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North America

03.01.2011  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [ethylene] [alpha olefins] [biorefinery] [turnaround] [planning ]

Sasol plans to construct what is said to be the world’s first commercial ethylene tetramerization unit, capable of producing over 100,000 metric tpy of combined 1-octene and 1-hexene at its Lake Charles production site in Louisiana. The unit will use Sasol’s proprietary technology to convert ethylene to 1-octene and 1-hexene. This unique process selectively produces alpha olefins required for the high-growth polymer markets. Construction will commence in 2011, and the plant will reach beneficial operation in mid-2013.

Endicott Biofuels, LLC (EBF) has an agreement with KMTEX Ltd. to construct a 30 million-gpy biorefinery in Port Arthur, Texas. The biorefinery will use EBF’s proprietary technology for producing high-purity G2 Clear biodiesel. KMTEX will host EBF as well as provide certain construction and operational services. Equity funding will come from Haddington Ventures, LLC, and construction is expected to begin in late January 2011.

Through an investment with Mascoma Corp., Valero Energy Corp., Mascoma and Mascoma’s operating subsidiary, Frontier Renewable Resources LLC, jointly owned with natural resource-management company, J.M. Longyear LLC, will support construction of what is said to be one of the world’s first commercial-scale wood-based cellulosic ethanol biorefineries. The biorefinery is slated to break ground in 2011 in Kinross Charter Township, Michigan.

Under letter of intent terms, Valero would potentially invest up to $50 million of the equity required to finance the project through Frontier Kinross LLC, a subsidiary of Frontier, and would enter into an off-take agreement for the project’s ethanol production. Valero would also provide project development and construction-oversight services. The biorefinery is planned to produce 40 million gpy of low-carbon cellulosic ethanol, to be covered by the off-take arrangement with Valero.

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has a three-year contract with North Atlantic Refining Ltd. to provide turnaround and small capital work services at the company’s refinery in Newfoundland, Canada. Jacobs will provide turnaround planning and execution, including pre-planning and post turnaround activities, as well as delivery of small capital works at the site.

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