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North America

02.01.2012  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [natural gas] [biofuels] [engineering] [heavy oil] [crude oil] [refining] [ethylene] [clean fuels]

Sundrop Fuels, Inc., plans to construct and operate its first production facility on about 1,200 acres of land that it has purchased near Alexandria, Louisiana. The inaugural plant will use sustainable forest waste combined with hydrogen from clean-burning natural gas to produce up to 50 million gpy of what is said to be the world’s first ready-to-use, renewable “green gasoline.”

Located in Rapides Parish a few miles outside of Alexandria, the Sundrop Fuels’ advanced biofuels plant will cost approximately $450 to $500 million to build.

Toyo Engineering Canada Ltd. a Canadian subsidiary of Toyo Engineering Corp., has a contract with North West Redwater Partnership (NWR), a joint venture between North West Upgrading Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., to provide engineering design specification (EDS) work for a heavy-oil upgrading and refining complex in Sturgeon County, Alberta. This EDS work is scheduled to be completed in August 2012.

The NWR project’s target is to build a heavy-oil upgrading and refining complex in three phases with a total capacity of 150,000 bpsd. This complex will process bitumen extracted from oil sands to produce naphtha, diesel oil and other petroleum products. The project is divided into several units, and Toyo Engineering Canada Ltd. will provide engineering services for a sulfur-recovery unit, a light-ends recovery unit, a sour water-stripper unit and an amine-treatment unit.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P., will build, own and operate a petroleum condensate processing facility near its Galena Park terminal on the Houston Ship Channel in Texas. With an initial throughput of 25,000 bpd and a design that provides for future expansions of up to 100,000 bpd, the approximately $130 million project will split condensate into its various components, such as light and heavy naphthas, kerosine and gasoil. A major oil industry customer is underwriting, through a fee structure, the initial throughput of the facility.

The pipeline, which will transport crude/condensate from the Eagle Ford shale in south Texas to the Houston Ship Channel, will consist of almost 70 miles of new-build construction and 113 miles of converted natural gas pipeline. Construction on the pipeline has begun and Kinder Morgan expects it to be in service in the second quarter of 2012.

Tesoro Corp. intends to invest approximately $180 million on a capital project at the Salt Lake City, Utah, refinery that will expand crude-oil throughput capacity by 7%. The project will allow the company to increase throughput of transportation-advantaged black-wax and yellow-wax crude oil to 21,000 bpd, an increase of over 100%. The project also includes capital for conversion unit upgrades designed to drive a nearly 3% increase in the refinery’s clean product yield. Based on present estimates, the project has a payback period of less than two years and is expected to be completed in two stages in 2013 and 2014, subject to required permitting.

DKRW Advanced Fuels LLC’s wholly owned subsidiary, Medicine Bow Fuel & Power LLC (MBFP), has a contract with Vitol Inc., whereby Vitol would purchase 100% of the gasoline produced from MBFP’s industrial gasification and liquefaction facility located near Medicine Bow, Wyoming. The contract is one of the first major commercial agreements in the US for the sale of liquid transport fuels made from coal.

MBFP plans to sequester the CO2 that is captured from the facility by selling the CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). MBFP has a contract with a subsidiary of Denbury Resources Inc. to purchase the CO2 for use in its EOR operations. DKRW Advanced Fuels is completing final development on the project and expects to complete financing activities and ramp up construction on the facility in 2012.

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP has completed several key feasibility study elements announced earlier this year and plans to pursue a project to construct a world-scale ethane cracker and ethylene derivatives facilities in the US Gulf Coast region.

Chevron Phillips Chemical’s existing Cedar Bayou facility in Baytown, Texas, would be the location of the new ethylene unit. The company has executed agreements with Shaw Energy and Chemicals to design a 1.5 million-metric-tpy (3.3 billion-lb/yr) ethane cracker using proprietary Shaw technology.

Chevron Phillips Chemical’s proprietary technologies would be used for the construction of two new polyethylene facilities, each with a capacity of 500,000 metric tpy. The new polyethylene units would be located either at the Cedar Bayou facility or a site nearby the Chevron Phillips Chemical Sweeny facility in Old Ocean, Texas. A final site selection decision for these units is anticipated during the first quarter of 2012. The estimated completion date for the project is 2017.

PBF Holding Co. LLC and Delaware City Refining Co. LLC (PBF) have received conditional approval from PBF’s board of directors for the construction of the PBF Clean Fuels Project. The $1 billion project consists of a mild hydrocracker and hydrogen plant that will be built at PBF’s Delaware City refinery. The construction period will last approximately three years and, when completed, will process streams from both the Delaware City refinery and PBF’s Paulsboro, New Jersey, refinery.

The mild hydrocracker will reduce the sulfur content by 99% in approximately 65,000 bpd of distillate production from 2,000 ppm of sulfur to less than 15 ppm of sulfur, resulting in a reduction of over 6,500 tpy of sulfur-dioxide emissions. In addition, the mild hydrocracker will enable the refinery to process a heavier crude slate while producing a greater volume of clean transportation fuels with an emphasis on increasing distillate production.

Linde in North America is investing in a new air-separation plant in Lewisville, Arkansas. Linde will build a 470-tpd plant that will produce liquid nitrogen and oxygen to meet rapidly growing demand in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Construction is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2012. The plant is expected to begin operating by the fourth quarter of 2013.

The plant, which will be designed and constructed by Linde’s Engineering Division, will use the least amount of electricity possible in order to produce the gases. HP

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