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Chexpress - November 12, 2013

North America

Proposed fine

ExxonMobil faces $2.7 million in proposed fines from The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for its March 29 pipeline spill in Arkansas. The federal regulator said it found nine probable violations of safety rules in the break in the Pegasus pipeline. The 95,000 barrel/day pipeline has been shut since spilling about 5,000 barrels of oil in Mayflower, Arkansas. Exxon is cooperating with the investigation, but is still reviewing the notice and has not determined its course of action. The company has 30 days to contest the allegations.


Valspar Corp. has laid off about 25 of its Minneapolis, Minnesota corporate and sales workers in the last few weeks. The cuts are part of the company’s effort to restructure and shift resources. Affected workers include those in the corporate, finance and consumer sales units.

Plant closure

PolyOne Designed Structures and Solutions will close a Warsaw, Indiana plastics factory next year. The closing will put 110 people out of work. The company will cut jobs in stages, beginning in early January and ending about Sept. 30.

Proposed fine

The U.S. Labor Department’s OSHA has proposed more than $280,000 in fines against contractors working on a power plant in Berlin, New Hampshire. OSHA says workers were exposed to serious and potentially fatal injuries from cave-ins, falls, scaffold collapses, crushing, lead and electrocution hazards. No one was killed or seriously hurt, however. General contractor Babcock & Wilcox Construction Co. Inc. faces more than $116,000 in fines. The other fines were against subcontractors. A Babcock & Wilcox spokesperson says the company disagrees with the findings but will work closely with OSHA to resolve the issues.

Ethylene venture

Mexichem has entered into a joint venture with Occidental Chemical Corp. known as Oxychem. Oxychem will build a $1.5 billion ethylene plant in the United States. The plant, which will be in Ingleside, Texas should start operations in 2017.



Plant restart

Pertamina has restarted a refining and petrochemical complex in East Java, Indonesia owned by TPPI. The move is aimed at reducing imports of oil products and chemicals. The restart could help reduce the current account deficit in Indonesia, where import costs have been rising due to a weak rupiah. Pertamina signed an agreement with TPPI to use the facility for six months. The plant had been idled for nearly two years due to TPPI’s heavy debts. During the six-month timeframe, the plant will process 55,000 to 80,000 barrels of condensate/day and will produce about 1.5 million barrels of gasoil and fuel oil, 36,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and 2.8 million barrels of light naphtha. A total of 530,000 tons of petrochemicals will also be produced.


Unipetrol has agreed to buy partner Royal Dutch Shell’s 16.3 percent stake in Ceska Rafinerska for $27.2 million. This will boost Unipetrol’s stake in the Czech Republic’s only refinery to 67.6 percent. The deal is expected to be complete in the beginning of 2014.

Change in plans

Kayan has dropped plans to build an ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. In 2012, Kayan and Petrokemya, both affiliates of Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), signed a memorandum of understanding to equally own and finance the project. Kayan said that preliminary results of an economic feasibility study were not in line with the company’s growth plans.


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