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Chexpress - August 27, 2013

North America

USGC petrochemical project

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP has received air permits from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for its planned ethane cracker and polyethylene units. This is in addition to the greenhouse gas permit the Environmental Protection Agency granted for the cracker earlier this year. Pending final board approval, the 1.5 million metric tons/year ethane cracker would be built at the Chevron Phillips Chemical’s Cedar Bayou facility in Baytown, Texas. The new polyethylene facilities, each with an annual capacity of 500,000 metrics tons, would be built on a site near the Chevron Phillips Chemical Sweeny facility in Old Ocean, Texas. The estimated date for the project’s completion is 2017.


Panda Power Funds will begin construction immediately on an 829-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in Bradford County, Pennsylvania after acquiring the project from Moxie Energy and completing financing. The Panda Liberty generating station is expected to begin commercial operations by early 2016. This is in addition to the recently announced 859-megawatt gas-fired plant in Maryland, subject to financing and other conditions.


A 10,000-gallon fuel oil tank exploded at Brownies Oil Co. The tank went flying across a road, killing a worker who was welding nearby. The man died from blunt-force trauma to his head. No one else was injured or killed. The tank spilled 7,500 gallons of fuel and flooded a dike encircling the area, but the spill was contained.     



Coal-to-chemicals projects

China Coal Energy is stepping up investments in downstream coal-to-chemicals projects amid an oversupply and declining coal prices. The budget this year for projects to expand chemicals production has for the first time exceeded that for coal mines – 17.4 billion yuan for coal-to-chemicals projects versus 3.2 billion yuan for coal mine development. The chemicals include methanol, polypropylene and polyethylene.  

Carbon capture-and-use plant

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) has hired Linde Group to build the world’s largest plant for capturing and using climate-warming carbon dioxide. An affiliate of SABIC, the United Jubail Petrochemical Company, plans to capture around 1,500 tons/day of carbon dioxide from ethylene plants and purify it for use in SABIC-owned petrochemical plants in Jubail. The carbon capture and utilization plant will prevent about 500,000 tons/year of the gas from being released into the atmosphere. 

Gas pipeline

Construction of a gas pipeline from Sheberghan gas field in Afghanistan to Tajikistan was recently discussed at a meeting between Ministers in each country. The parties discussed various issues of cooperation in the energy sector. According to preliminary estimates, the overall cost of the project could be up to $300 million.


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