Plant Watch Top 10 Engineering Projects of October 2022
PROCESS Worldwide brings to you the ‘Top 10 plant engineering projects of October 2022’ from all over the world. Right from the world’s first demo plant for electrically heated steam cracker furnaces taking off to Dow and Mura developing Europe’s largest advanced recycling plant in Germany, find out all the projects making headlines here.
Fluor Wins Two Contracts for BASF’s Zhanjiang Verbund Project
October 04 – Fluor Corporation was awarded two reimbursable engineering, procurement and construction management contracts by BASF for the ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol and infrastructure, offsites and utilities packages as part of the company’s new Verbund program in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China. The contract value to Fluor is more than 2 billion dollars and was booked in the third quarter of 2022.
Fluor’s project scope of work for BASF’s Zhanjiang Verbund site project consists of two primary packages including the ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol derivative unit and the infrastructure, offsites and utilities scope, comprised of site infrastructure, utility generation and site logistics. Fluor is also performing services as part of the centralized program management team activities.
The project will be led by Fluor’s Shanghai, China, office.
World’s First Dynamic Green Ammonia Plant Breaks Ground
October 05 – Topsoe and its projects partners Skovgaard Energy and Vestas, recently marked the start of construction of the green ammonia plant in Lemvig, Denmark. Kim Grøn Knudsen, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Topsoe: “We are very excited to begin this next chapter going from maturing the project to actually begin construction of this cutting-edge green ammonia plant. The plant will serve as a prime example of how we can replace fossil-based fuels and fertilizer by carbon-neutral alternatives via electrolysis.”
Pat A Han, Technical Director, Skovgaard Energy: “Today marks a great milestone for Skovgaard Energy on our Power-to-X journey. Northwest Jutland holds an immense potential for the technologies that we aspire to demonstrate in the Reddap project, and today’s event is a big step towards unfolding that potential. We are happy to start construction of our first Power-to-X plant and to celebrate this event with our project partners. We believe there will be a lot for us to learn in operating this green ammonia plant, that will help us in the preparation of up-scaled Power-to-X projects.”
The partners will collaborate closely to design the green ammonia plant’s dynamic technology to secure optimal production and adapt to the inherent fluctuations in power output from wind turbines and solar panels. This will be secured by integrating wind, solar, and electrolysis with an ammonia synthesis loop. In addition, the renewable energy generation will be connected directly to the national grid so surplus power can be sold to the grid.
Industry First: Total Energies, Holcim to Decarbonize Cement Plant
October 05 – Total Energies and Holcim in Belgium have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together on the full decarbonization of a cement production facility being upgraded by Holcim in Obourg, Belgium. Various energies and technologies will be assessed for the efficient capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) of around 1.3 million metric tons of CO2 emitted by the facility every year.
Each partner will contribute its best-in-class technologies and its know-how to explore and develop the project, including:
- an innovative new air-oxyfuel switchable kiln, to facilitate the capture and purification of CO2 in the flue gases, as part of Holcim’s upgrade of the current cement plant; and
- the transportation and use of the captured CO2 by Total Energies for an innovative e-fuel producing scheme and/or deposit in geological storage in the North Sea.
Total Energies will assess the development of renewable projects to power a new electrolyzer, which would generate the green hydrogen needed to produce e-fuels. This new renewable energy production capacity would also power Holcim’s new oxyfuel kiln, thus contributing to the decarbonization of the cement plant. Finally, the oxygen emitted by the electrolyzer would be used to fuel the new kiln.
“The unique, integrated and sustainable solution that we are looking to provide to Holcim for the full decarbonization of its cement plant emissions – with its range of technologies and new decarbonized molecules – is a first, marking a milestone in the decarbonization of heavy industry and its hard-to-abate emissions,” said Christophe Sassolas, Senior Vice President, OneB2B Solutions at Total Energies.
“Cement industry decarbonization is extremely challenging because of the process's inevitable CO2 emissions, which put us firmly in the hard-to-abate sector. CCUS is vital for Obourg to become the first net carbon neutral clinker plant in northwest Europe. We are very happy to work with Total Energies to accelerate the development of these CCUS solutions for Go4zero. By joining the first movers, we want to set the standards for future clinker manufacturing plants,” said Bart Daneels, CEO, Holcim Belgium.
Covestro Breaks Ground for New World Scale Aniline Production Facility
October 13 – Covestro broke ground recently in Antwerp for a new world scale production facility for the manufacture of aniline. With the capacity expansion, the company is strengthening its European production network for the foam component MDI. For this purpose, Covestro is investing more than 300 million euros. The plant is scheduled to be operational – depending on the volatile economic situation – in early 2025. This will create around 40 new jobs.
The basic chemical aniline is an important starting material for many chemical products, including the rigid foam component MDI. The product is mainly used for the production of insulation materials for buildings and refrigeration equipment.
Dr. Georg Wagner, Covestro Site Manager in Antwerp, sees the investment as a crucial step into the future: “The groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of our aniline production is an important moment for our site. The capacity expansion will enable us to continue to ensure the sustainable and efficient supply of our MDI network in Europe. In doing so, we will continue to draw on the attractive infrastructure and logistics at the heart of the port, from where we also have direct access to the raw materials we need. This investment further anchors us here in Antwerp and also creates sustainable jobs for the future.”
The new plant will use state-of-the-art technologies that will help to significantly increase the energy efficiency of production in Antwerp. Currently, around 20 percent of the steam required on site is covered by using process heat generated during production. The remaining steam is generated using fossil resources. With the commissioning of the new plant, the share of steam generated from process heat will double to 40 percent of local demand, and the use of fossil fuels will decline. The potential savings correspond to up to 27,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. The new plant thus makes an important contribution to achieving Covestro's goal of being operationally climate-neutral by 2035.
The expansion of aniline production is part of Covestro’s global MDI strategy. The aim is to strengthen the production network for MDI in view of a further increase in demand.
Indorama Ventures Launches Philippines’ Largest Pet Recycling Plant
October 17 – Indorama Ventures Public Company (IVL) announced the official opening of its Pet Value bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in the Philippines, in partnership with Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country. The plant is IVL’s latest recycled Pet facility as the global integrated petrochemicals company builds on its position as the world’s largest producer of recycled resin used in plastic beverage bottles.
Pet Value Philippines, located in General Trias in Cavite Province south of Manila, is the country’s first food-grade, bottle-to-bottle recycling facility, and the largest in the Philippines. It was built by IVL in partnership with Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines in accord with The Coca-Cola Company’s ‘World Without Waste’ program to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle it sells by 2030. As a result of the joint venture with Coca-Cola, IVL will recycle about 2 billion additional used Pet (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles in the Philippines every year and create about 200 new local jobs. The plant will wash and shred post-consumer bottles into flakes to produce recycled Pet resin that is suitable for use in food-contact applications.
Pet Value will introduce the most advanced technology and infrastructure in the Philippines, helping to improve collection and recycling rates and prevent leakage into waterways. The new plant will encourage a more robust waste value chain to help address the growing post-consumer waste management problem in the Philippines. The unique Pet plastic used in soft drinks and water bottles is 100 % recyclable and the most collected plastic packaging in the world. Global brands including Coca-Cola are using more recycled plastic in their bottles to close the loop and deliver a circular economy.
Arcelor Mittal Breaks Ground for Mega Decarbonization Project in Canada
October 18 – Arcelor Mittal in the presence of the Governments of Canada and Ontario, has broken ground on its 1.8 billion Canadian dollar investment decarbonization project at the Arcelor Mittal Dofasco plant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The project, a partnership between Arcelor Mittal and the Governments of Canada and Ontario, which was first announced in July last year, will play an important role in ensuring the Company makes progress this decade with its decarbonization efforts and is part of Arcelor Mittal’s target to reduce the carbon intensity of the steel it produces by 25 % by 2030. The Governments of Canada and Ontario having committed 400 million Canadian dollars and 500 million Canadian dollars respectively to the overall project cost.
The project will fundamentally change the way steel is made at Arcelor Mittal Dofasco, transitioning the site to direct reduced iron-electric arc furnace (‘DRI-EAF’) steelmaking, which carries a considerably lower carbon footprint and removes coal from the ironmaking process. The new 2.5 million tonne capacity DRI furnace will initially operate on natural gas but will be constructed ‘hydrogen ready’ so it can be transitioned to utilize green hydrogen as a clean energy input as and when a sufficient, cost-effective supply of green hydrogen becomes available.
The ceremony took place at Arcelor Mittal Dofasco’s site in Hamilton and was attended by: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne; Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Filomena Tassi; Minister of Families, Children and Social Development; Arcelor Mittal Chairman, Lakshmi Mittal; and Arcelor Mittal Dofasco President and CEO Ron Bedard.
Arcelor Mittal Chairman, Lakshmi Mittal said: “Today is a historic moment for our company. This is the first full-scale decarbonization project we have broken ground on since announcing our commitment to achieve net zero by 2050 and reduce carbon emissions intensity by 25% by 2030.
“This project will transform how we make steel in Hamilton by introducing coal free, lower-carbon technologies. It will enable us to make significant progress this decade, reduce our emissions in Hamilton by approximately 60 per cent and lay strong foundations for near zero steelmaking. It will also ensure that Hamilton’s rich history of steelmaking endures, and that Arcelor Mittal Dofasco is able to produce the advanced steel solutions Canada needs to support its own vision of transitioning to a net zero economy.
Recently, the Hamilton team shared updates on the projects progress including news that Energiron, the innovative direct reduction technology jointly developed by Tenova and Danieli & C., has been chosen as its DRI equipment. It will produce 2.5 million tonnes of DRI per year to be used in Hamilton’s EAFs to produce the most demanding steel grades. The DRI plant will be the largest single-module direct reduction plant in Canada.
The first onsite construction work will begin in January 2023, with the demolition of the decommissioned No.1 Coke Plant to
make room for the new DRI plant. Demolition is anticipated to take up to nine months to complete.
Also in 2023, detailed engineering work will be undertaken before foundation work begins in 2024. Construction will become visible from outside the manufacturing campus in 2024 as the structures begin to take shape. Construction on the new assets will be complete in 2026, at which point a 12 to 18-month transition phase will begin with both steelmaking streams (BF-BOF and DRI-EAF) active. The transition will be complete by 2028.
In addition to the new DRI facility, the project also involves the construction of an EAF capable of producing 2.4 million tonnes of high-quality steel through Arcelor Mittal Dofasco’s existing casting, rolling and finishing facilities. Modification of Arcelor Mittal Dofasco’s existing EAF facility and continuous casters will also be undertaken to align productivity, quality and energy capabilities between all assets in the new footprint.
Cyclyx, Exxonmobil, Lyondell Basell to Develop Unique Plastic Processing Facility in USA
October 20 – Cyclyx International, Exxonmobil and Lyondell Basell have signed an agreement to advance the development of a first-of-its-kind plastic waste sorting and processing facility in the Houston area. The new facility addresses a critical missing link in the plastic waste supply chain by connecting community recycling programs to new and more advanced recycling technologies that have the potential to take a much wider variety of plastic materials.
The Cyclyx Circularity Center will be unique among plastic recovery facilities, producing feedstock for both mechanical and advanced recycling. The center will leverage new technologies to analyze plastics based on their composition and sort them according to customer specifications for their highest and best reuse. The circularity center will be located in the Greater Houston area, with commercial start-up expected in 2024. The facility will be designed to produce 150,000 metric tons or 330 million pounds of plastic feedstock per year, supplying Exxonmobil and Lyondell Basell advanced recycling projects as well as mechanical recycling markets. Total investment for the first circularity center is estimated to be 100 million dollars, contingent upon a final investment decision in early 2023.
“We are growing our global recycling capacity and actively pursuing opportunities to help capture more plastic waste from landfills in order to make it suitable for recycling,” said Yvonne van der Laan, executive vice president of circular and low-carbon solutions at Lyondell Basell. This agreement is a perfect example of how collaboration across the value chain can help close the gaps to make a circular economy possible, such as access to plastic waste feedstock.”
“This project serves as proof of how significant the need is for custom blended plastics feedstock,” stated Joe Vaillancourt, CEO of Cyclyx. “With our capability to accept and process a wide range of waste plastics based on their chemistry profile which we custom blend to the needs of our customers, we are creating a new set of recycling options for difficult-to-recycle waste plastics that today are sent to landfill. Our circularity centers will allow us to make available a much larger amount of waste plastic into usable feedstock than has been possible with the current recycling infrastructure. Additional circularity centers are under consideration on the Gulf Coast and other locations.”
Lyondell Basell, Shakti Plastic Industries to Develop India’s Largest Mechanical Recycling Plant
October 21 – Lyondell Basell and Shakti Plastic Industries, India's largest plastic scrap recycler and waste collection company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to form a joint venture to build and operate a fully-automated, mechanical recycling plant in India. The plant is intended to process rigid packaging post-consumer waste and produce 50.000 tonnes of recycled polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) per year, equivalent to the single-use plastic waste produced by 12.5 million citizens.
It is envisaged that the new facility will become the largest mechanical recycling plant in India and is estimated to start at the end of 2024. Lyondell Basell will market the recycled products produced by this joint venture adding volume to its Circulen Recover range of existing PE and PP materials to help meet increasing demand by converters and brand owners in India for recycled polymer materials.
"The proposed joint venture will allow us to address the issue of plastic waste in the second most populated country in the world and expand our circular polymer product offering to India," says Yvonne van der Laan, Lyondell Basell Executive Vice President, Circular and Low Carbon Solutions. "Combining our respective expertise with Shakti Plastic Industries will create an innovative system that can be scaled as the circular economy grows."
Once established, the joint venture will leverage each partner's strengths. With the development of a recycling infrastructure in India, Shakti Plastic Industries will provide structure and formality to the waste collection process to secure materials to be used at the new venture. Lyondell Basell will apply its long-standing leadership in innovative plastic production technology, vast experience in product development and strong knowledge of the polymer markets in India.
"The circular economy will increasingly develop into a critical part of the plastic value chain in India, requiring solutions across the value chain to develop a sustainable world of plastic recycling," says Rahul V. Podaar, Managing Director of Shakti Plastic Industries. "As we move towards becoming a value player in the circular economy, we will continue to seek opportunities for future growth. Together with Lyondell Basell, we will be on the forefront in India taking significant steps to recycle rigid plastic waste which supports the government initiative to reuse recycled plastic in packaging applications."
Air Liquide Commits 500-Million-Euros for Building Three New Plants in Taiwan
October 21 – Air Liquide has recently announced the construction of three plants in Taiwan to supply, in the framework of long-term contracts, two of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers with large volumes of ultra-high purity industrial gases for their leading edge fabs. Air Liquide Far Eastern, a joint venture between Air Liquide and Far Eastern Group, will invest a total of approximately 500 million euros in these state-of-the-art production units. Contributing to the development of electronics, a key sector for the future, these investments are in line with Advance, the Group's strategic plan.
Located in the proximity of the customers’ manufacturing sites, these plants, leveraging the Group’s most advanced technologies, will produce a total of up to 2 billion Nm3 per year of ultra-pure nitrogen, as well as oxygen and argon. The first plant is expected to be operational in 2024.
With these investments, Air Liquide strengthens its presence in the area and reinforces its partnership with two long term leading players in the electronics industry. Air Liquide Far Eastern has already invested over 400 million euros in Taiwan between 2019 and 2021, to provide ultra-pure gases to its electronics customers.
François Abrial, Member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Asia Pacific, said: “We are pleased to further strengthen our collaboration with these semiconductor leaders, with whom we have been partners for more than 30 years. These contracts demonstrate Air Liquide’s customers’ trust in our capacity to provide innovative, reliable ultra-high purity industrial gas production solutions. Buoyed by the digital revolution, Electronics is among the most dynamic growth drivers which will contribute to Air Liquide’s strategic plan Advance.”
Röhm, OQ Chemicals Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony for new MMA Plant
October 28 – Röhm and OQ Chemicals officially broke ground on a new world-scale methyl methacrylate (MMA) plant. The new facility will be constructed by Röhm at OQ Chemicals’ production site at Bay City, Texas. Here, OQ Chemicals will supply the new plant with key raw materials and provide site services and utilities to Röhm. To this end, OQ Chemicals has invested significantly in additional capacity for propionaldehyde and local infrastructure. Röhm will employ its latest proprietary production technology, Lima (‘Leading in Methacrylates’). Once completed in early 2024, the new plant will produce 250,000 metric tons of MMA annually and create 70 direct jobs. Government officials and senior executives from Röhm, OQ and OQ Chemicals, and Advent International attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
Dr. Oliver Borgmeier, CEO of OQ Chemicals, said: “With our project ‘Propel’, short for ‘Propyls Elevated’, we are expanding portfolio applications whilst supporting Röhm’s new MMA plant with key raw materials and site services. Our business in North America is strong, sustained, and successful, and the Bay City site is a core site for OQ Chemicals. Our significant investment in additional capacity for propionic aldehyde and infrastructure there emphasizes its importance and the trust we put in the Bay City site and its employees.”
Speaking about the event, Dr. Michael Pack, CEO of Röhm, commented: “Today is a historic moment for Röhm. The new plant will be the first to employ our unique Lima technology on a large industrial scale. The project is an important signal to our customers, worldwide. The additional capacities will enable us to serve the increasing demand of MMA and support the reliability of our supply chain towards our customers globally.”
“With the Lima plant, Röhm will strengthen their technological competence and further expand their leading market position”, explains Ron Ayles, Managing Partner at the financial sponsor Advent International. Among other uses, MMA is an essential precursor for Plexiglas and for multiple applications ranging from coatings and adhesives to medical products and road markings. Methacrylate monomers and their derivatives are important precursors for industries such as the automotive, coatings and construction industries.