Enterprise Picks Honeywell UOP’s Oleflex Process

27.02.2017 -

US energy group Enterprise Products Operating has selected Honeywell UOP’s C4 Oleflex technology for a new isobutylene plant to be built in Mont Belvieu, Texas, USA. The Illinois-headquartered contractor will also supply a modular Continuous Catalyst Regeneration (CCR) unit. Financial details of the contract were not revealed.

As well as licensing its technology, Honeywell UOP will provide basic engineering design, control systems, catalysts and adsorbents for the plant, which will produce 425,000 t/y of the olefin that is used to make high-octane fuel and high-performance synthetic rubbers and acrylics.  A start-up date was not given.

“High demand from automotive, industrial machinery and construction applications are expected to drive growth in lubricant production and, at the same time, demand for high-octane fuel is rising as auto manufacturers build more engines that meet higher fuel economy standards,” said Mike Millard, vice president and general manager of Honeywell UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business.

The C4 Oleflex process uses catalytic dehydrogenation to convert isobutene into isobutylene and is proven to have the lowest cash cost of production and the highest return on investments versus its competitors, Honeywell UOP said.

A critical part of the Oleflex unit, the CCR section, will be delivered to Enterprise as a modular unit, which allows faster start-up and easier operation than systems built on site owing to its common parts and standardized training and procedures. Oleflex technology has been selected for 39 projects by 46 producers worldwide since 2011, the company said. Five more units are expected to start up later this year in the Middle East and China.

In separate news, China’s Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical has started up its UOP Advanced methanol-to-olefins (MTO) unit following a 10-day test period. The 833,000 t/y facility in Lianyungang City, Jiangsu Province, produces ethylene, propylene and butadiene and is said to be the largest single-train MTO plant in the world.

Annual demand in China is growing at 7% for propylene, nearly 6% for ethylene and almost 4% for butadiene, said Millard, adding that Honeywell UOP expects the country to invest more than $100 billion in coal-to-chemicals technology in the next five years.

Last November, China’s Jilin Connell Chemical Industry became the ninth company worldwide to license UOP’s Advanced MTO process for a plant in Jilin City. The 300,000 t/y facility is due to go on stream sometime this year.