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North America

09.01.2012  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [catalysts] [refinery] [ethanol] [propylene] [engineering] [licensing] [petrochemicals]

CB&I has a contract from Enterprise Products Partners L.P. for the license and basic engineering of a propane dehydrogenation unit on the Texas Gulf Coast. The unit will use the CATOFIN propane dehydrogenation process from Lummus Technology that uses Süd-Chemie’s latest CATOFIN catalyst to produce 1.65 billion lb/yr (approximately 750,000 metric tpy) of polymer-grade propylene.


The Carlyle Group L.P. and Sunoco, Inc., have agreed to form Philadelphia Energy Solutions, a joint venture (JV) that will enable the historic Philadelphia refinery to continue operating. The refinery, reportedly the oldest continuously operating one on the East Coast, processes 330,000 bpd of oil into various refined products and was scheduled for shutdown in August 2012.

Under agreement terms, Sunoco will contribute its Philadelphia refinery assets to the JV in exchange for a non-operating minority interest. The Carlyle Group’s investment will flow directly to the refinery’s balance sheet to fund future capital projects, facility upgrades and enhance the refinery’s working capital. Carlyle will hold the majority interest, and oversee day-to-day operations of the JV and the refinery.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions, with economic support from The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, will invest in several capital intensive projects that are critical to the long-term economic viability of the facility. Planned improvements will help the environment through reduced waste and emissions, and will also reduce reliance on foreign oil supplies.

Projects include upgrade of the refinery’s catalytic cracker and the building of a mild hydrocracker and hydrogen plant, as well as the construction of a high-speed train unloading facility at the refinery. The JV is also exploring other significant capital projects, including the creation of new businesses based on the availability and abundant levels of natural gas from the Marcellus shale.


KBR will provide front-end engineering, detailed engineering and procurement services to DuPont’s Industrial Biosciences Group for what is said to be a first-of-a-kind plant to be constructed in the Midwest US. The facility—which will reportedly be DuPont’s first cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa—will process 1,300 tpd of corn stover and produce 27.5 million gpy of ethanol.

Used as a blending component in gasoline, the ethanol produced will enable fuel manufacturers to meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) mandated requirements for ethanol derived from cellulosic sources.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for the second half of 2012, with a 12-month to 18-month construction period.


Braskem has selected Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. to provide professional technical services for portions of the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 781-acre refinery’s propylene splitter assets were acquired by Braskem in late June 2012.

Jacobs’ initial scope of work includes retrofitting the new acquisitions so Braskem can more efficiently process propylene for use in its adjacent polypropylene plant. Jacobs’ operations in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, are expected to execute the work. HP



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