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May 16, 2013

UOP’s C3 Oleflex process selected for propylene plant in the U.S. Gulf Coast

Gerald Ondrey

UOP LLC (Des Plaines, Ill.; www.uop.com), a Honeywell company, has been selected to provide technology for the world’s largest on-purpose propylene production facility, located on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Ascend Performance Materials Operations LLC will use UOP’s C3 Oleflex process technology to convert propane to propylene, a key ingredient in the production of materials such as nylon, films and packaging.

Petrochemical makers are installing additional propylene capacity to meet growing demand and to make up for the shortage of propylene production from traditional refining and petrochemical sources. The Ascend project is the 14th Oleflex project UOP has announced since the beginning of 2011, and the company’s seventh Oleflex project in North America since the technology was developed. The combined Oleflex projects announced since 2011 will help increase propylene production by nearly 7 million metric tons (m.t.) globally in the next three years.

“Global propylene demand is growing at about 4-5%/yr. The U.S. is seeing an increase in on-purpose propylene production because of the abundance of low-cost propane from shale gas,” said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business unit. “Compared with competing propane dehydrogenation processes, UOP Oleflex technology provides the lowest cash cost of production, the highest return on investment and the smallest environmental footprint.”

Ascend will install the Oleflex technology at a facility on the U.S. Gulf Coast to produce more than 1-million m.t./yr of propylene beginning in 2015. In addition to technology licensing, UOP will supply engineering design, catalysts, adsorbents and selected equipment for the project.

“As Ascend continues to take the steps necessary for the development of a propane dehydrogenation plant, one of our most important decisions is the choice of technology,” says Tim Strehl, president, Ascend Performance Materials Operations. “We believe Honeywell’s UOP process technology will provide us with the best production advantage, and we look forward to our partnership with them.”

Ascend is a global leader in proprietary technologies that are essential to the production of nylon, plastics and synthetic fibers found in commercial and industrial products. Ascend has offices throughout the world and five manufacturing facilities in the U.S.

Honeywell’s UOP C3 Oleflex process is a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) process to convert propane to propylene. The majority of the operating and licensed PDH units in the world utilize the Oleflex process. Since the Oleflex technology was commercialized in 1990, Honeywell’s UOP has commissioned nine C3 Oleflex units for on-purpose propylene production and six C4 Oleflex units for on-purpose isobutylene production.

Since 2011, Honeywell’s UOP has announced 13 new Oleflex units across China, Abu Dhabi and North America, including China’s first combined C3/C4 Oleflex unit and the first two C4 Oleflex units.

 

 

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