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North America

12.01.2012  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [ethylene] [polymers] [petrochemicals] [engineering] [carbon capture] [bitumen] [fertilizers] [urea]

Westlake Chemical Corp. will perform planned maintenance and an expansion of the Petro 2 ethylene unit at its complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in the first quarter of 2013. This expansion will increase ethane-based ethylene capacity by approximately 230 million lb/yr–240 million lb/yr in support of the company’s ethylene integration strategy. The unit is expected to be down approximately 50 days for the work to be completed.


Evonik Industries is undertaking an engineering study for a new multimillion-dollar methyl methacrylate (MMA) plant at its site in Mobile, Alabama. “The Evonik executive board authorized the basic engineering study to evaluate the site’s feasibility for a 120,000-tpy facility last month,” said Gregor Hetzke, head of Evonik’s Performance Polymers Business Unit.

If approved by the Evonik executive board, the new facility is expected to start up in mid 2015.


The Lubrizol Corp. intends to build a resin and compounding manufacturing facility in Deer Park, Texas. The new plant will require a total investment of approximately $125 million over a three-year period.

Lubrizol evaluated several options for the plan’s first phase and determined that the most efficient and effective next step is to build a new plant located adjacent to its existing Deer Park additives facility, leveraging current Lubrizol infrastructure and expertise. Additional site benefits include its close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico shipping channel and direct access to pipeline chlorine. The world-class facility is expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2014, and is designed to complement the company’s existing chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) manufacturing facilities.


CB&I has been awarded contracts by Occidental Chemical Corp. for the technology license, basic engineering and front-end engineering and design (FEED) services for a proposed new ethane cracker. The proposed cracker is anticipated to have a capacity of approximately 1.2 billion lb/yr of ethylene.

The scope of work includes the basic engineering for the ethylene technology and five short-residence-time (SRT) cracking heaters from CB&I’s Lummus Technology business sector. Feedstock for the proposed cracker is anticipated to be ethane derived from domestic shale gas.


Shell has selected Fluor Corp. as its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the carbon-capture facility for its flagship Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Quest project at the Athabasca Oil Sands project in Alberta, Canada. The project is being built on behalf of the Athabasca Oil Sands project joint-venture owners (Shell, Chevron and Marathon Oil), with support from the Canadian and Alberta governments.

The Athabasca Oil Sands project produces bitumen, which is piped to Shell’s Scotford upgrader. Fluor will provide full EPC services using its patented and innovative 3rd Gen Modular Execution approach for a 1.1 million-tpy carbon-capture facility at the Scotford upgrader near Edmonton, Alberta. Captured carbon dioxide will be sent about 80 km from the facility via underground pipeline to an underground storage site. Fluor has been providing preliminary services and front-end engineering and design for Quest since 2009.


Clariant plans to expand the production capacity for Houdry dehydrogenation catalysts, through a low-double-digit-million Swiss francs investment, at its plant in Louisville, Kentucky. Production is planned to start in September 2013.

The Houdry catalysts are part of the broad portfolio of highly innovative catalyst products from Clariant’s business unit Catalysis & Energy (formerly Süd-Chemie). It is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and has 16 catalyst production sites worldwide.

Houdry dehydrogenation catalysts are used in the petrochemical industry to produce C3 and C4 olefins from light paraffins (including butadiene), using the CATOFIN and CATADIENE technologies, which are exclusively licensed through Lummus Technology, a CB&I business sector.


ThyssenKrupp Uhde has been selected by OCI Construction Group for an engineering and procurement contract to construct what will reportedly be one of the world’s largest single-train liquid fertilizer plants to be built in the US.

ThyssenKrupp Uhde will design and supply the plant, which will be built near Wever, Iowa, through its US business partner Uhde Corp. of America. The liquid fertilizer urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) is produced from ammonia and carbon dioxide, with urea solution, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate being produced as intermediates. Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) is building the entire complex for its subsidiary, Iowa Fertilizer Co. (IFCo). Commissioning is scheduled for 2015.

This will reportedly be the first new sizeable fertilizer complex to be built in the US in almost 25 years. ThyssenKrupp Uhde will develop the engineering for six of the seven process plants, as well as supply the required process equipment and machinery. As an additional product, the plant will produce a high-purity urea solution, also called diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), that will be used to improve the environmental performance of diesel engines by reducing nitrogen oxides in the exhaust. The scope of supplies also includes a plant for manufacturing urea granules which will be produced using the ThyssenKrupp Uhde Fertilizer Technology (UFT) process.

ThyssenKrupp Uhde’s processes are also being used in the nitric acid, ammonium nitrate and UAN plants. The urea plant will use the synthesis process from Stamicarbon. From 2006 to 2008, ThyssenKrupp Uhde successfully engineered a similar-sized plant at Point Lisas, Trinidad, and provided the plant’s key equipment. The Point Lisas plant and the new Iowa fertilizer plant, with its production capacity 4,300 tpd, will be the largest single-train UAN plants in the world. HP



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