Plant Watch Top 10 Engineering Projects of October 2021

Editor: Ahlam Rais

PROCESS Worldwide brings to you the ‘Top 10 plant engineering projects of October 2021’ from all over the world. Right from the Rotating Olefins Cracker technology advancing the energy transition of olefin production to Ineos investing more than 2 billion dollars on green hydrogen projects in Europe, 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: ©industrieblick - stock.adobe.com)

France: HDF Energy Begins Construction of World’s Largest Green Hydrogen-Power Project

A Renewstable power plant produces electricity using local sources of clean energy to fully sustain the local needs and reducing exposure to oil price volatility.
A Renewstable power plant produces electricity using local sources of clean energy to fully sustain the local needs and reducing exposure to oil price volatility.
(Source: ©sitthiphong - stock.adobe.com)

Oct 01 – HDF Energy and its equity partners, the infrastructure fund Meridiam and the petroleum operator Sara (Rubis Group) announced the start of the construction of the CEOG Renewstable power plant in French Guiana. CEOG is the world’s first multi-megawatt hydrogen power plant, and the largest green hydrogen storage of intermittent electricity sources (128 MWh).

Damien Havard, CEO of HDF Energy said: “CEOG demonstrates that HDF Renewstable solution addresses a very large market considering all the grids are currently powered by fossil fuel power plants. By supplying non-intermittent renewable energy, CEOG – which we are already replicating across the world – opens a new era for renewable energies.”

Representing a total investment of 200 million dollars, CEOG is an optimized combination of a solar park, a hydrogen long-term energy storage and a battery to produce 24/7 baseload power.

The Renewstable power plant, designed and developed by HDF, will supply a 100 % renewable, stable and dispatchable power to 10,000 households at a lower cost than the diesel power plant, but without emitting any greenhouse gas, fine particle, noise or fumes. A Renewstable power plant produces electricity using local sources of clean energy to fully sustain the local needs, reducing exposure to oil price volatility, supply risks, and saving foreign exchange.

Representing a total investment of 200 million dollars, CEOG is an optimized combination of a solar park, a hydrogen long-term energy storage and a battery (short-term energy storage) to produce 24/7 baseload power. It is the first time that a renewable energy project supplies a grid through a capacity-based Power Purchase Agreement, usually used for thermal power plants. This type of electricity offtake contract guarantees the availability and stability of the electricity produced by CEOG.

Germany: Rotating Olefins Cracker Technology to Advance Energy Transition of Olefin Production

Siemens Energy and Technip Energies announced a joint development of decarbonized Rotating Olefins Cracker technology.
Siemens Energy and Technip Energies announced a joint development of decarbonized Rotating Olefins Cracker technology.
(Source: Siemens Energy)

Oct 08 – Technip Energies and Siemens Energy announced an exclusive agreement to jointly develop, commercialize, and license the Rotating Olefins Cracker (ROC) technology to decarbonize olefin production processes. The ROC technology employs a dynamic reactor system that replaces conventional furnaces used for pyrolysis when manufacturing light olefins — the building blocks for chemical products used in everyday materials, from packaging to polymers.

Having already validated the fundamentals of the Rotating Olefins Cracker technology in laboratory testing, Technip Energies and Siemens Energy intend for the first turbomachinery prototype to enter shop testing in the first half of 2022. The ROC technology offers driver flexibility, and when driven by electric-powered motors or hydrogen-fired gas turbines, the technology leads the path to decarbonize the process used to produce light olefins. The decarbonization impact is even more significant when the electric power or hydrogen fuel is derived from renewable sources. The ROC process, once fully commercialized, is also expected to have better first pass olefins yields with similar operating costs compared to the currently commercially available technologies.

Both companies bring specialized experience to commercializing this technology: Siemens Energy contributes its expertise in turbomachinery, while Technip Energies has extensive knowledge in pyrolysis cracking to produce light olefins and process integration.

As a milestone in the commercialization of this groundbreaking technology, Technip Energies and Siemens Energy entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Cracker of the Future Consortium (COF). The MOU expresses the intent of the parties to negotiate a contract to install a hydrocarbon demonstration unit utilizing the ROC technology in a plant operated by one of the COF members.

The COF comprises major industry players Borealis (member of the OMV Group), BP, Repsol, TotalEnergies SE, Versalis (Eni), and coordinator Brightlands Chemelot Campus. The COF selected the ROC technology after assessing many electricity-based heating technologies for olefin crackers.

Canada: Dow to Develop World’s First Net-Zero Carbon Emissions Ethylene and Derivatives Site

Dow selected the Fort Saskatchewan site for this investment as the region offers a highly competitive energy and feedstocks position.
Dow selected the Fort Saskatchewan site for this investment as the region offers a highly competitive energy and feedstocks position.
(Source: Dow)

Oct 14 – Dow has announced its plans to build the world's first net-zero carbon emissions integrated ethylene cracker and derivatives site with respect to scope 1 and 2 carbon dioxide emissions. The project would more than triple Dow's ethylene and polyethylene capacity from its Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta site in Canada while retrofitting the site's existing assets to net-zero carbon emissions.

The organic, brownfield investment would significantly increase Dow's capacity of advantaged ethylene, polyethylene and derivatives manufactured across Alberta – all while maintaining Dow's enterprise-level commitment to keep capital expenditures at or below depreciation and amortization (D&A) levels. The Company expects to allocate approximately 1 billion dollars of capex annually – or approximately 1/3 of its D&A levels – to decarbonize its global asset base in a phased, site-by-site approach.

The production process at Fort Saskatchewan will convert cracker off-gas into hydrogen as a clean fuel to be used in the production process, and carbon dioxide that would be captured onsite to be transported and stored by adjacent third-party CO2 infrastructure.

Dow expects the new brownfield ethylene cracker to add approximately 1.8 million metric tons of capacity in a phased manner through 2030, and along with derivatives capacity and site retrofit investments, will enable the Company to produce and supply approximately 3.2 million metric tons of certified low- to zero-carbon emissions polyethylene and ethylene derivatives for customers and joint venture partners around the globe.

The investment, which is subject to approval by Dow's Board of Directors and various regulatory agencies, would decarbonize approximately 20 percent of Dow's global ethylene capacity while growing polyethylene supply by about 15 percent and supporting approximately 1 billion dollars of EBITDA growth across the value chain by 2030.

Construction of Evonik’s New Alkoxides Plant in Southeast Asia Underway

The investment is seen as a necessary next step in the strategy to expand the position as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of alkoxides.
The investment is seen as a necessary next step in the strategy to expand the position as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of alkoxides.
(Source: Evonik)

Oct 15 – Evonik is currently working on the construction of a new plant for the production of methylate in Southeast Asia. This will further strengthen Evonik’s global alkoxides business. Alkoxides are predominantly needed as catalysts for biodiesel production as well as in synthesis applications in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The size of the investment is in the mid double-digit million range.The investment is seen as a necessary next step in the strategy to expand the position as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of alkoxides.

We already have production facilities in Europe, North and South America; Asia is the missing piece in a global supply network to regionally serve all relevant markets.

Alexander Weber, Global Head of Marketing & Sales for the business line Functional Solutions

The new capacity will be a modern world-scale facility. It will satisfy the growing demand for alkoxides in this very dynamic region. Weber: “We want to meet our customers’ needs in the long term, and this is also reflected in the planned production volume with which we can serve the Asian market.”

The project is entering the basic-engineering phase following the completion of several feasibility studies, which will be closed in 2022. In this phase, the basic requirements for the plant are incorporated into preliminary construction plans and details on production and investment volumes are developed further.

USA: Air Products to Build 4.5 Billion Dollar Energy Complex

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards looks on as Air Products CEO Seifi Ghasemi delivers remarks about the company’s newly announced plan to build, own and operate a blue hydrogen clean energy complex in Louisiana.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards looks on as Air Products CEO Seifi Ghasemi delivers remarks about the company’s newly announced plan to build, own and operate a blue hydrogen clean energy complex in Louisiana.
(Source: Air Products)

Oct 18 – Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Air Products Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Seifi Ghasemi have announced a 4.5-billion-dollar clean energy complex to be built in Louisiana that will make the state a leader in the United States (U.S.) clean energy transition.

Air Products will build, own and operate the mega project, which will produce over 750 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of blue hydrogen in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. Haldor Topsoe will deliver its Blue Ammonia synthesis technology, proprietary hardware and catalysts to the project.

The project will create 170 permanent jobs with a total annual payroll of 15.9 million dollars and more than 2,000 construction jobs over three years. It represents Air Products’ largest-ever investment in the U.S.

The development of this large-scale clean hydrogen project highlights our strategic geographic assets as we position ourselves to become the clean energy capital of the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Kate MacArthur, president and CEO of the Ascension Economic Development Corp

A portion of the blue hydrogen will be compressed and supplied to customers by Air Products’ extensive U.S. Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network. The network is the largest hydrogen pipeline system in the world, stretching more than 700-miles from Galveston Bay in Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana.

The balance of the blue hydrogen from the new Ascension Parish facility will be used to make blue ammonia that will be transported around the world and converted back to blue hydrogen for transportation and other markets.

The innovative megaproject will also feature the world’s largest instance of CO2 capture for permanent sequestration and produce only environmentally friendly blue products. The megaproject is expected to be operational in 2026.

USA: Renewable Energy Holds Groundbreaking for Expanding, Upgrading Renewable Diesel Project

Renewable Energy Group broke ground on the improvement and expansion of their renewable diesel production facility in Louisiana, USA.
Renewable Energy Group broke ground on the improvement and expansion of their renewable diesel production facility in Louisiana, USA.
(Source: Business Wire)

Oct 19 – Renewable Energy Group (REG) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on the company’s improvement and expansion project at REG Geismar in Louisiana, USA. The project will take the total site production capacity from 90 million gallons per year to 340 million gallons per year, and bring more than 60 permanent jobs and up to 500 construction jobs to the area.

REG first announced their plans for expansion of REG Geismar in 2020, and announced earlier this year that the project was being combined with an original plant improvement project, with both being advanced to construction phase. This groundbreaking marks the formal start of construction on the project.

Upon completion, the fuel produced at REG Geismar will annually reduce harmful CO2 emissions by up to 2.8 million metric tons, or the equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from 7.1 billion miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.

The project will involve upgrades to the existing site, as well as an expansion that will be located adjacent to the existing site.

Improvements will include enhanced marine logistics that will enable global trading of feedstocks and fuel. The company announced that the estimated project cost is 950 million dollars, and is expected to be mechanically complete by 2023 with full operability in 2024.

Upon completion, the fuel produced at REG Geismar will annually reduce harmful CO2 emissions by up to 2.8 million metric tons, or the equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from 7.1 billion miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.

Ineos to Invest More than 2 Billion Dollars on Green Hydrogen Projects in Europe

Ineos aims to build capacity to produce hydrogen across its network of sites in Europe, in addition to partner sites where hydrogen can accelerate decarbonization of energy.
Ineos aims to build capacity to produce hydrogen across its network of sites in Europe, in addition to partner sites where hydrogen can accelerate decarbonization of energy.
(Source: Ineos)

Oct 20 – Ineos has recently announced that it plans to invest more than 2 billion dollars into electrolysis projects to make zero carbon, green hydrogen across Europe. Its first plants will be built in Norway, Germany, Belgium with investment also planned in the UK and France.

Ineos, through its subsidiary Inovyn, is already Europe’s largest existing operator of electrolysis, the critical technology necessary to produce green hydrogen for power generation, transportation, and industrial use. The business also has extensive experience in the storage and handling of hydrogen which puts it in a unique position to drive progress towards a carbon-free future based on hydrogen.

The first unit to be built will be a 20 MW electrolyzer to produce clean hydrogen through the electrolysis of water, powered by zero-carbon electricity in Norway. This project will lead to a minimum reduction of an estimated 22,000 tons of CO2 per year by reducing the carbon footprint of Ineos’ operations at Rafnes and serving as a hub to provide hydrogen to the Norwegian transport sector.

In Germany, Ineos plans to build a larger scale 100 MW electrolyzer to produce green hydrogen at its Koln site. The development will further support decarbonization of Ineos’ operations at the site. Hydrogen from the unit will be used in the production of green ammonia. The Koln project will result in a reduction of carbon emissions of over 120,000 tons per year. It will also open opportunities to develop E-Fuels through Power-to-Methanol applications on an industrial scale.

Ineos is developing other projects in Belgium, France and the UK and the business expects to announce further partnerships with leading organizations involved in the development of new hydrogen applications.

Turkey: Rönesans to Build Mega Polypropylene Production Plant in Turkey

Rönesans Holding has launched one of the private-sector’s largest industrial investments in Turkey (Ceyhan, Adana).
Rönesans Holding has launched one of the private-sector’s largest industrial investments in Turkey (Ceyhan, Adana).
(Source: Rönesans Holding)

Oct 22 – Rönesans Holding has launched one of the private-sector’s largest industrial investments in Turkey (Ceyhan, Adana). The groundbreaking ceremony for the Ceyhan polypropylene production plant which will operate on a 62-hectare land within the Ceyhan Industrial Zone was held on October 9. The Ceyhan polypropylene production plant, with an investment value of almost 1.7 billion dollars, is intended to triple Turkey’s annual polypropylene production capacity, thus substituting for 20 % of the total imports.

This investment stands among the largest industrial investment made by the private sector in Turkey and the largest polypropylene production plant in the country with an annual production capacity of 450 thousand tons with the goal of an annual net positive contribution of 250 million dollars to Turkey’s balance of foreign trade.

Expected to be operational in 2025, the plant will supply the fuel need using its own generated hydrogen. In addition, it will supply most of its electricity demand from Rönesans’ hydroelectricity plants. Thus, almost 80 % of the plant’s total energy need will be supplied from renewable energy sources.

The main partners for the project is the Algerian national energy company Sonatrach. Sonatrach will supply an annual 550-thousand-ton raw material by 2040. The technology infrastructure licensors of the project will be UOP Honeywell from the United States and Lyondell Basell from the Netherlands. Rönesans and Tecnicas Reunidas from Spain have partnered to develop the engineering solutions during the construction and carry out the supply and construction operations.

Ravago will provide the effective distribution of the products to all companies in the Turkish market. The French company SPIE will ensure the management of operations and maintenance services and sustainable production during the construction and operation of the plant.

France: Air Liquide to Develop 200 MW PEM Electrolyzer for Renewable Hydrogen Production

This strategic investment will support the development of a low-carbon hydrogen ecosystem in the Normandy industrial basin.
This strategic investment will support the development of a low-carbon hydrogen ecosystem in the Normandy industrial basin.
(Source: Air Liquide)

Oct 22 – Air Liquide increased to 100 % its total stake in H2V Normandy, of which it previously held 40 %. Renamed Air Liquide Normand’Hy, this company aims to build a large-scale electrolyzer of at least 200 MW for the production of renewable hydrogen in France. This strategic investment will support the development of a low-carbon hydrogen ecosystem in the Normandy industrial basin.

The Air Liquide Normand’Hy project will be a key asset to decarbonize the Normandy industrial basin, one of the largest in Europe.

François Jackow, Executive Vice President and a member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Europe Industries activities

Located in the industrial zone of Port-Jérôme, the large-scale Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzer project of Air Liquide Normand’Hy would supply renewable hydrogen for industrial and heavy mobility applications. This project, which is planned to be commissioned in 2025, will allow to avoid the emission of more than 250,000 tons of CO2 per year.

India: Gail to Develop India’s First Propane Dehydrogenation Plant

The catofin technology is a highly reliable and productive method for light paraffin dehydrogenation.
The catofin technology is a highly reliable and productive method for light paraffin dehydrogenation.
(Source: ©John Kasawa - stock.adobe.com)

Oct 28 – Lummus Technology, and its catalysts partner, Clariant Catalysts, announced another major contract award in India that will expand their global share of the PDH market. Gail (India) has selected Lummus Technology’s Catofin process and Clariant’s tailor-made catalysts for India’s first PDH plant. Its upcoming 500 kiloton per annum propane dehydrogenation facility in Usar, Maharashtra, will be integrated with a downstream polypropylene (PP) unit. The 1.2 billion-dollar PDH-PP project is expected to start operations by 2024.

Getting the first PDH award in India is very exciting, considering the anticipated growth of the petrochemicals market here.

Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lummus Technology

Catofin technology is a highly reliable and productive method for light paraffin dehydrogenation. The process operates at thermodynamically advantaged reactor pressure and temperature to maximize conversion of propane to propylene, while reducing investment and operating costs. Selectivity and yield are further enhanced with Clariant’s Heat Generating Material (HGM), its metal-oxide innovation that produces heat and drives the dehydrogenation reaction. Thanks to its extraordinarily high reliability and productivity, Catofin delivers excellent annual production output compared to alternative technologies, states the company.

These performance advantages were key to Gail India’s decision to select Catofin technology and catalysts after an international competitive bidding process.

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