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12.01.2011  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [compressors] [petrochemicals] [refining] [plastics] [steam cracker] [olefins] [licensing. alkylation] [polymers]

MAN Diesel & Turbo has an order for 24 compressor units for an integrated chemical complex in Chongqing, China. The order size is about €50 million. Designed as a combined plant, the chemical complex will be involved in the large-scale production of industrial gases and chemical raw materials for further processing, e.g., to produce plastics such as polyurethanes and PVC. MAN will deliver the process gas screw compressor units. The total capital investment is over €4 billion.

Thanks to their robust and low-maintenance design, screw compressors are increasingly being used in the chemical and petrochemical industries, as here in this process for manufacturing acetylene from natural gas. The acetylene produced is the base product for all downstream production facilities of the combined plant.

The design and manufacture will be undertaken in the Oberhausen works of MAN Diesel & Turbo, and part of the units will be assembled at MAN’s Changzhou site in China. The delivery period is between 14 months and 24 months.

SCG-Dow Group, a joint venture between The Dow Chemical Co. and SCG, has ramped up the new propylene oxide (PO) facility in Thailand to stable production levels in preparation for the full capacity run scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011. The world-scale plant, located within the Asia Industrial Estates (AIE) site near Map Ta Phut, Thailand, will have a name-plate capacity of 390 kiloton/yr of PO via the innovative hydrogen peroxide to propylene oxide (HPPO) technology jointly developed by Dow and BASF.

In December 2010, Dow announced plans to build a propylene glycol (PG) plant at the Map Ta Phut, Thailand, site, with a production capacity of 150 kiloton/yr. The PG plant is in the design process, and will use this environmentally advantaged PO from the new HPPO plant. It will reportedly be the largest PG plant in the Pacific area.

The AIE site also features a specialty elastomers plant, which announced startup earlier this year, along with power utilities and infrastructure and a new liquids cracker, also jointly owned by SCG and Dow.

The first production facilities in BASF-YPC Co., Ltd.’s $1.4 billion expansion are now operating. Along with the successful completion of the steam cracker expansion, the newly constructed butadiene extraction plant and the non-ionic surfactants plant are now operational.

These plants are part of a $1.4 billion investment project that broke ground in September 2009. The project includes the expansion of the existing steam cracker, from 600,000 tpy to 740,000 tpy of ethylene; expansion of three existing plants; and construction of 10 new plants. The bulk of the remaining plants are expected to come onstream around the end of 2011.

The non-ionic surfactants plant is part of an integrated ethylene oxide derivatives value chain, which will also include a new amines complex. Also, a superabsorbent polymers (SAP) plant will be constructed as part of the ongoing expansion project.

BASF and SINOPEC also signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2010 to jointly explore the further expansion of BASF-YPC. The new projects under consideration will extend the C3 and C4 value chains, including the construction of a new acrylic acid facility with a capacity of 160,000 tpy, a new butyl acrylate plant, as well as capacity increases at the 2-propyl-heptanol, styrene monomer and non-ionic surfactants plants. A new world-scale hydrogen peroxide/propylene oxide (HPPO) facility is also included in the new investments under consideration, which collectively total approximately $1 billion.

CB&I has announced that Lummus Technology has been awarded a contract by China Coal Shaanxi Yulin Energy & Chemical Co. Ltd. for the license and engineering design of two light-olefins recovery units. The plants will be located in Yulin, Shaanxi Province, China. The first unit is expected to start up in 2013.

The recovery units, which use breakthrough technology to recover olefins (ethylene and propylene) produced from methanol feed, are each expected to yield 300,000 metric tpy of polymer-grade ethylene and 300,000 metric tpy of polymer-grade propylene.

In addition, the Olefins Conversion Technology (OCT) from Lummus Technology was selected to upgrade the byproduct produced by the light-olefins recovery units into an additional 165,000 metric tpy of polymer-grade propylene.

CB&I has announced that Lummus Technology has been awarded a contract by Ningbo Haiyue New Material Co. Ltd. for the license and engineering design of a grassroots sulfuric-acid alkylation unit to be built near Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, China. The unit, which is scheduled to start up at the end of 2013, will use the CDAlky advanced low-temperature sulfuric-acid alkylation process to produce 600,000 metric tpy of alkylate. Alkylate is a low-sulfur, high-octane gasoline additive used to produce cleaner-burning automotive fuels.

KBR has a license and process design package contract for a new olefins production unit using the Advanced Catalytic Olefins (ACO) technology. This award represents the first license using this innovative technology, which catalytically cracks naphtha and other straight-run feeds to produce olefins yields that are said to surpass those available from traditional steam-cracking technology.

Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Yanan Energy and Chemical Co., Ltd., will construct and operate the plant, which will be constructed in Luoyang Village, Fucheng Town, Fu County, Shaanxi Province, China. The ACO converter will have a capacity of approximately 200 kiloton/yr of olefins (ethylene plus propylene).

ACO technology is developed jointly by KBR and SK Innovation.

INEOS Technologies has licensed its Innovene PP process to the Sinopec Maoming Co., through Sinopec’s international business window—Sinopec International Co., Ltd.—for manufacturing polypropylene homopolymers, random copolymers and impact copolymers. The 200 kiloton/yr plant will be located in Maoming City, Guangdong Province, China. It is the fourth PP license signed by INEOS Technologies in China this year.

Sinopec is reportedly the largest polypropylene producer in China, and it produces a range of premium and specialty products using the Innovene PP platform. The Maoming PP plant, due to start up in 2013, will bring Sinopec’s total capacity based on INEOS Technologies’ Innovene PP process to 1.2 million tons of polypropylene.

S-OIL has inaugurated the expansion of the Onsan refinery in Ulju County, Ulsan, South Korea. The company invested 1.3 trillion Won in the Onsan Refinery Expansion Project, with the vision of securing an engine for future growth. S-OIL’s production capacity of PX (raw material for polyester) and benzene is 1,700,000 tpy and 560,000 tpy each, which is almost double the refiner’s original production capacity.

Commercial operation of what is said to be the world’s largest single-train PX plant and its inauguration reportedly set a new landmark in both taking the Korean petrochemical industry’s global status and competitiveness to a higher level, and in further vitalizing bilateral economic cooperation and exchanges in the private sector, based on promoting mutual benefits between Saudi Aramco and Hanjin Group as majority shareholders of S-OIL. HP

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