Processing news briefs, July 24

Chevron Phillips Chemical ... Dow Chemical Canada ... Linde ... Orion Refining ... Albian Sands Energy ... Kobe Steel ... Taiwan Fertilizer Co. ... Consumers' Co-operative Refineries ... Suncor Energy

Libya's Arabian Gulf Oil Co. (AGOCO) has awarded licenses to France's Institut Fran�s du P�ole for natphtha hydrotreatment, light paraffin isomerization with deisohexanizer (DIH) recycle, catalytic reforming, and benzene elimination technologies. IFP said its Benfree benzene removal process is part of its technology portfolio for reformulated gasoline production; it enables the benzene content of gasoline to be reduced to less than 1%. The units, which will be incorporated in AGOCO's Tobruk refinery expansion project, are scheduled for startup in 2004.

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. (CPC), Houston, has licensed its antifoulant technology to Dow Chemical Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical Co. Known as CCA-500, the technology increases the performance of steam crackers by minimizing the formation of coke and carbon monoxide, said CPC. The firm says use of the antifoulant increases furnace run lengths two to eight-fold and enables crackers to operate at higher feed and conversion rates and higher severities.

Iran's National Petrochemical Co. has selected Germany's Linde AG to build what it claims to be the world's largest olefin plant in the Iranian free trade zone at Bandar Imam on the Persian Gulf Coast. The plant will have the capacity to produce 1.1 million tonnes/year of ethylene and 200,000 tonnes/year of propylene. Linde also will build a natural gas separation plant, which will supply the new olefin plant with ethane, propane, and butane through a 62-mile pipeline. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2003. The contract is worth 350 million euros.

Orion Refining Corp., Norco, La., said this week that its Norco refinery near New Orleans is fully operating after 4 years of construction to upgrade and rebuild the plant's operating units. It now has the capacity to process 155,000 b/d of heavy, sour crude oil plus additional feedstocks into gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, and LPG. In June, the company brought an 85,000 b/d MSCC (millisecond catalytic cracking) unit, licensed by UOP LLC, online. The unit has been producing conventional gasoline at an average rate of 51,000 b/d since start-up. The plant's crude unit, coker, distillate hydrotreater, and gas oil hydrotreater were brought back on line this past week following the completion of repairs to damage caused by a fire in June. A newly refurbished alkylation unit has also been brought into operation.

Albian Sands Energy Inc. let contract to Kobe Steel Ltd. and Japan Steel Works Ltd. to supply 20 heavy-wall, high-pressure reactors and vessels totaling 8,000 tonnes to the Athabasca Oil Sands Project in northern Alberta, a project announced early this year (OGJ, Jan. 10, 2000, p. 22). The vessels will be used at an upgrader to be built next to Shell Canada Ltd.'s Scotford refinery, north of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. Japan Steel Works will supply four 1,000-tonne reactors, and Kobe Steel will furnish 16 reactors weighing 50-800 tonnes each. Final site fabrication should be complete in May 2001. The $3.5 billion Athabasca Oil Sands Project should come on stream in 2002. Albian Sands Energy is a joint venture of Shell Canada, 60%; Chevron Canada Resources Ltd., 20%; and Western Oil Sands Inc., 20%.

Taiwan�s Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) has granted approval to plans by the newly privatized Taiwan Fertilizer Co. to invest more than $2.85 billion (Twn.), or $93 million (US), in several diversification projects. The projects were approved by the company�s shareholders in November 1999 but have since been on hold pending approval by the SFC, which demanded an investigation into dealings between Taiwan Fertilizer and several of the company�s newly formed subsidiaries. Among the projects to be undertaken will be the building of retail gasoline stations on several company-owned sites, a joint venture with a Japanese partner to set up a plant to produce electronic-grade chemicals for TFT-LCD glass, and real estate development.

Consumers' Co-operative Refineries Ltd. (CCRL) has entered into a long-term sales agreement with Suncor Energy Inc. under which Suncor will supply the refiner with 20,000 b/d of sour crude oil. Shipments are scheduled to begin late in 2002 to coincide with completion of an expansion project at CCRL's Regina refinery. Suncor also is expected to complete an expansion at its oilsands operation�the source of the crude supplies�before deliveries begin. Production rates at the oilsands plant should average 210,000 b/d in 2002, climbing to 225,000 b/d in 2003.

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