Refining and Petrochemicals

BPCL Places Polyol Plant in Kochi on Hold

According to recent reports, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has placed a planned polyol production plant on hold at the Kochi facilities in Kerala. The company has been undergoing a privatization process and has ceased progress on this plan until it is settled.

Private Refinery in Louisiana Expected to Restart in February

Calcasieu Refining of Louisiana recently announced that it plans to restart its idled Calcasieu refinery in early February 2021. Production had been shut in since mid-2020.

Additional Petrochemical Investments in Burghausen Refinery

OMV, the integrated, international oil, gas and petrochemicals company headquartered in Vienna, is expanding and modernizing its cracker units and petrochemical cold section at its Burghausen Refinery in Germany. The measures aim to increase the site’s ethylene and propylene production capacity. Following the planned turnaround of the refinery, the upgraded units are expected to go live in the third quarter of 2022, whereby the initial groundwork is already underway.

Refinery Closures Continue as Imports Grow in Australia

BP’s Kwinana oil refinery, the largest in Australia with a capacity for 146,000 barrels per day, is expected to shut in its production this year, resulting in a reduction of over one-fifth of the country’s fuel production ability. Once production is shut in, BP plans to convert the facility into an import terminal for a country growing increasingly reliant upon imported fuel.

UAE Energy Minister believes oil demand could recover by the end of 2021

According to recent reports, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei has commented on a potentially updated timeline for a return to form for global oil demand. He believes that global demand will make a somewhat optimistic return to pre-pandemic level by the end of 2021 or early 2022.

Wood secures $120 million contract for ethylene expansion in China

Wood has secured a contract valued at over $120 million with Sinopec Hainan Refining and Chemical Limited Company (Sinopec) to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to expand its refinery development in the Hainan Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in South China.

Methanex Provides Update on its Trinidad Operations

Methanex Corporation (TSX:MX) (NASDAQ:MEOH) announced today that it expects its Titan methanol facility (“Titan”) in Trinidad (875,000 annual operating capacity) will remain idled indefinitely.

Técnicas Reunidas Receives an Environmental Enhancement Project Award for Chile’s Bio Bio Refinery

Técnicas Reunidas, S.A announced recently that it has been awarded an EPC contract for a Wet Gas Sulphuric Acid Plant (WSA), Sour Water Stripping Plant (SWS), and an Amine Recovery Plant (MDEA) for the 116,000 barrel per day Bio Bio refinery in Hualpén, Chile.

Eni Considers More Renewable Fuel Production in Italy

Eni SPA of Italy is designing new renewable fuel projects in the country, including a conversion of its 84,000 barrel per day Livorno refinery into a biorefinery for hydrotreated vegetable oil production and a new waste to methanol plant. Both projects are scheduled by Eni to be in operation by the end of 2024.

Petrochemicals Group Sets up JV at Gas Chemical Complex

SIBUR Holding and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) have closed the deal to set up a joint venture (JV) at the Amur Gas Chemical Complex after obtaining all the necessary approvals from the regulators of both countries.

New Consortium Could Renew Interest in Ecuador’s Esmeraldas Refinery Future

Recent reports show that Ecuador’s Energy Minister Rene Ortiz has updated potential movement in the country’s plans for the modernization of the 110,000 bpd Esmeraldas Refinery. This latest consortium includes Hyundai Engineering and KBR in a plan to progress this renovation.

Shell Invests in Quebec’s first Waste to Low-Carbon Fuels Plant

Shell Canada Limited, an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell plc, today announced the signing of commercial agreements to invest in Varennes Carbon Recycling, the first waste to low-carbon fuels plant in Québec, Canada. Shell will have a 40% interest in the plant using technology developed by Enerkem, a leading Canadian clean tech company. Enerkem announced the project in December 2020, subject to finalization of commercial agreements.

Refinery shutdowns continue, likely more in 2021

As the coronavirus pandemic decimated global demand in 2020, refineries around the world reacted immediately with a variety of methods to survive. Temporary shut ins, cold circulation, conversion to renewable production, and outright refinery closures all became commonplace as responses to the pandemic effect.

Galp expected to shut in its Matosinhos refinery to focus on larger Sines facilities

Galp of Portugal recently announced that it was planning to permanently shut in hydrocarbon production at the smaller of its two refineries operating in Portugal. The company will instead further develop the larger Sines refinery due to the continuing demand destruction from the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Coast Olefins complex to be built in Prince George after all

West Coast Olefins of Canada recently announced that it will build a $5.6 billion dollar ethylene complex in Prince George, as originally envisioned in 2019. The company had been considering an alternate location near Mcleod Lake, just north of Prince George.

ExxonMobil looks to invest $240 million in improvements for its Baton Rouge refinery

ExxonMobil recently announced that after two years in the making, the company will invest as much as $240 million dollars in its Baton Rouge complex for modernization opportunities. The company hopes to make the facilities more competitive in a tough current market and even prepare it for expansion down the road.

Petron Expected to Close Bataan Refinery Next Month

Petron of the Philippines recently announced that it is planning to temporarily shut in its long running 180,000 barrel per day Bataan refinery in January. The company cited weak margins as the primary reason, but did not give a restart date.

Pembina Ceases Plans for Canadian Petrochemical Project

Pembina Pipeline of Canada and Kuwait’s Petrochemical Industries Company through their joint venture, Canada Kuwait Petrochemical Limited Partnership, have announced that their $4.5 billion integrated propane dehydration plant (PDH) and polypropylene upgrading facility in Alberta would be indefinitely suspended until further notice. This follows another recent indefinite deferment for a major project in North America just last month with Formosa’s $9.4 billion Sunshine complex in Louisiana.

The Refinery Restructuring Trend Continues Across Europe

Neste of Finland recently announced that it plans to shut in the refining operations at its 58,000 barrel per day Naantali refinery by the end of March 2021. This complex’s closure decision had been accelerated by the substantial decline in oil demand worldwide, in addition to competition from Asia and from environmental rulings.

Methyl Methacrylate Plant proposed in Louisiana for Mitsubishi Chemical

Mitsubishi Chemical of Japan announced very recently that it has acquired 67 acres of land in Geismar, Louisiana near the Mississippi River for a potential Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) plant. The company plans to begin feasibility studies next for this project.

Shell Begins Closing in its Convent Refinery in Louisiana

Royal Dutch Shell recently announced that it is indeed shutting down its 240,000 barrel per day Convent refinery in St. James Parish, Louisiana. This process has reportedly already begun and could be completed by mid-December.

China Could Surpass U.S. as Top Refiner Next Year

According to the International Energy Agency, China is expected to overtake the United States as the largest refinery in the world as early as 2021. Asian economies have been rebounding from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and China is adding capacity as demand is building in that region.

Neste of Finland to Shut in Naantali Refinery Next Year

Neste of Finland recently announced that it was planning to shut down the refinery operations at its Naantali facility by April 2021. This decision was made due to the pandemic driven decline in demand.

Technip FMC prepares to start work on the Assiut hydrocracking complex in Egypt

TechnipFMC of London recently announced that it has successfully completed all conditions required for the company to begin work on its Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract with the Assiut National Oil Processing Company (ANOPC)’s new Hydrocracking Complex for the Assiut refinery in Egypt. This EPC contract was signed in July and is considered by Technip to be a major contract worth over $1 billion USD. The exact value was not announced.

Alberta government seeks investment in petrochemicals and hydrogen

Alberta, home to Canada’s biggest concentration of chemical companies, hopes its new incentives program will not just attract investment to process plentiful hydrocarbons into value added plastic but also make the province a top hydrogen production region as well as a major recycling center.

Shell sees its future with fewer, more integrated refineries yielding renewable fuels, hydrogen

Royal Dutch Shell, hit by a $17.7 billion loss in the first nine-months of 2020 as Covid-19 slashed demand, will downsize to six refining-chemical integrated “parks” as part of a transition to lower carbon emission products.

COVID-19 Delays $9.4 Billion Petrochemical Complex in Louisiana Indefinitely

Formosa Plastics Group subsidiary FG LA announced on November 24 that work on the company’s multiphase Sunshine petrochemical project in Louisiana had been indefinitely suspended with no new timeline in place. This is believed to be the first significant project to be deferred at this level due to the continuing impact felt from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phase One of Nigeria’s Waltersmith Refinery Reaches Commissioning Status This Week

Waltersmith Petroman Oil Ltd of Nigeria recently announced that it will inaugurate phase one of its modular style refinery in Nigeria’s Ibigwe, Imo State this week. Waltersmith announced this on social media for November 24th.

Dow and the Al-Hejailan Group Announce Joint Venture for Saudi Arabia

The Al-Hejailan Group of Saudia Arabia and Dow of the United States recently announced that it will form a joint venture for the design, construction, and eventual operation of a polyacrylic acid (PAA) and emulsion polymers plant to be placed in Saudi Arabia’s Plaschem Park. This joint venture will be headed up by Al-Hejailan with 75% ownership with Dow holding the remaining 25%.

Continental Refinery of Kentucky Plans for Biodiesel Future

Hemisphere Ltd subsidiary Continental Refining Company (CRC) of Kentucky recently announced that it is considering a full conversion of its 5,500 barrel per day crude oil refinery in Somerset, Kentucky into a biodiesel production site. This refinery was permanently idled earlier this year and had been considered for outright redevelopment before this conversion plan materialized.

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