Total and the Chinese energy group China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) have inked an MOU to build a coal-based petrochemical plant in China.
Total will bring its expertise in the Methanol to Olefins (MTO) and the Olefin Cracking Process (OCP) technology and also study solutions on how to capture and store CO2 using the know-how gained from its CCS pilot project in Lacq (France).
Both companies will launch a feasibility study on a project of 1 mln tpa polyolefins production site, based on methanol produced from the gasification of coal. The investment for the plant, which is due to start production after 2015, is estimated at €2-3 billion. It will also give CPI access to state of the art technology that incorporates highest environmental standards.
The MTO technology allows the production of propylene and ethylene from methanol, which can be obtained from various feedstocks such as natural gas, coal or biomass. In combination with the OCP process, it allows a very high yield of polyolefin production. "This project is part of Total's strategy of transforming fossil or renewable resources into petroleum or petrochemical fractions, in particular by using gasification processes," affirmed Francois Cornelis, President of Chemicals and Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of Total. CPI is one of the five biggest energy producers in China with a particularly strong position in coal mining and transformation of coal into energy.