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Chexpress - November 12, 2014

North America

Proposed Cracker

Shell Chemical LP has exercised its option to purchase a Monaca, Pennsylvania site where it has proposed building an ethylene cracker. Shell is purchasing Horsehead Holding Co.’s former zinc smelter site. Shell is performing a multi-year review of the site, including environmental analysis, engineering design studies, evaluation of ethane supply and economic viability. A closing date for the purchase has yet to be established.

Furnace Supply

Sasol awarded Technip a contract to provide engineering and procurement for eight proprietary Ultra Selective Conversion (USC) furnaces for an ethane cracker and derivatives complex to be located in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The award follows Sasol’s selection of Technip’s ethylene technology and front end engineering design (FEED) for the cracker, which will produce an estimated 1.5 million tons/year of ethylene.

Ethane Cracker Design Contract

Technip has entered into a contract to supply its ethylene technology and process design package (PDP) for an ethane cracker for the proposed ASCENT (Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise) petrochemical complex currently being evaluated by Odebrecht and Braskem in Parkersburg, West Virginia. By using ethane from shale gas, this cracker will produce ethylene to be used in polyethylene plants.

Capacity Expansion

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP has launched a study to expand its low viscosity polyalphaolefins (PAO) capacity by 10,000 metric tons/year of capacity at is Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, Texas. The plant’s current capacity is 48,000 metric tons/year. The company has filed the necessary environmental notifications with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Final project approval is likely to be sought in the second quarter of 2015, with project completion targeted for 2016.


Construction Postponed

SOCAR has delayed the completion of a major plant to process oil, gas and petrochemicals worth up to $16.5 billion near Baku, Azerbaijan by four years until 2030 due to a lack of funds. The construction of a gas processing plant and petrochemicals plant worth $8.45 billion is now due to be completed by 2020 instead of 2017, while an oil refinery worth $8 billion is expected to be completed by 2030 and not 2026. The new complex will replace SOCAR’s two ageing downstream refineries (Baku Oil Refinery and Oil Refinery Azerneftyag).


PTT Pcl will finalize its funding plan for a $22 billion refinery and petrochemical complex in Vietnam in the third quarter of 2015. PTT will join with Saudi Aramco to develop the project, which includes a 400,000 barrel/day refinery and an olefins and aromatic petrochemical plant making 5 million tons/year. PTT and Aramco will each own 40 percent of the project, with the Vietnamese government holding the remaining 20 percent. Construction could begin in 2016 with operations then starting in 2021.


An affiliate of Saudi International Petrochemical Co (Sipchem) will shut a methanol plant for around three weeks for maintenance and some repairs. The shutdown will boost efficiency and production. As a result of the outage, Sipchem will incur losses of $9.3 million. The company has taken precautions to alleviate the impact of the shutdown on its customers.


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