Processing news briefs, Aug. 14

Statoil ... ExxonMobil Research & Engineering ... Kværner Engineering & Construction ... Chemical Market Associates ... Purvin & Gertz ... China Petroleum & Chemical ... PetroChina ... CITGO Petroleum ... Mustang Engineers & Constructors ... Cargill

Statoil ASA, Stavanger, selected ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co.'s proprietary sulfur removing process for its 200,000 b/d Mongstadt refinery in Norway. Statoil awarded Kværner SA unit Kværner Engineering & Construction a 640 million Norwegian kroner ($70.9 million) contract to build the new desulfurization plant. The facility is scheduled to be ready towards the end of 2002.

A joint study by Chemical Market Associates Inc. and Purvin & Gertz said demand for ethylene will double to 216 million tonnes/year by 2020, driven by strong demand for polyethylene and vinyls. They also said global demand for propylene will rise 5%/year.

Chinese refineries, 95% of which are owned by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and PetroChina Co. Ltd., are slated to run 16.5 million tonnes of crude oil in August, flat from July. The August crude run target represents 73% of China's total refining capacity. China began to reduce operation rate in late June on mounting oil inventory at its refineries due to slow demand. The August runs are down 11% from June.

CITGO Petroleum Corp., Tulsa, awarded Mustang Engineers & Constructors Inc., Houston, a contract to upgrade its 307,325 b/d Lake Charles, La., refinery. Mustang will perform engineering and design, procurement, and construction management services for the reconfiguration of selected units to comply with the US Environmental Protection Agency's Tier II gasoline sulfur rule. The project will be completed by the end of 2003.

Cargill Inc., Minneapolis, plans to increase ethanol production capacity by 8 million gal/year at its plant in Blair, Neb. Its current ethanol production capacity is 110 million gal/year -- 75 million at Blair. It also announced intentions to form an alliance with interested ethanol producers for marketing and delivery to emerging markets in California and the Northeast US.

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