Williams taps UOP process for Canada PDH unit

Honeywell's UOP announced Tuesday that its C3 Oleflex process technology has been selected by Williams to produce propylene, a valuable petrochemical used in plastics production.

The selection is the sixth win for Honeywell’s UOP Oleflex process technology in North America, as petrochemical producers move to produce propylene from propane found in natural gas.

“Demand for propylene has continued to grow globally, but supply has not kept pace because of production shifts within the petrochemical industry,” said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of UOP's process technology and equipment business unit.

“The UOP Oleflex process has lower greenhouse gas emissions, low water usage and a highly efficient, platinum-based catalyst system. UOP’s technology continues to be the superior choice for customers seeking to boost propylene production.”

Williams’ propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility, to be located in Alberta, Canada, will convert propane recovered from oil sands off gas into polymer-grade propylene. The PDH facility will be the first in Canada and will have a capacity of approximately 1 billion lb/year.

Compared with competing processes, Honeywell says its UOP C3 Oleflex technology provides the lowest cash cost of production, the highest return on investment and the smallest environmental footprint.

The superior performance is characterized by low capital cost, high propylene yields, low energy and water consumption, and use of a fully recyclable platinum alumina-based catalyst system, according to the company.

Since the Oleflex technology was commercialized in 1990, UOP has commissioned nine C3 Oleflex units for on-purpose propylene production and six C4 Oleflex units, four of which are in North America, for on-purpose isobutylene production.

Since the beginning of 2011, UOP has announced 10 new C3 Oleflex process units and three new C4 Oleflex process units across China, Abu Dhabi and North America. It also announced China’s first combined C3/C4 Oleflex unit, which is expected to start up in 2014.

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