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Global project review: Sept - Oct

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PI Match round-up of latest global project news:

Among the more significant investment announcements of recent weeks, BASF has unveiled plans to invest around Euro1.8 billion for its its Crop Protection division to build and upgrade production and formulation capacities between 2013 and 2017. 

The spend is intended to meet growing global demand for crop protection products, and represents a doubling of annual investments in production plants for the division from around Euro150 million to over Euro300 million.

Elsewhere, Dow Chemical Co. will increase its polyol and copolymer capacity at its Freeport, Texas facilities through debottlenecking. Dow said the units will use its DMC catalysis to up supply of polyols and copolymer polyols and create products with unique properties.

The extra capacity will leverage low carbon ethylene oxide costs in the US Gulf Coast and enable increased output of base polyols to be used in the expanded copolymer polyols facility, as well as extra volumes of flex slab and coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers polyols.

Another chemicals maker Solvay said it is investing 'Euro20m' to build South-East Asia’s largest sodium bicarbonate plant – a 100ktpa facility in Thailand to meet growing demand in the region’s healthcare and food markets.

Due for start–up in H1/15, the unit on Solvay's site in Map Ta Phut, it will use the company's new generation BICAR production technology which is claimed to minimise waste, optimise energy recovery and maximise yield.

Solvay said it is continuing to reinforce its manufacturing network in Europe with recent investments in Dombasle, France, and Torrelavega, Spain. Both factories received GMP Pharma and CEP certifications according to recent changes in European Pharmaceutical legislation.

In another major chemicals deal, Foster Wheeler has signed a three-year framework agreement with Abu Dhabi Polymers Co. Ltd. (Borouge) for the provision of engineering and consultancy services in the UAE. 

As one of the contractors supporting Borouge’s engineering projects, Foster Wheeler will execute studies and will provide front-end engineering design, engineering, project management and support services for capital projects and plant modifications.

In the oil & gas sector, Foster Wheeler has been awarded a contract by LLC KINEF, part of Surgutneftegaz, for the engineering and material supply of nine fired heaters for the new high octane gasoline compounds production complex to be built at the KINEF - Kirishinefteorgsyntez refinery in Russia.

Work is due to be completed in Q1/15. The Russian refinery has a crude oil processing capacity of 230k bpda.

Rosneft and ExxonMobil have selected CB&I UK and Foster Wheeler Energy as contractors for initial phase FEED for a proposed Russian Far East LNG project.

A final project design is expected by the end of 2014, including front-end engineering and design documentation for the LNG plant, associated facilities and gas pipeline, as well as engineering studies and environmental impact assessment.

Meanwhile, Rotork is supplying three coal seam gas-to-LNG projects in Queensland, Australia with over 5000 valve actuators, embracing electric, electro-hydraulic, pneumatic and gas-over-oil technologies. The end clients – Queensland Curtis LNG, Santos GLNG and Australia Pacific LNG – are developing coal seam gas in Queensland’s Surat and Bowen Basins. 

Rotork has also recently supplied an order from the Shanghai Pudong Hanwei Valve Co for two WGS Series subsea gearboxes fitted to a double block and bleed valve for a natural gas pipeline in the Bohai Sea. The 8 inch Class 600 valve is being installed a depth of 30 metres on a pipeline serving the Suizhong SZ36-1 oilfield and operated by the China National Offshore Oil Corp.

In other sectors, KBR has been awarded a contract by International Paper to provide total maintenance services for its paper mill located in Svetogorsk, Russia. KBR has provided maintenance services to the Svetogorsk mill for about a decade. The new contract is for three years with the option to renegotiate commercial terms after the first year.

Separately, KBR has announced that it is standardising on simulation software from Invensys, under a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract with the automation vendor. 

In the mining and natural resources sector, Anglo American has signed up Weir Group to improve energy consumption and lower maintenance requirements across Anglo American’s operations in South Africa, South America, North America and Australia. 

One of the biggest areas of opportunity for suppliers of process equipment and technology lies in the water and wastewater sector of emerging economies, where facilities and infrastructure are often under-developed and in need of major upgrades. Tapping into this market, though, will likely require market entrants to adopt long-term strategies.

Among the Western players currently active in this space, Xylem Inc. has won a $1.87m contract to provide an ozone generation and introduction system to help ensure a safe municipal water supply in the Jinshan district of Shanghai.

Xylem will also provide an integrated service package for the Jinshan First Water Plant can supply up to 400kt/day of water for Jinshan, one of the largest districts in Shanghai.

In the power sector, AMEC has been awarded a contract by Nuclear Energy Co. of Slovakia for an environmental impact assessment for a new 1000MW nuclear power station at the Bohunice site in Slovakia. The three-year contract, said AMEC, is a key strategic development for its nuclear business in Central and Eastern Europe and significantly increases the unit's portfolio of activities in the region.

Finally, in Finland, Vaskiluodon Voima and Metso have signed an agreement about an extensive automation retrofit at the former's power plant in Seinäjoki, Finland. With the investment, Vaskiluodon Voima replaces an automation system taken into use in 1989.

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