McDermott Awarded EPsCm Contract from Slovnaft

McDermott Awarded EPsCm Contract from Slovnaft

McDermott has been awarded an engineering, procurement services and construction management (EPsCm) contract from Slovnaft, a.s., for the steam cracker intensification off-gas processing project at its plant in Bratislava, Slovakia, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The project will upgrade the existing steam cracker unit by adding a low-pressure recovery unit, increasing ethylene production capacity utilizing the off-gas from the existing production. McDermott will provide comprehensive EPsCm services and leverage its strategic agreement with Lummus Technology, the licensor of the steam cracker unit.

"McDermott has a long-standing relationship with Slovnaft, dating back to 2003. This award is testament to our prior performance and the confidence Slovnaft has in us," said Vaseem Khan, Senior Vice President, Onshore. "Our work with Lummus Technology since the basic design and engineering package phase of the project built our intricate knowledge and understanding of the unit. This project is an excellent example of how, through our strategic agreement with Lummus, we deliver technology solutions through the entire plant life cycle."

The Slovnaft refinery is one of the most modern refineries in Europe. In addition to oil processing and fuel production, it also produces basic plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene. The ethylene unit is key to the company's petrochemical section.

Work on the project will be delivered from McDermott's center for downstream engineering in Brno, Czech Republic.

We remind, McDermott International, together with its storage business, CB&I, has been awarded a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contract from Gunvor Petroleum Rotterdam B.V. for the Green Hydrogen Import Terminal project.

Mexican state seeks to punish Pemex for emissions from refinery

Mexican state seeks to punish Pemex for emissions from refinery

Mexico's northern state Nuevo Leon on Sunday warned that it would seek penalties for state oil company Pemex after a dramatic increase in visible emissions from its Cadereyta refinery earlier in the day, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Video footage posted on social media, including by State Governor Samuel Garcia, showed thick, yellow and black smoke billowing from flare stacks - meant to burn off only small volumes of excess natural gas.

"We're going to impose harsh penalties for this incident," Garcia, who belongs to the Citizens' Movement, a party in opposition to the ruling National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), said in a video message.

"I've asked the environmental minister to be forceful and apply the law so that, whatever happens, I no longer see these types of events that pollute our air. We have the right to clean air in Nuevo Leon."

Pemex said in a statement that it had "safely halted" operations in one of the plants at the Cadereyta refinery in the afternoon; the company added there was no risk to the population and the emissions were under control.

Nuevo Leon's environment ministry, however, said in a statement that it had repeatedly detected "intensified" emissions from the refinery, particularly at night, and that the refinery was responsible for 90% of sulfur dioxide emissions in the metropolitan area of Monterrey city, the state's capital.

The ministry said that state environmental law gave it the right, if necessary, to halt operations at the refinery.

Heavily indebted, Pemex is under intense international pressure, including from the United States, and its own bond investors, to clean up its operations after two vast methane leaks last year and excessive gas flaring.

We remind, Mexican state-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, also known as Pemex, expects to increase its crude processing to 1.2 M bpd this year. The rise from 922,000 bpd processed currently would come from Mexico's six active refineries along with Pemex's refinery in Deer Park, Texas, Nahle said at President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's regular news conference.

Technip Energies awarded a contract for a low-CO2 mega ethylene plant for Huizhou Phase III Project in China

Technip Energies awarded a contract for a low-CO2 mega ethylene plant for Huizhou Phase III Project in China

Technip Energies has been awarded a contract by CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Company Ltd. (CSPC) for the Huizhou Phase III project, a mega liquid ethylene cracker located in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Technip Energies is providing the proprietary technology and process design for CSPC’s 1,600 KTA(1) ethylene plant. This liquid ethylene cracker pioneers the use of a low CO2 furnace design and electrification of major compressors. The plant is anticipated to have 20% lower CO2 emissions than a similar conventional facility and will be able to maximize benefit from the rapidly decarbonizing power grid for future CO2 emission reduction.

In addition to the ethylene cracker technology, low emission furnace design scheme and the electrification of the major compressors, Technip Energies will provide key proprietary technology including a Heat Integrated Rectifier System (HRS), Ripple Trays and Spent Caustic Treatment Unit. The cracker utilizes Technip Energies’ Ultra Selective Conversion (USC) U and W coil furnace technology, selected due to its high energy efficiency and improved yields.

Bhaskar Patel, SVP Sustainable Fuels, Chemicals and Circularity of Technip Energies, stated: “We are pleased to be entrusted once again by CSPC for the third phase of Huizhou project. This award builds on our long-term collaboration, illustrated by the successful delivery of two prior ethylene plants in Huizhou, China. Our proven ethylene technology, and leading edge in the low-emission furnace design are clearly important differentiators to make this project a success. It will showcase CSPC and T.EN’s shared vision of accelerating the transition towards a sustainable future using technological advancement as a key lever.”

We remind, TotalEnergies is joining forces with Portuguese packaging player Intraplas to create commercial products with TotalEnergies renewable polymer – a range of the RE:clic portfolio, which uses renewable sources to lower carbon footprint. TotalEnergies’ biorefinery in La Mede, France, allows direct access to renewable feedstock for its drop-in RE: newable polymer range derived from bio-based products. The company claims these polymers retain virgin-like properties.

Wanhua Chemical posts 34% profits drop in 2022

Wanhua Chemical posts 34% profits drop in 2022
China’s Wanhua Chemical reported a 34.1% decrease in net profits in 2022, as steep increases in raw materials and energy prices significantly squeezed its margin, the company said.

The company has become the world’s biggest methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) supplier, with a combined capacity of 3.05m tonne/year as of late 2022.

It is also the world’s third largest toluene diisocyanate (TDI) supplier, with a total compacity of 650,000 tonne/year.

Cost for key raw materials rose heavily. For example, prices of benzene, coal and liquified petroleum gas surged by 14%-21% in 2022.

Its 1m tonne/year ethylene project in Yantai operated at 91% in 2022. Its polyurethane plants’ overall utilisation rate stood at 92% in 2022.

Outlooks: Progress on constructions of its Penglai complex, consisting of a 900,000 tonne/year propane dehydrogenation unit and downstream units. 2023 will be its “project year”. All project investments should follow three rules: in line with the company’s strategy and resources access capacity, having comparatively competitive advantages even in the most extreme competition scenario, with comprehensive considerations of global operating environment.

Wanhua Chemical also plans to increase the capacity of its polycarbonate (PC) plant in Yantai in Shandong province by 140,000 tons per year to 340,000 tons per year. The expansion will be carried out by reengineering the existing 200 ktpa PC production project at the site. The company is currently seeking environmental approval for the plan. The timing of the project is not disclosed.

Wanhua Chemical was founded on December 20, 1998, and is the first listed joint-stock enterprise after reorganization in Shandong Province, China. The company mainly produces diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI), including pure MDI and polymerized MDI used in the production of polyurethane (PU).

China still adding to crude inventories even as oil refining jumps

China still adding to crude inventories even as oil refining jumps

China still added more crude oil to inventories in the first two months of the year, despite lower imports and higher refinery processing rates, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

About 270,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude was added to commercial or strategic inventories over January and February, according to calculations based on official data. This was down from the 1.19 million bpd in December and the 740,000 bpd for 2022 as a whole.

The slower flow into storage tanks does support the market's bullish view for a rebound in China's oil demand in 2023 as the world's largest crude importer stimulates and reopens its economy after growth was crimped last year by the now abandoned strict zero-COVID policy.

But the fact that China is still building inventories also sounds a note of caution as it suggests that even as they ramp up processing rates, refiners still have bulging stockpiles to draw upon should the price of imported oil rise to levels they deem too high.

While the current oil price has been knocked lower by the two bank failures in the United States and the rapid takeover of struggling Swiss lender Credit Suisse, the market expectation is that a reinvigorated China will drive global oil demand this year, leading to higher prices.

China doesn't disclose the volumes of crude flowing into or out of strategic and commercial stockpiles, but an estimate can be made by deducting the amount of crude processed from the total of crude available from imports and domestic output.

The total volume of crude available from imports and domestic production in the first two months of the year was 14.63 million bpd, consisting of imports of 10.4 million bpd and local output of 4.23 million bpd.

The National Bureau of Statistics combines data for January and February to avoid distortions from the timing of the annual Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in late January this year.

We remind, Hengli Petrochemical has achieved on-spec purified terephthalic acid (PTA) production at its new facility located at Huizhou on 18 March. The company has a new 5m tonne/year PTA facility located at the site, split into two 2.5m tonne/year PTA units. On-spec PTA production was achieved at one of the two units.