"The Polyisobutene project will propel Chevron to the forefront of next generation PIB manufacturing in both low cost and high quality," said Gary Enk, technical manager for the Oak Point Plant. "Within a year, plans are to discontinue the purchase of' older technology PIB and to begin manufacturing the most technologically advanced PIB ever developed," said Enk. "Because of the highly reactive PIB qualities, we will be able to increase product yields by up to 25 per cent and decrease manufacturing time by up to 50 per cent." This project is the second of three expansion projects announced in July 1997, valued at US$100 million.
FLUOR DANIEL BUILDS POLYETHYLENE PLANT IN ARGENTINA Fluor Daniel and SADE Ingeniera y Construcciones SA have won a contract from Polisur SA, a joint venture of The Dow Chemical Co and Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales (YPF), to provide construction management and construction services for its polyethylene facility in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. Total installed cost of the facility is US$150 million; Fluor Daniel and SADE's contract value is US$49 million. Fluor Daniel's Chemicals & Specialties operating company and SADE will provide services to construct the 270 000 metric tons per year polyethylene project. The advanced, linear low-density polyethylene resins produced at this facility will be used for injection molding, blown or cast films;. rotomolding or extrusion film. Feedstock for this project will be obtained from Petroquimica Bahia Blanca SAIC's LHC-2 Ethane Cracker, also recently awarded to Fluor Daniel and SADE by Do~,
Pump Industry Analyst
YPF and Itochu. Work is underway in Fluor Daniel's and SADE's offices in Argentina. Construction started in November, with completion scheduled for September 2000.
SEOP AND TEXACO CALL OFF ALLIANCE TALKS Shell Europe Oil Products (SEOP) and Texaco have agreed to end discussions aimed at forming an alliance of their European oil products marketing and manufacturing activities. The companies signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding in September to explore the possibilities of forming an alliance, subject to successful completion of negotiations. Commenting on the decision to terminate the discussions, SEOP's president Paul Skinner said: "Although a joint review by teams from both companies had confirmed the synergy benefits originally envisaged, we have concluded that the proposed venture would not maximise shareholder value for both companies." The existing joint ventures between Shell, Texaco and Saudi Aramco in the USA are not affected by these developments.
SHELL PROGRESSES WITH EUROPEAN REFINERY RATIONALISATION Shell Europe Oil Products (SEOP) is to sign a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the Norwegian State Oil Company Statoil, to exchange a 10 per cent holding in Shell Nederland Raffinaderij BV's Pernis refinery for a 22 per cent stake of Statoll's Mongstad refinery in Norway.
In addition, SEOP is proposing to close Norske Shell's Sola refinery in Norway, which currently employs 125 people, by the beginning of 2000. Both these proposals are part of SEOP's ongoing European refinery network rationalisation strategy. This follows the recent announcement of the closure of Shell Haven refinery and the rationalisation of capacity at the Berre L'Etang refinery in Southern France. "We are pursuing these moves as part of our plan to address our own over-capacity issue and to shift our portfolio towards world-class assets and world-scale refining," said Carmine Falcone, vice president of Manufacturing, Supply and Distribution in SEOP. The Sola refinery is being considered for closure because the investment required in the refinery to meet the more stringent future product quality requirements, as outlined in the Auto-Oil Directive issued earlier this year, cannot be justified. A final decision on both the exchange of refinery interests and the closure of Sola refinery will be made early this year.
in water management. Overall, 140 agencies have been certified since 1985. Three more member agencies were awarded Gold Star certification under the programme. The honour is given to member agencies that have already been certified in the Water Management Certification programme and have made improvements to their water management and conservation plans.
UTILITIES IMPROVE DRINKING WATER
According to the American Water Works Association (AWWA), an estimated 80 per cent of water utilities affected by the new Environmental Protection Agency's safe drinking water regulations already comply with the tighter trihalomethane (THM) standard recently announced by President Clinton. Additionally, water utilities that serve a third of the US population already have established standards to meet new federal requirements for controlling the public health threat of Cryptosporidium, a waterborne pathogen. AWWA president Rod Holme said that by taking aggressive steps to improve water treatment methods and WATER AGENCIES technologies, many US utilities already meet or exceed the HONOURED FOR EFFICIENT WATER new federal drinking water regulations. "Utilities fully MANAGEMENT support the EPA's new rule for The Association of California lowering THMs. Our members Water Agencies (ACWA) has participated in this regulatory recognised 12 water agencies development process with the from around the State for EPA and agree there is sound long-standing commitment science to justify lowering to efficient water manage- THM levels in water. Protecting public health is our main ment. Nine agencies were certi- concern," added Holme. President Clinton recently fied in ACWA's Water Management Awareness Pro- announced that the EPA had gramme developed to finalised Stage 1 of the Disindocument and recognise mem- fectant/Disinfection By-prodber agencies' accomplishments uct Rule (D/DBP), as well as a