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South America

01.01.2012  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [FPSO] [natural gas] [refinery] [wet sulfuric acid] [flue gas]

MODEC, Inc., has commissioned a UOP Separex membrane system for processing natural gas on a new floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. The FPSO is using the Honeywell UOP Separex membrane system and adsorbents to remove carbon dioxide and water from 5 million standard m3/day of natural gas from the Lula oil field off the coast of Brazil.

The FPSO was commissioned in July 2011. A second FPSO, still in construction and also using UOP Separex technology, is expected to be commissioned in September 2012.

The Lula oil field is said to contain the largest oil discovery in the Western Hemisphere in the last 30 years and is believed to contain 8.3 billion bbl of oil and natural gas. The field is operated by Petrobras in partnership with BG and Galp.

Honeywell’s UOP Separex technology upgrades natural gas streams by removing carbon dioxide and water vapor. These contaminants must be removed to meet the quality standards specified by pipeline transmission and distribution companies, as well as end users of the natural gas.


Haldor Topsøe has signed an agreement with Petrobras for the supply of critical equipment and materials for two SNOX plants. The plants will be installed at the new RNEST grassroots refinery in Pernambuco, Brazil. The supply covers internals for 80 wet-gas sulfuric-acid (WSA) condensers for condensation of sulfuric acid, eight units for acid mist control and a complete acid system.

In addition to treating the boiler flue gases, the SNOX plants will also treat Claus plant tail gases, amine gases containing hydrogen sulfide and sour-water stripper (SWS) gases containing ammonia. These SNOX plants are designed for the possible elimination of the Claus plants, which then means that all the refinery’s sulfur compounds are converted into sulfuric acid.

The two SNOX plants will be installed in parallel and will each treat up to 650,000 Nm3/h of flue gas while producing up to 750 metric tpd of sulfuric acid. In addition to producing sulfuric acid, the SNOX plants will also export up to 100 ton/hour of high-pressure steam to the refinery steam grid.

The contract for basic engineering was signed with Petrobras earlier and has already been executed. The supply of equipment will take place during the coming 16 months, and startup of the SNOX plants is planned for 2013.  HP



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