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North America

04.01.2011  | 

Keywords: [construction] [refinery] [lubricants] [petrochemicals] [conversion] [control system] [biorefinery] [partnership]

Chevron Lubricants will construct a lubricants manufacturing facility at the company’s Pascagoula refinery. The $1.4 billion Pascagoula base-oil project is projected to generate approximately 1,000 jobs over the next two years of construction and about 20 permanent positions once the facility is operating.

The facility will use Chevron’s Isodewaxing technology and manufacture 25,000 bpd of premium base oil. The main ingredient in the production of top-tier motor oil, base oil is said to help improve fuel economy, lower tail-pipe emissions and extend the time between oil changes. Construction is scheduled to be completed by year-end 2013.

Celanese Corp. is expanding ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) capacity at its Edmonton manufacturing facility due to strong growth in strategic, high-value segments. The company is expected to increase capacity by up to 15% for higher vinyl acetate content EVA grades at the Edmonton facility in the second half of 2011. The Edmonton plant’s diverse reactor capabilities and unique footprint allows for a more customized approach to product manufacturing. It has the flexibility to produce a full range of EVA copolymers, specialty low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and compounds for a wide range of end uses.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has a partnership agreement with North West Upgrading Inc. to move forward with detailed engineering regarding construction and operation of a bitumen refinery near Redwater, Alberta, Canada. In addition, the partnership has an agreement to process bitumen supplied by the Government of Alberta under the Bitumen Royalty In Kind (BRIK) initiative. Provided the project is sanctioned following detailed engineering, Phase 1 will process 50,000 bpd of bitumen to finished products and will incorporate an integrated CO2 management solution. The facility can be expanded in two additional identical phases of 50,000 bpd of bitumen at a future date.

Valero Energy Corp. has successfully started up advanced reformate splitters at three of its US refineries. The three mobile-source air toxic (MSAT) II benzene concentration units—located at Valero’s Port Arthur and Sunray, Texas; and Memphis, Tennessee, refineries—utilize KBR’s advanced reformate splitter dividing-wall column (DWC) tower designs. A fourth unit, located at Valero’s St. Charles refinery in Norco, Louisiana, will be commissioned later this year.

The startups mark the first successful implementation of the DWC tower designs in the US and Western Hemisphere refining sector. Conceptually developed by Valero, the DWC towers were designed and optimized by KBR for each unique project, and have allowed Valero to meet its regulatory requirements.

The Dow Chemical Co. (Dow) has converted one of its ethylene oxide ethylene glycol (EOEG) production units (SCO1) at its operations in St. Charles, Louisiana, to EO-only. This move further strengthens EOEG business competitiveness and St. Charles as an EO production location for Dow. This project also supports Dow’s transformational strategy to become an earnings growth company by preferentially investing in market-driven performance businesses.

Dow will also implement a permanent shutdown of a second unit at St. Charles (SCO2), an EOEG plant the company idled in March 2009, as a result of the impact of world economic conditions.

Invensys Operations Management has successfully implemented an InFusion Enterprise Control System (ECS) for ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties Co. Through a joint Invensys and ExxonMobil team effort, the installation was successfully completed and the plant was back to full production on schedule with no safety incidents. Installed at ExxonMobil’s lubricants plant in Beaumont, Texas, the InFusion ECS will help manage the operating facility, controlling major processes and integrating the existing SAP enterprise resource planning, batch process, and final packaging and shipping systems.

INEOS New Planet BioEnergy, a joint venture between INEOS Bio and New Planet Energy, has broken ground on what is said to be the first advanced waste-to-fuel commercial biorefinery in the US. The $130 million Indian River BioEnergy Center in Vero Beach, Florida, will manufacture advanced (cellulosic) biofuels using the INEOS Bio gasification and fermentation technology.

Starting in mid-2012, the Indian River BioEnergy Center will produce 8 million gpy of bioethanol and 6 Mw (gross) of renewable power.

CITGO Petroleum Corp. has completed the construction and startup of a 42,500-bpd unit utilizing the latest technology to produce ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) at its Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery. With the completion of this unit, which has been in operation since December 2010, CITGO can now produce 100% ULSD at all of its refineries. The CITGO shareholder, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) was involved in the project. PDVSA’s research arm, INTEVEP, participated early in the ULSD process unit design, in such areas as reactor sizing, reactor internals and catalyst selection.  HP

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