Viva Methanol plans to license UOP's methanol-to-olefin (MTO) technology and olefin cracking method for its planned petrochemical complex to be constructed in Lekki, Nigeria. The plant is being planned with a capacity to produce 1.3 mln tpa of ethylene and propylene as well as methanol, and is scheduled to start up in 2012. With a capacity to producee 10,000 tpa of methanol, the plant is slated to become the world's biggest methanol production plant.
The MTO technology, jointly developed by UOP and Norsk Hydro, is cheaper than typical olefin manufacture based on crude oil as feedstock. The olefin cracking method, jointly developed by UOP and Total Petrochemicals, transforms the heavier olefins primarily to propylene, with several associated ethylene. The MTO method transforms methanol to ethylene and propylene, as well as several lesser-value C4-C8 heavier olefins. The Lekki plant will be the first facility in the world to use the technologies on a commercial-scale basis.