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Chexpress - June 11, 2013

North America

Workforce Training Program Funding

ExxonMobil will fund a $500,000 workforce training program to enable Houston, Texas’ leading community colleges to prepare thousands of local residents for jobs in the growing local chemical manufacturing industry. The incentive will build on the success of the Lee College ExxonMobil Process Technology Program that will benefit 50,000 students and educators in the next five years. Lee College will work with Houston Community College, Lone Star College, San Jacinto Junior College, Alvin Community College, Wharton County Junior College, Brazosport College, Galveston College and College of the Mainland to train students seeking certification or completion of degree programs for instrumentation, electrical, machinist/millwright, welding, pipefitting and other skills and competencies needed by the chemical industry. There are also plans to include area high schools in the program in the future.

Pipeline Contract

Wood Group Mustang has been awarded a contract by The Dow Chemical Company to provide services for construction of approximately 140 miles of ethane, ethylene, propane and propylene pipelines, associated interconnections, and station modifications between Dow Texas Operations in Freeport, Texas and facilities at Mt. Belvieu, Texas. The pipelines and station upgrades are part of construction for a world-class ethylene unit previously announced as part of Dow’s plans to further connect its U.S. operations with cost-advantaged feedstocks available from increasing supplies of U.S. shale gas. Wood Group Mustang will provide engineering, field services and construction management on the project. Completion is scheduled for late 2016.


Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP will expand its ethylene production by 200 million pounds by adding a tenth furnace to ethylene unit 33 at its Sweeny complex in Old Ocean, Texas. The new furnace will achieve lower emissions and incorporate Best Available Control Technology (BACT). Construction is targeted to commence within the next quarter with anticipated startup in 2014. The additional furnace will not add to the nameplate capacity of the facility; however, the increased operating factor should result in a net increase of 200 million pounds of ethylene availability to provide additional operational flexibility and reliability.


Ethylene Production

ExxonMobil’s Singapore Chemical Plant is now producing ethylene from the facility’s second world-scale steam cracker. The expansion is integrated with the existing petrochemical plant. During the next few weeks, the petrochemical complex will increase production at its three polyethylene plants, two polypropylene plants, a specialty metallocene elastomers unit and the expanded oxo-alcohol and aromatics units.

LNG Terminal

Plinacro has completed a concept design for its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the Adriatic Island of Krk. The Krk LNG terminal project is being developed by LNG Hrvatska, a 50/50 joint venture between Plinacro and HEP. The terminal will have a regasification capacity of 5.0 billion cubic meters of gas annually and is projected to cost $776.6 million. The environmental impact assessment and the preliminary design should be completed in July and August, respectively.

Pipeline Construction

Construction of the Nabucco-West gas pipeline may begin in 2015 if the Shah Deniz Consortium selects this pipeline as its route for the export of Azerbaijani gas to Europe. If selected, Nabucco will start getting equipment and materials ready in 2014 so that they can start building the pipeline in 2015 and start transporting gas at the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019. The plan states that gas could be provided via the pipeline to countries through which the pipeline runs and to the Balkan countries, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, France, Germany, Ukraine and others. The Shah Deniz consortium is in the process of choosing between the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP and Nabucco-West projects as an export route for Azerbaijani gas to Europe. Their decision is expected by the end of this month. The TAP project is designed to transport natural gas from the Shah Deniz field under State-2 through Greece and Albania to Western Europe. Nabucco-West is a truncated version of the Nabucco pipeline that envisages laying of pipeline from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria’s Baumgarten.

Refinery Contract

Technip was awarded a contract by SCOP for project management consultancy (PMC) services for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phase of the Karbala refinery in Iraq. This award follows the front-end engineering design executed by Technip in 2010. The scope of work will be done in two phases. Phase one includes issuing enquiries for the EPC contract, bids clarification, evaluation and contracts finalization with the EPC contractors. Phase two includes overall management of the EPC contract execution.


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