Hess resolves pollution
Hess Corp. has agreed to pay an
$850,000 civil penalty and to spend more than $45 million in
new pollution controls to resolve Clean Air Act violations at
its refinery in Port Reading, New Jersey, according to
officials with the US Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) and the US Department of Justice. The refinery has a processing capacity
of 70,000 bpd.
Once fully implemented, the
controls required by the settlement are estimated to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide
(NOx) by 181 tpy and result in additional reductions
of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). High concentrations of
NOx and VOCs, key pollutants emitted from
refineries, can have adverse impacts on human health, the EPA
This settlement is the 31st
such agreement with petroleum refineries across the nation.
Hess joins a growing list of corporations who have entered into
comprehensive and innovative agreements with the United States
that will result in cleaner, healthier air for communities
across the nation, said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant
attorney general for the environment and natural resources
division of the Department of Justice.
The settlement requires new and
upgraded pollution controls; more stringent emission limits;
and aggressive monitoring, leak-detection and repair practices
to reduce emissions from refinery equipment and
The governments complaint,
filed on April 19, 2012, alleged that the company made
modifications to its refinery that increased emissions
without first obtaining pre-construction permits and installing
required pollution control equipment.
The Clean Air Act requires major
sources of air pollution to obtain such permits before making
changes that would result in a significant emissions increase of any
The state of New Jersey
participated in the settlement with Hess and will receive half
of the civil penalty.
The settlement is another example
of improved compliance among refiners.
Honeywells UOP has
been selected to provide key production technology to produce propylene via
propane dehydrogenation in China. Zhangjiagang Yangzi River Petrochemical Co. will use
UOPs process technology to convert propane to
propylene, which is used in the production of materials such as
films and packaging. The project is the ninth propylene project Honeywells UOP has
announced since the beginning of 2011, helping to meet growing
demand globally, the company says. The new unit, expected to
start up in 2014, will produce 600,000 tpy of propylene at the
facility in Zhangjiagang City, Jiangsu Province, China. The
process uses catalytic dehydrogenation to convert propane to
Axens received a top annual
safety award in the category of responsible care from
the Union of the French Chemical Industries (UIC) for its
Salindres plant in Frances Gard region. The Salindres
plant is its main catalyst and adsorbent production site in
France. The 20112012 National Safety Award recognizes the
overall approach adopted at the Salindres plant to
improve the safety of employees and the local community,
as well as the safety of facilities and products,
according to the UIC group. Axens initiatives involved
hiring a theater troupe from the Théâtre du
Cratère dAlès to educate employees about
occupational safety on the site, the company said. In October
2011, the plant had already received the Mediterranean
Responsible Care Award from the Languedoc-Roussillon and
PACA-Corse UICs, which recognizes efforts to improve health,
safety and environmental protection.
Canada-based Methanex has
entered into a long-term offtake agreement with
Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) for a
significant portion of the production from the OCI methanol plant in Beaumont, Texas.
The plant, which had been idled prior to its purchase by OCI,
will commence commercial methanol production this month. OCI
has said that the Beaumont plant will produce 750,000 tpy of
methanol. The plant also has a capacity of 250,000 tpy of
ammonia, which OCI began producing in December 2011.
division was recently awarded a five-year deal from
Shell to deliver process gas chromatographs through an
enterprise framework agreement that covers Shell companies,
subsidiaries and joint ventures across the globe. During the
term of the agreement, Siemens will supply gas chromatographs
together with related systems such as analysis cabinets and
shelters, much of which will be manufactured by Siemens in the
US, the company said. Additionally, Siemens will provide
front-end engineering and after-sales servicing.
UK-based BG Group has
agreed to sell its 40% equity interest in the GNL
Quintero (GNLQ) liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to
Spain-based Enagas. The deal, worth up to $352 million, is
expected to close by the end of 2012. The agreements reached
apply to BG Groups shareholding in GNLQthe owner
and operator of the 2.5 million tpy regasification terminal in
Quintero, Chile. The deal does not impact BGs 21-year
contract to supply up to 1.7 million tpy of LNG to the Chilean
market out to 2030, the company said.
The Veracruz ethylene and polyethylene (PE) complex
in Mexico, a joint venture between Brazils
Braskem and Mexicos Grupo Idesa, will use
hyper-compressor and booster-compressor technologies from GE.
The compressors feature technologies that use less electricity,
reduce operating costs and require less maintenance, making the local plant
more competitive with imported plastics, GE said. GEs
LDPE compressors feature a scalable design that enables upgrade
and capacity additions with little effect on day-to-day
operations. Construction on the Ethylene XXI project will begin later this year.