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RE: New U.S. FCC's ?

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Charles Randall

There are ton of FCC expansions/additions going on in the US.  Most of the coker expansion projects are around an increase in capacity for the refinery and/or the use of the heavier Canadian Bitumen crudes which has less naphtha and more gasoil than conventional crudes (Usually the Naphtha content comes from the added diluent condensates or synthetic crude cutters normally). So not only all downstream FCC’s but all the catalysts units in refinery will have a heavier load/use because of this crude.
In addition to all coking projects – several of the asphalt refineries and even some sweet crude refineries will be increasing use of some of the Canadian synthetic or SynDilBit crudes and require FCC expansions.  Here are just few I know of from US S/D & project work forecast:
COP Bayway,NJ – FCC revamp & 4%(+5.8MBD)expan; COP Woodriver,IL Ref & coker expan – will need FCC expan; Sunoco Phila,PA- FCC expansion (+15MBD); BP Whiting,IN – +55MBD Ref expan (&FCC); Frontier El Dorado,KS – (coker&) FCC revamp (+5MBD); MAP Detroit/Cattlesburg/Robinson Ref (100-180 MBD Hvy Crude) & FCC expansions (& coker); Sunoco Toledo,OH FCC expan (+24MBD); CVX Pascagoula,MS – Coker & FCC revamp (+16MBD) recently completed Dec 2006 but another doubling expansion refinery +200 MBD in progress; Placid Pt Allen, LA – FCC expan (+7MBD) completes 2Q08; Big West Bakersfield,CA – FCC revamp (+19.2 MBD); And several more Refinery & coker expansions for large CA Hvy. Oil projects fit here also (my fingers are getting tired).
My recommendation to all refineries a year ago was to beef up on all (Reformers, HDS, FCC & Polymer) catalysts because the cost is going new levels.  In addition to all Oil refineries, all the metal refineries are way behind the demand curves for same environmental barriers that have shutdown & not allowed new plants. Nickel has gone from $4/lb to $21/lb, and same goes for Cu, Va ~ all metals & commodities and additionally a shift in smelter/production sites has been to countries where there is little to no consumption <hence no recycle of used/scrap> that was present in previous developed producers…..strap in it is going be price roll-coaster cycle.  
News tidbit – the Vanadium levels on ExxonMobil Baytown fluid coke is high enough it has been used as Vanadium ore source (~+5000ppm).  Think the Canadian Oil Sands that contain Bitumen are also being looked at for metals & minerals source like Titanium Dioxide and ect.

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