Processing news briefs, Sept. 13

Sunoco � Linde � Iran's National Petrochemical Co. � NARGAN � US Environmental Protection Agency � Rentech

Sunoco Inc.'s 130,000 b/d Philadelphia crude unit was shut down Thursday as the result of a fire, reported Reuters. Four workers were injured. Sunoco is evaluating the damage.

Linde AG, Wiesbaden, Germany, on Monday signed a contract in Tehran with Iran's National Petrochemical Co. to build what is claimed to be the world's largest natural gas separation plant at Bandar Assaluye on the Persian Gulf for 180 million euros. The contract is for engineering, equipment supply, erection, and start-up supervision services. The 3 million cu m/hr plant will consist of two parallel trains processing gas from South Pars field, located in the Persian Gulf between Iran and Qatar. The plant's products will feed two large petrochemical complexes at Bandar Assaluye, with ethane processed at the Pars Petrochemical Complex and ethane, propane, and gasoline fed to the Jam Petrochemical Complex. The Iranian engineering company Nargan, as Linde's partner, will perform detail engineering and deliver the equipment manufactured in Iran. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2003.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has asked for public comment on a proposed program to phase out use of alkyl-lead. Under the plan, EPA would regulate alkyl-lead as a "persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic" chemical. Alkyl-lead is used as a fuel additive to reduce knock in combustion engines and also to help lubricate internal engine components. The largest uses of alkyl-lead are in aviation and racing gasolines. EPA's proposed action plan would promote development of alternative fuel additives as a substitute for leaded fuels.

Rentech Inc., Denver, has completed the basic engineering and design work required to convert its 50%-owned Sand Creek LLC project in Commerce City, Colo., from a methanol plant into a Fischer-Tropsch gas-to-liquids facility (OGJ Online, Aug. 25, 2000). Rentech has begun the air emissions permitting and preconstruction process for the site. The firm expects the permitting to take 2-6 months. The company foresees full-scale commercial production at Sand Creek in the first quarter of 2002.

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