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Industry Wrap-Up: Phillips 66 Budgets for Renewables, BASF Continues Catalysis Research at Heidelberg

Dec. 11, 2023
Also, Linde plans to increase hydrogen production at Alabama site.

Lyondell Basell to Sell Ethylene Oxide and Derivatives Business to Ineos

Lyondell Basell said Dec. 8 it entered into an agreement to sell its ethylene oxide and derivatives business in Bayport, Texas, to Ineos Oxide for $700 million.

"This transaction is evidence of our disciplined focus on value creation through the execution of a key pillar of our strategy – growing and upgrading our core," said Peter Vanacker, Lyondell Basell CEO, in a prepared statement. "Successful execution of this strategic pillar involves making difficult decisions to divest businesses which are not part of our core. We remain proud of the positive cash generation, access to advantaged feedstocks, reliability and highly skilled team that makes up the EO&D business and are excited to have reached an agreement with INEOS to enable the business to continue generating value under different ownership. We look forward to collaborating closely with INEOS on a seamless transition."

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024 following completion of the planned maintenance at the facility and is subject to regulatory and other customary closing conditions.

Phillips 66 Capital Budget Program Includes Renewables Investment

Phillips 66 announced a 2024 capital budget of $2.2 billion, including $923 million for sustaining capital and $1.3 billion for growth capital. The company plans to invest $1.1 billion in refining, including $412 million for sustaining capital. Refining growth capital of $654 million includes completing the conversion of the San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo, California, into one of the world’s largest renewable fuels facilities. Startup of the converted facility is expected in the first quarter of 2024. The conversion will reduce emissions from the facility and allow for the production of lower carbon-intensity transportation fuels, the company said in a Dec. 8 news release. Refining growth capital will also support high-return, low-capital projects to enhance market capture.

Heidelberg University and BASF Continue Catalysis Research Project

BASF and Heidelberg University said Dec. 8 they have signed an agreement to continue the joint operation of the Catalysis Research Laboratory (CaRLa) for another five years until 2028. Ten researchers are currently employed at CaRLa in Heidelberg, Germany, working at the interface between academic and industrial research. Since the founding of the catalysis laboratory in 2006 more than 100 employees from 34 countries have been involved in the development of new processes for homogeneous catalysis and organic synthesis.

“Basic research in the field of homogeneous catalysis is important for BASF, as it helps us develop chemical processes that require less energy and generate less waste. CaRLa is thus an important cornerstone for us to achieve BASF’s sustainability goals,” said Helmut Winterling, president of BASF Group Research.

Linde Increases Hydrogen Production in Southeast United States

Linde said Dec. 5 it has increased the liquid hydrogen production capacity at its facility in McIntosh, Alabama. Linde’s McIntosh facility will now produce up to 30 tons per day of liquid hydrogen for the local merchant market. The plant will meet increasing demand for hydrogen from Linde’s existing and new customers in end markets including manufacturing and electronics. It will also supply hydrogen to Linde’s space launch and mobility customers.

The expansion complements Linde’s existing hydrogen business in the southeastern U.S. and increases network density in the region. Linde invested approximately $90 million in the project.

“Over the past decade we have continued to expand our robust hydrogen production and supply network in the U.S., establishing Linde as the largest supplier of liquid hydrogen in the country,” said Todd Lawson, vice president East Region, Linde. “As demand for liquid hydrogen continues to grow, we are proud to leverage our technology and expertise to safely start up this project on time and on budget.”

Chevron Sets $16 billion Capex Budget

Chevron Corp. said it’s planning a 2024 organic capital expenditure for consolidated subsidiaries of $15.5 billion to $16.5 billion, Oil & Gas Journal reported on Dec. 7. About a third of the budget is being allocated to the Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., including the Golden Triangle Polymer Project and Ras Laffan petrochemical project. “We’re maintaining capital discipline in both traditional and new energies,” said Chevron chairman and chief executive officer Mike Wirth. “These investments are expected to underpin durable free cash flow growth to support our objective of returning more cash to shareholders.”

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