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Global refining and petrochemical news: 2 July 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Ningbo Haiyue New Material Co is reportedly expecting to start up its propane dehydrogenation plant this month. Startup is expected as the plant received its first cargo of 45 000 t of propane last week. Three other propane dehydrogenation plants are also due to be launched by the end of this year. The previously mentioned facility is in Ningbo city, Zhejiang province, it will have a propylene production capacity of 600 000 t and be the second facility of its kind to come into operation in China.


Sanjiv Singh has taken over as the Director of Refineries at Indian Oil Corp (IOC). Singh was previously Executive Director of the company’s Rs 30 000 crore Paradip refinery and prior to that head of the Panipat facility. Singh joined the company in 1981 and has worked in three of IOC’s oil refinery locations. He takes over immediately from Raj Kumar Ghosh.


A new CIS Watch report has said that despite the uncertainty surrounding Russia’s oil export duty reform, the country will continue with refinery modernisation plans. The duty reforms do create an air of unpredictability for refinery investments in Russia as well as the rest of Europe, according to the report, as well as other markets that take Russian exports. The report says that Russia is sticking to the extensive modernisation plans as under different scenarios, simple refineries have two choices, either add fuel oil upgrading units or shut down, the latter not being a very appealing option.


The battle over plans to modernise the Chevron Richmond refinery continues as environmentalists and residents strive to make the proposals more environmentally friendly. Chevron have continually said that the project will result in the refinery becoming cleaner and safer, however, the Richmond Environmental Justice Coalition believes it will do just the opposite. A meeting of the Richmond Planning Commission is planned for 9 July and a city council meeting on 22 July where these discussions are expected to come to a head.

Despite photos being posted on social media sites over the weekend of flames coming from the Marathon Petroleum refinery in Canton City, all claims of a fire at the site have been denied. A spokesperson for the refinery, along with dismissing comments of a fire, said that there were operational problems at the facility on the evening of Sunday June 29 which led to a vent of hydrocarbons build up, which is inline with the refinery’s safety procedures. It is thought that flames from the flare stack, which was burning the build up were mistaken for a fire as they were bigger than normal. Canton City health officials, in partnership with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency are looking in to air pollution levels for the flaring period.


PDVSA has given a contract to a consortium led by Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd for an expansion and modernisation project at the Puerto la Cruz refinery. The contract is reportedly worth US$ 4.8 million and Hyundai holds a 72% interest share. The project at the Puerto la Cruz refinery in the east of the country includes remodelling of existing installations and equipment as well as construction to improve higher quality product yields.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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