Plant Watch Top 10 Engineering Projects of March 2022

From Ahlam Rais

PROCESS Worldwide brings to you the ‘Top 10 plant engineering projects of March 2022’ from all over the world. Right from Exxon Mobil constructing one of the world’s largest CCS projects in USA to an Aramco JV establishing a mega refinery and petrochemical complex in China, find out all the projects making headlines here.

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At a glance: Plant engineering projects from across the globe.
At a glance: Plant engineering projects from across the globe.
(Source: weerasak - stock.adobe.com)

Exxon Mobil to Build One of the World’s Largest CCS Projects in USA

Using hydrogen as a fuel at the Baytown olefins plant could reduce the integrated complex’s Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by up to 30 %.
Using hydrogen as a fuel at the Baytown olefins plant could reduce the integrated complex’s Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by up to 30 %.
(Source: ©photogrfx - stock.adobe.com)

March 02 – Exxon Mobil is planning to develop a hydrogen production plant and one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage projects at its integrated refining and petrochemical site at Baytown, Texas, supporting efforts to reduce emissions from company operations and local industry.

The proposed hydrogen facility would produce up to 1 billion cubic feet per day of ‘blue’ hydrogen, which is an industry term for hydrogen produced from natural gas and supported by carbon capture and storage. The carbon capture infrastructure for this project would have the capacity to transport and store up to 10 million metric tons of CO2 per year, more than doubling Exxon Mobil’s current capacity.

Using hydrogen as a fuel at the Baytown olefins plant could reduce the integrated complex’s Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by up to 30 %, supporting Exxon Mobil’s ambition to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from its operated assets by 2050. It also would enable the site to manufacture lower-emissions products for its customers. Access to surplus hydrogen and CO2 storage capacity would be made available to nearby industry.

Vertex Hydrogen to Build UK’s First Large-Scale Low Carbon Hydrogen Plant

Vertex Hydrogen has unveiled a report detailing the development of the UK’s first ever large-scale low carbon hydrogen production plant.
Vertex Hydrogen has unveiled a report detailing the development of the UK’s first ever large-scale low carbon hydrogen production plant.
(Source: Vertex Hydrogen)

March 02 – Vertex Hydrogen, the joint venture between Essar Oil UK and Progressive Energy, has recently unveiled a report detailing the development of the UK’s first ever large-scale low carbon hydrogen production plant. The report has been launched by consortium partners Essar, Progressive Energy, Kent and Johnson Matthey to share learnings as to how they are designing and developing the ground-breaking hydrogen production plant. Hydrogen is critical to the UK’s future energy mix, providing a low carbon solution to fuel vital to heavy industry.

The plant, to be owned and operated by Vertex Hydrogen, is being engineered by Kent and will use UK company Johnson Matthey’s best in class Low Carbon Hydrogen (LCH) technology at Essar’s Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. The Front End Engineering Design (FEED) was funded by the Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) hydrogen supply competition.

The report explains how natural gas, and refinery fuel gas, will be converted into low carbon hydrogen whilst capturing carbon dioxide to be permanently stored under the sea bed in Liverpool Bay. The hub will produce 1GW of low carbon hydrogen with the first production line starting in the mid 2020’s.

Low carbon hydrogen will replace fossil fuels in industry across the North West England and North Wales, helping the UK to decarbonize its net zero commitments and positioning a hydrogen economy as a catalyst for low carbon growth. Industry in the region across the chemicals, ceramics, paper, glass and flexible power generation sectors have already made commitments to reduce their carbon footprint using low carbon hydrogen from Hynet. This includes a wide range of companies such as Tata Chemicals Europe, Encirc, Intergen, Solvay, Ingevity, Novelis, Pilkington Glass and Saica Paper.

The report follows Vertex’s submission of the company’s plans to BEIS last month to build the UK’s first low carbon hydrogen production hub with the Hynet cluster as part of the Government’s Cluster Sequencing process.

The UK’s first low carbon hydrogen plant will sit at the heart of the Hynet low carbon cluster, the UK’s leading industrial decarbonization cluster. Hynet is vital for the North West of England and North Wales to hit their net zero targets by 2050, playing their part in the fight against climate change. By 2030, Hynet aims to be a significant contributor to the Government’s target to produce 5GW of low carbon hydrogen for power, transport, industry and homes.

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UAE to Establish its First World-Scale Methanol Production Facility

Under the terms of the agreement, Abu Dhabi Chemicals Derivatives Company RSC (Ta'ziz) and Proman will construct a natural gas to methanol facility with an anticipated annual capacity of up to 1.8 million tons per annum.
Under the terms of the agreement, Abu Dhabi Chemicals Derivatives Company RSC (Ta'ziz) and Proman will construct a natural gas to methanol facility with an anticipated annual capacity of up to 1.8 million tons per annum.
(Source: Adnoc)

March 07 – Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has signed an agreement with Proman, one of the world’s leading producers of methanol, to develop the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) first world-scale methanol production facility at the Ta’ziz Industrial Chemicals Zone in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi.

Under the terms of the agreement, Abu Dhabi Chemicals Derivatives Company RSC (Ta'ziz) and Proman will construct a natural gas to methanol facility with an anticipated annual capacity of up to 1.8 million tons per annum. The facility will meet growing domestic and international demand for this clean and versatile chemical commodity which is gaining momentum as a lower-emission fuel alongside existing uses spanning industrial products. The project is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

Ta’ziz is a joint venture between Adnoc and ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company. The proposed partnership will capitalize upon Adnoc’s attractive value proposition for downstream petrochemicals, ADQ’s diversified portfolio and Proman’s extensive construction and operational expertise as the world’s second largest methanol producer.

Production of this versatile chemical in the UAE for the first time supports the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology’s mission to diversify the UAE’s economy and accelerate industrial development. Methanol is a critical chemical building block with a wide range of industrial applications including in fuels, adhesives, solvents, pharmaceuticals and construction materials. Growth is expected to be driven by emerging economies in Africa and Asia, while production of methanol in the UAE will support decreased reliance on imports, enabling local manufacturers to ‘Make it In the Emirates’ and establish greater resiliency among domestic supply chains.

Dupont Set to Transform its Production Facility in Ireland

This multimillion-dollar investment includes additional training for staff based in Athlone.
This multimillion-dollar investment includes additional training for staff based in Athlone.
(Source: Dupont)

March 09 – Dupont Water Solutions has recently announced a major transformation of the Oxymem Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR) at its manufacturing facility in Athlone, Ireland. The investment in the facilities and employees at the Athlone site will help meet the increasing global demand for MABR.

Oxymem was the first company to commercialize MABR technology, which provides unique and differentiated performance for secondary wastewater treatment. Dupont acquired Oxymem in 2019, expanding its extensive portfolio of industry-leading water solutions that help produce, purify, and extract some of the world’s most commercially important products.

This multimillion-dollar investment includes additional training for staff based in Athlone. This project is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland. “This investment will allow Oxymem to develop more efficient and more reliable production technology as well as improve our product design to meet the continuously increasing demand by the market,” said Andreas Gorenflo, General Manager of Oxymem. “It is fundamentally important, and it will help us grow the company to meet the increasing global demand for MABR.”

Scatec, Acme Group to Develop Mega Green Ammonia Facility in Oman

The partners are in advanced discussions with reputable off-takers for 20–25-year contracts which will lay the foundation for financing of the project.
The partners are in advanced discussions with reputable off-takers for 20–25-year contracts which will lay the foundation for financing of the project.
(Source: Scatec)

March 14 – Scatec has recently signed an agreement with the Acme Group from India to establish a 50/50 joint venture to design, develop, build, own and operate a large-scale green ammonia facility in Oman. The first phase of the facility is expected to produce 100,000 tons of green ammonia annually with about 300 MW of electrolyzer capacity and powered by 500 MW of solar. The facility will be located in the Duqm Special Economic Zone of Oman. Once fully developed the facility is expected to produce up to 1.2 million tons of green ammonia annually.

“Oman has excellent solar resources and a strategic location for production of green ammonia,” says CEO Raymond Carlsen. There is a growing need to accelerate decarbonization of hard-to-abate industries through Power-to-X solutions such as production of hydrogen, ammonia and other critical feedstocks powered by renewable energy. Industry analysts forecast global annual demand for green ammonia to reach up to 200 million tons by 2050.

The partners are in advanced discussions with reputable off-takers for 20–25-year contracts which will lay the foundation for financing of the project. The partners expect to fund the facility through equity and project finance debt. The overall schedule for the project is under development, but the partners share the ambition for this facility to be one of the first commercial large-scale green ammonia facilities in operation globally.

OMV, Alba Recycling to Build New Sorting Plant for Chemical Recycling in Germany

The collaboration will secure the delivery of high-quality suitable feedstock for chemical recycling from Alba Recycling to OMV to help close the loop for plastics.
The collaboration will secure the delivery of high-quality suitable feedstock for chemical recycling from Alba Recycling to OMV to help close the loop for plastics.
(Source: © OMV Aktiengesellschaft)

March 15 – OMV and Alba Recycling have started exclusive discussions to jointly build and operate an innovative sorting plant in Walldürn, Germany, for the further sorting of mixed plastic waste for chemical recycling. A final investment decision is expected in 2022.

The collaboration will secure the delivery of high-quality suitable feedstock for chemical recycling from Alba Recycling to OMV to help close the loop for plastics. An innovative state-of-the-art sorting plant designed by Alba Recycling will have the capacity to process 200,000+ t per year of post-consumer mixed waste into suitable feedstock for the production of virgin polyolefins.

This innovative sorting process facilitates the further extraction of polyolefins from a waste fraction that currently requires incineration. This innovative sorting process has been tested at industrial scale and the output has been successfully processed as feedstock in OMV’s Reoil pilot plant.

Dr. Axel Schweitzer, owner of Alba Recycling, said, “Chemical recycling is not a rival for mechanical recycling as mechanical recycling is the most efficient way to deal with mono-fractions from the sorting process. But chemical recycling is the only solution for mixed plastic waste like composite and multilayer plastics. We urgently need to recycle this material as well to close the loop for our customers. OMV and Alba Recycling will turn this mixed plastic waste, which is incinerated today, into an important source to produce enough recycling material for the sustainable production of goods and packaging.”

Aramco JV to Build Mega Refinery and Petrochemical Complex in China

The facility, which will be built in the city of Panjin, in China’s Liaoning Province, will help meet the country’s growing demand for energy and chemical products.
The facility, which will be built in the city of Panjin, in China’s Liaoning Province, will help meet the country’s growing demand for energy and chemical products.
(Source: Deposit Photos)

March 16 – Aramco has taken the final investment decision to participate in the development of a major integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in Northeast China. Huajin Aramco Petrochemical Company (Hapco), a joint venture between Aramco, North Huajin Chemical Industries Group Corporation and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group, will develop the liquids-to-chemicals complex.

The decision, which is subject to finalization of transaction documentation, regulatory approvals and closing conditions, follows the establishment of Hapco in December 2019 between the three partners. The project, which presents an opportunity for Aramco to supply up to 210,000 barrels per day of crude oil feedstock to the complex, is expected to be operational in 2024.

It will combine a 300,000 barrels per day refinery capacity and ethylene-based steam cracker, a building block petrochemical used to manufacture thousands of everyday products. The facility, which will be built in the city of Panjin, in China’s Liaoning Province, will help meet the country’s growing demand for energy and chemical products.

Mohammed Al Qahtani, Aramco Senior Vice-President of Downstream, said: “China is a cornerstone of our downstream expansion strategy in Asia and an increasingly significant driver of global chemical demand. Continued energy security remains a shared priority and this partnership represents another major milestone in our journey together, supporting China’s vision to create a modern economy grounded in innovation, ambition and sustainability. It will further support Aramco’s broader objective of becoming a global leader in liquids-to-chemicals.”

Spain Inaugurates its First Industrial Renewable Hydrogen Plant

Técnicas Reunidas has participated in this project carrying out the detailed engineering, procurement management and construction supervision.
Técnicas Reunidas has participated in this project carrying out the detailed engineering, procurement management and construction supervision.
(Source: ©scharfsinn86 - stock.adobe.com)

March 22 – The Power to Green Hydrogen Mallorca Project, led by Enagás and Acciona, and with the participation of Cemex and Idea, has been inaugurated by the third vice-president and Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera. The plant, located in Lloseta (Mallorca), is the first renewable hydrogen plant in the country. Técnicas Reunidas has participated in this project carrying out the detailed engineering, procurement management and construction supervision.

The construction of the renewable hydrogen production plant through Power to Green Hydrogen Mallorca is the core of the European Green Hysland project. This project aims to deploy the necessary infrastructure to develop a renewable hydrogen ecosystem in Mallorca and has 10 million euros of funding through the FCH JU (Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking).

The project is part of the ‘Green Hydrogen Roadmap’, approved by the Government of Spain, which seeks to position the country as a technological reference in the production and use of green hydrogen. The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions on the island of Mallorca by up to 21,000 tons per year after full implementation of the green hydrogen ecosystem.

Part of this green hydrogen will be injected into the gas infrastructures that the company Redexis has deployed on the island and, through a Guarantees of Origin System developed by Acciona with blockchain technology, will allow reducing emissions in the use of natural gas.

Green hydrogen will have multiple applications on the island, such as supplying fuel to bus fleets and fuel cell vehicles through a refueling station or hydrogen station, generating heat and power for commercial and public buildings or supplying auxiliary power to ferries and port operations.

Maire Tecnimont Wins EPCM Contract for Developing Blue Ammonia Plant in USA

The contract's scope of work includes full engineering activities and supply of all materials and equipment as well as construction supervision services.
The contract's scope of work includes full engineering activities and supply of all materials and equipment as well as construction supervision services.
(Source: Deposit Photos)

March 23 – Maire Tecnimont has announced that its main contractor Tecnimont has been awarded a project on an EPCM basis by a leading global chemicals producer for the implementation of a blue ammonia plant in the United States as part of the Country’s plan to develop its energy transition industrial vision, through Maire Tecnimont Group’s cooperation with major players in the natural resource transformation sector.

The contract value is approximately 230 million dollars. The plant entails a 3,000 tons per day blue ammonia synloop plus the necessary utilities and facilities. Project completion is expected as early as 2025. ‘Blue’ ammonia is produced from hydrogen derived from natural gas where the CO2 by-product is captured and sequestered to comply with the most stringent environmental requirements.

The contract's scope of work includes full engineering activities and supply of all materials and equipment as well as construction supervision services, while construction activities will be executed by another party under a different contract, which will be directly issued by the client.

Such contractual strategy is typically implemented in the US to better optimize the construction activities and mitigate both Maire Tecnimont Group’s and client’s risks, also leveraging Tecnimont USA’s expertise in managing construction activities and local content in the United States.

Pierroberto Folgiero, Maire Tecnimont Group CEO, commented: “United States represents one of the highest potential markets to break the ice in industrial scale decarbonization initiatives. Blue ammonia is playing a pivotal role in the world-wide development of decarbonized value chains and we are eager to start working on this exciting project, as it will also pave the way for future opportunities driven by the Country’s large wave of investments in gas monetization and energy transition”.

Eastman Selects Normandy Site to Build World's Largest Material-to-Material Molecular Recycling Plant

The many integrated elements of the French facility will enable Eastman to make unique contributions to build a true circular economy for plastics.
The many integrated elements of the French facility will enable Eastman to make unique contributions to build a true circular economy for plastics.
(Source: Deposit Photos)

March 31 – Eastman has entered an exclusive negotiation with Port-Jérôme-sur-Seine as the preferred location of the molecular recycling facility it plans to build in France. This is an important step toward a significant milestone in the company's plan to invest up to 1 billion dollars and build the world's largest material-to-material molecular recycling plant in France — a facility that will recycle approximately 160,000 tons of hard-to-recycle polyester waste annually.

In the time since Eastman Board Chair and CEO Mark Costa and French President Emmanuel Macron jointly announced the company's planned investment in January, Eastman conducted a selection process of three potential locations and chose to enter exclusive negotiations with Port-Jérôme-sur-Seine in Normandy. This site offers proximity of supply to waste polyester for feedstock, required space for an expansive facility and the necessary infrastructure for operations of this scale. Eastman expects the facility to be operational by 2025.

Eastman's proven polyester renewal technology (PRT) is complementary to mechanical recycling and provides true circularity for hard-to-recycle plastic waste that remains in a linear economy today. This material, like colored or degraded PET or textiles, is typically incinerated because it either cannot be mechanically recycled or must be downcycled.

PRT creates potentially infinite value from materials by keeping them in production life cycle after life cycle. With the technology's highly efficient polyester yield of 93 % and the renewable energy sources available in Normandy, Eastman can transform waste plastic into first-quality polyesters with greenhouse gas emissions up to 80 % less than traditional methods.

The many integrated elements of the French facility will enable Eastman to make unique contributions to build a true circular economy for plastics. As a material-to-material recycling plant, Eastman's operations will include on-site polymerization. This provides Eastman the capability to take hard-to-recycle polyester waste and sort, depolymerize and produce recycled PET at a single location. Eastman expects these efficiencies to lower costs for end products with recycled materials, enabling consumers to make more sustainable choices without significantly higher costs. The plant will also reduce the country's carbon emissions by reducing dependency on imported fossil-fuel based products.

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