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Chexpress - April 30, 2014

North America

Ethylene plant

Shintech Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., has applied for a permit to build a grassroots ethylene plant in Louisiana. The company intends to build the 500,000 tons/year capacity plant on industrial land that it already owns. Concurrently with this project, Shintech will continue its feasibility study on the amount to be invested for the proposed plant construction, the profitability of the project, and the amount of time that it will take for construction to be completed.

Pipe expansion

Williams Partners LP plans to expand part of its Transco pipeline to deliver natural gas to Cheniere Energy Partners LP’s Sabine liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility under construction in Louisiana. Williams Partners said the project will cost about $300 million and it is planned to be in service in early 2017, subject to government approvals. Sabine is the only LNG export facility under construction in the U.S. and it is expected to be in service in late 2015.

Refinery upgrade

Marathon Petroleum Corporation is taking the next step toward a potential $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion upgrade to its Garyville, Louisiana refinery. The company plans to file permit applications with Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality at the end of April. It plans to complete feasibility studies to make a final decision on the project by early 2015. If approved, the project would result in hydrotreating, hydrocracking and desulfurization equipment installations, along with additional infrastructure, including buildings, tanks, cooling towers, and rail and electrical facilities.  



Bids to lease storage

Petronet LNG has invited bids to lease storage at its Kochi regasification plant in Southern India due to a lack of pipelines connecting its key demand centers. Petronet is currently operating its 5 million tons/year Kochi plant at a fraction of its capacity as land-related issues have delayed the two pipelines that would link the terminal with customers in Bangalore and Mangalore. The Kochi terminal has two LNG storage tanks of nearly 182,000 cubic meters capacity each.

Petrochemical facilities

Iran plans to launch four new petrochemical plants in the current Iranian year calendar (which started March 21). The second phase of the Kavian Petrochemical Complex in Bushehr as well as the Lorestan, Kordestand and Mahabad complexes are scheduled to be operational by the end of the current Iranian calendar year.



An oil pipe leak caused excessive levels of benzene to arise in Lanzhou, China’s water supply. This prompted warnings against drinking from the tap and sending residents to buy bottled water. A crude oil pipeline run by China National Petroleum Corp. had a leak that tainted the source water feeding a local water plant.

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