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North America

05.01.2012  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX


Fluor Corp. was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract by Joule to design and build a renewable fuel production facility in New Mexico. The facility is intended to test and scale up a process for the commercial production of liquid fuels via Joule’s novel technology, which uses sunlight to convert industrial waste carbon dioxide into liquid hydrocarbons, ethanol or chemical products. Fluor’s Greenville, South Carolina, office is leading the EPCM services project. Engineering, procurement and site mobilization are underway.

Motiva Enterprises LLC plans to convert all of its high-sulfur diesel heating oil (2,000 ppm) storage to ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) (15 ppm) at Motiva’s Sewaren terminal in New Jersey. Motiva’s conversion aims to meet its customers’ needs under a new State of New York mandate that all heating oil sold in the state be no more than 15-ppm sulfur by July 1, 2012. It will also allow Motiva Sewaren, a 5 million-plus-barrel refined products terminal, to take deliveries of ULSD for NYMEX-based contracts via marine and pipeline.

Additionally, Motiva is also undertaking a project to convert two tanks of current heating oil storage to B100 biodiesel at its Sewaren terminal. Necessary permits and approvals will be sought from the appropriate authorities, including the local planning board. Motiva is working to complete the conversion of tankage to ULSD in the second-quater 2012, and the biodiesel project in the third-quarter 2012.

The Dow Chemical Co.’s board of directors has authorized capital to finalize detailed engineering and purchase long lead-time equipment for a new, world-scale propylene production facility to be constructed at Dow Texas Operations.

Basic engineering work for the facility has commenced, and the project is on track for production startup in 2015.

In December 2011, Dow and UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, signed a technology licensing agreement, enabling on-purpose propylene production at Dow Texas Operations. Under agreement terms, Dow will license UOP’s proprietary UOP C3 Oleflex process technology for manufacturing on-purpose propylene from propane. Dow also signed catalyst supply and performance-guarantee agreements with UOP.

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. plans to construct two more natural gas liquid (NGL) fractionators at its Mont Belvieu, Texas, complex that would provide 150,000 bpd of incremental fractionation capacity. Projected to begin service in the fourth-quarter 2013, the two 75,000-bpd units, together, along with a sixth unit that is under construction and on schedule to commence service in the fourth-quarter 2012, would give Enterprise the capacity to fractionate more than 610,000 bpd at the Mont Belvieu facility. The permit process for fractionators seven and eight is already underway. The fractionators would facilitate the continued growth of NGL production from various Rocky Mountain producing basins and the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas.

In the Eagle Ford shale, Enterprise is nearing completion of several key infrastructure projects and announcing new expansion initiatives for delivering the NGLs. The company’s long-term commitment with Anadarko Energy Services will support construction of a 173-mile extension of Enterprise’s recently completed Eagle Ford NGL pipeline that links the partnership’s Yoakum natural gas processing facility in Lavaca County, Texas, to Mont Belvieu. Consisting of 16-in. diameter pipeline, the extension will have a capacity of 140,000 bpd and is expected to begin service in the second-quarter 2013.

Shell Chemical LP has signed a land option agreement with Horsehead Corp. to evaluate a site in the US Appalachian region for a potential petrochemical complex. The complex includes an ethane cracker that would upgrade locally produced ethane from Marcellus shale gas production. The site is located in Potter and Center Townships in Beaver County, near Monaca, Pennsylvania.

This positive development marks another phase as Shell continues to assess the commercial feasibility of a petrochemical complex in the Appalachian region. The next steps for this project include the site’s additional environmental analysis, further engineering design studies, assessment of the local ethane supply, and continued evaluation of the project’s economic viability.

Shell looked at various factors to select the preferred site, including good access to liquids-rich natural-gas resources, water, road- and rail-transportation infrastructure, power grids, economics and sufficient acreage to accommodate facilities for a world-scale petrochemical complex and potential future expansions.

In addition to an ethane cracker, Shell is also considering polyethylene and mono-ethylene glycol units to help meet increasing demands in the North American market.

Lucite International, Inc. is progressing with its investment to establish 150 kte per year production of methyl methacrylate (MMA) in 2012 at its Beaumont, Texas, facility. The company will continue to produce MMA at its Memphis, Tennessee, facility, offering two world-scale MMA assets to serve the growing demand of the Americas customer base.

In addition, Lucite is moving forward on starting production of methacrylic acid (MAA) at its Beaumont, Texas, facility, in line with the significant investments at the site announced last year. The MAA asset will have a capacity of approximately 23 kte per year.  HP

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