ThyssenKrupp Tapped for Formosa’s Texas PDH Plant

ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions has been chosen by Formosa Plastics to supply the Steam Active Reforming (STAR) process developed by its predecessor Uhde for a 545,000 t/y propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant the Taiwan-based plastics manufacturer plans to bring on stream at Point Comfort, Texas, USA, in 2016.

The contract awarded to the German engineering firm includes licensing, basic engineering, detail engineering for the key equipment, delivery of the catalyst and technical support during the entire project execution.

According to ThyssenKrupp, the flexible STAR process "significantly reduces investment, operating and maintenance costs."

Hans-Theo Kühr, CEO of the company's Process Technologies business unit, said the contractor is "confident" that it can continue to profit from the US shale gas boom. The PDH project follows "several contracts for major fertilizer plants using shale-derived feedstock.

The shale gas bonanza is expected to spawn a number of PDH plants in the US, with lone producer Petrologistics, recently acquired by Flint Hills Resources, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, gaining competitors. Alongside Formosa, Dow Chemical is planning to build two such facilities.

Formosa's Point Comfort complex additionally will include an 800,000 t/y cracker and a 300,000 t/y LDPE plant running on light feed.

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