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North America

08.01.2011  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [refinery] [hydrogen] [GTL] [engineering] [propylene] [polyethylene] [shale gas]

Air Products will supply Valero Energy Corp. with a combined additional 200 million scfd of hydrogen for Valero’s refineries in St. Charles, Louisiana, and Port Arthur, Texas. As part of this award, Air Products has also proposed developing a new world-scale steam methane reformer hydrogen production facility to be located in St. Charles, which is to be onstream during the second half of 2013.

Valero’s hydrogen demand is increasing at both facilities with the expansion of its hydrocracking capacity. The facility would be connected to Air Product’s Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline supply network, which supplies multiple refinery and petrochemical companies in the region.

Oxford Catalysts Group PLC has been selected to participate in a gas-to-liquids (GTL) engineering study on behalf of a multibillion-dollar exploration and production company. The study (known as FEL1) will evaluate a 5,000-bpd–15,000-bpd GTL facility in a North American location, designed to convert shale gas into finished synthetic fuels. The study is being conducted by a major engineering firm and will last several months with a projected seven-figure budget. The results will be used to select the project’s technology providers.

Fluor Corp. has a contract to provide basic engineering and design services on The Dow Chemical Co.’s propane dehydrogenation (PDH) expansion project in Freeport, Texas. The undisclosed contract value will be booked in the second quarter of 2011.

Basic engineering will be carried out in Fluor’s Houston, Texas, office with support from its office in Manila, Philippines. Once construction is complete, the facility will produce polymer-grade propylene.

Foster Wheeler AG’s Global Engineering and Construction Group has been awarded a contract by Sasol to perform the technical portion of a feasibility study for a planned gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility in Canada, on behalf of the Sasol/Talisman Energy partnership. The feasibility study’s technical portion is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2011.

The facility would convert shale gas to GTL naphtha, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas using Sasol’s GTL technology.

Along with the technical work on the feasibility study, Foster Wheeler will also develop a cost estimate to allow the joint-venture partners to assess the planned facility’s economic viability, with a decision expected in the second half of 2012.

NOVA Chemicals Corp. plans to grow its proprietary polyethylene technology to serve North American markets, which the company is calling “NOVA 2020.” The company has begun feasibility and engineering work for the construction of two new polyethylene assets to be located at its sites in Alberta and Ontario, Canada. NOVA Chemicals will also complete studies for a further debottleneck of its low-density polyethylene line located at its Mooretown, Ontario, facility.

The new polyethylene assets consist of a world-scale Advanced SCLAIRTECH technology-based line and a world-scale NOVAPOL technology-based linear-low-density line.

The completion of all engineering and feasibility studies is expected by mid-2012. Startup of the debottleneck project and polymer expansions is targeted between late 2014 and 2017.  HP

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