Idemitsu, Mitsui, Sumitomo form crude C4 to C3 jv

15 June 2006 14:43  [Source: ICIS news]

TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japanese Idemitsu Kosan, Sumitomo Chemical and Mitsui Chemicals have launched a Yen10bn ($90m/€69m) joint project to build a facility at the Ichihara petrochemical complex in Chiba Prefecture to convert crude C4 into propylene (C3) and clean fuel, the companies said in a joint statement on Thursday.

The three companies, which all have petrochemical plants in Ichihara using olefins and aromatics as feedstocks,said they had agreed to take advantage of ethylene and fluid catalytic crackers clustered in the same area and co-operate to develop the new system and a 150,000 tonnes/year propylene unit.

They will accumulate crude C4 from the companies' ethylene facilties and the fluid catalytic cracker at Idemitsu’s refinery before polymerising isobutene from C4 and converting it to a clean fuel which does not contain benzene, toluene or xylene. Condensed normal butene will also be produced in the process, which will be converted to propylene by catalysing with ethylene.      

If successful, the total ratio of ethylene production to propylene at the Ichihara complex was expected to increase to 1 to over 0.9, which would be among the highest in Asia. The average ratio for ethylene to propylene by cracking is about 1 to 0.6.

Idemitsu Kosan will contribute 50% of the Yen10bn investment in the project, with Sumitomo Chemical and Mitsui Chemicals planning to contribute a 25% stake each. Construction was expected to start in 2007 with an aim to start demonstrational operations around the middle of 2009.  

By: Tomomi Yokomura
+65 6780 4359

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