01 October 2008 12:19 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Total has inaugurated a new demonstration plant at Feluy in Belgium intended to produce olefins and polyolefins from methanol , the French oil major and chemicals producer said on Wednesday.
Total said the pilot plant was designed to assess, on a quasi-industrial scale, the technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness of two integrated processes that produce olefins and subsequently polyolefins from methanol, which can be obtained from natural gas, coal or biomass.
The heavy olefins are in turn converted into C3 via the UOP/Total Petrochemicals olefin cracking process (OCP).
All of these olefins are then converted into polyolefins at the existing pilot polymerisation unit at Total’s Feluy research centre, the company added
The €45m ($64m) investment was aimed at diversifying the company’s sources of petrochemicals feedstock by reducing its dependence on oil as well as increasing the company’s C3 yield at a time of strong demand for polypropylene (PP), Total said.
“Given that energy demand will continue to grow, petroleum supply will be tight and the prices should stay at a high level, we firmly believe that the MTO process will play a vital role in the production of petrochemical products in the future,” said Total Chemicals president Francois Cornelis.
“Integrating the MTO and olefin cracking processes makes it possible to produce light olefins at a very reasonable cost,” he added.
($1 = €0.71)
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