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Chexpress - April 16, 2013

North America

NGL fractionation

LyondellBasell has signed agreements with TexStar MidStream Services, LP under which TexStar will install two natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionation units adjacent to LyondellBasell affiliate, Equistar Chemicals LP’s, Corpus Christi, Texas plant. The fractionation units will have the combined capability of processing 63,000 barrels/day of NGLs produced from the Eagle Ford shale into ethane, propane, butanes and natural gasoline. Equistar will operate the fractionators for TexStar and will provide various utilities to the facility from its adjacent olefins facility. Equistar will also purchase ethane and propane produced from the units under a long-term agreement. The NGLs will be used as feedstocks for Equistar’s olefins unit to produce ethylene and propylene. Construction will start this month with startup projected for late 2013.

New tanker firm

Ridgebury Tankers LLC is a new tanker company focused on the acquisition and operation of vessels in the tanker sector. Riverstone Holdings LLC announced a $200 million commitment to Ridgebury alongside a $5.7 million commitment from Ridgebury management. The company will use the capital to acquire clean product carriers of all sizes and in the crude sector, it will focus primarily on Suezmax vessels.

R&D center

Dow AgroSciences has unveiled its new research and development facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Biotechnology Research Center is part of a $340-million expansion plan announced in March 2010. The project includes the 175,000-square-foot R&D facility, a 14,000-square-foot greenhouse, and the addition of more than 550 scientific and commercial jobs by 2015.



Fuel import

Ethiopian Petroleum Supplier Enterprise (EPSE) has said that Ethiopia has imported more than 1 million metric tons of petroleum from Sudan via the port of Djibouti. The fuel was imported at a cost of $1.12 billion during the past six months. It is expected that Ethiopia will import a similar amount of petroleum in the next six months to meet the growing demand for energy in the country.

Gasification plant

Shell Global Solutions International has signed a gasification licensed technology agreement with Saudi Aramco. The agreement is for the largest residue gasification unit to ever be built – the Jazan Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Project (IGCC). The agreement includes the licensing of Shell gasification and acid gas removal technologies and the provisioning of engineering services. The IGCC enables the gasification of low-value residue feedstocks to produce syngas for power generation. The generated power will provide electricity for the Jazan refinery and supply within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. When it starts operating, the refinery will process 400,000 barrels/day of Arabian Heavy and Arabian Medium crude oil to produce gasoline, ultra-low sulfur diesel, benzene and paraxylene.

Floating gas-export plant

ExxonMobil Corp. has laid out plans for developing the world’s biggest floating natural gas processing plant. Exxon and BHP Billiton Ltd. want to anchor a vessel extending 495 meters at sea to tap into the remote Scarborough natural gas field offshore Western Australia. Government approvals are being sought with the first production being targeted as early as 2020. The proposed facility would produce between 6 million and 7 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year for several decades.


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