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Global refining and petrochemical news: November 27 2014


It has been reported that operations at the Aconcagua oil refinery are to be suspended partly until the middle of December. This is due to a fire that broke out in the plant’s main distillation unit earlier this week. The fire was under control quickly but parts of the plant were shut and evacuated due to the blaze. The fire is being investigated and involved a pumps at the Topping II plant.


Sightings of a ‘wild beast’ have been reported in and around the Mathura refinery. Reports started on Sunday however there has been no proof that such a large animal (possibly a leopard or tiger) has been spotted.

Cetex Petrocheimcals is going to spend R 400 crore on expanding its product range and capacity. A new 50 000 tpy plant has also recently been acquired by the company in Houston, Texas from Shell Chemicals and is going to help the company boost its capacity. The plant is going to be moved from its US residence to Shennai with production starting up at its new location in the summer of 2016.


KNPC has said that it plans to spend US$40 billion up to 2022. The company is looking to invest in projects surrounding refineries and clean fuels. The expansion and modernisation of the Mina Al-Ahmadi and Min Abdullah refineries are going to be part of the plan to allow the sites to produce high grade products for export. A new refinery in al-Zour is planned and is expected to be online in 2019. The facility will have a processing capacity of 615 000 bpd.


Yokogawa Kontrol has finished a FEED project for the Petronas RAPID project in Johor. Under the contract Yokogawa delivered the Centum VP production system and ProSafeR-RS safety instrumented system. Yokogawa is also going to supply advanced process control and plant information management systems.


SEZAD and DRPIC have signed a preliminary agreement which will allow DRPIC to explore the economic zone. The explorations will include field studies, preparatory and clearance work for a proposed new refinery. The refinery, if built is expected to have a processing capacity of 230 000 bpd. It has also been reported that construction work for the Duqm refinery is going to be complete by 2019.


The Russian environmental watchdog is looking to press charges against Gazprom. The body is focusing specifically on a refinery owned by the company in Moscow where earlier in the month, a powerful smell was released that contained hazardous chemicals. A court hearing has been set for early December and if the refinery is found guilty it will have to suspend all operations for 90 days.

Saudi Arabia

Due to a contract disagreement between Saudi Aramco and SK Engineering & Construction there is a delay in the building of the 400 000 bpd Jizan refinery. The disagreement is over compensation claims due to order changes. Other contractors at the project have reportedly experienced similar problems and have requested compensation also.


A truck rack is being built at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes. The rack project is costing approximately US$ 23 million and will allow the facility to fill fuel tanker trucks. The project is due for completion in the second quarter of next year. At the moment the refinery sends finished products via pipeline to a Shell owned rack.


Following the announcement of the closure of the Murco refinery in Milford Haven, a recruitment drive is being held in the region. Ineos are behind the event and are seeking to fill vacancies at its site in Grangemouth Scotland. The closure of the Walsh facility will see three hundred jobs lost.


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