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Carbon dioxide recovery at GPIC

Summary

GPIC is embarking on a 450 t/d carbon dioxide recovery (CDR) Project which is slated for completion by January 2010. The project aims to cut down greenhouse gas emissions and improve overall efficiency of resources by generating additional methanol and urea products. Fadhel Al-Ansari of GPIC describes the project.

Abstract

Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC), located at Sitra, Kingdom of Bahrain, was incorporated in 1979 as a Bahraini joint stock company in the Kingdom of Bahrain with equal participation by the Government of Bahrain, PIC Kuwait and SABIC group of industries, Saudi Arabia. GPIC is a fine example of a successful joint venture in the Arabian Gulf. The company owns and operates a petrochemical processing complex comprising a single-stream ammonia, methanol and urea plant (granulation route) with associated utilities, offsite and material handling plants.

The ammonia and methanol plants were originally designed for 1,000 t/d each. However, after the debottlenecking of these plants in 1989, their capacity increased to 1,200 t/d each. Later, in January 1998, GPIC commissioned its newly installed urea plant having a capacity of 1,700 t/d. For the ammonia and methanol plants, Uhde GmbH, Germany, was the technology licensor and Snamprogetti, Italy, was the engineering contractor. The technology licensor of the urea plant was Snamprogetti but the engineering contractor was MHI, Japan. Urea granulation technology was licensed by Uhde Fertiliser Technology (formerly Yara), Germany.

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How a golden chemical became greener

Summary

Cristina Colusso and Massimo Gori of Eurotecnica Contractors and Engineers S.p.A. discuss the importance of melamine and its many applications. Over the years, the melamine production process has evolved from a troublesome and polluting process to a more efficient and environ­mentally friendly process, culminating in the Eurotecnica high-pressure melamine process.

Abstract

Melamine is a key presence in everyone’s life. Laminates, floorings, paints, medium density fibreboards, textiles and others all owe their hardness, mar-resistance, or water-proofing to this chemical product.

One of the key reasons for the popularity of melamine is its capacity to form very strong and stable bonds with other chemicals. Fig. 1 shows the molecular structure of melamine.

Three principal characteristics make melamine chemically unique:

  • stability that makes it resistant to chemical, thermal and physical degradation;
  • structure that allows it to be combined with other chemicals and chemical compounds, particularly formaldehyde and other monomers, in a wide variety of chemical reactions and polymerisation;
  • 66% nitrogen content that allows it to be considered as a nitrogen release product which provides excellent fire retardant properties because, when exposed to intense heat, it gives off nitrogen without toxic gases, which dilutes oxygen, there­by inhibiting combustion.

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Mixed fortunes

Summary

In spite of many major project developments in the region, the countries of the Middle East are enjoying mixed fortunes in their attempts to attract foreign investment

Abstract

The Middle East remains the repository of most of the world’s natural gas reserves, and as such the gas-based chemical industry has undergone a gradual but inexorable drift towards the region over the past three decades. As more gas is discovered, and with reservoirs running dry in other parts of the world, so the project announcements keep on coming. However, each country has its own unique set of circumstances which have driven different approaches to monetisation of oil and gas resources.

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Financing projects in a tight credit market

Summary

In the wake of the 'credit crunch', bank lending has been drastically curtailed. With project prices already spiralling due to high demand for new facilities, Nitrogen+Syngas takes a look at the world of project finance for large petrochemical projects.

Abstract

This has been another difficult 12 months for project finance, with the so-called ‘ripple’ of ‘contagion’ from America’s sub-prime mortgage market debt being felt around the world. Inter-bank financing has been reduced as banks scramble to contain and assess their own losses, and confidence has been shaky, with Northern Rock in the UK and Bear Stearns in the US both falling victim to the crisis. In such a volatile market, adequately financing large-scale projects becomes even more difficult.

Yet global demand for energy and petrochemicals continues to drive investment in new projects, often on a very large scale to attract economies of scale. In 2006, project financing loans to the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors totalled $46.6 billion, up $5.5 billion on the previous year. Commercial banks continue to be the dominant force in the market, as lower country risk perceptions and growing project scale have shifted the role of export credit agencies and other multilateral organisations from providing cover to providing volume. And there is no sign so far of this trend faltering. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), $2.5 trillion needs to be invested worldwide in downstream oil and gas infrastructure to 2030.

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Nitrogen+Syngas 2008 Conference

Summary

The Nitrogen+Syngas 2008 Conference and Exhibition was held at the Radisson SAS Slavanskaya Hotel in Moscow from April 20th-23rd 2008.

Abstract

Market prices for all major syngas derivatives are riding high, and perhaps it was this which led to a record attendance at the Nitrogen+Syngas 2008 Conference, with over 500 delegates from 53 countries visiting the Radisson SAS Slavanskaya hotel in Moscow.

Opening the conference, John French, Conference director, recapped on the changes which Russia has seen over the past two decades. Russia’s huge gas reserves give it a strategic relationship with eastern and western Europe. In the ammonia and methanol markets it can be regarded as the last major ‘western’ exporter and has considerable potential for new syngas-based capacity. John thanked local partners NIIK, EuroChem and Akron for their assistance and sponsorship of the Russian evening on the Monday night, and Johnson Matthey and Uhde for the lunch on Monday, and Sud Chemie for Tuesday. The associated exhibition, organised by BC Insight, was also of record size, with 34 exhibitors registered.

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