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Union Tech provides rising-stem ball valves for MTO project in China

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Earlier this year, Union Tech was awarded a contract to install Z4 rising-stem ball valves and paired actuators in Nanjing Chengzhi Yongqing Energy Technology’s 600 kilotonnes per annum methanol-to-olefins (MTO) project by Wison Energy Engineering, the EPC for the project.

The project, which converts methanol from coal and other sources into olefins that are the essential ingredients for plastic production licenses Honeywell UOP’s MTO technology.

MTO is a recently developed process technology that converts methanol to olefins (ethylene, propylene, and/or butylene). The ability to convert methanol from different raw materials into olefins diversifies the requisite feedstocks to yield olefins. This technology enables regions rich in coal but potentially lacking in oil feedstocks to economically produce olefins.

Union Tech’s Z4 rising-stem ball valves will be used throughout the processing units with the mixed olefins produced by the MTO reactors as the media. The process itself presents several challenges to traditional valves:

  • Substantial variations in temperature and pressure
  • Media contains particulates which presents corrosion and erosion risks
  • Frequent cycling operation

The Z4 rising-stem ball valve was ultimately selected for this process as it was specifically engineered for these types of applications.

Z4 rising-stem ball valves employ a tilt-and-turn design enabling frequent cycling, zero-leakage, and low torque operation; these types of valves are often used in high performance applications requiring frequent cycling with positive shutoff operation, such as in gas processing plants using molecular sieve systems for switching service, pipelines, and gas transmission.

The contract spanned a wide range in valve sizes, from 1.5 in. up to 10 in. Union Tech manufactured both the valves and matching linear pneumatic actuators. Final inspections were conducted and passed in August 2018 at Union Tech’s Houston, Texas, facilities, and the valves were subsequently shipped to the Chengzhi Yongqing MTO plant.

“Performance and delivery were key factors for this contract – we were able to manufacture and ship the valves and actuators within 24 weeks, which can be an aggressive timeframe for rising-stem ball valves. This accomplishment is a testament of Union Tech’s organization and capabilities,” commented Robert Hsia, Union Tech’s Vice President.

Chengzhi Yongqing’s MTO unit – which will be the operator’s second at the site – is scheduled for startup in 2019.

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