MOL Takes Licenses for Polyols Project
Hungarian oil and petrochemicals group MOL Group has signed technology license agreements with German specialty chemicals producer Evonik and engineering contractor Thyssenkrupp, both based at Essen, which will enable it to produce propylene oxide (PO), a feedstock for polyether polyols.
MOL said it intends to become a “significant producer” of the polyols used in automotive, packaging and furniture applications as it diversifies away from oil and gas and positions itself to become a leading chemicals player in central and eastern Europe by 2030. The change of direction was announced in autumn 2016.
The first-phase of the strategy’s implementation foresees investment of around $1.9 billion up to 2021, with the polyols project, consisting of a hydrogen peroxide-to-propylene oxide (HPPO) plant with a PO capacity of 200,000 t/y and several production lines for polyether polyols, accounting for $1 billion.
The agreements with the two German companies concern the purchase of technology licenses and process design packages for the relevant production facilities. Evonik owns the license for hydrogen peroxide, and a consortium of the chemical producer and Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions licenses the propylene oxide part of the process.
MOL said the contracts also contain binding offers and pre-agreements concerning the engineering and execution phases of the planned HPPO complex by Thyssenkrupp and the purchase of proprietary catalysts from Evonik. Along with setting the stage for major investment, it said the deals mark the beginning of a long-term partnership between the three companies.
US engineering contractor Fluor has been named Project Management Consultant (PMC) for the front-end engineering design (FEED) and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phases of the polyols project. MOL said it is in the final stages of selecting the licensor for polyether polyols technology as well as the contractor for the engineering of the utilities and other facilities.