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Royal Dutch Shell

Nigeria oil spills: Shell rejects liability claim


BBC

October 11, 2012

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has rejected claims by four Nigerian farmers that it should pay compensation for damage to their land.

The farmers are suing the company in a civil court in The Hague, claiming oil spills ruined their livelihoods. Shell‘s lawyers told the court it could not be held liable because most spills were caused by criminal damage.

They said repairs were hard to carry out because of insecurity in the Niger Delta. Shell lawyer Jan de Bie Leuveling Tjeenk told the court that sabotage and oil theft were widespread in the region.

The case is being brought against Shell by the farmers and the Dutch arm of the environmental group Friends of the Earth. It is the first time a Dutch multinational has been taken to a civil court in the Netherlands in connection with damage caused abroad. The case is linked to spills in Goi, Ogoniland; Oruma in Bayelsa State and a third in Ikot Ada Udo, Akwa Ibom State.

‘Sabotage’

Earlier, Channa Samkalden, lawyer for the Nigerians, told the court that Shell had failed to maintain its pipelines, clean up leaks and prevent pollution. “Shell knew for a long time that the pipeline was damaged but didn’t do anything. They could have stopped the leaks,” she said. Judges are now considering the evidence and a ruling is expected early next year…Read more.

South Africa: Texan contractor to construct tetramerisation plant


Engineering News

October 21, 2011

Texas-based engineering, procurement and construction management company S&B Engineers & Constructors has been awarded a contract by South African energy and chemicals group Sasol to construct its ethylene tetramerisation plant at Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The plant will use Sasol’s proprietary technology to convert ethylene to 1-octene and 1-hexene. This unique process was developed in Sasol’s South Africa-based research and development laboratories, and selectively produces alpha olefins required for the high-growth polymer markets.

Engineers and scientists from Sasol North America worked with an international team to design the unit, which will use the new technology on an industrial manufacturing scale.

“We are committed to providing Sasol and the local community with a safe working environment and a world-class project,” says S&B Engineers & Constructors presidentJames Slaughter Jr.

Sasol senior group executive for operations André de Ruyter reports that the project is targeted for start-up in mid-2013, and will produce 100 000 t/y of combined 1-octene and 1-hexene.

With current production of over 350 000 t/y, Sasol is a major producer of comonomer range alpha olefins. The higher olefins 1-octene and 1-hexene are used as comonomers in the manufacture of linear low-density polyethylene, high-density poly- ethylene and elastomers.

Further, the products impart elasticity and strength to plastic used in consumer products such as food packaging, bags, toys, automotive interiors and power cable coatings.

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