Tuesday, September 18, 2012

MALAYSIA: Dialog, Vopak to build US$1.3 billion LNG terminal in Johor

(EnergyAsia, September 18 2012, Tuesday) — Five months after starting construction of their oil storage project in the southern Malaysian state of Johor, engineering group Dialog and Dutch oil and chemical storage firm Royal Vopak are setting their sights on building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal near the same location.

The proposed US$1.3 billion terminal was among a list of seven projects worth a total of RM5.607 billion announced by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as part of the country's Economic Transformation Programme. (US$1= RM3.05).

The LNG project will be part of the Pengerang Independent Deepwater Petroleum Terminal (PIDPT) that is being developed by a consortium owned by Malaysia's Dialog, Vopak and the Johor state government. The same team is building Southeast Asia's first independent crude oil storage terminal in the Pengerang area facing the South China Sea.

According to Prime Minister Najib, the Pengerang LNG terminal will store, load and regasify to support the import and re-export of LNG for the domestic and export markets.

"The terminal will be the first independent LNG trading terminal in Asia, allowing multiple LNG users to store and trade the product. This will spur the growth of the industry, and help establish Malaysia as Asia's LNG trading hub," he said.

The consortium will develop the project in two phases of 360,000 cubic metres each from 2013 to 2018. It expects to make the final investment decision by mid-2013.

Dialog has formed a 51/49 joint venture with Vopak that owns 90% of the company operating the PIDPT due to start up in 2014. The remaining 10% is held by the Johor state government.


Friday, September 14, 2012

SINGAPORE: Germany’s LANXESS starts construction of world’s largest Nd-PBR plant on Jurong Island

(EnergyAsia, September 14 2012, Friday) — Germany's specialty chemicals company LANXESS began construction of its 200-million-euro neodymium-based performance butadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) plant on Singapore's Jurong Island early this week.

When completed in the first half of 2015, the 140,000 metric tons/year plant will be the largest of its kind globally, producing raw materials for use in energy efficient and safety-enhance green tires.

Sited next to the company's butyl rubber plant, the Nd-PBR unit will add about 100 quality jobs, boosting the total to nearly 500 in Singapore.

Used in the treads and sidewalls of green tires, Nd-PBR helps reduce rolling resistance and increase the fuel efficiency of a tire. The chemical is highly resistant to abrasion and plays a significant role in making tires safer and more durable.

The Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (Private) Limited will supply the bulk of the butadiene raw material needed to produce Nd-PBR, while TP Utilities Pte. Ltd, a wholly owned unit of Tuas Power Ltd, will provide steam to the new plant.

Foster Wheeler Asia Pacific Pte Ltd has been selected to carry out the detailed engineering and construction of the plant.

LANXESS said it is the global market leader for the production of Nd-PBR. Global demand for the product is growing at about 10% a year, while in Asia, it is rising by 13% as a result of an increasingly affluent middle class which is buying cars and better tires.

According to LANXESS, the EU will launch the mandatory tire labeling in November.

"Tires will be graded from A to G according to their fuel efficiency and wet grip. Rolling noise is also measured. Therefore, the new legislation provides more transparency for consumers by highlighting the added value of green tires. According to TU Munich, the market share of class A and B tires in the EU is expected to reach 20% to 30% in 2017 and then jump to 70% to 80% in 2022," it said.

Japan and South Korea were the first countries in the world to introduce a label system. After a voluntary tire label was introduced in Japan in January 2010, South Korea launched its voluntary labeling in November 2011 and will introduce a mandatory label in December 2012. Other countries like Brazil, the US and China are expected to follow shortly.

Speaking at the plant's groundbreaking ceremony, Axel C. Heitmann, LANXESS's chairman, said:

"We are delighted to be bringing another major rubber investment to Singapore, which underlines our commitment to 'green mobility. It is our company's focus on technology that makes it possible to reduce rolling resistance in tires and thus fuel consumption. This is good news for the consumer and the environment."

Leo Yip, chairman of the Economic Development Board, said:

"We are delighted with LANXESS' decision to locate its new Nd-PBR plant in Singapore. This is a significant investment for both LANXESS and Singapore as it will not only be the first Nd-PBR plant in Singapore, but also the largest of its kind in the world.

"To succeed in Asia, chemicals companies not only need excellent connectivity to key markets, but access to a skilled workforce and strong physical infrastructure. Global chemicals companies, like LANXESS, have found Singapore to be a strategic location from which to orchestrate their business growth strategies in Asia and beyond."

Among those present at the plant's groundbreaking ceremony were Angelika Viets, Germany's Ambassador to Singapore, senior LANXESS executives including Rolf Stomberg, Holger Hueppeler, Werner Breuers, Joachim Grub and Jose Chytry, and Julian Ho of the Singapore EDB.