SIBUR to build methanol separating unit in Russia

SIBUR has started the construction of unit for separating methanol from propane fraction at Tobolsk-Neftekhim, the Russian-based petrochemicals group said on Thursday.

Low methanol content is a requirement of many consumers. The new unit will be the next step in SIBUR’s ongoing goal to lower the content of methanol in the propane fraction, this time in a range not exceeding 50 parts per million, according to the company. 

At the beginning of 2011, Tobolsk-Neftekhim launched a new purification unit lowering methanol content to a level of less than 0.1%. In January 2012 another project was completed, lowering methanol content to a summer percentage of 0.015% and winter percentage of 0.035%.

The new propane gas purification unit will have a projected capacity of up to 2.1 million tpy. The project documentation was developed by SIBUR’s engineering centre NIPIgazpererabotka.

The project is based on SIBUR’s proprietary simultaneous propane stream separation and dehydration technology. The environmental impact will be minimized through a closed-cycle operation with excess methanol sent to a plant synthesising MTBE fuel additive, while excess water will be recycled, according to company officials.

The project documentation was approved by the Government Expert Review Board (Glavgosexpertiza). The construction site has been prepared and orders for long-lead equipment have been placed.

The construction works have entered the preparation stage and are scheduled for completion in 2014.

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