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South America

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

Keywords: [construction] [refinery] [EPC] [diesel] [GTL] [catalysts] [PVC]

Technip, in consortium with Tomé Engenharia, was awarded a lump-sum turnkey EPC contract by Petrobras for five new units at the Presidente Bernardes Refinery in Cubatão, state of São Paulo, Brazil. This contract covers EPC, commissioning, pre-operation and assisted operation of five new process units, including a diesel hydrotreater and a hydrogen plant, as well as all associated utilities.

The project, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013, will produce low-sulfur-content diesel to comply with new Brazilian environmental regulations.

Metso and Petrobras have signed a service contract covering the supply of spare parts and maintenance services for Metso’s valves, actuators and positioners for 11 refineries in Brazil. The contract also includes intelligent tools for preventive and predictive maintenance planning developed by Metso.

Metso won the contract after the excellent performance of one Petrobras refinery in São Paulo, which was serving as a test pilot for two years. Satisfied with Metso’s commitment, valve quality and local service capabilities, Petrobras decided to expand the pilot contract for 10 of its other refineries in Brazil.

Oxford Catalysts Group PLC’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) demonstration plant has arrived in Fortaleza, Brazil, following the timely completion of its construction in Asia last year. The integrated GTL demonstration plant incorporates the Group’s proprietary microchannel reactor and catalyst technologies for the key steam methane reforming and Fischer-Tropsch steps of the GTL process. The demonstration is fully funded and managed by the Group’s partners Toyo Engineering Corp. and MODEC, Inc., in collaboration with Petrobras, which is hosting the demonstration at its Lubnor refinery in Fortaleza.

The GTL plant will be reassembled at the demonstration site, and will then progress to the pre-commissioning and commissioning stages. These are expected to be completed within four months. The demonstration plant is scheduled to start up in September, subject to successful commissioning and availability of the required utilities from Petrobras. Following startup, the demonstration will operate for approximately nine months.

Braskem has launched the cornerstone of its new PVC plant located in Marechal Deodoro in the state of Alagoas, Brazil. Construction of the new plant has already begun and should create around 2,500 direct jobs until completed. With an investment estimated at R$1 billion, which is the highest ever made by Braskem in a single project, the new industrial unit is scheduled to start operations in the first half of 2012.

The new plant will have an annual production capacity of 200 kilotons. Braskem already has a PVC unit in Alagoas, and this project will bring its annual PVC production capacity in the state to 460 kilotons. The new plant will reportedly make Alagoas the largest producer of PVC in Latin America, which should help strengthen the PVC manufacturing complex that already exists in the state. HP

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