Processing news briefs, Dec. 17

Williams Cos. Inc. plans to shut part its Memphis refinery for 2 weeks beginning Jan. 5, reducing throughput from 175,000 b/d to 110,000 b/d. It plans general maintenance and modifications to the west crude unit. Deliveries to customers will continue.

National Petrochemical Co. of Iran let contract to the Technip-Coflexip Group of France and Nargan of Iran for design and construction of a 400 million euro ethane cracker. The 1 million tonne/year unit will be built at the Asaluyeh petrochemical complex. Completion is due in July 2003.

Kuwait National Petroleum Co.'s Al-Ahmadi refinery should begin expanded output of 430,000 b/d by October after a processing unit is finished in September. The refinery is producing 309,000 b/d, the Kuwaiti News Agency quoted Bu Sakher as saying.

Conoco Ltd. is selling 175 company-operated Jet service stations in the UK to Fuelforce Ltd., a new independent retailer. Price was not disclosed. Conoco will supply the Fuelforce stations that continue to operate under the Jet brand. The deal increases Conoco's Jet-branded dealer network from 388 to more than 560 outlets.

Woodside Energy Ltd., operator of the North West Shelf Venture onshore gas plant near Karratha, Western Australia, has given CBI Constructors Pty. Ltd., a subsidiary of Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. NV, a $126 million (Aust.) contract for a fourth liquefied natural gas (LNG) production train with capacity of 4.2 million tonnes/year.

Royal Dutch/Shell Group and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) have submitted a proposal to the Chinese government to jointly operate 500 gasoline stations in Jiangsu province in eastern China, beginning in 2002. Sinopec would transfer ownership of some of its stations to the new venture and the rest will be built.

Statoil ASA, as operator of the Troll field consortium, has given Linde AG, Wiesbaden, a contract for a 190 million euro gas liquids extraction plant at Kollsnes, near Bergen. Linde Engineering will be general contractor for the 26 million cu m/day plant, which will treat gas from Kvitebjørn and Troll fields.

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