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North America

02.01.2011  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [ethane cracking] [IGCC process] [FEED] [LPG] [chlor-alkali]

The Dow Chemical Co. plans to increase ethane-cracking capabilities on the US Gulf Coast over the next two to three years, and improve these capabilities by 20%–30% in this timeframe. In addition, Dow is also reviewing joint-venture options for building a natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionator to secure this ethane supply.

Both actions are intended to capitalize on the favorable supply dynamics in North America, and further bolster the competitive advantage of Dow’s plastics franchise, as well as its high-margin, downstream performance businesses.

Alfa Laval has received an order for its Packinox heat exchangers to be used in what is said to be the world’s first full-scale integrated-gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) process for power generation with carbon capture, which will be placed in the US. The order value is about SEK 80 million and delivery is scheduled for 2012.

The heat exchangers will be used in a gas-treatment process of an IGCC power-generation plant. The project has received funding from the US Department of Energy and will, when finalized, include a state-of-the-art gasification facility with a capacity of more than 500 MW and an integrated carbon-capture facility.

Medicine Bow Fuel & Power LLC has awarded Aker Solutions the front-end engineering and design (FEED) package for its industrial gasification and liquefaction plant located near the town of Medicine Bow, Wyoming. Aker Solutions successfully completed a pre-FEED study for the project in July 2010. Since then, Aker Solutions has worked under a letter of intent to provide services relating to design review and licensor support, as well as additional pre-EPC engineering and design.

The facility will produce liquid transport fuels and is due to come online in 2015. When complete, the plant will convert coal into up to 21,000 bpd of gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) liquid fuels.

The Dow Chemical Co. has announced that Dow and Mitsui & Co., Ltd., of Tokyo, Japan, have completed the formation of a previously announced 50/50 manufacturing joint venture to construct, own and operate a new membrane chlor-alkali facility located at Dow’s Freeport, Texas, integrated manufacturing complex.

The new chlor-alkali facility is expected to begin operations in mid-2013, and will have a capacity of approximately 800 kilotons/yr. The new plant will create approximately 50 long-term jobs at the Freeport location, along with approximately 500 construction jobs.  HP

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