April 2008

Special Report: Petrochemical Developments

Mega-olefin plant design: Reality now

Bigger is better, when planning future ethylene processing capacity

Bowen, C. P., Jones, D. F., Shaw Energy & Chemicals

The olefin industry continues to expand and upgrade its capacity and equipment. Present olefin-plant capacities, investment costs, equipment delivery schedules and construction timetables represent many of the industry's major challenges. These concerns were true in the late 1990s when the largest cracking furnaces (ethane and naphtha types) were constructed, and when the largest total plant capacities approached 1,500,000 tpy (1.5 MMtpy). As current projects, prices and participants have extended plant sizes and upstream/downstream links, these challenges must be addressed in conjunction with key equipment manufacturers. Ongoing design of key equipment corresponds to respective nominal na

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