Plant Watch Top 10 Engineering Projects of April 2022
PROCESS Worldwide brings to you the ‘Top 10 plant engineering projects of April 2022’ from all over the world. Right from Southeast Asia’s first green e-methanol plant to the world’s largest green hydrogen hub in the USA, find out all the projects making headlines here.
Siemens Energy Sets Up New Production Facility for Hydrogen Electrolyzers in Germany
April 06 – Siemens Energy will locate the industrial production of electrolysis modules in Berlin and is thus taking the centerpiece of its hydrogen technology to the capital. Start of production at the location Huttenstrasse in Berlin’s Moabit locality is scheduled for 2023. At this site the complete infrastructure of an existing production hall can be used. New production lines for the electrolyzers are being set up on 2,000 square meters at a cost of around 30 million plus dollars.
Today, the site mainly manufactures gas turbines, which are among the most powerful and efficient in the world. These can already be operated with up to 50 percent hydrogen, and by 2030 complete hydrogen operation should be possible. Siemens Energy is now pooling its expertise in both these areas in Berlin to ensure a reliable and successful energy transition to a new energy mix. This also includes the business field of energy transmission: At the Siemens Energy Switchgear Plant Berlin innovative high voltage products are manufactured, ensuring that electricity reaches consumers reliably.
Christian Bruch, President and CEO of Siemens Energy, comments: “With the new production facility for hydrogen electrolyzers, we are reinforcing our claim to play an active role in shaping the energy transition. To this end, we are pooling our knowledge in the field of various energy technologies in Berlin. For us, hydrogen is an important component of the future energy world. For this to be economically viable, the manufacturing costs for electrolyzers must be significantly reduced. With our new production facility, we are helping to make hydrogen competitive sooner.”
At the Berlin location, the individual electrolyzer cells will be manufactured and combined to form functional modules, or ‘stacks.’ Depending on the required capacity, these will then be assembled into larger process-based units. In Germany, this last stage will take place at Mülheim, which is closely associated with the new Berlin plant and complements it perfectly. The critical element is that production is being switched over to mass production: Reasonably priced and affordable electrolyzers are the prerequisite for being able to cover growing demand and the future costs of hydrogen.
For this purpose, Siemens Energy is relying on PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolysis, in which water is separated into hydrogen and oxygen using a proton-permeable membrane and electricity from renewable sources. The key aspects of this process are its high level of efficiency, high product gas quality, and reliable operation with no chemicals or impurities. The latest and most powerful PEM electrolyzer product line from Siemens Energy is optimized for applications up to the high hundreds of megawatts, enabling systems of this size to generate several metric tons of green hydrogen every hour. The electricity used in electrolyzer manufacture will be sourced entirely from renewables.
Southeast Asia to Get its First Green E-Methanol Plant
April 07 – Six leading companies have formed a partnership that aims to establish Asia’s first green e-methanol plant which converts captured biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) into green e-methanol, a low carbon fuel, that could enable a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The pilot plant will be set up in Singapore pending successful conclusion of feasibility studies by the end of 2022.
PTT Exploration and Production Public Company (PTTEP), Air Liquide, YTL Powerseraya, Oiltanking Asia Pacific, Kenoil Marine Services, and A.P. Moller – Maersk have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a ‘Green Methanol Value Chain Collaboration’ which will explore the feasibility of establishing a green e-methanol pilot plant, with a minimum capacity of 50,000 tons per annum (TPA), and will be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.
This MOU marks a pivotal step towards transforming captured biogenic CO2 and green hydrogen produced from renewable electricity into green e-methanol and making this low carbon fuel commercially accessible for the maritime industry.
The collaboration will commence with feasibility studies on technical and economic aspects of the green e-methanol pilot plant which are expected to be completed by the end of 2022. The project has the strong potential to support industry adoption and realization of climate neutrality goals, making a meaningful contribution to the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Ineos Nitriles to Invest in Mega Acetonitrile Production Plant in Germany
April 12 – Ineos Nitriles has recently announced their intention to invest in a world scale Acetonitrile production facility at their key operating site in Köln, Germany. Acetonitrile is a critical chemical in the production of existing pharmaceuticals as well as the development of new drugs such as those used to fight Covid-19. Acetonitrile is also a key component in the important agrochemicals and bioscience sectors.
The substantial investment in the new 15 ktpa facility in Europe aims to enhance the firm’s supply position to its European customer base and support the growth of some of Europe’s most strategically important industry sectors which provide healthcare and nutrition to not only the population of Europe but globally. The new unit will be built with Ineos’ latest process technology and aims to substantially improve the sustainability of its supply to its customers and reduce its environmental impact.
Veolia Launches World's Largest Biorefinery Project in Finland
April 13 – Veolia has launched the world's largest biorefinery project producing CO2-neutral bio-methanol from a pulp mill, located in Finland. The project allows to unlock the potential of this alternative source of feedstock for biofuel that is almost completely unexplored to date.
Developed in close cooperation with Metsä Fibre, the largest cooperative forestry association in Europe, the refinery will be based on Veolia’s innovative industrial scale concept of commercial bioproduct-derived biomethanol production, which safely integrates the refining of crude sulphate methanol into the pulp production process.
The project will contribute to European energy security while supporting the European Green Deal decarbonization ambitions for transportation, as the industrial grade quality CO2-neutral biomethanol represents a new source of sustainable low carbon fuel replacing fossil-based fuels.
The refinery, owned and operated by Veolia, will be adjacent and partly built into Metsä Fibre’s Äänekoski plant in Finland. With an annual production capacity of 12.000 tons, the plant, due to come on stream by 2024, will allow to avoid up to 30.000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. The 50 million euros investment is supported by a grant from the Finnish ministry of economy and employment.
“Our biorefinery project with Metsä Fibre is in line with Veolia’s strategy to develop local energy loops allowing decarbonization and energy sufficiency. It illustrates our capacity to act as an ecological transformation enabler through industrial integration across various sectors to develop scalable and sustainable solutions for locally produced CO2-neutral fuels,” commented Estelle Brachlianoff, COO of Veolia. “The advantage of our industrial concept is that it is replicable at around 80 % of the pulp mills worldwide. It has a potential to unlock an additional, locally generated feedstock of CO2-neutral biomethanol for biofuel that could be estimated at 2 million tons.”
Encina to Invest 1.1-Billion-Dollars for Developing Advanced Recycling Plant
April 13 – Encina recently announced its plans to invest 1.1 billion dollars to build a new manufacturing facility in Point Township, Pennsylvania that would create 300 new full-time jobs. This proposed state-of-the-art facility, named The Point Township Circular Manufacturing Facility, would be the first in the region to use advanced technologies to convert post-consumer materials into feedstock that can be used to manufacture thousands of new products.
“Increasingly, customers are demanding sustainable practices across the product supply chain and life cycle. The feedstocks we manufacture – reduce waste, offset the need to produce virgin materials and help manufacturers achieve carbon neutral goals as we transition to a circular economy. Pennsylvania’s access to markets and skilled workforce presents an ideal opportunity for investment and we’re committed to being an engaged partner as we build long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with the local community and businesses,” said David Roesser, chief executive officer of Encina.
Annually, the Point Township Circular Manufacturing Facility will process 450,000 tons of post-consumer materials, diverting the vast majority from landfills and away from incinerators. This facility would reduce the need to produce new plastic from oil and gas resources, providing circular solutions to customers committed to reducing their impact on the environment to build a circular economy.
Construction is expected to begin in fall 2022, and the facility is expected to be fully operational by fall 2024.
World’s First Large-Scale Green Gasoline Plant to be Developed Soon
April 21 – Modular Plant Solutions (MPS) has recently announced its contract to support Arbor Renewable Gas in the construction of the first-of-its-kind modularized green gasoline plant. The Spindletop Plant, located in Beaumont, Texas, will convert woody biomass in the form of pre-commercial thinnings and forest residue into market-ready, ‘drop-in,’ negative carbon green gasoline, helping meet a growing demand for low-carbon intensity fuels.
MPS will not only provide its Methanol-To-Go modular plant for the project, but it will also project manage the engineering and technology partners for the entire plant, from procurement and construction to operation. MPS’ modularization process and patent-pending ISO frame-based modular design for the plant will streamline transportation of plant components, making it easier to assemble and minimizing construction issues.
“Being part of the production of this innovative modular green gasoline plant is a pivotal moment for the future of renewable fuel in the U.S. and for our company, especially as world events are putting a spotlight on fuel supplies,” said Russell Hillenburg, president and co-founder of MPS. “The way we’ve designed our Methanol-To-Go modular plant allows customers to modify the feedstock for methanol production based on the resources they have on hand.”
The Arbor Renewable Gas plant components include front-end gasification technology using woody biomass as a feedstock, followed by MPS’ Methanol-To-Go plant to convert syngas to methanol using Haldor Topsoe’s methanol synthesis technology. The last stage of production employs Haldor Topsoe’s Tigas gasoline synthesis technology, resulting in an output of ‘drop-in’ renewable biofuel that meets the stringent quality specifications for California fuels, as well as the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, adopted by states such as California, with Oregon, the European Union and British Columbia following similar standards.
The plant for Arbor Renewable Gas’ Spindletop project will use woody biomass as feedstock, converted via gasification to synthesis gas.
World’s First Fully Automated Electrolyzer Production Facility be to Launched in Norway
April 22 – With the official launch of the world’s first fully automated electrolyzer production facility, Nel is near to making green hydrogen a true winner. Green renewable hydrogen currently makes up just one percent of the world’s total industrial and mobility hydrogen consumption. But Nel’s pioneering new plant at Herøya, which is officially opened, is at the forefront of the race to turn one into one hundred. In addition, falling cost of green hydrogen will unlock new application areas where green hydrogen is the best or only option for decarbonizing.
The secret is scale-up and automation, which is lowering the unit cost of electrode production like never before. Nel is on track to make green renewable hydrogen as cheap, or cheaper, to produce than natural-gas-based hydrogen by 2025. Nel is reiterating its goal of delivering green hydrogen at 1.5 dollars/kg, and to achieve this capex must be reduced to a quarter of today’s level.
“Half of the savings we need to make will come from scale-up and increased efficiency in production. The rest will come from the economy of scale, and from effective industrial partnerships,” says Jon André Løkke, Nel’s CEO.
“At Herøya we are producing the best alkaline electrolyzers in the world. The next step would be to industrialize our PEM technology in the US in a similar way,” says Løkke, adding that Nel is also investing a lot of capital in the development of concepts as large as 800 MW and beyond based on 20, 100, 200 MW building blocks.
“Our large-scale concepts allow us to optimize the overall capex and realize synergies to reduce cost,” says Løkke. “Nel’s new factory at Herøya is a step in the right direction towards a future without emissions. In a growing hydrogen market, even more electrolyzers are needed, and it will be a sign of quality that the electrolyzers are marked ‘Made in Norway’,” says Terje Lien Aasland, Minister of Energy and Petroleum. “Norway has competitive and competent industrial environments that can contribute to hydrogen development. Not least at Herøya.”
This pioneering new plant at Herøya currently has 500 MW of production capacity. With further investment, this figure can rise to 2 GW, a sizeable portion of the 10 GW of capacity Nel is targeting to reach within 2025, if required by the market.
Air Products, World Energy to Develop World’s First Commercial-Scale SAF Production Facility
April 26 – Air Products has recently announced that it is teaming up with World Energy to build a new 2-billion-dollar major expansion project at World Energy’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production and distribution hub in Paramount, California. The LA county facility is the world’s first commercial scale and North America’s only SAF production facility and its total fuel capacity will be expanded to 340 million gallons annually.
The long-term, take-or-pay agreement with World Energy includes Air Products’ construction and ownership of a new hydrogen plant to be operated by Air Products and renewable fuels manufacturing facilities to be operated by World Energy. The project is scheduled to be onstream in 2025 and continues Air Products’ leadership in driving the energy transition through world-scale projects.
As part of the agreement, Air Products has extended its Southern California hydrogen pipeline network to supply hydrogen to the existing World Energy facility and to further increase supply reliability for all of Air Products’ hydrogen pipeline network customers in Southern California. The expanded pipeline network will also enable Air Products to provide low-or-zero-carbon hydrogen in the future. Air Products and World Energy will collaborate on innovations to transition to green hydrogen inputs, further reducing the carbon intensity of the fuels it produces.
“Getting real about net-zero aviation, is going to require the mobilization of resources unlike anything that has ever come before,” said Gene Gebolys, CEO, World Energy. “We are pulling together the very best companies in the world with the expertise, experience, commitment, and focus on collaborating to push the frontier of what can be done to decarbonize aviation today while building a platform for what needs to be done to decarbonize flight by 2050. This is an immense undertaking. But it must be done, and it requires that we move with speed, collaboration, and determination befitting the problem we aim to tackle.”
The SAF produced by World Energy is a 100 percent sustainable fuel made entirely of renewable resources and contains no fossil-based feedstock. It is not co-processed with fossil fuel in traditional oil refineries, and its carbon attributes comply with all state and U.S. federal regulations for advanced biofuels. Its lifecycle carbon emissions are currently up to 80 percent lower than conventional jet fuel.
It is currently approved at a 50/50 blend level with conventional jet fuel for commercial use. World Energy is collaborating with other industry leaders to gain approval for pure 100 percent renewable SAF use in regular commercial aviation to enable a future of carbon net-zero fossil-free flight. SAF allows aviation to be powered by the sun’s energy, captured by organic materials, and converted into high-energy-density liquid fuels.
By 2050 the facility will produce fuels that will displace over 76 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of 3.8 million carbon-net-zero flights from Los Angeles to New York. It will also significantly reduce the fine particulate emissions in the trucks, trains, and planes powered by World Energy’s fuels.
Ta’ziz, Reliance Enter into Shareholders Agreement for World-Scale Chemical Project
April 27 – Abu Dhabi Chemicals Derivatives Company RSC (Ta’ziz) and Reliance Industries (RIL), have signed the formal Shareholder Agreement for the Ta’ziz EDC & PVC project. Reliance is India’s largest diversified conglomerate and a strategic partner with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, in Ta’ziz EDC & PVC, a world-scale chemicals development at the Ta’ziz Industrial Chemicals Zone in Ruwais.
The Ta’ziz EDC & PVC joint venture will construct and operate a Chlor-Alkali, Ethylene Dichloride (EDC) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) production facility, with a total investment of over 2 billion dollars. These chemicals will be produced in the UAE for the first time, unlocking new revenue streams and opportunities for local manufacturers to ‘Make it in the Emirates.’
H.E. Dr. Al Jaber and Mukesh Ambani exchanged a signed framework agreement between Adnoc and Reliance to explore collaboration in the exploration, development and production of conventional and unconventional resources in Abu Dhabi as well as in decarbonization of operations, including in carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration.
H.E. Dr. Al Jaber, said: “Reliance is a valued strategic partner and our collaboration at Ta’ziz underscores the important role of industrial and energy cooperation as a means of strengthening the deep-rooted and friendly ties between the UAE and India. We are building on this partnership and the progress at Ta’ziz to unlock more opportunities to drive the UAE’s industrial and manufacturing growth, while advancing cooperation on decarbonization, new energies and upstream production.”
Mukesh Ambani also met with Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, to explore potential opportunities for collaboration in renewable energy and green hydrogen, both of which are key priorities for the UAE and India.
The production of Chlor-Alkali, EDC, and PVC will create opportunities for export to target markets in Southeast Asia and Africa, as well as providing local industry with a source of critical raw materials manufactured in the UAE for the first time, strengthening In-Country Value. Final Investment Decision for the chemical project is expected later this year and is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.
Black & Veatch Awarded EPC Contract for World’s Largest Green Hydrogen Hub in USA
April 28 – Black & Veatch has been selected by Mitsubishi Power Americas and Magnum Development, co-developers of what will be the world’s largest industrial green hydrogen production and storage facility, to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the Advanced Clean Energy Storage project in Delta, Utah, USA.
Announced in 2019, the new hydrogen hub will initially be designed to convert more than 220 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy daily to 100 metric tons of green hydrogen that will be stored in two sprawling salt caverns. Storing excess renewable energy as hydrogen yields a long-term and long-duration energy storage solution, complementing battery energy storage solutions while allowing renewable energy to be deployed in times of highest demand. With hydrogen storage solutions, that may even include seasonal shifts of excess renewable energy.
Mitsubishi Power will provide the hydrogen equipment integration, including the 220 MW of electrolyzers, gas separators, rectifiers, medium-voltage transformers and distributed control system.
“Together with our innovative partners, Mitsubishi Power and Magnum Development are creating the world’s first and largest industrial green hydrogen hub,” said Michael Ducker, president of advanced clean energy storage and chief operating officer for the joint venture. “We are committed to advancing the development of green hydrogen, long duration energy storage, and decarbonization at scale and are thrilled to be working with Black & Veatch on building the critical infrastructure needed to achieve our vision towards a 100-percent carbon-free future.”
With construction beginning this spring, the hydrogen storage hub will be adjacent to the Intermountain Power Agency’s (IPA) IPP Renewed Project and support that 840-MW, hydrogen-capable gas turbine combined cycle power plant under construction. That plant initially will run on a blend of 30 percent green hydrogen and 70 percent natural gas starting in 2025. The plant incrementally will expand to using 100 percent hydrogen by 2045.