North American Industry Briefs 2019-06-01 thru 2019-07-06

Cheniere makes FID on Sabine Pass Train 6

[2019-06-03, Cameron Parish, LA, LNG Train Addition] -- Cheniere Energy Partners LP has made a positive final investment decision with respect to Train 6 at the Sabine Pass liquefaction project in Cameron Parish, La. Cheniere has issued full notice to proceed with construction to Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals Inc. To fund a portion of Train 6 construction, a third LNG berth, and required supporting infrastructure, Cheniere entered a 5-year, $1.5-billion senior secured credit facilities with 29 banks and financial institutions. Cheniere also has raised its run-rate production guidance to 4.8–4.9 million tons/year/train, up from 4.5–4.9 million tpy/train. The increase in run-rate production is based on the impact of production optimization, maintenance optimization, and debottlenecking projects at the SPL project. Cheniere owns 100% of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal through its wholly owned subsidiary Sabine Pass LNG LP. The Sabine Pass LNG terminal includes five existing LNG storage tanks with capacity of 16.9 bcf of gas equivalent, two marine berths that can accommodate vessels with nominal capacity of as much as 266,000 cu m, and vaporizers with regasification capacity of 4 bcfd. Through its wholly owned subsidiary Cheniere Creole Trail Pipeline LP, Cheniere also owns a 94-mile pipeline that interconnects the Sabine Pass LNG terminal with a number of large interstate pipelines.

 

GESS Announces $240M in Biogas Projects, Adding Nearly 100 Jobs

[2019-06-05, Burly, ID, Digester Facilities Project] -- GESS International has announced a $240 million investment in Cassia County. The company will build six anaerobic digester facilities near Burley, Idaho, totaling $40 million for each digester and making it a part of the company’s first tranche biogas plants in the US. GESS International is a renewable energy development company that specializes in solar and biogas projects around the US and internationally. “GESS is excited to be a part of the welcoming community of Southern Idaho. These biogas projects create a new revenue stream for area farmers, reduce the environmental impacts associated with the agricultural industry, while also producing a renewable energy that will reduce our fossil fuel use, and create economic development for a wonderful area of Idaho. There is plenty of opportunity for these types of projects in such a cattle rich area and we look forward to working in Cassia County,” said Seth Daughety, GESS International’s Grant Coordinator. Anaerobic digesters break down biodegradable material, such as manure, to produce renewable natural gas. The anaerobic digester facilities will utilize 170,000 tons of dairy cattle manure and 80,000 tons of agricultural residues per plant from area farmers to produce 550,000 MMbtu worth of renewable natural gas. The amount of energy produced will be equivalent to the energy usage of 6,800 homes per year, per plant. GESS International plans to begin construction in late 2019 and begin operations by late 2020. The biogas plants will be located on several dairy cattle feedlots in Cassia County. “With our strong dairy and cattle industry and commitment to sustainability, GESS International is a great fit for our region,” said Connie Stopher, Executive Director of Southern Idaho Economic Development. “We are thrilled to see this technology come to Southern Idaho, especially with a company like GESS that is bringing high-quality jobs for our workforce and investing in our community.” The project will bring nearly 100 jobs to the region, a minimum of 16 new full-time jobs per plant. The jobs will include truck drivers, transportation managers, inventory managers, mechanical engineers, plant managers and plant laborers. The biogas plants will operate 24/7, 365 days a year.

 

Lacassine Operating Company Plans Lacassine, Louisiana, Blending Plant

[2019-06-06, Lacassine, LA, Catalyst Manufacturing Facility] -- Lacassine Operating Company will invest $12.5 million to construct a catalyst blending plant in Lacassine, Louisiana. With the new project, Lacassine Operating will create 40 new jobs. Lacassine Operating is a newly formed partner company of Equilibrium Catalyst Inc. Designed to serve oil refineries throughout the world, the catalyst plant will become the anchor tenant of the Lacassine Rail Terminal operated by Rail Logix in Jefferson Davis Parish. Lacassine Rail Terminal is a state-of-the-art industrial park developed by National Property Holdings and operated by Rail Logix. Strategically positioned along Interstate 10 at the midpoint between Houston and New Orleans gateways, Lacassine Rail Terminal is projected to ultimately support more than 2,300 railcar storage spots. Rail Logix, which began operating the terminal in October 2018, already has installed 450 unit train-capable interchange spots and 500 railcar storage spots to serve the 400 acres of rail-served property available to customers for lease or purchase. “Equilibrium Catalyst has served Louisiana oil refineries for many years, and we welcome the arrival of its affiliated company here with this catalyst blending plant,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “Its location at the Lacassine Rail Terminal is a good example of how Louisiana’s logistics assets can work for business. With industrial clients in Louisiana, Texas and across the world, the company is well-positioned to grow and thrive here.” Founded in 1992 in New Orleans and based in Houston, Equilibrium Catalyst is the world’s leading provider of catalyst-related services in the fluid catalytic cracking category. “Equilibrium Catalyst is growing along with the Louisiana energy economy, and we are happy to launch our Lacassine Operating Co. at this excellent new facility,” Lacassine Operating Company CEO Van Eversull said. “Louisiana is a great place for industries such as ours to do business. With the unique logistical advantages that we’re getting via Rail Logix here, we’re looking forward to a successful operation serving our clients near and far.” To secure the project, LED offered Lacassine Operating a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart, a top-rated state workforce training program. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs. “The Lacassine Industrial Park is the catalyst attracting businesses to Jeff Davis Parish,” said President & CEO Marion “Butch” Fox of the parish Economic Development and Tourist Commission. “Rail Logix provided the rail infrastructure and management and the Lacassine Operating Co. catalyst facility is taking advantage of these assets. Jeff Davis Parish will reap the benefit with quality jobs and millions of dollars of investment by both companies.” “The SWLA Economic Development Alliance is pleased that Equilibrium Catalyst will locate at the Lacassine Industrial Park,” said President & CEO George Swift of the SWLA Economic Development Alliance. “Marion Fox has worked tirelessly to make this happen and we congratulate her on this successful project. Jeff Davis has much potential and as part of the Southwest Region, we are always interested in creating good jobs in this area of the state. There is much potential at Lacassine.” “Combining a strategic infrastructure with a highly skilled workforce, Lacassine is an ideal location for Equilibrium Catalyst to invest,” said President & CEO Troy Wayman of One Acadiana. “This announcement demonstrates that Jeff Davis Parish and South Louisiana is a perfect place for business to thrive.”

 

East Texas natural gas could get boost from pipeline, terminal project

[2019-06-09, Lake Charles, LA, LNG Export Project] -- His Houston company is close to a final decision on a $30 billion project to carry liquefied natural gas from fields in East Texas and West Texas to a terminal proposed in Lake Charles, Louisiana, John Howie said last month. And after the Driftwood pipeline and terminal are operating in 2023, gas would be shipped to overseas markets such as China, said Howie, president of Tellurian Production Co. “We are building a global natural gas company,” he said of the company founded in 2016 by Charif Souki and Martin Houston. “We are going to acquire and produce natural gas in East Texas and Louisiana.” The project, which takes its name from a town in Hays County, envisions a 700-mile pipeline carrying LNG from the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico and another of about 200 miles from the Haynesville Shale in East Texas and Northwest Louisiana. Howie, who started his career in the energy field in 1982 as an engineer with Amoco in Longview, discussed the plans during the 10th annual East Texas Energy Symposium at Kilgore College. He also used the podium at the Devall Student Center to call for investors to help finance a project that will cost an estimated $30 billion to $35 billion. He said the minimum investment is $500 million. The project is moving through the regulatory process, as well. In late April, Tellurian said its Lake Charles terminal was cleared by federal regulators, a major hurdle in the company’s three-year quest to build the export facility. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the green light to its Driftwood project and to build a 96-mile pipeline carrying natural gas from the major pipeline hubs at Gillis and Eunice northeast of the project to the proposed gas liquefaction and export facilities on the west bank of the Calcasieu River, south of Lake Charles. Tellurian still has to receive a U.S. Army Corp of Engineers permit and a Department of Energy order for non-Free Trade Agreement exports. The company has said its final investment decision will then depend on the result of negotiations with potential investors and partners, as well as the terms it can negotiate with banks on financing. The Driftwood project, which is expected to support 6,400 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs once complete, won a controversial tax concession last year worth as much as $2 billion over its first decade, the largest industrial tax break in Louisiana’s history. Tellurian has said it aims to raise $7 billion by selling stakes in its LNG throughput to partners, another $1 billion from private equity investors and $20 billion in project debt financing. In Kilgore, Howie said the market for LNG is growing about 9.3 percent a year, fueled by population growth and industrial development. The proposed terminal near Lake Charles would cover about 1,000 acres that could handle 27.6 million tons per year. Tellurian already has a stake in the Haynesville, and aims to grow that. In a presentation to investors in April, the company said it owns nearly 11,000 acres in the Haynesville formation, which gives it control over 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. It aims to grow its Haynesville gas reserves to 15 trillion cubic feet. William Ambrose, a research scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology at UT Austin, talked about the oil and gas supply in Texas. He said the state provides the bureau $4.5 million a year to do research to benefit the energy industry. He displayed data from February showing Texas has 186,841 active oil wells and 101,084 active natural gas wells. But Ambrose said the most recent study of East Texas took place about 10 years ago. He described the East Texas oil field as being “mature” because oil was first drilled in the Longview and Kilgore area in 1930 and drilling now has to be more than 3,000 feet deep to find oil and gas.

 

Ineos proposes $803M petrochemical expansion in La Porte

[2019-06-11, La Porte, TX, Plant Expansion] -- Ineos, the London petrochemical company owned by Britain's richest man Jim Ratcliffe, is considering an $803 million expansion of its La Porte petrochemical plant, state documents show. A subsidiary of Ineos has applied for state tax incentive with the Texas Comptroller's office for a proposed ethylbenzene /styrene monomer (EB/ SM) at its petrochemical complex in 1230 Parkway South in La Porte. The proposed project could create 1,500 construction jobs and 25 permanent jobs in the La Porte – Deer Park area, according to its application for tax incentives published online June 4. The project is in the preliminary stage and the company hasn't committed to a final investment yet, however it has started preliminary engineering and design work, the documents said. Construction could start in the first quarter of 2021 with the unit operating by the fourth quarter of 2023. The company said it could start hiring for permanent positions in December 2023. The minimum salary at the plant would be about $66,000 annually. Construction workers' average salary would be about $50,000, the documents said. The EB/SM plant would take up 40 acres of land, including equipment, production units, storage tanks and shipping facilities. Ineos is also is considering building the project in Pasadena, Green Lake, Chocolate Bayou, Mobile, Alabama and Jackson County, Mississippi. The proposed ethylbenzene /styrene unit would have is 850 kiloton production capacity. Ethylbenzene is a chemical used in the production of styrene, a precursor to the common plastic polystyrene. Solid and film polystyrene can be used in rigid food take-out containers, packaging, appliance housing while polystyrene foam can be used in building insulation and food service. The company recently put together a virtual reality tour of its La Porte plant for educational purposes, which Houston Chronicle  featured here. The new project would be run by the subsidiary Ineos Stryolution America LLC, which was formerly was called Stryolution America under a a joint venture between Ineos and BASF before Ineos bought out BASF's stake in 2016 and renamed the company. Ineos Stryolution has 3,300 employees globally with customers across 106 countries across 18 manufacturing sites and $5.6 billion Euros, the company said in its tax filing.

 

Aerospace Company Relativity Expands Hancock County, Mississippi, Operations Hub

[2019-06-12, Hancock County, MS, Test Facility Expansion] -- Aerospace company Relativity is expanding its rocket component production and rocket engine testing operations at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi. The project is a $59-million corporate investment and will create 190 jobs, increasing employment at Relativity’s Stennis Space Center site to 200 workers. Relativity is the first and only company to integrate metal 3D printing, robotics and software to build and launch rockets in days instead of years. The company develops its own launchers and rocket engines for commercial orbital launch services. In addition to expanding Stennis Space Center’s E4 Test Complex with a build-out of four additional upgraded test cells, Relativity has secured an agreement with NASA for an exclusive lease of building 9101, a 220,000-square-foot facility with an 80-foot-high bay and strong industrial capability. This will enable the company to build its patented autonomous rocket factory in Hancock County and integrate its production and testing operations into one space, reducing lead time to launch. “We are excited to partner with the Mississippi Development Authority to bring our patented 3D printing rocket platform to Hancock county,“ said Jordan Noone, co-Founder & CTO of Relativity. “We look forward to working together to bring more innovation, economic development and job growth to the Gulf Coast and progressing American space leadership. The integration of our 3D printing rocket production and testing facilities on one site will enable Relativity to offer greater flexibility to commercial and government entities needing faster, more frequent and lower cost access to space.“ With this expansion, Relativity is increasing infrastructure to more than 350,000 square feet of operations, production, testing and launch facilities. Relativity will activate its manufacturing equipment in July and plans to complete development of the world’s first 3D-printed rocket, Terran 1, in 2020. The company is on track to conduct its first orbital test launch at the end of 2020 and enter commercial service in 2021.

 

ExxonMobil, SABIC to proceed with USGC petchem project

[2019-06-13, Portland, TX, Ethane Cracker Project] -- Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) and ExxonMobil Corp. are proceeding with their previously announced plan to build the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV) project, a 1.8 million-tonne/year ethane cracker currently planned for construction in San Patricio County, Tex. The ExxonMobil-SABIC joint venture has received final environmental regulatory approval to proceed with construction of the GCGV project, which will include an ethane steam cracker, two polyethylene units, and a monoethylene glycol unit, ExxonMobil said. Construction will begin in this year’s third quarter, with startup slated for 2022. “Building the world’s largest steam cracker, with state-of-the-art technology, on the doorstep of rapidly growing Permian production gives this project significant scale and feedstock advantages,” said Darren W. Woods, ExxonMobil’s chairman and chief executive officer. The complex will produce materials used in the manufacturing of various products including automotive coolants, packaging, agricultural film and building, construction materials, and clothing. Without disclosing further details regarding the individual contracts, ExxonMobil confirmed project construction will be led by four primary engineering, procurement, and construction companies including John Wood Group PLC; a consortium of McDermott International Inc. and Turner Industries Group LLC; a consortium of Chiyoda Corp. and Kiewit Corp.; and a consortium of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Zachry Group. Project permitting follows ExxonMobil and SABIC’s 2018 formation of the 50-50 GCGV JV—under which ExxonMobil will act as site operator—and the April 2017 selection of the San Patricio County site, which will allow ExxonMobil and SABIC to take advantage of the region’s existing infrastructure to capture competitive pricing for US natural gas feedstock as well as access to rising demand for ethylene-based products in overseas export markets. Alongside forming part of SABIC’s growth strategy to build petrochemical installations in key markets—including the Americas—to address industry demand and achieve the company’s 2025 strategy, the proposed multibillion GCGV project also is one of the developments included as part of ExxonMobil’s 10-year, $20-billion Growing the Gulf expansion initiative announced in early 2017. A preliminary independent study, conducted by Impact DataSource LLC, estimates the project will generate more than $22 billion in economic output during construction and $50 billion in economic benefits during the first 6 years of operation, ExxonMobil said.

 

New $1.6B pipeline proposed to move North Dakota crude oil

[2019-06-13, Multiple States, Pipeline Project ] -- Two companies are proposing a $1.6 billion pipeline to move North Dakota crude oil, making it the biggest such project to move oil out of the state since the Dakota Access pipeline that sparked violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement in 2016 and 2017. Houston-based Phillips 66 and Casper, Wyoming-based Bridger Pipeline announced the joint venture called Liberty Pipeline on Monday. It's designed to move 350,000 barrels of oil daily — the bulk of which from western North Dakota's oil patch — to the nation's biggest storage terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma. From there, the companies said shippers can access multiple Gulf Coast destinations. The exact route of the 24-inch (60-centimetre) pipeline has not been disclosed, though the companies said in a statement the project “will utilize existing pipeline and utility corridors and advanced construction techniques to limit environmental and community impact.” The pipeline would start in Guernsey, Wyoming, and end in Cushing, Oklahoma, Bridger Pipeline spokesman Bill Salvin said. A separate 55-mile (88.5 kilometre), 16-inch (40-centimetre) North Dakota line would run through the west-central part of the state, travel south though Montana and connect with the Liberty Pipeline at Guernsey, Salvin said. Forty-four miles of the North Dakota portion would parallel an existing pipeline corridor, he said. As described, the pipeline would be west of the Dakota Access pipeline and far from the most productive portion of North Dakota's oil patch in the northwestern part of the state. “Pipelines are a matter of great concern to folks,” Salvin said. “We are acutely aware of pipeline routing in North Dakota and we are doing everything in our power to use existing pipeline rights of way and corridors.” “Importantly, the new line will not cross any tribal lands,” he said. Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss gave little detail about the pipeline other than to say it would not “originate in North Dakota.” “The project hasn't been finalized — there are still some things being worked on,” he said. “We will leverage existing pipelines and infrastructure facilities where possible.” North Dakota's Public Service Commission must approve the pipeline's route in the state. Spokeswoman Stacy Eberl said the agency has not seen any plans from the companies, which said in their statement they hope to have the pipeline operational in the first quarter of 2021. “The route will have to be determined before they apply to us because we approve the route,” Eberl said Tuesday. “Nothing has been filed with us at all.” The companies' statement said they plan to begin booking shipping commitments from suppliers “at a later date.” North Dakota is the nation's second-biggest oil producer behind Texas. The state's oil production is pegged at 1.4 million barrels daily. The $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline, which has the capacity to move about half of the oil produced daily in North Dakota, has been moving North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois since June 2017. Native American tribes and other groups that feared environmental harm from the pipeline staged large protests that resulted in more than 760 arrests in southern North Dakota over a six-month span beginning in late 2016.

 

Navistar plans $125 million Huntsville expansion, 145 new jobs

[2019-06-14, Huntsville, AL, Plant Expansion] -- Engine manufacturer Navistar plans to more than double its workforce at its Huntsville facility near the airport, according to a project development agreement approved Thursday night by the city council. The project will result in a $125 million expansion of the plant along I-565 and create "at least 145 net new full-time equivalent employees," the agreement said. Shane Davis, the city's director of urban and economic development, told the council that the $125 million investment was larger than the $110 million facility Polaris built in one of the city's more celebrated recruited businesses. The expansion also signals a continued revival of sorts for Navistar, which in 2014 shut down its Huntsville facility that employed 280 people. But with the expansion, Navistar is obligated to carry at least 271 people on payroll. The company currently has 126 employees in Huntsville and the $910,000 incentive package provided by the city of Huntsville protects those employees, Davis said. Davis commended those 126 Navistar employees, saying that they were instrumental in the company deciding to grow its Huntsville facility. "They are doing very, very well," Davis said of Navistar. "They are actually in a growth mode, restructuring mode, streamlining mode." According to Navistar's website, its Huntsville facility covers almost 700,000 square feet and produces the company's line of vee engines. Davis said that in the expansion, the company is relocating to Huntsville a gear box assembly line. The impact of the expansion, Davis said, will result in $1.6 million annually in new property taxes and about $12.5 million annually in new payroll. And sales tax revenue from the new construction will be about $2.5 million. The city of Huntsville incentives require that Navistar complete at least half its expansion while maintaining the 126 employees before receiving half of the money. The other half of the incentive payments won't be made until the new 145 jobs are filled, Davis said. "They go perform first, then we reimburse," Davis said. Navistar must begin construction by Dec. 1 and complete the new facility by Dec. 31, 2021. And operations in the new facility must begin by Sept. 1, 2022. Also as part of the development agreement, the Huntsville Madison County Airport Authority agreed to abate certain non-educational property taxes for 10 years. The airport authority also agreed to repay Navistar $15,000 per acre of the 51-acre expansion.

 

TVA agrees to excavate 12M tons of coal ash after 5-year battle

[2019-06-14, Gallatin, TN, Coal Ash Cleanup] -- The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on Thursday reached a settlement agreement with environmental groups and the state, requiring it to excavate 12 million tons of toxic coal ash from its Gallatin Plant ponds. The settlement follows a five year battle over the utility's coal ash management practices and their impact on nearby waterways. In 2014, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) filed a notice of intent to sue on behalf of two clean water groups in the state, and Tennessee filed suit in 2015, alleging the utility's practices violated state water quality and solid waste laws. Almost all the coal ash, except one pond, at the plant will be recycled or placed in a lined landfill, at an estimated cost of around $640 million over about 20 years, TVA spokesperson Scott Brooks told Utility Dive in an email. TVA's coal ash practices remain controversial a decade after its Kingston coal plant released over a billion gallons of the toxic waste into surrounding waterways — the country's largest coal ash disaster to date. Of the hundreds of workers who cleaned up the damage, 36 are dead and more than 300 are sick or dying from exposure to the toxins. That disaster's legacy, paired with the 2014 Duke Energy spill, has led to greater public scrutiny over the dangers of the pollutants, and more states are taking action. North Carolina ordered Duke to completely excavate all its ponds in April, and Virginia required the same of Dominion Energy in January.  The 976 MW Gallatin plant became a source of concern for the Tennessee Clean Water Network and Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association in 2014. The plant is located on a peninsula in the Cumberland River, and the groups feared the ash could be leaking into the river through groundwater near the "complex" of ponds, which are all unlined, Amanda Garcia, managing attorney at SELC, told Utility Dive. An initial investigation found the ponds were located on a porous rock formation, karst, known for causing sinkholes. "Looking back at TVA's historical records, there was a period of time in the 1970s where they were putting coal ash into the pits and the coal ash was basically just falling out through the bottom into groundwater, and from groundwater into the river," said Garcia. "TVA eventually tried to plug some of those sinkholes. But, that's just the type of terrain it is. You can't plug all the holes." Additional testing around the impoundments found coal ash water was seeping through earthen berms on the side of the pits. There was also evidence of contamination in nearby surface water, causing SELC to file the notice of intent.

 

 

Lockheed Martin announces $142M expansion of Arkansas plant

[2019-06-17, Camden, AR, Plant Expansion] -- Lockheed Martin said Monday that will spend $142 million and hire 326 new workers over the next few years as it expands its southern Arkansas facility. The Maryland-based company announced the expansion of its plant in Camden, about 85 miles (140 kilometers) southwest of Little Rock. The facility currently employs about 700 workers. Company officials told reporters on a conference call that the expansion will be completed by 2024. The expansion will support new construction and improve existing facilities for products such as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, the Army Tactical Missile System and others, plus new machinery and equipment. The company and Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the expansion at the Paris Air Show. "The facility has a long record of precision manufacturing and on-time deliveries, which is the reason we continue to invest in and expand our Camden Operations," Frank St. John, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said in a statement. "This expansion will help ensure the availability, affordability and quality of systems we build for our customers around the world."

 

Navistar expanding Alabama engine plant

[2019-06-17, Huntsville, AL, Plant Expansion] -- Navistar says a $125 million expansion of its north Alabama manufacturing plant will mean an additional 145 jobs at the factory. The Illinois-based company says it will make the new investments over the next three years at its plant in Huntsville, which makes International brand diesel engines for trucks and buses. Navistar said Monday the factory will produce a new type of truck powertrain being developed with TRATON, which is a European subsidiary of Volkswagen. Al.com reports the move is part of a continued revival of the plant, which shut down five years ago. The expansion more than doubles the workforce at the factory. A statement by Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says he welcomes the additional production.

 

ZACHRY GROUP AND MHIA SELECTED BY GULF COAST GROWTH VENTURES TO CONSTRUCT PE UNIT IN TEXAS

[2019-06-19, Corpus Christi, TX, Petrochem Complex Project Update] -- As announced earlier, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV; www.gulfcoastgv.com), a joint venture of ExxonMobil and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) will be constructing a new chemical complex in Texas. Zachry Group and its partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc. (MHIA) have been selected to construct a two-train polyethylene unit that will be part of  that chemical complex near Corpus Christi.  Upon completion, the complex will include a 1.8 million ton/yr ethane steam cracker, a 1.1 million ton/yr monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit, and the polyethylene unit that will be built by Zachry Group. “We are pleased to be selected by GCGV to contribute our expertise to the project,” said Ralph Biediger, Projects Group president, Zachry Group. “The award represents not only our ability to execute a project of this scale on schedule and on budget, but also that we are aligned with GCGV in our commitment to keep each person safe while doing so.” Zachry Group plans to begin major construction activities in Gregory, Texas, later this year, and the polyethylene unit is expected to be completed by 2022.

 

DNUS to build an automotive components manufacturing plant in Huntsville

[2019-06-19, Huntsville, AL, Manufacturing Facility] -- DaikyoNishikawa US (DNUS) is planning to establish a plastic automotive components manufacturing plant near the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA Inc. automotive assembly plant currently under construction in Huntsville. The project scope includes construction of building space and installation of machinery which will be imported from Japan and relocated from a nearby port. Relocation is expected to begin in April 2020. A construction firm is expected to be chosen June 2019 from a short list of two. DNUS will manufacture and supply bumpers and instrument panels to MTMUS. The estimated EPC cost is $110 million.

 

MHPS to construction combined cycle power plant in Utah

[2019-06-19, Millard, UT, Combined Cycle Power Plant] -- Magnum Development and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) are planning to construct a hydrogen and natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Millard. The Advanced Clean Energy Storage project scope includes design and construction of building space and equipment foundations, installation of combustion and steam turbines and generators, and purchase and installation of an evaporative cooling tower. The plant will have the capacity to generate 600 MW of electric power and will use renewable hydrogen, compressed air energy, large-scale flow batteries and solid oxide fuel cell technologies for bulk energy storage. MHPS will provide gas turbine technology and equipment. The companies expect to select a firm to provide EPC services in mid-to-late 2020. The estimated EPC cost is $1 billion.

 

Bechtel wins EPC contract for Ohio petchem project

[2019-06-20, Belmont County, OH, Cracker Project] -- Bechtel has won the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a multi-billion-dollar petrochemical complex in western Ohio, a Bechtel executive said on Thursday. Speaking at the Northwest Petrochemical Exhibition and Conference here, Paul Marsden, senior vice president at Bechtel, said his company won the EPC contract earlier this month from PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC). The petrochemical project, which industry sources have estimated will cost $7bn-$10bn, comprises a world-scale ethane cracker with capacity of 1.5m tonnes/year of ethylene, plus 1.6m tonnes/year in various polyethylene units, including high density polyethylene and linear low density PE (HDPE and LLDPE ) and metallocene LLDPE (mLLDPE). The original plan for the Ohio project called for building a cracker with an ethylene capacity of 1m tonnes/year. Marsden, who is the project director for Bechtel on the huge Shell petrochemical complex being built in Monaca, Pennsylvania, outside Pittsburgh, said PTTGC has made no final investment decision (FID) on the Ohio project yet. PTTGC had earlier announced plans to build, in addition to the cracker, two 350,000 tonne/year HDPE units, 500,000 tonnes/year of monoethylene glycol (MEG) capacity and 100,000 tonnes/year of ethylene oxide (EO) capacity at the Ohio site, which is near Wheeling, West Virginia.

 

A great opportunity for West Virginia

[2019-06-23, Point Pleasant, WV, Coal to Liquids Facility] -- So often, West Virginia stands at a crossroads. Past and future. Opportunity and struggle. One step forward, two steps back. There are some who assert West Virginia should move away from its fossil fuel-centered industrial base to a more high-tech economy. While I agree we must diversify our economy, there are so many opportunities for expanded usage of our fossil resources, chiefly coal and natural gas. The Mountain State has long been viewed as “the” energy state. We have enormous coals reserves, and we ship it throughout the world. And we have newfound capacity when it comes to shale gas. An incredible opportunity is now knocking on our door. Domestic Synthetic Fuels (DS Fuels) recently announced plans to construct and operate a $1.2 billion, state-of-the-art coal-to-liquids facility in Mason County, near Point Pleasant. This is incredible news for many reasons. For decades, we’ve been looking for ways to expand coal usage, coal development and West Virginia’s overall fossil fuel portfolio. DS Fuels fits those goals perfectly because it would utilize both coal and natural gas. The science is proven, and it would be the first-of-its-kind in the U.S. The process would use natural gas to heat coal into liquid form. The result would produce low-sulfur diesel, jet fuel and gasoline, along with numerous byproducts. Coal-to-liquid is environmentally friendly, producing close to zero emissions and using recycled materials. I had the opportunity to visit a similar plant in China, and I was astounded. The process is incredibly clean and technologically advanced. It’s truly state-of-the-art. The facility would employ more than 100 and support more than 130 coal jobs. Those are on top of thousands of indirect jobs. The company anticipates paying $11.5 million in annual payroll and employee benefits, while offering vast downstream opportunities. The potential is incredible. DS Fuels would be a game-changer for West Virginia. Considering all this, it’s clear we can greatly enhance our position as a global center for energy and commerce with the addition of this new operation. DS Fuels is the type of company that can help us get there. It’s great for our workforce. It’s great for our industrial base. This opportunity hits on so many levels. Energy independence. Energy reliability. Clean energy technology. Productive use of natural resources. It’s time to move forward.

 

New Port Arthur LNG plant to bring jobs

[2019-06-25, Port Arthur, TX, LNG Project Update] -- Port Arthur wants to become the 'liquefied natural gas capital' of the world. The Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce and dozens of other businesses celebrated a new partnership with Golden Pass LNG, Zachry, McDermott and Chiyoda groups. "We've got Cheniere, we've got Golden Pass, we have Port Arthur LNG coming here, and it's going to be so significant," President and CEO of The Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce Pat Avery said. The news was the talk of Tuesday's Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Avery says the project will bring growth. In the beginning stages, thousands of jobs will be created, and once the plant is operational, there will be around 200 permanent jobs. "You're going to see that has a ripple effect in the community," said Avery. "For every job they create in our industry, the petrochemical industry. There are like seven or eight jobs created in other industries." Port Arthur's Mayor-Elect, Thurman Bartie, wants to gain relationships with these companies. He says it will help grow the workforce and benefit residents. "If we are able to get that information, and actually pair citizens that have the skills that they need with the individuals that are in their HR departments who are doing the hiring, so that our citizens can be considered for it," Bartie said. Avery says Port Arthur is moving in a new direction, and she thinks it will be beneficial to the growth of the city. "With Golden Pass, with Motiva moving downtown, you're getting ready to see the renaissance of Port Arthur," Avery said.

 

Sulfuric acid plant expanding; 100 construction jobs seen

[2019-06-26, Darrow, LA, Sulfuric Acid plant expansion] -- A planned expansion at a Louisiana plant that recycles used sulfuric acid for use at oil refineries is expected to create about 100 construction jobs. The Advocate reports that Veolia North Americasaid it will spend $40 million to expand its sulfuric acid regeneration plant in Ascension Parish. The move will retain all 29 employees at the facility, who have an average salary of $83,000 plus benefits. The plant, located in Darrow, takes spent sulfuric acid and converts it to fresh, commercial-quality sulfuric acid. Refineries use sulfuric acid as a catalyst to produce high-octane gasoline. The expansion involves installing new equipment and upgrading existing equipment. The company says it will result in a 15% increase in sulfuric acid regeneration capacity.

 

Chinese petrochemical firm brushes aside escalating trade war as it doubles bet on US$1.9 billion Louisiana methanol plant

[2019-06-26, St. James, LA, Methanol Project Update] -- Shandong Yuhuang Chemical has invested US$1.85 billion in a methanol plant in St James Parish, which is 60 per cent complete. The company says it will announce plans to double the plant’s capacity as soon as this year. Chinese petrochemical firm Shandong Yuhuang Chemical is planning to double the capacity of a US$1.9 billion methanol plant currently under construction in St James Parish, Louisiana, despite a full-fledged trade war between the two countries. “We are definitely considering building a second phase,” said Charlie Yao, president and chief executive of YCI Methanol One, the US subsidiary of Shandong Yuhuang, on the sidelines of an investment conference in Washington earlier this month. “The project will be launched probably in the second half of this year or next year.” The plan is to replicate the plant currently under construction, he said, which will become one of the world’s largest methanol facilities with a production capacity of about 1.7 million metric tonnes a year. Yao did not disclose the cost of the new project or the company’s investment. Methanol is a type of alcohol used as a raw material to produce a wide range of items, from clothes to paint to plywood. Based in eastern China’s Heze city, privately owned Shandong Yuhuang ranked 35th among the nation’s petrochemicals players by revenue last year, according to Shenzhen-based market research firm Askci Consulting. Its founder, Wang Jinshu, was a member of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, from 2013 to 2018. The company announced its US$1.85 billion investment in 2014 – one of the largest greenfield foreign direct investment by a Chinese company in the US – to capitalise on a boom in shale gas output, the raw material for producing methanol. The advent of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, technology a decade ago has sent US gas output soaring and prices plummeting in the country. Yao said about US$1.2 billion has been spent so far on constructing the plant which was 60 per cent complete, adding that the plant was likely to commence production in mid-2020 and sales were expected to start later that year. Koch Methanol, a subsidiary controlled by the American conglomerate Koch Industries, bought a 40 per cent stake in the project last year. Yao said he was currently in talks with US companies on a similar partnership in the new project. The planned move by a Chinese firm to expand investments in the US comes as the world’s two largest economies are engaged in a bruising trade war that has seen them slap punitive tariffs on each other. On top of the trade war, tightening scrutiny by both US and Chinese regulators on cross-border deals has also resulted in Chinese FDI into the US plummeting by 83 per cent to US$5 billion in 2018 from US$29 billion in 2017, according to data from the National Committee on US China Relations. Yao, however, said the firm is capable of handling the trade war’s impact on the project. “The only concern companies have is the uncertainty surrounding increased investment costs due to the tariffs, but the market still remains certain,” he said. For the first plant, Yao said the company signed contracts with builders and contractors that required them to buy materials locally from the US. This means the increased material costs because of the tariffs on Chinese imports are largely shouldered by the US firms. He said for petrochemical projects, raw materials and equipment – such as steel and electricity cables – usually make up only one third of the total costs. The rest goes as wages to construction workers, which is unaffected by the trade war. So the contractors only need to figure out how to manage the one third that is exposed to tariff impacts, he said. The firm plans to sell 70 per cent of the methanol produced in Louisiana domestically and the rest to Europe and China.

 

Eastman Expands Chemical Plant in St. Gabriel, Louisiana

[2019-06-27, St. Gabriel, LA, Modernization Project] – A global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products, Eastman will make a $70 million capital investment over the next three years to expand and modernize its manufacturing operations in St. Gabriel, Louisiana. The project will include a new Chemical Intermediates production facility. According to Louisiana Economic Development, the St. Gabriel site produces a wide range of amines, or ammonia-derived compounds, that are used in feed, food, personal care and agricultural markets. In addition to a new unit and laboratory, the company’s investment will result in upgrades to the plant’s control and reliability capabilities over the next three years. The St. Gabriel site is owned and operated by Taminco US LLC, a subsidiary of Eastman. Headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, Eastman acquired Taminco Corp. in December 2014. Taminco’s former Specialty Amines and Crop Protection businesses were incorporated into Eastman’s Additives and Functional Products operating segment, while the Taminco Functional Amines operations were incorporated into Eastman’s Chemical Intermediates segment. “We’ve been a part of this community for over 40 years and for us, this is home,” said Eastman Site Manager Tim Harris, who oversees the St. Gabriel facilities. “We will be better-positioned to win with our customers through additional capacity, improvements in reliability, and new resources to innovate. Eastman has choices about where to invest, and this makes it easier to choose here. That’s a great testament to the plant and the region, and it would put us in a good position to compete for future projects within Eastman.” LED began discussions with Eastman on a potential facility expansion in May 2018. Louisiana faced competition from other locations for the new investment, including sites in Florida, Texas and Belgium. The state provided a competitive incentive package for the project, including a $250,000 Modernization Tax Credit. Additionally, the company is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs. “Eastman has proven to be a great community partner,” said St. Gabriel Mayor Lionel Johnson Jr. “This $70 million investment is an opportunity to upgrade equipment and operations, which is a positive thing for the company and the community. We look forward to a sustained community-partner relationship as this initiative moves forward.” “Eastman’s investment in its St. Gabriel facility affirms the company’s commitment to Louisiana and its people, especially our highly skilled, specialty chemicals workforce,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “Louisiana is known throughout the world for our high-performance industrial sector and our strong transportation infrastructure. We are proud that Eastman recognizes these strengths and is upgrading its facility to ensure its presence in our state for years to come.” “When a company such as Eastman decides to expand its footprint here in Iberville Parish, that is exciting news,” said Iberville Parish President Mitchell Ourso. “The Iberville Parish Council congratulates Eastman on their announcement and says thank-you for making the investment in their future right here in Iberville Parish.” “Our team has been happy to work in close collaboration with partners in Iberville Parish to assist Eastman with this expansion,” said President & CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “This project is the first to pass through Iberville Parish under the new ITEP regulations, and we are grateful to stakeholders in Iberville for recognizing the incredible importance of supporting local industry.”

 

LyondellBasell selects S&B Engineers and Constructors to construct portion of PO/TBA Project

[2019-06-27, Channelview/Pasadena, TX, PO/TBA Unit Projects] -- S&B Engineers and Constructors, Ltd. has been selected by LyondellBasell to perform construction for a portion of the PO/TBA Project, which will install the world’s largest propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant. The PO/TBA Project will be split into two main facilities: PO/TBA plant to be located in Channelview, Texas and Ethers unit to be located in Pasadena, Texas. Under the contract, S & B is constructing the new 34-acre ethers unit at LyondellBasell’s Bayport Complex in Pasadena. The ethers unit will convert TBA into two high-octane fuel additives which will be blended in gasoline to reduce emissions. “S & B is honored to be trusted by the client with such an important and historic project,” said Tommy Collins, Executive Vice President and COO of S & B. “We are proud to play a part in LyondellBasell’s major US Gulf Coast organic growth program, which will bring significant economic benefits and job growth to Houston, S & B’s hometown since 1967.” The work is being executed using S & B’s Managing with Certainty® execution philosophy, including our industry-leading project management system ( iPIMS® ) and innovative Integrated Project Planning TM toolset.

 

Federal agency: Alaska LNG environmental impacts ‘significant’

[2019-06-28, Alaska, LNG Project Update] -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released the long-awaited draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Alaska LNG project, and the summary to the 3,764-page document is surprisingly pessimistic in its language. The massive draft study assesses the impacts to the environment of the construction and operation of the line that would draw natural gas out of North Slope fields and convert it to liquefied natural gas for export and to provide energy for use by homes and businesses in the state. It’s a project that the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation is tasked with getting the permits and other authorizations needed to construct, own, and operate. It includes a gas treatment plant on the North Slope, a pipeline to Nikiski, and a liquefaction plant and marine terminal. “We conclude that Project construction and operation would result in temporary, long-term, and permanent impacts on the environment. Most impacts would not be significant or would be reduced to less than significant levels with the implementation of proposed or recommended avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures, but some impacts would be adverse and significant,” the agency wrote in its summary of the massive document, which includes numerous scientific, environmental and cultural studies. Environmental groups pounced on that language. The draft EIS will go through a public comment period, and the agency has given them plenty to work with. “We conclude that constructing the Project would have significant impacts on permafrost due to granular fill placement, particularly for the Mainline Pipeline facilities,” the agency wrote. “The Project would have significant adverse impacts on wetlands from granular fill placement resulting in substantial conversions of wetlands to uplands. Significant adverse impacts on forest would result from permanent losses or conversions from installation of aboveground facilities, granular fill placement, and vegetation maintenance in the Mainline Pipeline right-of-way. “For caribou, the impacts on the Central Arctic Herds would likely be significant due to the timing of impacts during sensitive periods, permanent impacts on sensitive habitats, and the Project location at the center of the herds’ range. During the years of simultaneous construction, startup, and operational activities at the Liquefaction Facilities, as well as during flaring events, impacts on air quality could be significant. “Operational noise associated with the Liquefaction Facilities at the two nearest noise sensitive areas would likely double due to facility operation, which would be considered a significant increase.” The project would have positive impacts on the state and local economy, but that would be balanced by the adverse impacts on housing, population, and public services, FERC said. And then the summary includes the phrase “environmental justice communities.” There is no clear definition in any field as to what an “environmental justice community” is, but the federal agency is concerned that Alaska has more than one of them. “The Project could disproportionately affect environmental justice communities due to impacts on subsistence practices and public health effects based on a Health Impact Assessment prepared by AGDC. However, these impacts are not expected to be high and adverse,” FERC wrote. “In addition, the construction and operation is likely to adversely affect six federally listed species (spectacled eider, polar bear, bearded seal, Cook Inlet beluga whale, humpback whale, and ringed seal) and designated critical habitat for two species (polar bear and Cook Inlet beluga whale). “Because the Project would result in substantial impacts on permafrost, wetlands, forest, and caribou (Central Arctic Herds), and since other current or reasonably foreseeable projects in the study area would similarly affect these resources, we found that cumulative impacts on these resources would or could be significant. Visual effects from the Project near the DNPP would be high, so any additional effects in this area from other projects would contribute to cumulative visual impacts, which could also be significant.” On the upside, FERC said the project would be constructed in compliance with all applicable federal laws, regulations, permits, and authorizations, and that Cook Inlet was considered by the U.S. Coast Guard to be an appropriate site for the terminus. The massive document has not yet been reviewed by the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, as it was just released today, but AGDC Interim President Joe Dubler issued the following comment: “Alaska LNG holds the potential for significant environmental, energy, economic, and employment benefits for Alaskans. Publication of the draft Environmental Impact Statement represents substantial progress toward obtaining the authorization required to build and operate this project. “We will now begin to thoroughly examine this comprehensive document to understand the commission’s recommendations. The ongoing permitting process incorporates 150,000 pages of data and should give Alaskans confidence that the project’s merits and impacts are being rigorously scrutinized.”

 

Venture Global raises $675M more for LNG projects

[2019-06-28, Plaquemines Parish, LA, LNG Export Project Update] -- Virginia-based Venture Global has raised another $675 million of additional capital for its trio of proposed liquefied natural gas projects on the Gulf Coast, bringing its total committed capital to $2.8 billion, the company announced Thursday. The latest round of capital funding from institutional investors will be used primarily for the further development of the company's 20 million metric tons per a year Plaquemines LNG export project in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, Venture Global said. The company is expected to receive a final order by August 1 from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granting it permission build the liquefied natural gas terminal. Earlier this month the company struck a deal with PGNiG to buy  2.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas from the yet-to-be-built Plaquemines terminal, up from 1 million in an earlier agreement. "With the expansion of our Plaquemines LNG sales and purchase agreement (SPA) with PGNiG to 2.5 million metric tons in anticipation of additional near-term commercialization, we are excited to add significant new resources as we prepare to commence early works at Plaquemines later this year," said Co-CEOs Mike Sabel and Bob Pender in a joint statement. The Plaquemines LNG plant will use a process from Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) that utilizes mid-scale, modular, factory-fabricated liquefaction trains in an identical configuration to its Calcasieu Pass LNG project, currently under construction in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Venture Global also is proposing a third plant called Delta LNG on the Mississippi River south of New Orleans. The proposed peak capacity to process 24 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas, according to documents filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In addition to the $855 million of capital previously raised at Venture Global LNG and the $1.3 billion project-level equity commitment from Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners for the company's Calcasieu Pass LNG project, Venture Global LNG has now raised total committed capital of over $2.8 billion to support the development of its LNG export facilities.

 

Switch to modular cuts construction jobs in half at $10B ExxonMobil-SABIC plant

[2019-06-28, Portland, TX, Ethane Cracker Project] -- Modular construction is known for shaving time from construction schedules and reducing project budgets. But in the case of the $10 billion ExxonMobil-SABIC ethane steam cracker and plastics plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, it looks like it is also going to do away with some jobs as well. After the two energy giants announced the project a few years ago and began planning, they amassed about $500 million in tax incentives from local communities with the promise of impressive economic benefits, including about 11,000 construction jobs, according to the Houston Chronicle. But between the time that building begins in the upcoming quarter, through the anticipated completion date of sometime in 2022, the ExxonMobil-SABIC joint venture vehicle of Gulf Coast Growth Ventures expects that the project will actually deliver 6,000 construction jobs instead, due to a switch in approach to modular construction. The company has been making this downward-revised projection since at least May 2018. An ExxonMobil spokesperson told the Chronicle that the JV made the choice because local residents had expressed concern about the effects of so many workers coming into the community. With the modular approach, there will be fewer workers, and the project can be completed faster, she added. The team of The Wood Group; McDermott & Turner Industries Group; Chiyoda & Kiewit; and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries & Zachry Group will be handling the engineering, procurement and construction phases.  Even with the lowered expectations, 6,000 jobs is enough to retain the original tax breaks, according to the Chronicle. Although the industry is used to seeing modular construction for projects like hotels and apartment buildings, modular advocates say the method can be used on any type of construction project and considered modular as long as components are manufactured offsite and then those pieces assembled at the jobsite.  According to a recent report from McKinsey & Co., modular construction boosts productivity and could save new-build real estate projects in the U.S. and Europe a combined $22 billion annually by 2030. The method is able to save up to 50% on a project's schedule when compared to one using traditional methods, and can shave up to 20% off the budget.  These benefits are more likely to be achieved, McKinsey said, if developers and contractors use the appropriate materials and design and can be innovative in overcoming the design, manufacturing, technological, logistical and assembly challenges that come along with such projects. They must also use locations where the project team can realize scale and repetition.

 

Coal-to-liquids plant offers a positive for state

[2019-06-30, Point Pleasant, WV, Coal to Liquids Facility] -- So often, West Virginia stands at a crossroads. Past and future. Opportunity and struggle. One step forward, two steps back. There are some who assert West Virginia should move away from its fossil fuel-centered industrial base to a more high-tech economy. While I agree we must diversify our economy, there are so many opportunities for expanded usage of our fossil resources, chiefly coal and natural gas. The Mountain State has long been viewed as "the" energy state. We have enormous coal reserves and we ship it throughout the world. And, we have newfound capacity when it comes to shale gas. An incredible opportunity is now knocking on our door. Domestic Synthetic Fuels (DS Fuels) recently announced plans to construct and operate a $1.2 billion, state-of-the-art coal-to-liquids facility in Mason County, near Point Pleasant. This is incredible news for many reasons. For decades, we've been looking for ways to expand coal usage, coal development and West Virginia's overall fossil fuel portfolio. DS Fuels fits those goals perfectly because it would utilize both coal and natural gas. The science is proven, and it would be the first-of-its-kind in the U.S. The process would use natural gas to heat coal into liquid form. The result would produce low-sulfur diesel, jet fuel and gasoline, along with numerous by-products. Coal-to-liquid is environmentally friendly, producing close to zero emissions and using recycled materials. I had the opportunity to visit a similar plant in China, and I was astounded. The process is incredibly clean, and technologically advanced. It's truly state-of-the-art. The facility would employ more than 130 and support more than 100 coal jobs. Those are on top of thousands of indirect jobs. The company anticipates paying $11.5 million in annual payroll and employee benefits, while offering vast downstream opportunities. The potential is incredible. DS Fuels would be a game-changer for West Virginia. Considering all this, it's clear we can greatly enhance our position as a global center for energy and commerce with the addition of this new operation. DS Fuels is the type of company that can help us get there. It's great for our workforce. It's great for our industrial base. This opportunity hits on so many levels. Energy independence. Energy reliability. Clean energy technology. Productive use of natural resources. It's time to move forward.

 

INEOS Oxide to build new ethylene oxide unit and associated downstream derivatives facility at Chocolate Bayou

[2019-07-02, Alvin, TX, EOD Project] -- INEOS Oxide has plans to build a new ethylene oxide (EO) unit and associated downstream ethylene oxide derivatives (EOD) facility at the company’s Chocolate Bayou Works manufacturing site south of Houston. INEOS noted that adding the EO and EOD capacity at Chocolate Bayou will reinforce on-site integration. Moreover, the company also stated that the availability of additional land near the new unit will allow third parties to co-locate and consume EO via pipeline. INEOS Olefins and Polymers USA already operated two olefin crackers, two polypropylene units and two cogen facilities at Chocolate Bayou, a 2,400-acre complex that INEOS’ website notes boasts the second-largest hydrocarbons cracker in the United States. Also, INEOS Oligomers is building a new linear alpha olefins unit and an associated downstream poly alpha olefins unit at the site.

 

GESS International to construct fifth biogas plant in Missouri

[2019-07-03, Chariton County, MO, Biogas Plant] -- GESS International, a highly experienced and globally established renewable energy company, previously announced plans to construct four green energy biogas plants across Missouri in March 2019. Among the Missouri developments there will now be an additional facility built in Chariton County, Missouri. The new $40 million investment will create 21 new jobs for the surrounding community.  On an annual basis, this Biogas facility will convert 140,000 tons of cattle and swine manure and 70,000 tons of agricultural residues into 550,000 MMbtu worth of renewable natural gas (RNG). This output is enough to power 6,800 homes for one year,  while reducing methane emissions and any potential environmental impacts from local farm operations. “The benefits of these projects will make a positive impact into the local economy and agricultural industry by adding a major investment into the local tax base, creating and training new employees for the operations of these plants, creating a new revenue stream for area farmers, all while creating a renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Seth Daughety, GESS International’s grant coordinator. In addition to creating renewable energy, the project will positively impact existing agricultural production facilities. It is GESS International’s goal to help existing agricultural industries in the area become more sustainable. “Agtech is a leading industry for Missouri,” said Rob Dixon, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “GESS is an important addition to our state as we continue to be the global agtech leader. We are excited that GESS has not only invested in our state, but has also now grown that initial investment and created more opportunity and jobs for Missouri residents.” The Chariton County plant has an anticipated construction start date in Q3 of 2019 and projected to be operational by Q4 of 2020. “Chariton County is very pleased that GESS International is making this important investment for the future of renewable energy in our community,” said Tom Burkhart, chairman of the Chariton County Community Economic Development Corporation board of directors. “This new facility adds to the abundance of natural resources in Chariton County.” “GESS International’s continuing investment into Missouri is a testament to our agtech leadership and our business-friendly environment,” said Subash Alias, CEO of Missouri Partnership. “We are committed to GESS International’s success in the state and are excited to support them with training programs and other assistance. We look forward to their success and the positive impact these jobs will have in the local community.” GESS International’s total investment in Missouri is now expected to reach $185 million and create more than 100 new jobs in rural Missouri.