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The large butadiene consumer Butachimie has officially announced it will perform the equipment maintenance on the Chalampe, France, site from late September to December 2019. The company will make the heaviest investment of €250 million in the project to install INVISTA’s most advanced ADN production technology at the Butachimie facility, a 50/50 joint venture between INVISTA and Solvay, during the turnaround. This technology brings improved product yields, reduced energy consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, enhanced process stability and reduced capital intensity compared to the existing ones.
ExxonMobil faced production difficulties, this time with Baytown olefins plant-2X (BOP-2X unit), on 2 August. It has submitted an initial report of an emission event to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The report states that acetylene converter upset resulted in safe utilization of the flare system. The company reduced feed rate and made operational adjustments to minimise emissions. The event had lasted for almost 11 hours before the report submission. ExxonMobil has three olefins plants in Baytown, the BOP-2X with the annual capacity of 1.5 million t of ethylene is a new one, commissioned in 2018.
This is not the only accident happened on the Baytown site. Reminder: an explosion of the propylene recovery unit depropanizer tower (NT-01) on July 31 caused emissions to atmosphere and safe utilization of the flare system. So, ExxonMobil made some process changes to the refinery units located next to this plant. In general, the company did operational adjustments to cut emissions, having shut the units and/or reduced their rates. The Baytown olefins complex has the annual capacity of over 3.6 million t of ethylene, 960,000 t of propylene and 150,000 t of butadiene.
The UK chemical company INEOS has signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Aramco and Total to build three plants within Saudi Arabia's Jubail 2 complex. A $2-billion investment project will include a 425,000-tonne acrylonitrile, 400,000-tpy linear alpha olefin and poly alpha olefin plants, which will start up in 2025.
INEOS will join Saudi Aramco and Total that inked a joint development agreement on the front-end engineering and design (FEED) of a giant petrochemical complex in Jubail in October 2018. Having been announced in April 2018, the world-class complex worth $5 billion will be located next to the SATORP state of the art refinery and will comprise a mixed-feed cracker (50% ethane and refinery off-gases) – the first in the Arabian Gulf region to be integrated with a 1.5 million-tpy ethylene refinery and related high-added-value petrochemical units. The launch is scheduled for 2024. For further development of downstream industries in Saudi Arabia, it will also provide other petrochemical and specialty chemical plants located in the Jubail industrial area with the feedstock.
INEOS Nitriles is currently the world’s largest acrylonitrile and acetonitrile producer with more than 90% of the world’s acrylonitrile using INEOS technology. It has four manufacturing plants, two in North America (Texas and Ohio) and two in Europe (Germany and the UK).
The project in Jubail represents a continuation of INEOS’s growth strategy following the announcement of €3-billion investment into a new plant in Antwerp, £1-billion one across the UK, acquisitions in China and capacity expansion in the US Gulf Coast, Alabama and Chocolate Bayou facilities.
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