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

Keywords: [construction] [isobutene] [pre-FEED] [LNG] [polycarbonate] [feasibility study]

Evonik Industries has started up a new facility to produce high-purity isobutene at its site in Antwerp, Belgium. The new plant, which involved investment of tens of millions of euros, can produce up to 110,000 metric tpy of isobutene, and it forms part of the site’s integrated C4 production platform. The investment has tripled Evonik’s production capacity for isobutene, which is used.

Petroplus Holdings AG has announced the conclusion of the formal information and consultation process with the Reichstett Refinery Works Council to propose terms to cease refining operations and convert the site to a terminal. Following the end of this process, the Company has decided to discontinue refining operations and convert the site to a terminal.

Petroplus expects to stop processing crude oil at the refinery in April and will sell product inventories to satisfy contractual commitments to its customers or in the spot markets. A safe and orderly shutdown of the refinery will commence when the crude oil inventories have been liquidated. Petroplus will seek to sell the terminal after the shutdown.

AMEC has been appointed by BP Oil UK Ltd. to carry out the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCm) of capital investment projects for existing facilities at its UK oil storage terminals in 2011. The EPCm contract, the value of which has not been disclosed, covers all of BP Oil’s mainland UK and Northern Ireland storage terminals, and is in addition to AMEC’s recent onshore and offshore global agreements with BP.

The 2011 contract, which has the option of two one-year extensions, will see AMEC provide engineering and project management expertise, feasibility studies, front-end engineering design, detailed design and installation work on process plant and equipment at the Belfast, Hamble, Hemel Hempstead, Isle of Grain, Kingsbury, Northampton and Walton-on-Thames terminals.

A subsidiary of Foster Wheeler AG’s Global Engineering and Construction Group has received a pre-FEED contract from Statoil Petroleum AS for the Snøhvit Future Development Project at Statoil’s Melkøya-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on Melkøya Island approximately 450 km north of the Arctic Circle, Hammerfest, Norway. Statoil has informed Foster Wheeler that further releases of pre-FEED work to Foster Wheeler under the existing contract are likely to be made during 2011, depending upon the development option(s) selected by Statoil.

Foster Wheeler’s scope of work will include concept design activities to support the finalization of the development concept and of the plant capacity for the expansion of LNG production at the Melkøya LNG facility, as well as energy optimization investigations. Foster Wheeler’s involvement through this contract will continue through 2011.

Bayer MaterialScience is to expand production of polycarbonate at its Krefeld-Uerdingen site in Germany through an investment of about €90 million. The plant’s current annual capacity is to gradually reach 400,000 tons over the next four years in stepped increases. The current nameplate capacity is 330,000 tpy.

In addition to the polycarbonate expansion at the site, Bayer MaterialScience is also rebuilding chlorine-production facilities to increase energy efficiency. The new facilities will utilize state-of-the-art membrane technology and the innovative company’s oxygen depolarized cathode (ODC) technology. Compared with the membrane technology, ODC will reportedly reduce both electricity use and indirect CO2 emissions up to 30%.

Japan Far East Gas Co., Ltd., a company newly established by ITOCHU Corp., Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd. (JAPEX), Marubeni Corp., INPEX Corp. and ITOCHU Oil Exploration Co., Ltd. (CIECO) has signed an agreement on the implementation of a joint study for the natural gas utilization project in the Vladivostok area with Russia’s state-own gas company Gazprom.

The joint study consists of pre-FEED for the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with production capacity of 10 million tpy, a preliminary feasibility study on the compressed natural gas (CNG) pilot project, and a preliminary study on a gas chemical complex project. The joint study is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.

Avantium has announced the successful startup of its polyester pilot plant at the Chemelot site in Geleen, the Netherlands. The polyester plant is the first part of the pilot plant that Avantium is building at its new site to demonstrate its YXY technology for green materials and fuels. Avantium’s monomer pilot plant is scheduled to become operational in the second half of 2011.

The YXY polyester pilot plant will produce bioplastics based on Avantium’s YXY technologyHP

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