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14 July 2014: weekend downstream news catchup

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


The Sinochem Quanzhou refining project was officially rolled out on 9 July, this occurred following a successful trial run of the 19 units at the 12 million tpy facility. The plant is located in the Quanhui Petrochemical Industrial Park of Quanzhou, in the Fuijian Province. Approximatley US$ 4.84 billion was spent on the plant and all gasoline and diesel products are reportedly in line with Euro V emission standards.


The US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland has said that Croatia could play an important role in ensuring regional energy security in Europe by diversifying supply options and reducing dependence on Russian gas. Nuland has said that Croatia has spectacular assets to help the diversification happen and could become a regional energy hub.


The Sirri gas refinery has exported its third consignment of NGL to India. A consignment of 100 000 bbls of naphtha was reportedly prepared in the factory by staff from the Iranian Offshore Oil Company for this shipment. The plant is now reportedly ready to export propane and butane.

New Zealand

New Zealand Refining Co. Ltd. has said that the first in a series of efficiency upgrades to the hydrocracking unit at its Marsden Point refinery show that the plant is on track to improve its diesel processing. Work at the 107 000 bpd facility is also reportedly lifting refining margins. In March, the hydrocracker’s mild vacuum column was refitted.

Trinidad and Tobago

Petrotrin has reportedly completed the turnaround maintenance programs at its Pointe-a-Pierre refinery. The work started in 2011 and has apparently resulted in an increase in efficiency and safety levels at the plant.


Essar Energy has announced voluntary job losses at the Stanlow refinery as the company is seeking to downsize the facility in order to ensure its operational future. The smaller of the two units in operation at the site is to be mothballed by autumn this year, resulting in a drop in processing capacity of 100 000 bpd.


Alaska has agreed to share the preliminary costs to explore a water system expansion in the North Pole. The research is going to be done as groundwater is still contaminated following a refinery spill decades ago. The agreement will incorporate the cost of design development, construction estimates and scheduling.

Two subsidiaries owned by LyondellBasell are reportedly seeking to increase the cost of polypropylene in North America by US$ 44/t as of 1 August 2014. The two companies, Equistar Chemicals and Basell Poliolefinas are also planning on adjusting their July polypropylene pricing.

A US$ 1 billion upgrade project planned for the Chevron owned Richmond refinery has now obtained permission from the city’s Planning Commission. The commission has certified the latest environmental impact report, and the controversial work is now even closer to startup. The City Council still need to approve the work and hearings are being carried out on 22 and 29 July.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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