New Iranian protests
differ from those at
start of revolution
by Bob Tippee, Editor
At least twenty Iranians have died because
of—as opposed to from—bird fu.
Protests sweeping the Islamic Republic
began in Mashhad on Dec. 28 in response, according to reports, to the rising
price of eggs.
To counter avian illness, the government had culled chickens, which slashed
egg supply, which raised food prices for
people already suffering from economic
malaise and inflation—not to mention oppression by a corrupt theocracy.
Responding as usual to dissent related
to more than the price of eggs, the regime
has killed and jailed dissenters.
It was, of course, popular unrest that,
in 1978-79, enabled mullahs to control a
country recently producing 3. 8 million b/d
But current protests are different.
While Tehran was the focus of street
protests during the revolution, this time the
city stayed relatively calm until 3 days after
the Mashhad eruption.
Most of the new activism has been
elsewhere and notable for ethnic diversity.
Mashhad, Iran’s second most-populous
city, has a large Turkmen population. Protests also have occurred in northern and
southwestern towns dominated by Kurds
and Arabs. Slogans have been in Kurdish
and Azerbaijani as well as Persian.
But Iran is complex. Assessing the role
of ethnic tension is perilous.
What’s clear is that poor, rural Iranians
feel no benefit from the easing of US and
Iran is estimated to have received $100
billion in unfrozen assets from that move,
undertaken in 2016 after Tehran agreed to
suspend nuclear development.
Beyond the usual donations to the
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and
powerful religious trusts, angry Iranians
think they know where the money went.
“Leave Syria; think about us,” protes-tors chant in online videos from Mashhad.
Interesting. Iranians are resisting
Iranian expansionism. Another chant,
reported by BBC: “Not Gaza; not Lebanon;
This new point of argumentation will
not mollify a ruthless regime determined to
keep order and inclined to blame outsiders
for domestic problems.
But it probably evokes smiles elsewhere
in the region.
(From the subscription area of www.ogj.com,
posted Jan. 5, 2018; author’s e-mail: bobt@
Climate Change, HPCL’s proposed 208
billion-rupee VRMP originally was to
add the following units at the refinery:
• A 9 million-tpy crude distillation
unit (CDU), which will replace one of
Visakh’s three existing CDUs.
• A 3. 3 million-tpy full-conversion, vacuum gas oil hydrocracker.
• A 292,000-tpy naphtha isomerization unit.
• A 3.1 million-tpy solvent deas-phalting unit.
• A 2. 5 million-tpy slurry hydrocracker.
• A 96-tonne/day PRU, which will
replace an existing 216-tonne/day PRU.
• Two 113,000-tpy hydrogen generation units (226,000 tpy total).
• Two 360-tonne/day sulfur recovery units (720 tonnes/day total, including tail gas treatment).
• A 36,000-tpy fuel gas pressure-swing adsorption unit.
• A 300-tonne/hr nonhydropro-cessing sour-water stripper.
• A 185-tonne/hr hydroprocessing
• Two 540-tonne/hr amine regeneration units (1,080 tonnes/hr total).
• A 112,000-tpy sulfur recovery
LPG treating unit.
• A 1,000-cu m/hr integrated effluent treatment plant (EFP), which will
replace all existing EFPs at the site.
According to the latest project infor-
mation available from HPCL and gener-
al contractor Engineers India Ltd., ma-
jor processing units at the refinery are
scheduled for revamp as follows:
• A 30% capacity expansion of the
naphtha hydrotreater in the refinery’s
Motor Spirit (MS) block to 1.5 million
• A 35% capacity expansion of the
continuous catalytic reforming unit in
the MS block to 1.04 million tpy.
• A 30% capacity expansion of the
diesel hydrotreating unit to 2.86 million tpy.
• An upgrade of the naphtha hydrotreater downstream of the refinery’s
fluid catalytic cracker to enable output
of BS V and BS VI-grade (equivalent to
Euro 5 and Euro 6-quality) fuels.
Downstream Technology Editor
IGP Methanol LLC (IGPM), Houston,
has secured approval from state regulators to build and operate its proposed 7. 2 million-tonne/year Gulf
Coast Methanol Complex (GCMC) on
a 140-acre parcel adjacent to the Mississippi River near Myrtle Grove in
Plaquemines Parish, La.
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) issued
a Title V air-quality operating permit
for the grassroots complex on Jan. 4,
To be developed in four phases, the
GCMC, once completed, will include
four identical methanol trains, each
capable of producing 1.8 million tpy of
methanol from natural gas using proprietary methanol-conversion technology licensed by Haldor Topsoe AS, the
IGPM—which, alongside selection
of technology and engineering providers, also has selected project partners
for natural gas supply, gas transportation, oxygen and nitrogen supply, as
well as storage and loading—
additionally will build common services infrastructure for the complex.
GCMC is scheduled to begin production in late 2020, IGPM said.
Once in operation, GCMC will produce refined methanol from gas, water, and oxygen, which will be sent to
dedicated tanks and transferred to associated marine vessel-loading facilities for export.
As part of the project, IGPM will
install a product-loading system at the
existing dock with a vapor-recovery
system to recycle product back to the
complex to reduce emissions and provide best-in-class safety, according to
IGPM’s web site.