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Downstream update: 27 June 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,



Bechtel and Linde have been awarded a contract to design and build an ethylene plant in Texas for ExxonMobil. The plant will be built just east of Houston at the ExxonMobil Baytown Complex.

The new facility is to have a capacity of 1.55 million tpy, and will be one of the world’s largest ethylene plants. Construction will begin immediately, with design and procurement of key equipment already underway.

Linde is responsible for engineering, procurement and services during pre-commissioning and commissioning of the new facility. Bechtel is responsible for the construction of the facility and related procurement.

Brendan Bechtel, president of Bechtel’s Oil, Gas & Chemicals business unit said: “This is an important project that will create thousands of jobs during construction and hundreds of permanent jobs during operations.”

Dr Samir Serhan, managing director of the Linde Engineering Division, also commented: “This project marks a major step for Linde Engineering in the North American market. Along with a proven track record of successfully executing large EPC projects together in the past , the combination of Linde’s leading ethylene technology and Bechtel’s extensive construction experience provides a world class team to deliver a safe and reliable ethylene plant to ExxonMobil”.

New Zealand

New Zealand Refining Co. ltd. has let a contract to BOC New Zealand ltd., an industrial gases subsidiary of Germany’s Linde Group, to build a plant aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from operations at its 107 000 bpd Marsden Point refinery in Northland.

The NZ$ 40 million plant will take CO2 byproduct from the refinery and purify it for use across a range of industries, including food and beverage, dairy, horticulture, and pulp and paper.

The plant is schedule to be fully operational by the end of 2015.

Sri Lanka

Operations at the Sapugaskanda refinery have been temporarily suspended due to a technical failure. Operations were halted due to a broken pipeline and investigations are underway to determine the cause.

A senior official at the refinery has indicated that unloading of two ships of crude oil which are anchored in Colombo port has also been suspended due to leaks in the pipeline from the buoy to the storage tanks. The official said the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), which owns the refinery was paying US$ 50 000/d to the ships as demurrage.


The Iraqi army has indicated that it has taken full control of the Baiji refinery, Iraq’s largest petroleum refining complex. The refinery is now being protected by a special anti-terrorist unit, army troops, police and armed volunteers.

The Army claims that its troops killed three ISIS leaders near the refinery and destroyed 50 vehicles and five tanks belonging to insurgents.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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