SK to start up olefins extraction unit in South Korea in 2010

06 November 2009 21:37  [Source: ICIS news]

MEXICO CITY (ICIS news)--South Korea’s SK Corp is scheduled to start up an olefins extraction unit based on a new propylene-optimising technology at its refinery in Ulsan, South Korea, in 2010, an official with US engineering group KBR said on Friday.

The new advanced catalytic olefins (ACO) technology, co-developed by SK and KBR, uses a catalytic route to extract olefins from naphtha, said Javier Vazquez, advanced process automation engineer with KBR.

“SK will become the first commercial user of ACO,” he told delegates at the 2009 Petrochemical Seminar, organised by US-based Polyolefins Consulting.

The plant will be a commercial demonstration facility, so will have a “low capacity”, he told ICIS on the sidelines of the conference.

SK Corp developed the catalysts for the ACO technology, while KBR developed the engineering, including the FCC (fluid catalytic cracking) reactor system, said Vazquez. KBR holds the worldwide licensing rights, he added.

Vazquez stressed that the ACO technology will help address the growing global demand for polypropylene (PP) and hence propylene.

Ethylene demand will be fulfilled with steam crackers. But on the propylene side we need new technologies,” he remarked.

The one day Petrochemical Seminar was held ahead of the Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) annual meeting, which opens on Saturday.

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By: Anna Jagger
+44 20 8652 3214

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