15 November 2012 00:45 [Source: ICIS news]
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (ICIS)--US Aither Chemicals expects to have capital for a catalytic ethane cracker by the end of next year, and the plant would be built in three to five years after that, an executive said on Wednesday.
Aither is conducting the planning stages with several companies that expressed interest in the project during an open season in the summer, CEO Leonard Dolhert said after a session at the ChemInnovations 2012 Conference. Aither is not disclosing the companies involved at this time.
The plant’s capacity would depend on the location, Dolhert said, but Aither said it would need an input of about 20,000 bbl/day of ethane, which is a third of the amount required by a steam cracker.
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Bayer Materials Science, which signed an agreement with Aither for the open season, also has two sites with “more than enough space” that would be ideal for a catalytic cracker because of their proximity to the ethane reserve, he added.
The catalytic cracker uses a process called ethane oxydehydrogenation, which reacts ethane with a mixed metal oxide catalyst to produce ethylene and acetic acid.
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