BP lets contract for Belgian petrochemicals complex revamp

BP Chembel NV, a wholly owned subsidiary of BP PLC, has let a contract to Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., Pasadena, Calif., to provide basic and detailed engineering services for a revamp of units at its 2 million-tonne/year petrochemicals complex in Geel, Belgium.

Jacobs Engineering will install equipment and perform upgrades in purified terephthalic acid (PTA) units at the complex, the service provider said.

The upgrading project is intended to optimize Geel’s overall operational performance, Jacobs Engineering said.

Neither a value of the contract nor details regarding the specific nature of the upgrades were disclosed.

In addition to three PTA units with a combined production capacity of 1.3 million tpy, the Geel complex also produces 700,000 tpy of paraxylene (PX), which is used exclusively for in-house production of PTA, according to BP’s web site.

Using BP technology, the complex’s PX unit—one of the world’s largest—also produces benzene and fuel additives from xylenes feedstock supplied by multiple refineries.

Amoco Chemical Belgium Co. NV, Geel’s previous owner, let contract to Foster Wheeler Energy Ltd., Reading, UK, for the complex’s PX unit, which had an initial production capacity of 420,000 b/d and was scheduled to be commissioned in 2000 (OGJ Online, Nov. 24, 1997).

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