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Global downstream news: 11 September 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Suncor Energy has begun an eight week maintenance turnaround at its Sarnia refinery. Approximately 1000 employees and contractors are expected to be involved in the work.



Flint Hills Resources Alaska has agreed to pay an US$ 80 000 fine to resolve accusations by federal regulators that the company has been mishandling waste.

The company’s settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency stems from groundwater cleanup activity at its North Pole refinery on 19 June 2013. Flint Hills was processing groundwater to remove sulfolane. After filtering the groundwater, Flint Hills disposed of the used filters in an open waste bin at the site. The filters self ignited shortly after they were deposited, according to the EPA complaint.

North Dakota

CHS Inc. has announced a US$ 406 million upgrade for its oil refinery in Laurel to boost diesel production and efficiency.

The project will include a new hydrogen plant and modifications to the refinery’s crude unit to increase crude oil refining and diesel production. There will also be modifications to the plant’s hydrocracker to increase diesel production interruptions and allow the refinery to process additional crudes.


Officials say that plans to boost refining capacity 50% are still on track, despite having to extend tenders to build a 615 000 bpd refinery. Mohammed Ghazi al-Mutairi, chief executive if the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), said closing dates for tenders to build the country’s fourth refinery (know as al-Zour) have been extended until November 2014 and January 2015 after the companies involved asked for more time.


On Tuesday work commenced on a US$ 3.2 billion petrochemical refinery complex in the central province of Phu Yen. It is designed to produce 8 million t of propylene, benzene, toluene, petrol RON 92 and RON 95 each year.

The complex is expected to be operational in 2017. 

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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