Plant Watch Top 10 Engineering Projects of November 2021

From Ahlam Rais

PROCESS Worldwide brings to you the ‘Top 10 plant engineering projects of November 2021’ from all over the world. Right from building one of the world’s lowest carbon-emitting crackers to developing a new novel methane-reducing feed additive manufacturing plant, 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: ©Shinonome Studio - stock.adobe.com)

Lithuania: Petrofac Bags 640 Million Dollar EPC Contract for Refinery Project

The lump sum contract comprises engineering, procurement, construction, start-up and commissioning services.
The lump sum contract comprises engineering, procurement, construction, start-up and commissioning services.
(Source: Petrofac)

Nov 01 – Petrofac has announced that it has been awarded an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract, valued at approximately 640 million dollars, from Orlen Lietuva to support a comprehensive modernization, environmental upgrade, and expansion program at its Mažeikiai Refinery in North-West Lithuania.

The lump sum contract comprises engineering, procurement, construction, start-up and commissioning services, as Orlen Lietuva invests to expand the existing refinery complex, raise capabilities, meet the requirements for cleaner fuels and improve operational and carbon efficiency of the plant. The scope of work encompasses mainly greenfield EPC development, with some brownfield modifications, as well as Front End Engineering Design (FEED) of relevant utilities and offsites. The contract includes the addition of a new residue hydrocracking facility and improvement of the existing facility. Project completion is planned by the end of 2024.

PC Orlen Lietuva is an Orlen Group company, operating the sole refinery in the Baltic region. The Mažeikiai refinery is important to the Polish and Lithuanian economies.

UK: One of the World’s Lowest Carbon-Emitting Crackers in Progress

The move is in line with the UK Government’s recently announced net zero strategy for the country
The move is in line with the UK Government’s recently announced net zero strategy for the country
(Source: MESA K/stock.adobe.com)

Nov 03 – The UK Government has revealed that the Saudi-based petrochemical major Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic) has plans to invest almost 1.37 billion dollars at the Teesside facility in northeast England with an aim to decarbonize the plant.

In a recent tweet, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, "Fantastic to see nearly £1 billion invested in @Sabic's Teesside facility, creating and safeguarding 1,000 jobs. It's a huge vote of confidence in the UK's chemicals and processing industry, which is pioneering innovation in clean, green technology.”

According to news reports, Sabic has mentioned that the investment will include strengthening operations at Teesside and enabling its chemical cracker transformation. This will reduce its carbon footprint by up to 60 % in phase one, making it one of the world’s lowest carbon-emitting crackers.

The move is in line with the UK Government’s recently announced net zero strategy for the country.

UK: Revolutionary Plastics Recycling Plant to Use Advanced Automation Technologies by Emerson

Emerson’s advanced automation technology and software will help achieve safe, efficient operation of the Renew ELP plastics recycling plant in Teesside, UK.
Emerson’s advanced automation technology and software will help achieve safe, efficient operation of the Renew ELP plastics recycling plant in Teesside, UK.
(Source: Emerson)

Nov 05 – Renew ELP has selected Emerson as its digital automation partner for its new plastics recycling plant in Teesside, north-east England. Emerson’s advanced automation technology and software will help achieve safe, efficient operation of an innovative hydrothermal process to convert end-of-life plastics back into their original feedstock to produce new plastic products, reducing waste and pollution.

“By converting end-of-life plastics into fossil-replacement feedstocks, Renew ELP has the potential to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic and make the raw ingredients for a circular plastics economy, creating value instead of waste,” said Richard Daley, managing director, Renew ELP. “Pivotal to achieving these goals is the construction of this first commercial-scale plant using a unique hydrothermal platform, and in Emerson we have found a valuable, long-term partner to create an advanced automation model for further plants planned across Europe.”

The Renew ELP plant will utilize a ground-breaking advanced recycling process called HydroPRS (Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling System), that uses supercritical steam (high pressure and temperature) to convert waste plastics into the valuable chemicals and oils from which they were originally made. These products can then be used to manufacture new plastics and other materials.

As the main automation contractor, Emerson will be responsible for developing a complete automation and control solution to ensure safe, efficient operation of the demanding production process with minimum operator intervention. Emerson’s Project Certainty methodology, which digitalizes project execution, will help deliver the plant on budget and on schedule, while its Operational Certainty methodologies will help Renew ELP realize maximum operational performance and profitability over the lifecycle of the facility.

As part of the automation solution, Emerson will provide an integrated control and safety system, incorporating its DeltaV distributed control system and DeltaV safety instrumented system for process and emergency shutdown, plus fire and gas detection. Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem, incorporating wired and wireless networks that support clusters of advanced measurement instrumentation, will provide visibility to process performance and actionable data about equipment health.

The automation system will feature a broad range of severe service and general-purpose control valves, on/off valves and pressure control technology. A range of asset management solutions will be deployed to enhance equipment reliability and increase process availability and throughput, while minimizing the time operators spend in the field performing manual inspections.

Scotland: DSM to Establish New Novel Methane-Reducing Feed Additive Manufacturing Plant

To prepare for further scale up in the next years, engineering for a new large plant in Dalry has started, which is targeted to be started up in the course of 2025.
To prepare for further scale up in the next years, engineering for a new large plant in Dalry has started, which is targeted to be started up in the course of 2025.
(Source: ©Epstudio20 - stock.adobe.com)

Nov 09 – Royal DSM has recently announced at COP26 in Glasgow that it is planning to realize large scale production capacity for its novel methane-reducing feed additive for ruminants, Bovaer with a new plant at its existing site in Dalry, Scotland, supported by Scottish Enterprise.

Methane is emitted from cows – over 50 % of emissions from milk production comes in the form of enteric methane emission. Bovaer is a feed additive for cows which consistently reduces enteric methane emission by approximately 30 % for ruminants. The endeavor to develop Bovaer encompassed over 10 years, 45 on-farm trials in 13 countries across 4 continents, and more than 48 peer-reviewed studies published in independent scientific journals.

In early September 2021, DSM received full regulatory approvals in Brazil and Chile for its feed additive Bovaer. DSM has available initial commercial product volumes for near term market development. To prepare for further scale up in the next years, engineering for a new large plant in Dalry has started, which is targeted to be started up in the course of 2025. DSM’s Dalry manufacturing site has been in operation for over 60 years and produces high quality micro-nutrients. The site is the only Western producer of vitamin C.

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, said: “Methane reducing feed additives are a crucial part of the solutions that the agriculture sector needs to deploy towards achieving climate ambitions. This multi-million-pound investment will make Scotland the home of this innovative product and highlights that Scotland is leading the way in delivering a net zero future.”

Scottish Enterprise’s Managing Director, Linda Hanna added: “Royal DSM’s Project Bovaer has the potential to be a gamechanger for the world’s net zero ambitions and I am delighted that Scotland was chosen as the ideal location for this project.”

China: Exxon Mobil to Develop Multi-Billion-Dollar Chemical Complex

Exxon Mobil's new facility supports progress toward China’s national petrochemical development priorities, which include self-sufficiency, diversified feedstock sources and advancing new competitive technology.
Exxon Mobil's new facility supports progress toward China’s national petrochemical development priorities, which include self-sufficiency, diversified feedstock sources and advancing new competitive technology.
(Source: ©creativenature.nl–stock.adobe.com)

Nov 12 – Exxon Mobil has made a final investment decision to proceed with a multi-billion-dollar chemical complex in the Dayawan Petrochemical Industrial Park in Huizhou, Guangdong Province in China. The facility will help meet expected demand growth for performance chemical products in China.

The chemical complex will produce performance polymers used in packaging, automotive, agricultural, and consumer products for hygiene and personal care. As part of Exxon Mobil’s ongoing commitment to advancing climate solutions, the site will feature industry-leading technologies to improve energy efficiency.

“Demand for performance polymers will continue to increase in China, and we’re well positioned to meet the needs of that growing market,” said Karen McKee, president of Exxon Mobil Chemical Company. “We look forward to progressing this exciting project as we work to build a competitive growth platform in Dayawan.”

The facility supports progress toward China’s national petrochemical development priorities, which include self-sufficiency, diversified feedstock sources and advancing new competitive technology.

Construction is underway on the greenfield project, which includes a flexible feed steam cracker, three performance polyethylene lines, and two differentiated performance polypropylene lines. The steam cracker will have a nameplate capacity of approximately 1.6 million metric tons per year.

Poland: Poland’s First and Europe’s Largest Green Propylene Glycol Production Unit Comes on Stream

Orlen Południe will produce 30,000 tons of green glycol a year, an impressive 10,000 tons more than Europe’s only unit of this type located in Belgium.
Orlen Południe will produce 30,000 tons of green glycol a year, an impressive 10,000 tons more than Europe’s only unit of this type located in Belgium.
(Source: Orlen Południe)

Nov 15 – Orlen Południe, an Orlen Group company, has brought on stream Poland’s first and Europe’s largest green propylene glycol production unit at its biorefinery in Trzebinia. The unit has a capacity of 30,000 tons a year, enough to cover as much as 75 % of the domestic demand for the product. This 99-million-dollar capital project will add over 12 million dollars to the Group’s annual EBITDA. An integral part of the complex is Poland’s first hydrogen hub. The projects implemented in southern Poland are another step towards achieving the Group’s strategic goals for low- and zero-carbon energy.

Green glycol is a high-margin bio-based product that is clean and environmentally safe. It is used for a wide range of applications, including in medicine, cosmetics, and the food industry. It can also be used in aviation as an anti-icing and de-icing agent for aircrafts. Orlen Południe will produce 30,000 tons of green glycol a year, an impressive 10,000 tons more than Europe’s only unit of this type located in Belgium.

“We have launched a state-of-the-art unit to make green glycol in Trzebinia as demand for this bio-based product is constantly growing in Europe and around the world. Poland will be the leader of glycol production in Europe. At the same time, we are bringing on stream Poland’s first hydrogen hub, which forms part of the glycol complex. The completed projects will stimulate fast growth of the Orlen Group in strategic areas while significantly strengthening competitive advantage of the Polish economy. For Orlen Południe, the projects are another milestone in the process of transforming the company into a state-of-the-art biorefinery and consolidating its position as a major business organization and employer in the region,” said Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN Orlen Management Board.

UAE: Adnoc-Borealis’ Borouge Plant to Become the World’s Largest Single-Site Polyolefin Facility

The 6.2-billion-dollar investment agreement was signed by His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Adnoc Managing Director, and Group CEO and Thomas Gangl, Borealis CEO.
The 6.2-billion-dollar investment agreement was signed by His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Adnoc Managing Director, and Group CEO and Thomas Gangl, Borealis CEO.
(Source: © Abu Dhabi Government Media Office)

Nov 16 – An agreement was signed between Adnoc and Borealis to build the fourth Borouge facility – Borouge 4 – at the polyolefin manufacturing complex in Ruwais, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The world-scale expansion confirms both partners’ commitment to the growth of Borouge and to support chemical production, and advanced manufacturing and industry in Ruwais, a key pillar of Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s technology, innovation and industrial development strategy.

Borouge 4 will capitalize on the projected growth in customer demand for polyolefins, driven by their use in manufactured products in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The facility will also enable the next phase of growth at the Ruwais Industrial Complex by supplying feedstock to the Ta’ziz Industrial Chemicals Zone.

HE Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, said: “Adnoc and Borealis’ significant investment in the fourth expansion of Borouge ensures the long-term and sustainable supply of core materials to critical sectors vital to both the UAE and global economy. This expansion will see Borouge become the world’s largest single-site polyolefin complex, as it continues to play an integral role in the development of Ta’ziz, enhancing local industrial supply chains and boosting In-Country Value opportunities.”

Scheduled to be operational by the end of 2025, Adnoc will supply feedstock to Borouge 4. The new Borouge 4 facility will comprise an ethane cracker with 1.5 million tons ethylene output per annum, two additional Borstar polyethylene plants each with 700 thousand tons per annum capacity using Borealis’ Borstar third generation technology, a cross-linked PE plant of 100 thousand tons per annum capacity, and a hexene-1 unit, which will produce co-monomers for certain grades of polyethylene.

Canada: World’s Largest Pea Protein Plant Inaugurated

With easy access to the United States and international markets by road, rail and air, the new plant is the largest player in a region becoming known as the ‘Silicon Valley of Plant-Based Protein.’
With easy access to the United States and international markets by road, rail and air, the new plant is the largest player in a region becoming known as the ‘Silicon Valley of Plant-Based Protein.’
(Source: Roquette)

Nov 22 – Roquette recently celebrated the opening of the world’s largest pea protein plant, further extending its leadership position to meet surging global demand for alternative proteins. The new ‘Plant for the Future’ gives Roquette the largest pea protein supply in the world alongside some of the world’s best experts in developing new plant-based foods.

Demand for pea protein has been booming with multiple industry estimates expecting an annual global growth rate between 15 and 24 percent over the next decade. With the new plant, Roquette has responded to that demand and is the only company with major pea protein facilities on both sides of the Atlantic.

The new plant is perfectly situated—just outside Winnipeg in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba—in the Canadian Prairies. The region produces more peas than any other in the world, all within a day’s drive of the plant. With easy access to the United States and international markets by road, rail and air, the new plant is the largest player in a region becoming known as the ‘Silicon Valley of Plant-Based Protein.’

With this new facility, Roquette has largely exceeded the half a billion-dollar investment in plant proteins it had targeted in the period 2015-2020. This includes equity investments, acquisitions, upgrades to the plant in Vic-sur-Aisne, France and the brand-new plant in Portage, which is Roquette’s largest ever North American investment. The 200,000-square-foot-plant has the capacity to process 125,000 tons of yellow peas per year. When combined with Roquette’s plant in France, the company’s capacity now rises to 250,000 tons of peas per year and confirms Roquette’s leading position in this market.

UAE: Mitsui, GS Energy to Partner with Ta'ziz for Developing World-Scale Blue Ammonia Facility

Adnoc has announced that Mitsui and GS Energy have agreed to partner with Ta’ziz and Fertiglobe to develop the world-scale low-carbon blue ammonia facility at the Ta’ziz Industrial Chemicals Zone in Ruwais, UAE.
Adnoc has announced that Mitsui and GS Energy have agreed to partner with Ta’ziz and Fertiglobe to develop the world-scale low-carbon blue ammonia facility at the Ta’ziz Industrial Chemicals Zone in Ruwais, UAE.
(Source: Adnoc)

Nov 23 – Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and ADQ recently announced that Japan’s Mitsui & Co. (Mitsui) and the Republic of Korea’s (Korea) GS Energy Corporation (GS Energy) have agreed to partner with Ta’ziz and Fertiglobe to develop the world-scale low-carbon blue ammonia facility at the Ta’ziz Industrial Chemicals Zone in Ruwais. The partnerships are expected to accelerate Abu Dhabi’s position as a leader in low-carbon fuels, capitalizing on the growing demand for blue ammonia as a carrier fuel for clean hydrogen.

The agreements highlight the exceptional international investor interest in Ta’ziz and follow Adnoc and Fertiglobe’s recent sales of low-carbon blue ammonia demonstration cargos to customers in Japan and Korea.

In addition to becoming partners, Mitsui and GS Energy will, upon equity participation and supply commencement, off-take significant volumes of low-carbon blue ammonia to meet growing demand in the energy and industrial sectors in Japan and Korea, respectively.

UK: Ineos Styrolution to Develop Europe’s First Polystyrene Advanced Recycling Pilot Facility

The Swindon pilot plant will be based on Recycling Technologies’ fluidised bed reactor technology, which offers excellent scalability making it the technology of choice for future even larger recycling plants.
The Swindon pilot plant will be based on Recycling Technologies’ fluidised bed reactor technology, which offers excellent scalability making it the technology of choice for future even larger recycling plants.
(Source: Pixabay)

Nov 26 – Ineos Styrolution has recently confirmed its decision to invest into a pilot plant for advanced recycling of polystyrene. The site will be set up in collaboration with Recycling Technologies in Swindon, UK. It is expected to be operational in the second half of 2022.

The recently announced decision is a significant step forward of launching polystyrene recycling through the depolymerisation technology. Depolymerisation is an advanced recycling technology that converts polystyrene waste feedstock back into its main building block, Styrene which can then be used to manufacture new polystyrene with identical properties to the virgin material.

The unique properties of polystyrene allow this efficient monomer recycling process to be harnessed avoiding the need to downcycle polystyrene. An additional benefit of depolymerisation is a significant decrease of greenhouse gas emissions when compared with the production of virgin polystyrene from naphtha.

The Swindon pilot plant will be based on Recycling Technologies’ fluidised bed reactor technology, which offers excellent scalability making it the technology of choice for future even larger recycling plants. Dr. Alexander Glück, President EMEA at Ineos Styrolution comments, “I am excited to see this project move ahead. With Recycling Technologies, we have found a partner, who is not only offering a very attractive technology, but who is also sharing our own vision to avoid polystyrene ending up in landfills or being incinerated. We are on the right path to make polystyrene a circular material.”

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