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Kogas to import DME from Middle East

Summary

The state-run Korea Gas Corporation has plans to build a dimethyl ether (DME) plant in Saudi Arabia with the aim of importing DME from the Middle East. David Hayes spoke to Kogas.

Abstract

Kogas is to build a 1,000 t/d dimethyl-ether (DME) plant in Saudi Arabia that will export its output to South Korea for use as a low cost fuel additive to blend with LPG initially and eventually as a diesel fuel substitute. The company announced plans to invest 400 billion won ($345 million) prior to recently signing a preliminary agreement with the Saudi Arabian government to build the DME plant at Jubail, which will be built with an initial capacity of 300,000 t/a when production starts in 2013.

Kogas is understood to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia’s Abdulla Hussain Al Mutawa Sons’ Group and Saudi Aramco in preparation for the Phase 1 project to move ahead. A second project is expected to be proposed if the first is successful. Phase 2 will involve constructing two more DME trains to expand production up to about 1 million t/a.

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Africa's long road

Summary

While North African countries such as Algeria, Egypt and Libya are major producers of ammonia and methanol, sub-Saharan Africa has lagged behind, plagued by festering conflicts and governance issues. However, recently a new wave of oil and gas production has begun in West Africa, while South Africa continues to develop coal-based capacity. Nitrogen+Syngas looks at the prospects for the region.

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is a resource-rich area and yet remains the poorest region in the world. The promise held out by oil, gas, coal and strategic minerals has yet to overcome stubborn problems of disease, corruption and ethnic conflict.

Potentially there are various countries that could use their natural gas resources to develop downstream chemical industries. As Table 1 shows, the major gas-rich country in the region is Nigeria, with 90% of the reserves. However, the smaller reserves in some countries may be as much down to lack of exploration as lack of gas. Most of the natural gas in the region is associated with oil fields, and so gas availability is conditioned by the pace of oil drilling. However, increasing moves to end flaring of natural gas, especially in Nigeria, have led to greater attempts to find uses for the natural gas, and the region has the potential to become a major area for syngas-based chemical production.

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Nitrogen+Syngas 2010

Summary

The Nitrogen + Syngas 2010 conference returned to the Gulf Hotel in Bahrain this year, to be once again hosted by Gulf Petrochemical Industries (GPIC).

Abstract

CRU Events CEO Nicola Coslett introduced His Excellency Dr Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza, Bahrain’s Minister of Oil and Gas Affairs, who opened the conference by welcoming delegates on behalf of the government of Bahrain.

Oil and gas and their downstream activities represent 75% of the economic output of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, and Dr Mirza said that technical conferences like this were essential so that the countries of the region could adopt an integrated strategy for the continual modernisation of that sector, adopting the best technologies and practises. Bahrain, he said, had pioneered oil, gas and financial developments in the GCC, but gas remained its most valuable commodity, for uses such as power generation, water desalination and injection into oilfields for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) has pursued a strategy to obtain more gas and energy for Bahrain, including six more wells to be drilled to meet demand out to 2014. New gas supplies have been allocated to oil and gas development, and Bahrain has also taken the strategic decision to import gas from neighbouring countries to sustain domestic industry as well as exploring for new oil and gas. He also raised the possibility of an LNG import terminal as a back-up to ensure continuity of gas supply.

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Inspection of ammonia storage tanks

Summary

In 2008 the European Fertilizer Manufacturers Association (EFMA) issued new guidance regarding the inspection of ammonia storage tanks. This article reviews the guidance and looks at a case study of their application.

Abstract

The EFMA guidelines were issued to correct what was seen as a gap in inspection regimes for ammonia storage tanks in Europe. Because the tanks operate at or near atmospheric pressure, they tend to fall outside the rules for inspecting pressurised equipment, and so there can be widely varying national standards on inspection requirements and frequency. Some companies have their own internal standards or supplement national regulations or industry codes with their own internal standards or codes of practice.

EFMA carried out two surveys of ammonia storage tanks. The first dealt with the design and construction aspects of the tanks while the second, more detailed survey, based on 48 tanks, covered factors which affect failure probability and failure consequences. The results of this second survey then provided the basis for the recommended Risk Based Inspection (RBI) procedures.

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Urea plant technology and operations

Summary

The urea session at the Nitrogen+Syngas Conference always attracts a large number of presentations this year was no exception. Lisa Connock reports on this year's hot topics for urea process technology.

Abstract

Topics are:

  • Flaring vs venting in a urea melt plant
  • DP28WTW reduces passivation air in urea plants
  • Commercial experience of DP28WTW with little oxygen
  • Corrosion mechanism in urea plants
  • Immersion test
  • Electrochemical measurement
  • Benefits of optimised passivation air injection
  • Technologies for enhancedoperation
  • Operation training simulator
  • Advanced process controller
  • ACP system configuration Urea and the environment
  • AdBlue
  • Urea recycling
  • Urea plant relocation
  • Jumbo single train urea plants

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Life cycle benefits of PurifierTM technology based ammonia plants

Summary

KBR's Purifier process technology for manufacturing ammonia has over the years demonstrated that it is more efficient and reliable than conventional technology. S. Singh and J. Gosnell of KBR present the results of a recently concluded engineering study that compared Purifier technology with conventional ammonia plant technology.

Abstract

Ammonia plant owners define the design basis during the project phase of their new plant by considering pertinent operating scenarios they may encounter during the plant’s life. Often this is done prior to the bidding phase and thus before licensors may have a chance to influence the basis. While operating through its long future life cycle, a plant will face challenges that were either unknown or not quantified at the design stage. Some of the challenges could arise due to a changing global situation that may not have been present earlier. Examples of life cycle challenges and their potential solutions are listed in Table 1.

KBR recently completed an engineering study by modelling and comparing the operation of a 2,000 t/d ammonia plant based on two different technologies – Purifier and conventional. The two technologies were analysed for their responses to “off design” operating conditions shown in Table 1 that owners typically face over a plant’s life cycle. The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss the manner in which these two technologies handle these conditions and also to estimate the cost effects borne by the owner.

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