WINNERS: Top HPI projects of 2015

The global hydrocarbon processing industry continues to expand and modernize to efficiently meet growing demand for energy, transportation fuels and petrochemicals. Presently, Hydrocarbon Processing’s Construction Boxscore Database is tracking over $1.5 trillion in active projects throughout the globe. This includes projects that have either been announced or are in some phase along the project’s planning, engineering or construction time frame.

Using the Construction Boxscore Database, Hydrocarbon Processing editors identified 11 projects that will have some of the highest impacts to the global or regional downstream industry. All of the nominees have a significant impact to the downstream sector, whether that is through overall capital expenditure, satisfying domestic or regional demand, or the resurgence in refining or petrochemical processing capacity.

This year, Hydrocarbon Processing focused on major refining and petrochemical projects under construction. These projects represent nearly $77 B in total capital expenditures. This year’s refining nominees represent over 1.5 MMbpd of additional refining capacity by 2019. These projects are located on five different continents and represent a total cost of over $44 B. The six petrochemical nominees span five different regions, have a total cost of over $33 B, and represent over 7 MMtpy of additional capacity by 2019.

Over the past two months, Hydrocarbon Processing readers voted online to select the top refining and petrochemical projects of 2015. The following sections present the results of the readers’ poll and details of the Top Project winners and nominees’ projects.


SOCAR Turkey Aegean Refinery (Star), Petkim Peninsula, Turkey


Once completed, the refinery will be the largest petrochemical complex in Turkey with the inclusion of Petkim. According to the country’s Value-Site 2023 vision for the Petkim Peninsula, SOCAR Turkey’s STAR project will be instrumental in creating the first petrochemical industrial park in Turkey. One of the $5.6-B, 10-MMtpy plant’s purposes is to provide naphtha feedstock to the Petkim petrochemical complex. This additional feedstock is vital to help curb Turkey’s dependence on imports, as well as to provide the local market with Euro 5-graded transportation fuels. The refinery will have the capability to process various crude oil feedstocks including Urals, Azeri Light and Kirkuk. The plant will produce naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and mixed xylenes as raw materials for the adjacent Petkim petrochemical facilities, and ultra-low-sulfur diesel and jet fuel/kerosine for both the domestic and international markets.

The refinery is Turkey’s first private-sector refinery. Of the total cost of $5.6 B, $3.29 B will be covered by project financing loans, whereas the remaining $2.4 B will come from SOCAR. The project has become the largest project financing transaction in Turkey and one of the largest oil and gas project financing transactions in the Europe/Middle East/Africa region. Financing for the project involved 23 financial institutions, including export credit agencies in seven countries, international commercial banks, development banks and local commercial banks. This web of project financing has earned the project numerous accolades, including “Best Project Financing of the Year” from Global Financial Conferences and “Refinery Financing Deal of the Year” from Project Finance International magazine.

Excavation works have been completed in the preparation phase of the refinery site, and major engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and licensing contracts have been awarded. Foster Wheeler Italiana provided front-end engineering design (FEED) and project management consulting (PMC) services on the project. The facility is being developed by a consortium consisting of Tecnicas Reunidas, Saipem, GS E&C and ITOCHU. Technology providers include Axens, UOP, Foster Wheeler, Technip and Tecnimont KT.

Once completed in 1Q 2018, the refinery will be the first to start production in Turkey since 1984 and complete a major initiative of Turkey’s Refinery-Petrochemical-Energy-Logistics-Distribution program.

Owner/operator: SOCAR / EPC: Tecnicas Reunidas, Saipem, GS E&C, ITOCHU / Licensors: Axens, UOP, Foster Wheeler, Technip, Tecnimont KT

North West Redwater Partnership’s Sturgeon Bitumen Refinery, Sturgeon County, Alberta, Canada


The 80-Mbpd Phase 1 of the 240-Mbpd refinery project is being developed by the North West Redwater Partnership, a 50/50 JV between North West Upgrading and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. The $8.5-B bitumen refinery will be located in Sturgeon County, 45 km northeast of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Sturgeon refinery will be the first refinery built in Canada in nearly 30 years.

The facility will convert diluted bitumen into ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel and other high-value products, such as high-quality recycled and manufactured diluents, to replace expensive imports and produce naphtha for high-octane gasoline, low-sulfur vacuum gasoil, and light ends such as butane, propane and ethane. The development of the project is designed to incorporate gasification and carbon capture and storage solutions to limit the refinery’s carbon footprint. The captured CO2 will be transported and used for enhanced oil recovery at previously depleted oil fields in Alberta.

Phase 1 of the 240-Mbpd project is designed to process 80 Mbpd of diluted bitumen. The vast majority of the refinery’s feedstock (75%) will be supplied from the Alberta Petroleum and Marketing Commission, with the remainder originating from Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. The Partnership has secured regulatory approvals for all three phases, completed designs, ordered and received major equipment, awarded contracts, and commenced construction of Phase 1.

Phase 1 commercial operations are expected to commence in 2H of 2017. Engineering and construction services were performed by companies such as Fluor, Tecnicas Reunidas, Worley Parsons and PCL. FEED services were performed by Fluor, and major EPC contracts have been awarded to CB&I, Tecnicas Reunidas, Lurgi AG, Fluor Canada and Jacobs Engineering.

Owner/operator: North West Redwater Partnership / EPC: Tecnicas Reunidas, Fluor, CB&I, Jacobs Canada, Lurgi AG

REFICAR Refinery Expansion, Cartagena, Colombia


To make the country self-sufficient in refined oil products, Colombia is doubling the capacity of its Cartagena refinery. The refinery, located 15 km south of Cartagena, is owned and operated by Refinería de Cartagena (REFICAR), a subsidiary of Ecopetrol. The $7-B project will boost capacity from 80 Mbpd to 165 Mbpd by the end of 2015. Full ramp-up of the facility is expected to be completed by 2Q 2016. The project also includes the modernization of the existing refinery to take advantage of the new complex and improve efficiencies.

Once completed, the refinery will help reduce regional refining constraints and enable REFICAR to produce ultra-low-sulfur gasoline and diesel from heavy, high-sulfur crudes, as well as to adhere to the latest emissions protocols and requirements, increase the refinery’s conversion capacity from 76% to 95%, and meet international standards for transportation fuels.

The main contractor for the project is CB&I. The scope of work includes grassroots refining units, utilities and infrastructure for the refinery, which will be built adjacent to REFICAR’s 80-Mbpd refinery. Technology licensing is being provided by KBR, Merichem and UOP. The project is expected to have a peak construction workforce of 6,000. The skilled labor will install 165 Mm3 of concrete, 31 Mt of structural steel, 640 Mm of pipe and more than 4.8 MMm of cable and wire.

Owner/operator: Ecopetrol / EPC: CB&I / Licensors: KBR, Merichem

DIL Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Complex, Lekki, Nigeria


Nigerian business mogul Aliko Dangote plans to construct the largest privately owned refinery in Africa. The Dangote Industries Ltd. (DIL) integrated complex will be constructed in Lekki, Lagos State, Nigeria, and will include a petrochemical complex and fertilizer facility. The project will be the first of its kind in Nigeria.

The $9-B, 650-Mbpd refinery will include a petrochemical plant that will produce 750 Mtpy of polypropylene, and a fertilizer plant that will produce 2.8 MMtpy of urea and ammonia for the nation’s agricultural sector. The refinery will produce gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel and slurry to be used as a raw material for carbon black.

The primary objective of the project is to supply the local market and reduce refined fuel imports. Nigeria produces enough crude oil to satisfy demand, but suffers from low domestic refinery utilization rates. This has caused the country to rely on imports to satisfy demand. The new DIL refinery will help mitigate a substantial portion of imports and help satisfy a large portion of domestic demand. EPC services will be supplied by Engineers India Ltd. UOP will provide technology licensing for the refinery and chemical plant. Completion is scheduled for 2018.

Owner/operator: Dangote Industries Ltd. / EPC: Engineers India Ltd. / Licensor: UOP

KNPC’s Al-Zour Refinery Project, Al-Zour, Kuwait

The Al-Zour refinery project is part of Kuwait’s $31-B plan to overhaul the country’s refining sector. This initiative includes the $17-B Clean Fuels Project and the $16.5-B New Refinery Project (NRP). The NRP, known as Al-Zour, will be the largest refining complex in the Middle East, once completed. The 615-Mbpd grassroots refinery will supply power generation plants in Kuwait with environmentally friendly fuel and provide alternatives to gas imports and heavy fuel use. The project will also accomplish strategic domestic initiatives, such as increasing domestic refining capacity to 1.4 MMbpd; significantly improving emissions levels in the country; producing 225 Mbpd of low-sulfur fuel oil to meet the growing demand for low-sulfur fuel oil used in power generation; producing 340 Mbpd of export products, including ultra-low-sulfur diesel, ultra-low-sulfur kerosine, petrochemical naphtha and LPG; and contributing to economic growth and development and job-creation opportunities for Kuwaiti nationals.

The project received final approval for construction in 2012. In July, KNPC awarded multiple EPC contracts worth $11.5 B. These went to three different consortiums: Hanwha E&C-Sinopec-Tecnicas Reunidas; Daewoo Engineering-Fluor-Hyundai Heavy Industries; and Saipem-Hyundai E&C-SK E&C. In October, the Essar-Saipem JV was awarded the EPC contract for Package 4. Process technology for the refinery is being supplied by Fluor, Chevron Lummus Global, Shell Global Solutions and Haldor Topsoe.

With the construction of Al-Zour and the Clean Fuels Project, Kuwait is set to become the largest producer of clean fuels in the Middle East by 2019.

Owner/operator: Kuwait National Petroleum Co. / EPC: Hanwha E&C-Sinopec-Tecnicas Reunidas, Daewoo Engineering-Fluor-Hyundai Heavy Industries, Saipem-Hyundai E&C-SK E&C, Essar-Saipem / Licensors: Fluor, Chevron Lummus Global, Shell Global Solutions, Haldor Topsoe


Sasol’s Ethane Cracker and Derivatives Complex, Westlake, Louisiana


Sasol is constructing its world-scale petrochemical complex on a 650-acre site near its existing Westlake facilities in southwest Louisiana. The $8.9-B project will roughly triple the company’s chemical production capacity in the US. At the heart of the project is an ethane cracker that will produce 1.5 MMtpy of ethylene. The complex also includes six chemical manufacturing plants. Approximately 90% of the cracker’s ethylene output will be converted into a diverse slate of commodity and high-margin specialty chemicals. The product slate will include ethylene oxide, monoethylene glycol, Ziegler alcohol, Guerbert alcohol, ethyoxylates, and a variety of polyethylene products and co-monomers.

Sasol has selected Fluor Technip Integrated as the primary EPC contractor. The JV will be responsible for the 1.5-MMtpy 
ethane cracker, downstream derivatives units and associated utilities, offsites and infrastructure work. The plant will utilize technology from ExxonMobil Chemical, Univation Technologies, Sasol, Scientific Design and Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology. Sasol broke ground on the project in 1Q 2015 and expects operations to begin in 2018.

Owner/operator: Sasol / EPC: Fluor-Technip JV, Toyo Engineering / Licensors: ExxonMobil Chemical, Univation Technologies, Sasol, Scientific Design, Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology

ZapSibNeftekhim Petrochemical Complex (ZapSib-2), Tobolsk, Russia

ZapSibNeftekhim, a subsidiary of Russian petrochemical producer Sibur, has started construction of its integrated ZapSibNeftekhim Petrochemical Complex (ZapSib-2). Located 3 km north of Sibur’s polymer site at Tobolsk, the $9.5-B project will be the biggest integrated complex for the production of polymers in Russia, once completed.

The complex will process byproducts of oil and gas extracted from Western Siberian operations, as well as reduce the need for imports of value-added petrochemical products in Russia. The plant will integrate a steam cracker for the production of ethylene, propylene and butane-butylene fraction (BBF) and will include polyethylene units and a polypropylene unit. The steam cracker will have a capacity of 1.5 MMtpy of ethylene, 500 Mtpy of propylene and 100 Mtpy of BBF, along with four units with a total capacity to produce 1.5 MMtpy of various grades of polyethylene and 500 Mtpy of polypropylene.

Most of the onsite preparations have been completed, and major contracts have been awarded. FEED services for the ethylene plant were performed by Linde, while the FEED for the polyethylene and polypropylene units were conducted by Technip and ThyssenKrupp Uhde, respectively. The general design contractor for the project is VNIPIneft, while NIPIgaspererabotka, a subsidiary of Sibur, has been contracted to design the utilities, infrastructure and offsites. Technology licensing contracts were awarded to Linde, Ineos Technologies and LyondellBasell. Linde will provide processing technology for the ethylene plant. Ineos Technologies will provide its proprietary Innovene G and Innovene S processes for the manufacture of linear low-density and high-density polyethylene. The plants will produce the full range of Ziegler monomodal, Ziegler bimodal, chromium and metallocene products for both Russian and export markets. LyondellBasell will provide its Spheripol process technology for the complex’s polypro-pylene plant. The complex is expected to begin operations by 2020 or 2021.

Owner/operator: ZapSibNeftekhim (subsidiary of Sibur) / FEED: Linde, Technip, ThyssenKrupp / Licensors: Linde, Ineos Technologies, LyondellBasell

Etileno XXI, Coatzacoalcos, Mexico


Mexico is constructing the first major private-sector petrochemical project in 20 years. Etileno (Ethylene) XXI is a $5.2-B greenfield petrochemical complex located in Nanchital near Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. The JV company, Braskem Idesa, will build, develop and operate the production facility. Braskem is the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas, and Idesa is a leading Mexican petrochemical company.

The project consists of a 1-MMtpy ethane cracker; two high-density polyethylene plants (750 Mtpy); one low-density polyethylene plant (300 Mtpy); and storage, waste treatment and utility facilities. The project also includes a 150-MW combined-cycle power and steam cogeneration plant; a multimodal logistics platform for the shipment of 1 MMtpy of polyethylene via bulk train or truck; and administrative, maintenance, control room and ancillary buildings.

The project is intended to increase Mexico’s domestic petrochemical production to satisfy demand and reduce imports of petrochemical products. A glaring gap exists between Mexico’s potential for polyethylene production and its inability to meet surging demand. At present, 65% of polyethylene demand is satisfied through imports, and the gap continues to grow each year. The Etileno XXI project is forecast to replace $2 B of polyethylene imports used as feedstock for the agricultural, automotive, construction and consumer industries.

The facility is the largest project finance transaction in the history of the petrochemical industry in Central America, as well as the biggest foreign investment in Mexico by a private Brazilian company. Perhaps Etileno XXI’s greatest significance is that it may be the first step in a deeper involvement among international firms in Mexico. This would mark a radical shift away from Mexico’s state-owned oil company’s (Pemex’s) monopoly, and it could usher in a broader role for private capital in Mexico.

Major licensing contracts were awarded to Technip, INEOS and LyondellBasell. The EPC work will be conducted by a JV between Technip and Odebrecht-ICA Fluor. The complex is expected to begin operations by the end of the year.

Owner/operator: Braskem Idesa / EPC: ICA Fluor-Odebrecht-Technip / Licensors: Technip, LyondellBasell, INEOS Technologies

Rabigh Phase II Project, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


The Rabigh Phase II project involves the expansion of PetroRabigh’s Refining and Petrochemical Complex. Located 150 km north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the PetroRabigh complex is a JV between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical. The $8.5-B project includes the expansion of the existing ethane cracker, the construction of an aromatics complex, and the expansion of a facility to process 30 MMcfd of ethane and approximately 3 MMtpy of naphtha as feedstock to produce a variety of high-value-added petrochemical products.

The existing PetroRabigh facility produces 18 MMtpy of refined products and 2.4 MMtpy of petrochemical products. Phase II will add 15 MMtpy of refined products and 5 MMtpy of petrochemicals. The project also includes a 2,000-MW integrated water and power plant. PetroRabigh’s main products will be ethylene propylene rubber, thermoplastic polyolefin, methyl methacrylate monomer, polymethyl methacrylate, low-density polyethylene/ethylene vinyl acetate, paraxylene/benzene, cumene and phenol/acetone. The project will build a multitude of new core units, including a vacuum distillation unit, a vacuum gasoil hydrotreater, a high-olefin fluid catalytic cracking unit, an unsaturated gas plant, a C4 alkylation unit, a C4 isomerization unit, a sulfur acid regeneration plant, a butane-1 unit, a hydrogen production unit, amine regeneration units, sour water stripper units, sulfur recovery units and an ethane cracker. Derivative units include a polyethylene unit, linear low-density polyethylene unit, a mono ethylene glycol unit, polypropylene units and a propylene oxide unit.

The Rabigh II feasibility study and FEED work were jointly conducted and funded by Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo. The basic engineering package and related services for the feasibility study were rendered by KBR. GS E&C is the general contractor for the project, while major EPC contracts went to Saipem, JGC Gulf International, Petrofac, Daelim and GS E&C. Technology licensing contracts were awarded to Badger Licensing (a JV between ExxonMobil Chemical and Technip) and KBR.

Owner/operator: PetroRabigh (Saudi Aramco, Sumitomo Chemical) / EPC: Saipem, JGC Gulf International, Petrofac, Daelim, GS E&C / Licensors: Badger Licensing (ExxonMobil Chemical, Technip), KBR

Ingleside Ethylene’s Ethylene Cracker Project, Ingleside, Texas


Ingleside Ethylene is a 50/50 JV between Occidental Chemical Corp. (OxyChem) and Mexichem. The JV was created in mid-2012 and officially incorporated in 3Q 2013. The goal of the JV is to take advantage of low-cost natural gas feedstock produced from US shale plays. The natural gas will be used as feedstock for Ingleside Ethylene’s ethane cracker project in southeast Texas.

The $1.5-B ethane cracker began construction in 2Q 2014. The new cracker is being built at OxyChem’s existing plant in Ingleside, Texas. Once completed, the cracker will have a capacity to produce 1.2 billion lb (550 Mcm) of ethylene per year and provide OxyChem with an ongoing source of ethylene for manufacturing vinyl chloride monomer, which Mexichem will use to produce polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and PVC piping systems. OxyChem will operate the cracker upon completion and provide the raw material of ethylene to Mexichem under a long-term agreement.

In December 2013, Ingleside Ethylene awarded CB&I the EPC contract for the project. Scope of work included EPC of the ethane cracker and associated utilities and offsites. CB&I was also awarded a separate contract to build an ethylene storage facility in Markham, Texas, as part of the broader Ingleside Ethylene project. This second contract consists of the surface facilities including compression, dehydration, metering and associated pipe fabrication at the salt cavern storage location. An 118-mi feedstock supply pipeline will transport the ethylene from OxyChem’s plant to the Markham storage facility. CB&I was also responsible for providing the technology license and basic engineering for the ethane cracker, five short-resistance-time (SRT) cracking heaters and FEED services. The biological and environmental assessment reports were prepared by Tetra Tech.

In May 2014, the plant received the necessary permits from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to begin construction. The project is expected to create 1,700 jobs during peak construction and more than 150 permanent jobs. The project is scheduled to become commercially operational in 1Q 2017.

Owner/operator: Ingleside Ethylene (OxyChem and Mexichem) / EPC: CB&I / Licensor: CB&I

INEOS’s Ethane Supply Project, Grangemouth, Scotland


INEOS’s Grangemouth complex is the company’s largest manufacturing site by product volume and is home to Scotland’s only crude oil refinery. Faced with significant natural gas declines from the North Sea and no available raw materials locally, INEOS is forced to source additional petrochemical feedstock from outside the UK. The Ethane Supply Project is a $545-MM investment to import and make use of advantaged feedstock, primarily ethane, from US shale gas fields. The project includes the construction of a gas import terminal and what will be Europe’s biggest ethane storage tank, once completed. The imported ethane will be instrumental in enabling the ethylene cracker at Grangemouth to return its throughput capacity from less than half of its present capacity to 100%.

The massive 60-Mm3 ethane storage tank is 56 m in diameter and 44 m high, giving it a displacement volume of 108,372 m3. The ethane will be stored at –90°C. In July, INEOS used four low-pressure fans to formally raise the roof on the facility. UK engineering firm Doosan Babcock was awarded a multimillion-pound contract to deliver the mechanical piping works associated with the project. This included the fabrication and installation of all new pipework that will connect the ethane offloading booms at the Grangemouth jetty to the new ethane storage tank and the pipework from the ethane storage tank to the ethylene cracker plant. The feedline from the jetty to the ethane storage tank is also cryogenic and measures 4.5 km long. The main construction contractor for the ethane storage tank is TGE Gas Engineering.

The construction of the ethane storage tank is part of INEOS’ $1-B global project to transport US shale gas to Europe. The company has invested in the construction of pipelines from the Marcellus shale play in western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook gas terminal near Philadelphia; commissioned a fleet of tankers to transport the ethane from the US to Europe; and built two new import terminals, one at Grangemouth and the other at Rafnes, Norway. The ethane storage project is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2016.

Owner/operator: INEOS / EPC: TGE Gas Engineering  HP



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