Processing news briefs, July 10

Hurricane Hydrocarbons Ltd. � China National Petroleum Corp. � Format International Ltd. � Oyuni Urdra Corp. � Iran's National Petrochemical Co. � South Korea Ministry of Defense

Hurricane Hydrocarbons Ltd., Calgary, says it will shut down its Shymkent refinery in Kazakhstan for 3 weeks due to technical difficulties. The company, which recently acquired the refinery, did not explain the problem but said the shutdown is unexpected and more than routine maintenance. The company says it has a 4-week inventory to cover the production gap.

A Hong Kong-Mongolia joint venture has awarded China National Petroleum Corp. a contract to build a 1 million tonne/year refinery in Mongolia. The $150 million project will be the country's first refinery. Construction began in June, and completion is scheduled for mid-2002. The refinery is expected to produce 900,000 tonnes/year of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and LPG from Russian feedstock. Mongolian combined demand for gasoline and diesel is about 500,000 tonnes/year. The joint venture is composed of Format International Ltd. of Hong Kong and Mongolian company Oyuni Urdra Corp.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami broke ground for a gas fractionation plant near Gachsaran, Iran, Thursday. The $120 million facility is expected to generate 132,000 b/d of LPG for use at National Petrochemical Co.'s Bandar Imam petrochemical complex. The Iranian News Agency says the plant should become operational in 2002, at which time a 520,000 tonne/year olefins plant is slated to start up (OGJ, Aug. 16, 1999, p. 61).

Foreign oil refiners soon will be able to participate in bidding to supply oil to the South Korean Ministry of Defense in direct competition with their South Korean counterparts, according to a report in the Korea Herald. Permission for foreign oil companies to bid for Ministry of Defense fuel supply contracts comes in the wake of allegations that local refineries colluded with one another to sell jet fuel and diesel above the competitive market price to the Defense Ministry during 1998-99. The plan has yet to be finalized and approved by the government.

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