PetroLogistics Plans Second PDH Plant

  • PetroLogistics Plans Second PDH PlantPetroLogistics Plans Second PDH Plant

PetroLogistics II has announced its intention to build a 500,000 t/y propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant on the US Gulf Coast using technology from Dow.

The Houston-based company has licensed Dow’s proprietary fluidized catalytic dehydrogenation (FCDh) technology, which uses a novel reactor design and is expected to have significantly lower capital costs and energy consumption as well as better reliability than conventional PDH processes.

PetroLogistics is currently performing front end engineering design for the facility and has been evaluating two sites on the Gulf Coast. The company did not disclose a timescale for the project.

Both PetroLogistics and Dow have previously built PDH plants in the US, based on conventional technologies. The PetroLogistics plant, the first such facility in North America, started operating in 2010 at the company’s Houston Ship Channel site. Dow started commercial operations at its 750,000 t/y PDH plant in Freeport, Texas, in December 2015. The plant uses Honeywell UOP’s Oleflex technology.

Since its first PDH start-up, PetroLogistics president Nathan Ticatch said US shale gas development has led to a significant decline in propylene output from traditional sources such as refineries and heavy feed ethylene crackers. As a result, future growth in demand for propylene will need to be met largely from on-purpose PDH units. However, he explained, challenges relating to capital costs and the efficiency of incumbent technologies have meant that new PDH projects have been slow to materialize in the US.

“We have been working with Dow for three years in evaluating the FCDh technology and we are confident that it addresses those challenges and represents a significant breakthrough in the PDH process,” Ticatch commented.

PetroLogistics II is a portfolio company of private equity group Quantum Energy Partners, formed in January 2018 to continue the strategy of its predecessor PetroLogistics Company, which merged into Flint Hills Resources in July 2014.

The focus is on acquiring, developing and operating petrochemical manufacturing, processing and logistics assets in North America.

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