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Downstream news update: Europe, Australia and the Americas

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Saipem has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the expansion of the Versalis plant in Ferrara, worth approximately € 200 million.

The project includes the construction of a fourth production line to operate alongside the three existing lines.


BP Plc has announced that it will be shutting down operations at its Bulwer Island refinery in Brisbane by the middle of next year, after which date it is to be converted into an oil terminal.

This is likely to be an attempt by BP to improve the profitability of its downstream operations, as the Bulwer refinery is one of the least profitable plants in its downstream portfolio due to high operating costs.


Suncor Energy plans to spend eight weeks overhauling the Edmonton refinery in Alberta. A company spokesperson has indicated that although the maintenance work may result in increased flaring, noise and traffic, necessary precautions have been  taken in order to ensure that these disruptions are kept to a minimum.



Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE) has announced that it is to open a new manufacturing site in Brenham, Texas later this year.

The ground breaking ceremony took place on 2nd April and initiated the build of a 30 000 ft2 facility that is likely to be operational by October. The factory will specialize in the manufacture of custom O-rings and other critical elastomer sealing components.

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP also held a groundbreaking ceremony in Texas on 2nd April, marking the commencement of construction for its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown.

Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for the project will be executed through a joint venture of JGC (USA) Inc. and Fluor Enterprises Inc. Estimated date of completion is 2017.

South America


Petroleo Brasiliero SA has borrowed 4 billion reals (US$ 1.8 billion) in a 17 year loan from Banco Bradesco SA to help pay for work on the Abreu e Lima refinery.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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