UOP opens gas processing membrane production center in Malaysia

UOP has opened a manufacturing and operations center in Penang, Malaysia, to produce natural gas membrane elements to support the growing natural gas market, the company announced Thursday.

UOP, a Honeywell company, says its Separex membrane systems remove impurities from natural gas streams.

Removing impurities is necessary before the gas can be used as fuel, as a source for petrochemicals or distributed by pipeline.

"The new manufacturing and operations center in Malaysia will strengthen UOP''s position to meet demand as natural gas becomes a larger part of the world''s energy equation," said Rajeev Gautam, CEO of Honeywell''s UOP.

"This facility will expand our membrane manufacturing capabilities and increase our presence in the region."

Natural gas is the world''s fastest-growing fossil fuel, with consumption expected to reach 160 trillion cubic feet by 2035.

Nearly 35% of the world''s demand growth for natural gas during that time will come from Asia, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Separex membrane systems are delivered as modular, skid-mounted units. Depending on the application, these systems require lower capital and operating costs, and consume less energy than competing processes, according to the company.

The modular construction operates on a smaller footprint, allowing easier installation on off-shore applications, such as floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels, and remote locations, UOP says.

Last year, UOP formed a new gas processing and hydrogen business unit to increase its focus on developing technology, equipment and adsorbents, as well as the design and execution of projects for global natural gas and hydrogen customers.

In addition to Malaysia, UOP has membrane system, and other gas processing technology design centers, in Des Plaines, Ill., and Antwerp, Belgium. Other membrane manufacturing sites include Anaheim, Calif., and Littleton, Colo., in the US.

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