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Downstream weekend news catch up: 21 July 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Hamon Thermal Europe SA has been awarded a contract by SOCAR for the delivery of a water cooling unit to the Heydar Aliyev refinery in Baku. The unit is expected to have a capacity of 7000 m3/d and will be replacing existing equipment at the plant. Preparation for the work has already started at the plant.


It has been reported that Indian government have officially approved the construction of a refinery and petrochemical plant in the Barmer district of Rajasthan by Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL). The refinery will be a joint venture between HPCL and the Rajasthan government. The plant is expected to have a processing capacity of 9 million tpy.


Pertamina is looking to expand the liquid petroleum gas (LPG) processing capacity at it Mundu refinery, West Java. The company is pushing forward with the plans as it looks to support growing gas demand in the country and cut import levels. Pertagas, a Pertamina subsidiary, has been tasked with revamping the facility and developing the gas infrastructure.


On Friday 18 July, an Italian union official announced that general strike action has been called for 29 July at all oil and gas refineries that are part of Eni. The protest is being held against management plans to close some of the company’s facilities in the country.

Saudi Arabia

On Thursday 17 June a fire at a private refinery in an industrial area south of Jeddah led to two people being injured. Fire fighters managed to quench the fire before the oil tanks and warehouses at the plant were hit. A plant worker suffered 60% burns and one fire fighter had minor injuries.

It has been reported that in May this year, Saudi Arabia shipped the least crude in almost three years. The drop in exports is most likely due to the record processing levels hit by the country’s refineries and increased power plant consumption. 7.45 million bpd were exported in April 2014 and only 6.99 million bpd were shipped in May. Crude production in May reportedly stood at 9.71 million bpd.

Sri Lanka

Operations at the Sapugaskanda refinery have resumed after the plant was offline for more than a month. The facility was closed due to damage to the plant’s crude oil supply pipelines.


On Friday 18 July, heavy rains along the Texas/Louisiana border temporarily doused a key flaring system component at the Motiva Enterprise owned Port Arthur refinery. The flare system in question is associated with a 200 000 bpd crude distillation unit at the 600 000 bpd facility. The flare system is used for safety and burns off hydrocarbon that cannot be processed normally at the plant.

A subsidiary of Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Co. Ltd., a Chinese company, has announced plans to build a methanol production complex on the Mississippi River. The company is reportedly looking to spend US$ 1.85 billion on the plant in St. James Parish. This would be the company’s first big investment in the US.

At the end of last week, a burst of flaring was reported at the BP Whiting refinery. A compressor that briefly went offline caused the flaring, but was quickly restarted causing a bigger and brighter flare than usual to be seen at the plant. No equipment was damaged and production was not reportedly disrupted.

The heavy rain in the Beaumont area on 18 July reportedly caused sewages lines at ExxonMobil’s Beaumont refinery to overflow and spill sewage around the refinery’s property. The leaked sewage is now being monitored and cleaned up by the company.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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