19 June 2006 00:00 [Source: ICB]
The startup of Iran’s Mobin Petrochemical, the centralised utilities provider at the Assaluyeh petrochemical complex, has been delayed again, by two months to September, according to a source close to the project. This is the third time the Mobin project has been delayed. The original completion target was 2005, but this was delayed to March and then to July 2006. The earlier delays were blamed on the slow delivery of equipment, but no reasons were given for the latest. The commissioning of Mobin’s seawater cooling system is crucial for the start-up of associated petrochemical projects at Assaluyeh. Among them are Jam Petrochemical’s 1.32m tonne/year and Arya Sasol’s 1m tonne/year crackers, which are due to go on stream on the heels of Mobin.
The completion of Sasol’s octene-1 plant at Secunda in South Africa has been pushed back until the second half of 2007, according to the technology licensor Davy Process Technology. The 100 000 tonne/year plant, which will use technology licensed by Davy Process Technology in cooperation with Dow Chemical subsidiary Union Carbide, was earlier expected to be completed in Q2 next year. The unit will employ low pressure hydroformylation technology to convert a heptene feedstock from Sasol Synthetic Fuels to octene-1. This plant will effectively double the South African firm’s octene-1 capacity to 196 000 tonne/year.
Sibur Holding will invest Rouble50bn (€1.44bn/$1.87bn) in 2006-2008 to upgrade its petrochemical production facilities and boost the company’s shareholding value. The company did not disclose details of the investment programme.
Lithuanian nitrogen producer Achema expects to start production at its 550 000 tonne/year ammonia plant in Ionava in December, according to commercial director Ted Misiunas. Output from the plant will be mostly used for Achema’s downstream fertiliser production, replacing ammonia currently purchased from Russia. An expected surplus of 80 000-100 000 tonne/year will be available for sale. The new ammonia plant will enable Achema to run its urea, ammonium nitrate/calcium ammonium nitrate plants at full capacity. It also plans to expand production of nitrogen/phosphorus/potassium to 150 000 tonne/year and boost urea formaldehyde resin capacity to 75 000 tonne/year from 40 000 tonne/year in 2008.
Siad Romania, a subsidiary of Italian gas company Siad, will invest €25m on an air separation plant in Calarasi, southern Romania. The 300 tonne/day plant will supply liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon to local industrial companies. Work on the project is to start in September for completion in 2007.
Nigerian nitrogen fertiliser producer Notore Chemical Industries has announced expansion plans, which will include the refurbishment of its existing plant and the construction of two additional units. Notore is the only nitrogen fertiliser company in Nigeria and its plant is unique in sub-Saharan Africa. The Onne plant will rise to 1700 tonne/day of urea in March 2007. A second plant will be built on the same site, producing 3500 tonne/day by 2010. The third project phase will raise the total urea production to 6500 tonne/day.
Erdos Union Chemical, a Sino-American joint venture firm, is to build units to produce 600 000 tonne/year of ammonia and 1.04m tonne/year of urea in China by 2008. The company broke ground on the Yuan2.65bn (€263.4m/$331.1m) project at Erdos, Inner Mongolia province, on 20 May. In the project’s first phase, the company will build a 300 000 tonne/year ammonia unit and a 520 000 tonne/year urea unit. These will start up in August 2008. The second phase, with units of the same capacity, will start up a month later.
Topsoe has won a contract to build a 212 tonne/day sulphuric acid plant at the Krivorozhstal Steel complex in Krivyi Rih, Ukraine. The plant is due to start operating in 2006 and will be the third sulphuric acid plant the company has supplied to Ukraine using its wet gas sulphuric acid technology.
The Indian government has approved plans by Reliance Petroleum (RPL) to use ExxonMobil’s alkylate and diesel de-sulphurisation technology. RPL will use the ExxonMobil Research and Engineering (EMRE) processes in its export-focused refinery and polypropylene (PP) complex at Jamnagar in Gujarat State. The complex will include a 27m tonne/year refinery, which will produce 2-3m tonne/year of alkylate, and a 900 000 tonne/year PP plant when commissioned in December 2008. This will be the first time that EMRE has licensed its sulphuric acid alkylation technology to an Indian company.
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