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North America

09.01.2011  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [hydrocarbons] [demonstration plant] [re-refinery] [lube oil] [NGL] [EPC] [Rare earth oxides] [dehydrogenation]

Gevo, Inc. has plans with South Hampton Resources, Inc., a subsidiary of Arabian American Development Co., to build a hydrocarbon processing demonstration plant at its facility just outside of Houston in Silsbee, Texas. This demonstration plant is expected to process up to 10,000 gallons of Gevo’s isobutanol per month into various renewable hydrocarbon materials including jet fuel for engine testing, isooctane for gasoline and isooctene and paraxylene for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and will supply other potential customers with material for product qualification and evaluation. The demonstration plant is slated for completion before the end of 2011. The contract between the companies is for two years with one-year extensions thereafter.

South Hampton Resources, Inc., has agreed to provide Gevo with toll-manufacturing services at its Silsbee facility and to complete the final design and engineering package for the demonstration plant. Gevo will own all the intellectual property that results from the work, including the plans, designs and systems developed for the demonstration plant and future commercial-scale plants.


NexLube Tampa LLC plans to construct a used-oil re-refinery and blending plant in Tampa, Florida, using Axens’ and Viscolube’s Revivoil technology. The facility is expected to process 24 million gpy of dehydrated used oil. The re-refinery unit will produce API Group II base oil and various grades of motor oil, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid and other specialty products after onsite blending.

Re-refined products will be marketed in a closed-loop process, where NexLube will provide its branded products to a municipality or other customer that has its own fleet of vehicles. The fleet uses the branded product and then returns the used oil to the re-refining plant.

Axens’ innovative Revivoil technology was jointly developed with Viscolube of Italy, reportedly one of the world’s leading spent lube-oil re-refiners.


TPC Group Inc. has received the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) air permit necessary for the planned refurbishment, upgrade to air-emission controls and restart of one of its idle dehydrogenation units. Construction of the system’s required new components, along with refurbishment of the existing unit, began following receipt of the permit. The company has also completed the project’s primary phase of engineering, which commenced in January of this year. The company’s board of directors has approved moving forward with the next phase of engineering, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

The isobutylene produced from this dehydrogenation unit will provide an additional strategic source of feedstock for the company’s rapidly growing fuel products and performance products businesses, which include polyisobutylene, high-purity isobutylene and diisobutylene. TPC Group estimates the project will produce approximately 650 million lb/yr of isobutylene from isobutane, a natural gas liquids (NGL) feedstock whose production volumes continue to increase as a result of US shale gas development. Plans forecast the dehydrogenation unit to be operational in the first quarter of 2014.


CB&I has a contract, valued in excess of $300 million, for a new natural gas processing plant in the northeastern US. CB&I’s work scope includes the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of a 200 million cfd natural gas processing plant, including full fractionation and treatment capabilities, storage tanks and loading systems. In addition, CB&I’s Lummus Technology business sector is providing its proprietary NGL-Max recovery technology. The contract is scheduled for completion in 2012.


KBR has an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract from a wholly owned subsidiary of Molycorp to build a new chlor-alkali plant as part of Molycorp’s Project Phoenix. The chlor-alkali plant construction is one of various projects that make up Molycorp’s estimated $781 million program to reactivate the company’s rare earth oxides (REO) mine, and expand and modernize its flagship rare earth facility in Mountain Pass, California. Molycorp is the Western Hemisphere’s only producer of REO.

KBR will build upon its existing global experience in chlorine products to construct a facility implementing the chlor-alkali process, an important part of the modernization of Molycorp’s rare earth manufacturing facility.  HP



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