McDermott Buys Siluria Technologies
US engineering contractor McDermott International has acquired the assets and intellectual property of Siluria Technologies for an undisclosed sum. The transaction, which McDermott announced on Jul. 29 during the presentation of its second-quarter financial results, was completed last month.
McDermott said the acquisition of the California company strengthens its leadership role in process technology by giving it ownership of a proprietary catalytic process that transforms methane into valuable commodity chemicals in an “efficient, scalable manner using processes that can be integrated into existing infrastructure or placed as modules at locations where stranded methane gas is available.” One of these is the oil- and gas-rich Permian basin in the US southwest.
The contractor also gains a commercial demonstration unit, which McDermott said is “operating at a petrochemical facility in Texas.” Siluria started up a methane-to-ethylene demonstration plant in April 2015, co-located at a facility operated by Braskem America in La Porte, Texas. The plant was the final scale-up of Siluria’s oxidative coupling of methanol (OCM) technology.
In June 2018, Siluria signed a multi-plant license deal for its OCM technology with Saudi Aramco Technologies. Under the terms of the contract, Siluria was to integrate its gas-to-olefins technology with Saudi Aramco’s high olefins cracking process technology.
In the results presentation, McDermott voiced optimism about the opportunities ahead. The Houston-headquartered group is forecasting license sales to rise 25% this year versus last and is also predicting roughly $40 billion of potential engineering, procurement and construction pull-through opportunities in the refining and petrochemical markets over the next five years.
“We believe the petrochemical market, in particular, is poised for another wave of investment in the next 12-24 months, with world ethylene capacity expected to increase by more than 40% between 2019 and 2028,” McDermott stated.