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North America

11.01.2011  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [plastics] [NGL] [cracker revamp] [refinery] [FEED] [GTL] [epoxy resins] [ethylene]

Eastman Chemical Co. has announced a second expansion of its Benzoflex plasticizer line at the Kohtla-Järve, Estonia, site. The expansion will increase Benzoflex capacity by an additional 11,000 metric tons and is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2012.

The company also plans to expand the Benzoflex plasticizers and Admex polymeric plasticizer lines at its Chestertown, Maryland, and Kingsport, Tennessee sites. The North America expansions, with a total capacity of approximately 9,000 metric tons, are expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2012.

NOVA Chemicals has entered into three core agreements that support its Corunna cracker revamp to use up to 100% natural gas liquids (NGL) feedstock. The agreements include a transportation service agreement with Sunoco Pipeline L.P. for transportation of ethane feedstock from the Marcellus Shale Basin into the Sarnia, Ontario, region; a definitive agreement for long-term ethane supply from the Marcellus Shale Basin with Caiman Energy, LLC; and a definitive agreement for long-term ethane supply from the Marcellus Shale Basin with a wholly owned subsidiary of Range Resources Corp.

The company continues to work with other producers in the Marcellus region, including Statoil Marketing and Trading Inc., to secure additional ethane feedstock for its Corunna cracker.

Willbros Group, Inc.’s downstream segment has been awarded a multiyear contract to provide project engineering services at the HOVENSA refinery in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Willbros will provide front-end engineering and design (FEED) and detailed design for multiple projects throughout the facility. The work will be primarily performed with a team located at the client’s facility with additional support provided by the company’s downstream engineering offices in Louisiana.

Sasol has chosen the southwestern region of Louisiana as the site for a planned gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility. The project is reportedly slated to be the first plant in the US to produce GTL transportation fuels and other products. Sasol will embark on a feasibility study over the next 18 months to evaluate the viability of a GTL venture in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. The feasibility study will consider two options: a 2 million-tpy and a 4 million-tpy facility.

Huntsman Corp. has announced a major step toward expanding one of its key product lines by launching a multimillion-dollar in-depth engineering study at its McIntosh, Alabama, facility. Huntsman Advanced Materials has invested significantly during 2011, expanding its capacity and capability to produce multifunctional epoxy resins both in the US and in Europe by doubling the capacity at its Monthey, Switzerland, facility and enhancing its capability to produce purified resins at its McIntosh site.

Once completed, the new line will further boost global production of all types of multifunctional epoxy resins.

Williams’ board of directors has approved an expansion of its Geismar olefins production facility. The facility’s ethylene production capacity will increase by 600 million lb/yr to a new annual capacity of 1.95 billion lb. It is expected to be placed into service in the third quarter of 2013.

The expected capital spending on the Geismar expansion is a range of $350 million to $400 million in 2012–2013.

Saipem has been awarded a new engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) lump-sum contract by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. The project consists of the EPC of a secondary upgrader with a production capacity of 42,599 bpsd of hydrotreated gasoil, as part of the Horizon Oil Sands Project—Hydrotreater Phase 2 in the Alberta, Athabasca region of Canada.

The project scope includes three units, to be built within the existing complex: a gasoil hydrotreating unit, common facilities (substation and rib), a wash-water and rich-amine system, and the interconnecting pipe rack.

The complete project will develop oil sands resources on the Canadian Natural Oil Sands Lease, about 70 km north of Fort McMurray in a phased development. At full capacity, the project will produce 250,000 bpcd of synthetic crude oil from 270,000 bpcd of mined bitumen. The project will be completed in 44 months.

ExxonMobil Chemical will build a world-scale facility to manufacture its metallocene polyalphaolefin (mPAO) synthetic lubricant base stocks at its integrated refining and chemical complex in Baytown, Texas. The facility will have the capacity to produce 50,000 tpy of high-viscosity (Hi-Vis) SpectraSyn Elite mPAO. Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) activities for the new facility have begun, and completion is expected in 2013.  HP

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