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Sasol names engineering, technology providers for new ethane cracker

07.16.2013  |  HP News

The upcoming project in Westlake, Louisiana, should start up in 2017, with expected production of 1.5 million tpy of ethylene along with several downstream derivative plants.


Sasol is moving ahead on the front-end engineering and design (FEED) of its ethane cracker and derivatives project in Louisiana by making a series of engineering and technology provider appointments .

"We are delighted to be working with these world class contractors and technology partners in executing our project," said Johan du Preez, Sasol executive vice president for US mega-projects.

"The selected companies are leaders in their respective fields and have the technologies, systems and expertise to help us deliver the project on schedule, optimizing our return on investment," he added.

Fluor was named the main FEED contractor for the ethane cracker and derivatives project

Meanwhile, individual engineering services agreements for the development of basic engineering packages were concluded with Toyo Engineering for the linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. for the low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant, and Samsung Engineering America Inc. for the ethylene oxide (EO) and mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) units.

The technologies of Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology, ExxonMobil Chemical Technology Licensing, Univation Technologies and Scientific Design Company were selected for the ethane cracker, LDPE, LLDPE and EO/MEG processes, respectively.

In addition, Sasol said it will use its own proprietary technologies for the tetramerization, Ziegler alcohol and Guerbet alcohol units.

Emerson Process Management, a global business of Emerson, was appointed as the main automation contractor.

Worley Parsons has been contracted to support Sasol's own project execution team as part of an integrated project management team. Sasol said that Worley Parsons systems, tools and local expertise will be used to enhance its own team that is overseeing the project.

Sasol announced in December 2012 that it would begin FEED work for the world-scale ethane cracker and derivatives facility to be located near Westlake, Louisiana.

The current project costs for the ethane cracker are estimated at between $5-$7 billion. It is currently envisioned that the final investment decision for the ethane cracker will be taken in 2014, the company said, with beneficial operation to be achieved in 2017.

The ethane cracker is designed to produce 1.5 million tons per year of ethylene.

"The ethylene produced in the chemical facility will be used to produce a range of high value derivatives in world scale plants," said Andre de Ruyter, senior group executive for global chemicals and North American operations.

"This forms part of Sasol's strategy of building globally competitive downstream facilities and adding value to the already low cost of ethylene production opportunity in North America," he added.

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Christian Nielsen

i am a stock holder in sasol for years, am interested in progress news about the luisiana project. Am a german educated engineer living in USA. Have been involved in international project management worldwide. Be aware of cultural differences in personnel in international projects !

Alex Michinel

Technology selection is not a straight forward issue. It depends on so many factors; one of them if the availability of EPC contractor. Specially in the cracker business where there are only 4 licensors(KBR, Linde, Technip (also taken Shaw) and Lummus), each technology is tied up to one EPC contractor. North American is not a easy arena for EPCs due to the volatility of the labor cost and the foreseen scenarios for the boom that the shale gas is forecasting to cause. Cracker technologies offered by Lummus and Linde will be difficult to be competitive in USA, not because they are inferior but because of the appetite of the licensor to take a EPC contract in USA specially if clients are looking for LSTK.


why Americas are not preferring Linde technology for Ethane crackers? Its better technology.

Dr. Amarjit Bakshi

If used a consultant who has worked with all the contractors and all the technology providers who could be objective and give better prospective in selection. There are not all the not that many consultants who are not tied to their old employers or for some other reason as an agent ( having conflicting interest) but you might find one odd consultants who can be objective and know the internal operation even dealing with any of the contractors what perspective and competence is there. And than come the judgment that some people after 10 or 15 years they have that visionary judgment they can provide to meet Client's other WISE CLIENT"S ARE PREY TO THESE CONTRACTORS AND TECHNOLOGY PROVIDERS>

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