Cepsa Converts San Roque LAB Plant

16.07.2018 -

Spanish energy and chemicals group Cepsa has contracted US technology company Honeywell UOP to convert a linear alkyl benzene (LAB) plant at its refinery in San Roque.

Honeywell UOP will provide catalysts, adsorbents, basic engineering design and other associated services at the complex, where it will convert the hydrofluoric acid (HF) alkylation unit to use Detal-Plus technology.

Cepsa said that when completed in 2020, the project will be the world’s first conversion of an HF alkylation unit to solid bed technology. The upgrade will also raise the plant’s LAB capacity by 50,000 t/y to 250,000 t/y.

“This project allows us to revamp the Puente Mayorga plant at San Roque, so we can enhance its competitiveness, and apply this experience to our other installations around the world,” said Miguel Ángel Calderón, Cepsa’s vice president, technology.

According to Cepsa, which co-developed Detal-Plus with Honeywell UOP, the process is the first solid bed technology with the flexibility to produce LAB for a variety of different detergent formulations. “The Detal-Plus technology is a highly efficient solid bed process for making detergent alkylate,” said John Gugel, president of Honeywell UOP. “It also has the added benefit of being far simpler to operate.”

In separate news, the Illinois-based group said it has been selected by Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (SIDPEC) to supply Oleflex technology for a 500,000 t/y on-purpose propylene plant to be installed in SIDPEC’s refinery in Amerya, near Alexandria, in Egypt.

Gugel said the plant, which will be the first Oleflex unit in Egypt, will allow SIDPEC to take advantage of domestically produced propane to make products such as PP.

UK information service IHS Markit expects demand for PP in Africa, which reached 1.9 million t in 2016, to rise by an additional 1 million t in the next decade as a result of rapid population growth and urbanization. It predicts that demand in Egypt, which is Africa’s top consumer of PP, will grow by more than 5% per year through 2022.