China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) plans to expand its coal-to-chemical business. The company plans to develop key technology for three coal-based facilities this year and actively expand coal-to-chemicals.
Dow Polyurethanes has broken ground on a major capacity expansion at its polyols plant in Terneuzen, The Netherlands. The investment is planned to expand polyol production capacity by 180 kilotons/year. The expansion is on track to be completed by the middle of 2009.
Process control design
Mustang Engineering has been authorized by ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. to complete the detailed engineering design and site construction management for the process control of a second world-scale steam cracker complex in Singapore. The project will be integrated with the existing Singapore site, providing feedstock as well as operating and investment synergies with both the chemical plant and refinery. The new project will include a one million tons/year ethylene cracker, two 650,000 tons/year polyethylene units, a 450,000 tons/year polypropylene unit, a 300,000 tons/year specialty elastomers unit, an aromatics extraction unit to produce 340,000 tons/year of benzene and an oxo-alcohol expansion of 125,000 tons/year. Start-up is expected in early 2011.
China and Qatar are talking about possibly setting up a joint petrochemical plant in China. It is projected that the project will be built up in 2013 with an initial processing capacity of approximately 700,000 Ė 800,000 tons/year. The project will involve both China National Petroleum Corp. and Qatar Petroleum, who are in discussions about the project now.
The planned China paraxylene (PX) chemical plant is likely to be relocated after protests from the public. The government is suggesting that the plantís construction will likely be moved to Xinhua. The people of Xiamen expressed concerns about remaining a coastal scenic city rather than becoming a chemical industry base.
Large oil reserves
Talisman Energy Inc. and Marubeni Corp. have discovered natural gas and condensate reserves off the coast of Britain in the North Sea. The reserves are estimated to hold at least 35 million barrels of crude oil equivalent. The firms plan to begin commercial production within four years, but also plan to explore other prospects near the discovery area.
Monsanto Co.ís seed research unit in southeastern Brazil was invaded by about 300 people who are part of a local activist group. The group destroyed a greenhouse and a testing field for genetically modified corn. This is part of ongoing local protest against Brazilís approval of genetically modified corn that was issued last month. The target is the MON810 seed that gained government approval.
Clariant International Ltd. and Zhejiang Baihe Chemical Holding Group are expanding the Hangzhou Baihe Clariant Pigements Co. Ltd. joint venture by investing in a plant for the production of Quinacridone specialty organic pigments. The new plant will be built at the existing joint-venture facility in Hangzhou City, China.