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North America

06.01.2011  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [lubes] [bitumen] [ethylene] [catalysts] [biocrude] [maintenance services] [tanks] [petrochemicals]

KBR has been awarded a $65 million contract by Chevron Products Co. to execute a base-oil expansion project at Chevron’s refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The construction project includes building a new lubes hydrocracker and a lube dewaxing/hydrofinishing unit. Work is expected to begin in May 2011, and upon completion, the facility is expected to be one of the largest premium base-oil plants in the world.

Shell has successfully started production from its Scotford Upgrader Expansion project in Canada. The 100,000-bpd expansion takes upgrading capacity at Scotford to 255,000 bpd of heavy oil from the Athabasca oil sands. This marks the first commercial production from the upgrader expansion. The Scotford Upgrader processes oil sands bitumen—heavy oil—from the Muskeg River Mine and Jackpine Mine for use in refined oil products.

Westlake Chemical Corp. has an expansion program that includes increasing the ethane-based ethylene capacity at Lake Charles, Louisiana, and evaluating expansion options and the upgrading of ethylene production facilities at Calvert City, Kentucky, to capitalize on new low-cost ethane and other “light” feedstocks being developed in North America.

Each of the company’s two light feedstock ethylene crackers in Lake Charles will be expanded as part of this program. These expansions will commence as planned maintenance turnarounds occur in order to provide ethylene for existing internal derivatives units and the merchant market. The first cracker expansion will increase capacity by approximately 230–240 million pounds per year, while also increasing feedstock flexibility. It is expected that this project will be completed by late 2012 and a second expansion concluded by the end of 2014.

PetroAlgae Inc. has an agreement with Haldor Topsøe and its US subsidiary, Haldor Topsøe, Inc., to provide technology and catalysts to upgrade oils produced from PetroAlgae’s biomass through refinery coking processes and pyrolysis into drop-in renewable fuels, including diesel and jet fuels.

Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to apply Haldor Topsøe catalysts, equipment and licensed technology to upgrade oils derived from PetroAlgae’s biocrude.

KBR has an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with KiOR, Inc., to build what is said to be a first-of-its-kind biomass-to-renewable crude facility to be located in Columbus, Mississippi. The facility is designed to process approximately 500 tpd of wood biomass and produce over 11 million gpy of fuel. KBR will provide engineering and procurement services, as well as direct-hire construction for the commercialization of KiOR’s proprietary technology, which is designed to convert biomass into drop-in biofuels such as gasoline and diesel blendstocks.

URS Corp. has been awarded a contract by BP Products North America Inc. to provide construction and maintenance services, including electrical, mechanical, piping, instrumentation and civil works to the Whiting Refinery in Whiting, Indiana. The three-year contract has a maximum value of $150 million for URS.

Capstone Turbine Corp. has secured two new orders from a large US energy and gas-transmission company. The interstate gas-transmission company is primarily a provider of gas transportation and storage services with large underground natural gas storage systems. The longtime C65 customer will add a C800 to its growing 48-unit microturbine fleet at compressor stations throughout the region and move beyond its traditional microturbine application by installing a C1000 at a division headquarters—the first time the company has used Capstone microturbines as a prime power-generation source at a location other than a compressor station.

CB&I has a project, valued in excess of $45 million, for storage tanks at an oil sands project near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. CB&I’s scope of work includes the engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction of 12 cone-roof tanks at the oil sands project. CB&I’s contract is scheduled for completion in 2013.

Technip’s wholly owned subsidiary, KTI Corp., has a purchase order from Snamprogetti Canada to design and supply 10 once-through steam-generation (OTSG) units for the first phase of the Sunrise Energy Project. The OTSG units are an integral part of the steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process being applied at Sunrise for the extraction of bitumen. Sunrise is a SAGD oil sands project being constructed approximately 60 kilometers northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, and operated by Husky Energy. Upon completion of Phase 1 of the project, the facility is expected to produce approximately 60,000 bpd of bitumen.

Snamprogetti Canada is the prime contractor for engineering, procurement and construction of the Central Plant Facility for Sunrise Phase 1, where the OTSG units will be used. KTI’s engineering center in Houston, Texas, will execute the OTSG contract. Final fabrication and assembly of the OTSG units will occur in Tofield, Alberta, and final delivery and completion is scheduled in the second half of 2012.

Technip has an engineering, procurement and construction-support services contract with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., worth approximately €100 million, for the Horizon project in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The contract covers the expansion of the existing delayed coking unit, completed by Technip in 2008. It confirms Technip’s leading position in the refining of nonconventional hydrocarbons such as refining bitumen.

Technip’s operating center in Rome, Italy, will execute the contract which is scheduled to be completed in 2013. Detail engineering, procurement and supply of materials and equipment will be delivered on a lump-sum basis, while the construction management will be charged on a reimbursable basis.

Bayer MaterialScience is set to invest some $120 million into its Baytown, Texas, site. The Baytown site, which celebrates 40 years of manufacturing success this year, is the company’s largest manufacturing facility in the US, and it is a keystone of Bayer MaterialScience’s global manufacturing strategy.

The planned $120 million investment includes:
• Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI)—environmental upgrades, reliability improvements and minor debottlenecking
• Toluene diisocyanate (TDI)—improved process technology, environmental upgrades, and energy-efficiency and reliability improvements that will increase productivity
• Polycarbonate—reliability upgrades and quality improvements for advanced optical applications.  HP

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