Williams, the worlds only processor of oil sands
upgrader offgas, has approved the construction of a propane
dehydrogenation (PDH) facility in Alberta, Canada.
The new PDH facility, the first and only one in Canada, will
allow Williams to significantly increase production of
polymer-grade propylene (PGP) from its Canadian operations.
Williams is the only company in Canada currently producing
The PDH facility will have the capability to initially
produce up to 1.1 billion pounds (500 kilotonnes) per year of
polymer-grade propylene, with the opportunity to double
capacity with a future expansion.
The company estimates capital expenditures of up to $900
million to be funded with expected cash flow from its Canadian
operation and international cash on hand. Pending appropriate
permitting approvals, the PDH facility is scheduled to go into
service in the second quarter of 2016.
Williams has selected Honeywells UOP as the vendor to
provide the UOP Oleflex process technology for the dehydrogenation
process. The technology uses a platinum-based
catalyst system, as well as less energy and water than
competing PDH technologies.
Williams' PDH facility will be sited in close proximity to
its existing Redwater fractionation plant near Edmonton,
Williams plans to primarily use propane recovered from its
expanding oil sands offgas processing operations, along with
local propane purchases, as feedstock for the new PDH
The company will convert the propane into higher-value
propylene that will be transported to the US Gulf Coast and
sold to petrochemical producers. The
associated hydrogen byproduct will be sold in the Alberta
market. Williams is also exploring the development of new
propylene markets for its production in Alberta.
The Redwater complex includes fractionation, storage and
distribution facilities and is currently being
expanded to produce approximately 5 million barrels of propane
and 280 million pounds of PGP annually from offgas, in addition
to other NGLs and olefins.
The addition of the new PDH facility will significantly
increase Williams production of polymer-grade propylene.
The company expects the new facility to produce one of the
lowest-cost, PDH-sourced propylene feedstocks in North America.