Hungary: Naphta Conversion Mol Group Announces Cooperation with Inovacat

Editor: Alexander Stark

Mol Group entered into a strategic partnership with Inovacat, a Dutch technology innovator in the refining and petrochemical industries. The cooperation is expected to further upscale and commercialize the partners Gasolfin technology that converts naphtha into propylene, butylene and BTX (benzene, toluene, and xylene).

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Mol Group's Danube refinery
Mol Group's Danube refinery
(Source: Mol Group)

Budapest/Hungary — The cooperation is also intended to support the Hungarian company’s strategic objective to become a leading chemical company in Central Eastern Europe.

The Group will support the next stages of the development program of the Dutch company and will investigate different options for the implementation of Gasolfin in its production facilities. This patented technology delivers propylene yields up to 45 % depending on feedstock, can convert any light straight run naphtha including pentanes and is fully flexible on product output without a catalyst change-over. It is also at least 30 % more energy efficient than comparable conventional processes, with CO2 emissions being at least 25 % lower.

According to David Pullan, VP Group Downstream Technology & Development, a main challenge of the Mol 2030 Strategy was to increase production of value added products, while reducing the production of fuels over the next 15 years. Therefore the company is investigating technical solutions to develop their existing refining and petrochemical asset base. The new technology is to enable Mol to convert their lower-value naphtha into propylene, butylene and BTX in a flexible and capital-efficient way, said Niels van Buuren, CEO Inovacat.

As Mol Group’s 2030 transformational strategy aims to diversify the company away from fossil-based motor fuels, it is continuously looking for new innovative technologies that increase the flexibility and strengthen its footprint in the petrochemicals business. By 2030, the group plans to increase its non-fuel production in refining from the current 30 % to 50 % of total output, which will be done mostly through increasing feedstock transfer to chemicals. In order to reach its strategic goals, Mol plans to invest around $ 4.5 billion into its petrochemical segment by 2030, focusing mainly on the extension of the propylene value chain in the next five years.