Honeywell's UOP has been selected to provide technology for the world's largest on-purpose propylene production facility, located on the US Gulf Coast. Ascend Performance Materials will use UOP's C3 Oleflex process technology to convert propane to propylene, a key ingredient in the production of materials such as nylon, films and packaging. The Ascend propane hydrogenation (PDH) project will be located at a site near Houston, according to US regulatory filings. The Ascend project is the 14th Oleflex project that UOP has announced since the beginning of 2011, and the company's seventh Oleflex project in North America since the technology was developed. Ascend will install the Oleflex technology at its facility to produce more than 1 million tpa of propylene beginning in 2015. In addition to technology licensing, UOP will supply engineering design, catalysts, adsorbents and selected equipment for the project.
Petrochemical makers are installing additional propylene capacity to meet growing demand and to make up for the shortage of propylene production from traditional refining and petrochemical sources, according to UOP officials. "Global propylene demand is growing at about 4 to 5% per year," said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of Honeywell's UOP process technology and equipment business. "The US is seeing an increase in on-purpose propylene production because of the abundance of low-cost propane from shale gas," he added. "Compared with competing propane dehydrogenation processes, UOPOleflex technology provides the lowest cash cost of production, the highest return on investment and the smallest environmental footprint.'
"As Ascend continues to take the steps necessary for the development of a propane dehydrogenation plant, one of our most important decisions is the choice of technology," said Tim Strehl, president of Ascend Performance Materials Operations. "We believe Honeywell's UOP process technology will provide us with the best production advantage, and we look forward to our partnership with them," he added.