China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Sinopec Group have had all proposals for new refining projects frozen by the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection due to failure to meet emissions targets. The ministry has put a hold on approving any environmental impact assessments from either company. Sinopec Group has been penalised as it has failed to meet targets on chemical oxygen demand and CNPC due to failing nitrogen oxide emissions tests.
In July 2013, Indian refinery throughput increased by 4.8% year on year to 19 million t. Throughout last month, Indian refiners utilised 104.8% of installed refining capacity, up 4.1% year on year. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Chennai Petroleum Corporation noted dramatic increases in their refining capacity utilisation figures.
The death toll is now up to 23, after the cooling tower blast at the HPCL refinery. Four more patients succumbed to burns received in the blast on Sunday 1st September. The blast occurred on 23rd August and is thought to have been the result of welding sparks colliding with a build up of hydrocarbons in a pipeline. After the initial explosion, the entire cooling tower collapsed. Two investigations in to the accident have been launched, one by HPCL and another by the Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Also, HPCL has given a second cheque worth Rs 1.2 crore to the district collector for distribution to the dependents of the workers who died in the accident. This follows a previous compensation cheque of Rs 2 crore.
Essar Projects Limited has been awarded an engineering procurement construction and commissioning contract by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited. As part of the same contract Essar will provide commissioning assistance of the coke drum structure package of the delayed coker unit at the Kochi refinery. The contract is worth Rs 700 crore and is part of the integrated refinery expansion project currently being executed at the facility.
Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd
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