Sasol names engineering, technology providers for new ethane cracker

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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