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Mid July, downstream news update: USA and Africa

Hydrocarbon Engineering,



Shell Petroleum Development Co. has closed the Afam VI Power Plant in Nigeria citing gas shortage related to the shutdown of the Trans Niger Pipeline.

A company spokesman has outlined that while the plant has a 624 MW capacity, it was supplying only 105 MW to the national grid at the time of shutdown.


Zambia plans to build a US$ 410 million oil refinery as the inefficiency of the only existing refinery curbs economic growth.

Fuel prices in Zambia are among the highest in the sub-Saharan region, according to the Energy Regulation Board. Investment in refineries will help to lower the cost of fuel, the regulator indicated in a report last year.



California’s interagency refinery safety group, introduced following the Chevron Richmond refinery fire, has released a draft report outlining steps and recommendations for the improvement of public and worker safety at and near refineries in the state.

Proposed actions include creating an interagency refinery taskforce within California’s Environmental Protection Agency, strengthening regulations and developing new regulations to address the underlying causes of safety problems, increasing public output in developing emergency response plans, and improving alerts and public access to information during emergencies.


A state panel is set to hear an appeal by environmentalists against an air pollution permit issued to PBF Energy’s Delaware City oil refinery.

The permit, granted by Delaware’s environmental secretary in May, involves the loading of crude onto barges for shipment to another PBF refinery in Paulsboro, New Jersey. This operation is part of a large operation in which PBF brings crude oil by rail from various sources, including tar sands oil from Canada, to a new rail loop near Delaware City.


The Valero Energy Corp. St Charles refinery is currently in the planning stages of a US$ 700 million expansion to its St. Charles Parish plant. The expansion will include construction of a large methanol unit, designed to compress natural gas into liquid in order to manufacture chemicals and plastics.

Construction is anticipated to commence in late 2015 or early 2016.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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