UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, announced that China's Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical Co. Ltd. has licensed Honeywell's UOP advanced methanol-to-olefin (MTO) process to convert methanol from gasified coal into key plastics building blocks. Once built, the Jiangsu Sailboat unit is expected to be the largest single-train MTO unit in the world, producing 833,000 metric tons of ethylene and propylene per year. The unit will also provide feedstock to downstream units producing 4 million metric tons per year of petrochemical products. Located in Lianyungang City, Jiangsu Province, China, the unit is expected to start up in 2015. In addition to technology licensing, Honeywell's UOP will provide engineering, training, technical service, catalysts, adsorbents and specialty equipment for the project. It is the fourth licensing win for Honeywell's UOP advanced MTO process technology. The technology allows petrochemical producers in China and elsewhere to tap cheaper coal and natural gas feedstocks, rather than liquefied petroleum gas or oil, to produce ethylene and propylene to meet growing demand for petrochemicals. All four MTO licenses have been in China, which possesses large coal reserves but imports the bulk of its petroleum.
"Jiangsu Sailboat will be able to help meet China's growing demand for ethylene and propylene by using methanol derived from cheaper and more abundant coal, maximizing yields of high-value petrochemicals and reducing operating costs," said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of Honeywell's UOP Process Technology and Equipment business unit. "UOP continues to see high interest in this breakthrough technology and expects the first licensed unit in China to enter production this year."