Methanex provides update on Geismar 3 methanol plant in Geismar

Methanex provides update on Geismar 3 methanol plant in Geismar

Methanex Corporation announced that commercial production of its new 1.8 MMt methanol plant, Geismar 3, in Geismar, Louisiana has been delayed due to complications that occurred in the autothermal reformer during the late stages of the initial start-up process, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This issue required the ATR to be cooled and brought to a safe state where teams could conduct detailed inspections of the vessel.

Upon completing initial inspections, it has been determined that there is significant damage to a large number of supporting refractory bricks in the vessel which will require replacement. The specialty formed refractory bricks require time to procure and, as a result, management believes commercial production could be delayed up to the end of the third quarter of 2024. The investigation and planning to rectify the issue is ongoing and management is exploring all avenues to accelerate the repair time. Based on the preliminary findings of its root cause analysis, management believes that this issue relates to complications in the initial start-up process and is not a plant design or construction issue. Management believes that the total capital cost will not significantly exceed the upper end of the capital cost guidance of $1.30 billion.

Rich Sumner, President and CEO of Methanex commented, “We are disappointed by this delay, and we are actively working with our critical suppliers to expedite delivery to facilitate the start-up of G3. I want to thank our G3 team who are working tirelessly to ensure a safe startup of the plant. Safety remains our top priority followed by our commitment to deliver a quality plant.”

We remind, Methanex (Vancouver, Canada) will idle its 875,000-metric tons/day Titan methanol facility in Couva, Trinidad, “indefinitely” and is restructuring its operations there to support a “one-plant operation,” it says. The company halted production at Titan on 16 March 2020 due to the COVID-19-related downturn in manufacturing activity globally. Today’s announced restructure will result in the loss of approximately 60 jobs for employees and long-term contractors in Trinidad, it says.

Methanex is a Vancouver-based, publicly traded company and is the world’s largest supplier of methanol to major international markets. Methanex shares are listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada under the trading symbol “MX” and on the NASDAQ Global Market in the United States under the trading symbol “MEOH”.

LyondellBasell announces executive committee changes

LyondellBasell announces executive committee changes

LyondellBasell announced changes to its executive committee, effective March 1, 2024. Kimberly (Kim) Foley will assume the role of executive vice president, Global Olefins & Polyolefins (O&P), Refining and Supply Chain, and Aaron Ledet has been promoted to the role of executive vice president, Intermediates and Derivatives (I&D), said the company.

Ledet will join the company's executive committee. These changes follow the departure of Ken Lane, former executive vice president Global O&P, who is leaving the company to pursue another opportunity.

Foley has been executive vice president of Global I&D, Refining and Supply Chain since October 2022. She previously served as senior vice president, Global Engineering, Turnarounds and Health, Safety and Environment for LyondellBasell. She has more than 35 years of experience in the petrochemical industry, including leadership positions in Manufacturing, Strategic Planning, Finance and Supply Chain.

Ledet has been senior vice president of O&P Americas since October 2022, with manufacturing and commercial responsibility for the O&P Americas segment as well as responsibility for developing future options for the Houston refining operation. He previously served as vice president, Olefins & Feedstocks and has held a variety of leadership roles in the Advanced Polymer Solutions (APS) business segment, I&D, and global supply chain, both in the United States and Europe.

"Kim has done an exceptional job leading our I&D and refining businesses, delivering historically high results, and I am thrilled she will continue to execute on our strategy as the global head of O&P, Refining and Supply Chain. Aaron has done a fantastic job leading the O&P Americas business in a challenging environment and has a broad range of leadership experience in each of our strategic business units. I am excited to see him advance the I&D business moving forward," said Peter Vanacker, chief executive officer.

"These changes illustrate a successful succession planning process and our ability to retain and promote key talent within our organization," commented Vanacker. "I know these two executives will bring relentless focus on growing and upgrading our core and will continue to live out our company's commitments and values every day. I want to personally thank Ken for his contributions during his tenure and wish him well in future endeavors."

We remind, LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) announced that China Coal Shaanxi Yulin Energy & Chemical Co., Ltd. (China Coal Shaanxi), will use the LyondellBasell Spherizone, Hostalen Advanced Cascade Process (Hostalen ACP) and Lupotech T technology for its new facility. The process technology will be used for a 300,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) Spherizone polypropylene plant, a 300,000-m.t./yr Hostalen ACP high-density polyethylene plant and a 250,000-m.t./yr Lupotech T vinyl acetate copolymer plant, to be built in Yulin City, Shaanxi Province, P.R. China.

SABIC starts construction of $6.4bn petchem complex in China

SABIC starts construction of $6.4bn petchem complex in China

SABIC has started construction of its $6.4bn manufacturing complex in Fujian, southern China, said the company.

The SABIC Fujian Petrochemical Complex is located in Gulei Petrochemical Industrial Park. It will include a mixed-feed steam cracker with up to 1.8m tonne/year ethylene (C2) capacity and various downstream units producing ethylene glycols (EG), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polycarbonate (PC), among other products.

"The project is scheduled to commence the preparation for commissioning and start-up from the second half of 2026," SABIC said in a statement.

SABIC FUJIAN Petrochemicals Company (SFPC) – a 51:49 joint venture between SABIC Industrial Investment Company, a wholly owned SABIC subsidiary, and Fujian Fuhua Gulei Petrochemical – will build and operate the project.

SABIC announced the final investment decision for the project in January this year. China remains as a "very crucial and strategic market for SABIC", SABIC CEO Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh said.

"SABIC will continue to invest in China and collaborat[e] with our local partners to contribute to the country’s high-quality sustainable development,” he said. In addition to the groundbreaking ceremony on 19 February, engineering, procurement and construction contracts as well as a project financing loan agreement for the SABIC Fujian Petrochemical Complex were signed as well.

SABIC’s other major investments in China include three compounding plants in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing; a joint venture with Sinopec in Tianjin; a technology centre in Shanghai and a customer centre office in Guangzhou.

CITGO enters EV space with pilot program in Michigan

CITGO enters EV space with pilot program in Michigan

CITGO Petroleum Corporation, along with longtime Marketer Folk Oil Company, recently launched an electric vehicle charging pilot program designed to meet the needs of EV drivers in Battle Creek, Michigan, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The CITGO location at 15551 11 Mile Road now offers both regular transportation fuel and EV charging stations. For added consumer convenience, EV Chargers include both Charging System (CCS) and the North American Charging Standard (NACS) plugs.

"As a Marketer, we need to provide offerings that meet all types of transportation needs for our consumers," said Jim Linton, President of Folk Oil Company, "so we appreciate how CITGO is approaching the EV space in a way that ensures its Marketers' success. Working together we were able to pinpoint the best location to launch this program."

CITGO devised an internal model to assess the viability of EV sites and collaborated with national electrical company AGI for implementation. The turnkey solutions provider will work with stores throughout the entire process, even facilitating access to available grants via the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, the Inflation Reduction Act and U.S. Department of Transportation's Utilities.

Kevin Kinney, CITGO General Manager of Brand Equity, explained how the CITGO approach differs from the conventional industry approach. "Instead of a store receiving a monthly rent for EV Charger installation, the CITGO program provides upfront assistance, while still giving the Marketer full ownership of the installed EV charger."

"In addition to our turnkey solutions, we offer an extensive range of EV charger brands, giving CITGO Marketers the flexibility to choose the best solution for their site," shared Brad Hinkley, Vice President of Business Development for AGI's ELM Division. "With so many moving parts in the EV space, we're here to provide a streamlined program that covers everything from charger selection to post-installation maintenance."

We remind, in early February, Royal Dutch Shell, a prominent Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company, declared force majeure concerning the supply of butadiene to its facility in Norco, Louisiana, USA, said Chemanalyst.
Market reports have confirmed the shutdown of a line with a substantial capacity of 265,000 tonnes of butadiene annually. This operational halt is anticipated to persist at least until the conclusion of February, with the precise cause of the disruption remaining undisclosed.

ABS introduces standards for liquefied carbon dioxide carrier specifications

ABS introduces standards for liquefied carbon dioxide carrier specifications

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has taken a pioneering step in the maritime industry by unveiling its groundbreaking requirements tailored specifically for liquefied carbon dioxide (CO2) carriers, said Chemanalyst.

This development not only holds significance for the shipping sector but also bears considerable importance in the emerging domain of carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The recently published "Requirements for Liquefied Carbon Dioxide Carriers" by ABS is a comprehensive set of standards focusing on the design, construction, and classification of vessels intended for transporting liquefied CO2 (LCO2) as cargo. This initiative signifies a crucial milestone, underscoring the industry's response to the escalating global efforts to capture and store CO2 emissions.

As nations across the globe intensify their endeavors to address climate change, the demand for transporting substantial volumes of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2, is on the rise. The critical aspect of this equation involves countries lacking the geological conditions necessary for on-site storage of their emissions. Liquefied CO2 carriers emerge as a vital solution to facilitate the shipment and storage of captured emissions to suitable locations.

The newly established requirements serve as a guide for the industry, offering valuable insights to address the unique challenges associated with the transportation of liquefied CO2. The primary objectives are to ensure the safety of the crew, protect the integrity of the vessel, and minimize environmental risks. ABS, with its extensive experience and standing in the maritime sector, aims to contribute actively to the secure and efficient transport of CO2, aligning with the broader objectives of environmental sustainability and climate action.

The maritime industry, historically known for its role in global trade and transportation, is now adapting to meet the evolving demands of sustainability. The ABS initiative reflects the industry's commitment to providing solutions that align with emerging environmental priorities. Liquefied CO2 carriers, as outlined in these requirements, become instrumental in facilitating the logistical aspects of carbon capture and storage, thereby contributing to the broader objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

ABS's publication of requirements for liquefied CO2 carriers represents a groundbreaking move in the maritime sector, signalling a proactive response to the growing challenges associated with carbon capture and storage. The industry's commitment to developing standards for the safe and efficient transportation of CO2 underscores its role as a key player in advancing sustainable practices. As nations intensify their efforts to combat climate change, initiatives like these pave the way for innovative solutions that address the complex interplay between emissions reduction, transportation, and storage. ABS's leadership in this realm reflects a commitment to driving positive change in the maritime industry and contributing to global sustainability goals.

We remind, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd (MHI), based in Tokyo, has unveiled its involvement in the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for a CO2 capture plant at Padeswood Cement Works in Flintshire, U.K. This initiative, in collaboration with leading global cement manufacturer Heidelberg Materials UK, aims to scrutinize the specifications of the CO2 capture plant, furthering the progress of the Padeswood CCS (carbon capture and storage) project.