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Oriental Energy starts propylene production

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Honeywell has announced that Ningbo Fortune Petrochemical Co. Ltd. and Zhangjiagang Yangzi River Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (YRPC), both subsidiaries of Oriental Energy Co. Ltd., each are producing 600 000 tpy of on-purpose propylene from propane with Honeywell UOP's C3 OleflexTM process technology. YRPC, located in Zhangjiagang in China's Jiangsu Province, and Ningbo Fortune, in Ningbo City in Zhejiang Province, are the fourth and fifth Chinese companies to commercialise Honeywell UOP's process. Global production capacity of propylene from Oleflex technology now stands at approximately 6.8 million tpy.

"The demand for domestically produced on-purpose propylene continues to be very strong in China due to the increasing demand for polypropylene and other downstream chemical and plastic products," said John Gugel, vice president and general manager of Honeywell UOP's Process Technology and Equipment business. "Through its integrated supply chain position, Oriental Energy derives exceptional value from Oleflex technology."

Until recently, 70% of the world's propylene was produced as a byproduct of making ethylene from petroleum. However, the increased use of ethane as a source of ethylene produces almost no propylene. The resulting propylene supply gap has necessitated the production of on-purpose propylene from propane dehydrogenation technologies such as the Oleflex process. Demand for propylene in China, which consumes more than 15% of the world's propylene, is growing more than 4%/y, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Honeywell UOP's C3 Oleflex technology uses catalytic dehydrogenation to convert propane to propylene and is proven to have the lowest cash cost of production and the highest return on investment among competing technologies. Its low energy consumption, low emissions, and fully recyclable, platinum-alumina-based catalyst system minimises its impact on the environment. The independent reaction and regeneration systems allow continuous use of catalysts for steady-state operations, which improves operating flexibility, on-stream factor and reliability.

In addition to licensing technology from Honeywell UOP, YRPC and Ningbo Fortune are using catalysts and adsorbents for their Oleflex units that are made at Honeywell's manufacturing site located in Zhangjiagang City. Honeywell UOP also provided the engineering design, equipment, staff training and technical service for both projects.

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