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Largest U.S. refinery restarts after Texas freeze

March 04/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The largest U.S. refinery, Motiva Enterprisesí 607,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, plant, restarted its largest crude oil processing unit, sources familiar with plant operations said, said Reuters.

The 325,000-bpd VPS-5 crude distillation unit (CDU) and 110,000-bpd coker were increasing production, the sources said. The refinery was shut on Feb. 15 due to severe cold weather along the Gulf Coast. Motiva did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Friday morning.

Motiva also restarted the 105,000-bpd HCU-2 hydrocracker on Friday, the sources said, as well as two hydrotreaters. In addition, the 32,000-bpd HTU-3 hydrotreater is scheduled to restart on Friday. CDUs break down crude oil into hydrocarbon feedstocks for all other production units at the refinery. There are three CDUs at the Motiva refinery.

Cokers convert residual crude oil from distillation units to either motor fuel feedstocks or petroleum coke, a substitute for coal. Hydrocrackers use catalyst in the presence of hydrogen under high heat and pressure to convert gas oil into diesel and other motor fuels. Hydrotreaters remove sulfur from feedstocks for motor fuels in compliance with U.S. environmental rules.

We remind that the COVID-19 outbreak has led to an unprecedented decline in demand affecting all sections of the Russian economy, which has impacted the demand for petrochemicals in the short-term. However, the pandemic triggered an increase in the demand for polymers in food packaging, and cleaning and hygiene products, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. With Russian petrochemical companies having the advantage of access to low-cost feedstock, and proximity to demand-rich Asian (primarily China) and European markets for the supply of petrochemical products, these companies appear to be well-positioned to derive full benefits from an improving market environment and global economy post-COVID-19.

We also remind that in December 2020, Sibur, Gazprom Neft, and Uzbekneftegaz agreed to cooperate on potential investments in Uzbekistan including a major expansion of Uzbekneftegazís existing Shurtan Gas Chemical Complex (SGCC) and the proposed construction of a new gas chemicals facility. The signed cooperation agreement for the projects includes ďthe creation of a gas chemical complex using methanol-to-olefins (MTO) technology, and the expansion of the production capacity of the Shurtan Gas Chemical ComplexĒ.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,220,640 tonnes in 2020, up by 2% year on year. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market reached 1 240,000 tonnes in 2020 (calculated using the formula: production, minus exports, plus imports, excluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply of exclusively PP random copolymer increased.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, PP, PE, neftegaz, petrochemistry, USA.
Category:General News
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