UOP LLC has announced that Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co., Ltd. has successfully started up a new para-xylene complex using UOP process technology at the Sinopec facility in Shanghai, China. The aromatics project was completed in just 30 months from initial kick-off through commissioning, with UOP providing the technology license, basic engineering, equipment packages and key products. The new complex produces 600,000 metric tons/year of para-xylene using the UOP Parex process. It will also produce 280,000 metric tons/year of benzene.
In order to rein in the blind development of the traditional coal chemical industry, China will not allow new modern coal chemical demonstration projects in principle, will stop approving coke and calcium carbide production capacity expansion projects, and will accelerate eliminating obsolete production capacity in the next three years. The State Council has highlighted that some coal production areas in China have been developing the coal industry blindly in pursuit of fast economic development regardless of the environmental damage and the strain on Chinaís water resources. In recent years, this has directly led to redundant construction of traditional coal chemical industry plants.
Investment in NG and Chemicals Base
Chinaís Sichuan province is planning to invest 82.5 billion yuan to develop a heavyweight natural gas and chemicals base. About 137 natural gas and chemicals projects will be built for the base, providing a complete industrial chain.
Ethylene Expansion Project
Daqing Petrochemical has recently started the construction of a 1.2 million ton/year ethylene expansion project in Daqing, China. The 14-billion-yuan project will expand the companyís current 600,000 ton/year ethylene cracking capacity into 1.2 million tons/year. A 300,000 ton/year polypropylene facility, a 600,000 ton/year gasoline hydrogenation facility and a 400,000 ton/year aromatic hydrocarbon project will also be built. Completion is expected in 2011.
Oman Oil Co. S.A.O.C. (OOC) and International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) have entered into a memorandum of understanding of joint cooperation between the two companies with regard to the potential development of a refinery and petrochemical complex in Duqm, Oman. The memorandum of understanding entails an in-depth assessment of both the feasibility and implementation of the proposed project.
Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to scientists in the U.S., England and Israel for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome. Structural biologists Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (MRC Laboratory of Modular Biology, Cambridge, U.K.), Thomas A. Steitz (Yale University); and Ada E. Yonath (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel) will share the $1.4 million prize. These researchers used X-ray crystallography to map the ribosomeís structure, and the resulting 3-D models cast light on the ribosomeís complicated mechanism of action.
Polymer Research Center
Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem), King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) and the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources have announced plans to establish a research center for the development of polymer technologies and applications. The center will be a nucleus for future expansion and create new communication channels between Saudi universities and the industrial sector. The center is expected to be operation by 2012.
Trial Production Starting Next Year
Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Groupís coal-based polypropylene production project in Yinchuan, China will start its trial operation next year. The project will cost approximately $2.5 billion with a designed capacity of 520,000 tons of polypropylene/year. The project will also be able to product 184,800 tons of gasoline/year and 13,800 tons of sulfur/year as by-products.