept. 24.

Workers at Exxon’s Toulouse depot joined the strike on Sept. 22 but Exxon said on Sept. 27 that operations at its terminals have not been impacted.

French union CGT began a three-day strike over wages on Sept. 27 across TotalEnergies’ platforms, which has disrupted refined product distribution across the oil firm's five French refineries.

"In anticipation of the strike, TotalEnergies has taken the necessary logistical measures to be able to supply its service station network and its customers normally," a TotalEnergies spokesperson said.

No product is leaving TotalEnergies’ 240,000 bpd Gonfreville oil refinery, the 119,000 bpd Feyzin oil refinery, the 230,000 bpd Donges refinery and La Mede biorefinery, CGT union delegate Thierry Defresne said.

Very little product is currently leaving the 102,000 bpd Grandpuits refinery, and distribution will be halted on Sept. 28, a union official at Grandpuits told Reuters on Sept. 27.

Product transport from the Cote d’Opale fuel storage depots near Dunkirk has also stopped, CGT union delegate Thierry Defresne said.

TotalEnergies' 119,000 bpd Feyzin oil refinery in southern France was taken offline on Sept. 16 after a leak at the fluid catalytic cracking unit. The refinery is likely to remain closed for 4-6 weeks from that date, CGT union delegate Thierry Defresne said.

Indian Oil awards prestigious 400 TPD SRU Project to Nuberg EPC

Indian Oil awards prestigious 400 TPD SRU Project to Nuberg EPC

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian Oil Corporation Limited is expanding the petrochemical capacity of its Gujarat refinery (LuPech Project), said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Nuberg EPC, the leading Indian Global EPC and turnkey project management company today announced that it has been selected by Indian Oil for the construction of Rs 650+ crore Sulfur Recovery Plant consisting of Sulfur Recovery Unit (1 x 400 TPD) including control room and substation for sulfur block under international competitive bidding. Indian Oil, a Government of India Enterprise, is the country's top refiner and fuel retailer. The Sulphur Recovery Plant is being built with in Indian Oil's existing facility of Vadodra, Gujaratfor Petrochemical and Lube Integration Project.

Nuberg EPC shall be executing this project using the latest French technology to future proof Indian Oil's Environmental Sustainability and augmenting Sulphur production capability. The 1 x 400 TPD Sulphur Recovery Unit will enable Indian Oil to recover sulfur from Sour Gas a by-product of the refinery. The Plant is expected to be ready for production in just 28 months. The company is taking up the project on LSTK basis including the technology.

On being awarded the project, Mr. A. K. Tyagi, CMD, Nuberg Engineering commented, "We are thankful to Indian Oil Corporation Limited for entrusting another turnkey project to our engineering capabilities and EPC services and solutions. This partnership with Indian Oil is in addition to Nuberg EPC building and commissioning India's first commercial scale Hydrogen Purification (fuel cell grade), Compression, Storage Dispensing Facility for Indian Oil at Vadodara. The 1.5 TPD project involves generation of ultra-pure hydrogen and its storage at extremely high pressure."

This Sulfur Recovery Plant project from Indian Oilcomes as another milestone for Nuberg EPC. Nuberg EPC has in recent past bagged prestigious projects including Castic Soda Plant project for Lineer Kostik Soda Sanayi Anomin Sirketi in Turkey, Sulfuric Acid Project for Sprea Misr in Egypt, Sulfuric Acid Plant Project for Awash Melkassa Chemical Factory in Ethiopia, Sulfuric Acid Plant Project for International Company for Chemical Industry in Egypt,and Hydrogen Peroxide Plant for Uzbekistan Hydrogen JU LLC in Uzbekistan.

Nuberg EPC's proven global execution experience and in-house strengths of driving technology-oriented projects has already made her a global leader for executing turnkey projects worldwide. The company has also set-up and commissioned multiple plants in Chemicals Fertilizers, Hydrocarbon, Steel, and Nuclear Defense industries globally. Being a responsible global corporate citizen, Nuberg EPC is committed to innovating world class technologies and processes. The company is actively delivering projects globally leveraging its Indian strengths and is expanding its footprints in Hydrogen - Green, Grey, and Blue; 2G 3G Ethanol, Water Electrolysis, Water Soluble Fertilizers and Next Generation Nutrients, in addition to traditional strengths.

We remind, Indian Oil Refining and Marketing Company Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) plans to invest 1.4 trillion rupees (USD17.65 billion) in petrochemicals, city gas and clean energy businesses in the next five years, a new agency Press Trust of India (PTI). The investment is part of the firm’s efforts to develop its non-fuel business.

SIBUR launches production of PET granules with recycled content

SIBUR launches production of PET granules with recycled content

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR has launched production of PET granules using recycled feedstock. The new product, Vivilen rPET granules, contains up to 25–30% recycled polymers and will now be manufactured at POLIEF, said the company.

Once the facility reaches its design capacity, each year POLIEF will be able to produce up to 144,000 tonnes of Vivilen PET granules with a share of recycled content. The volume of polymers that can be involved in reuse amount to up to 34,000 tonnes, which compares with 1.7 bn used plastic bottles. To make this project a reality, SIBUR had to integrate the recycled feedstock supply line into the primary PET process in place at the facility in Bashkortostan. POLIEF’s total PET production capacity is expected at 252,000 tonnes per year.

The testing and homologation of the new equipment with the first potential customers have been successfully completed. The results of the tests confirm that Vivilen rPET is on a par with the primary polymer in terms of technical and operational qualities, it complies with the food safety standards and can be used in the production of packaging for food and beverages. Project costs totalled over RUB 4 bn. The initiative was also supported by Russia’s Industrial Development Fund, which provided a low-interest loan of RUB 1.2 bn.

We remind, in 2020 SIBUR's POLIEF site in Blagoveshchensk, Republic of Bashkortostan, launches the production of green PET granules, which, among other materials, will rely on some 34 kt of recycled plastics annually.

The Blagoveshchensk facility was SIBUR’s first asset to start manufacturing products containing recycled waste. Once completed, the project offers a wealth of opportunities for packaging manufacturers, who previously shied away from using recycled polymers because of the need to invest in additional equipment. With Vivilen rPET, no additional investment is required. SIBUR continues to develop new solutions and teams up with partners to explore the new ways of reusing other types of polymers, including widely popular polyethylene and polypropylene.

Biotrend Energy to build waste-plastics recycling plant in Turkey

Biotrend Energy to build waste-plastics recycling plant in Turkey

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell says that Biotrend Energy (Istanbul, Turkey) will apply Honeywell’s UpCycle process technology in Biotrend Energy’s planned plastics recycling factory in Turkey, said Chemengonline.

The facility will convert mixed waste plastics into recycled polymer feedstock (RPF), enabling the development of a circular economy for plastics. When completed, it will become the first commercialized waste-plastics-recycling facility in Turkey using Honeywell’s UpCycle process technology.

The planned advanced-recycling plant is expected to have the capacity to transform 30,000 metric tons of mixed waste plastics into Honeywell Recycled Polymer Feedstock per year utilizing. Honeywell UOP (Des Plaines, Ill.) will provide related engineering and technical services, including startup, commissioning, and technical support services during the plant’s lifetime.

This project ushers in collaboration between Honeywell and Biotrend Energy on advanced plastics recycling in Turkey with the intent of the parties to collaborate on multiple, additional waste plastic recycling facilities in the future.

“Biotrend Energy is a leading player in the waste management sector in Turkey that is investing in a sustainable circular economy. I have full confidence that we will lead the sector in this field with Honeywell,” said Osman Nuri Vard?, CEO of Biotrend Energy. “Biotrend Energy’s experience in waste management, supported by Honeywell’s technology, will contribute to Biotrend Energy’s sustainability efforts."

Currently, Biotrend is only able to recover a low percentage of mechanically recycled materials. Moreover, there are some types of plastic waste that cannot be recycled mechanically due to certain process limitations caused by contamination, colors and additives used in plastic production. Currently, the plastics that cannot be mechanically recycled are either converted into Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) or stored in landfills.

Chemical recycling, like that used in the Honeywell UpCycle process technology, can process a wider range of waste plastics, supporting Biotrend’s efforts to increase recovery volumes of circular materials.

“Honeywell’s UpCycle process technology will help Biotrend Energy tackle the challenge of plastic waste in Turkey,” said Barry Glickman, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions. “Turkey will be able to increase the range of plastics that can be recycled, which offers the potential to displace a portion of fossil feedstocks for new plastic production."

Today’s announcement expands the UpCycle process technology footprint, building on Honeywell’s recent announcements in the U.S., Spain, and China.

We remind, Shanghai Honeywell announced that China Tianying (CNTY) has selected the Honeywell UpCycle process technology to use in a new advanced plastics recycling plant to be built in Jiangsu Province, China. The facility, which will be the first commercialized waste plastics recycling facility using the UpCycle process in China, will convert mixed waste plastics into polymer feedstock. A schedule for the project was not given.

Biotrend Energy is one of the pioneers of the integrated waste management industry in Turkey and processes 4,500,000 ton/yr of waste across its 18 facilities (including pre-licenced plants) within Turkey. Biotrend Energy’s activities include waste transfer, recycling, landfill, waste to energy and production of organic fertilizer (compost) and RDF.

Chevron Phillips Chemical announces executive leadership change

Chevron Phillips Chemical announces executive leadership change

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) has appointed Darren Ercolani as senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), effective 1 October, the US-based petrochemical company said.

He will succeed Carolyn Burke, who has resigned from the company effective 30 September.

Ercolani is currently senior vice president, business transformation. Before that, he held other roles at CP Chem, including general auditor, Asia-region controller, and CFO of the company’s Q-Chem joint venture in Qatar.

CP Chem also appointed Allison Martinez as senior vice president, business transformation and chief information officer, effective 1 October.

We remind, Air Liquide, Chevron, Keppel Infrastructure, and PetroChina announced they have signed an MoU to form a consortium which will aim to evaluate and advance the development of large-scale carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) solutions and integrated infrastructure in Singapore. The consortium intends to research, test, and develop technological, logistical, and operational solutions for CCUS in Singapore. In doing so, the consortium will look to provide industry-wide CCUS integrated infrastructure, primarily to support the energy and chemicals sector, by capturing and aggregating carbon dioxide (CO2) from large industrial emitters at a centralized collection facility.