Japan's Taiyo Oil to upgrade petchem ops at Shikoku site: contractor

07 August 2013 16:11  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Japan’s Taiyo Oil plans to upgrade its Shikoku operations in Ehime prefecture to produce more mixed xylene and benzene, a chemical technology contractor said on Wednesday.

US-based Honeywell UOP, which won a contract from Taiyo Oil for the work, said that it would convert an existing plant at Shikoku to its UOP Tatoray process technology.

The UOP Tatoray unit is expected to be able to produce 300,000 tonnes/year of mixed xylene and high-purity benzene following its start-up in 2014, Honeywell said.

The unit would “boost yields of certain petrochemicals by more than 70%, and give [Taiyo’s Shikoku operations] more flexibility to produce petrochemicals or gasoline as demand changes,” Honeywell added.

"Demand for petrochemicals in Asia is growing, while gasoline demand is expected to decrease due to stricter fuel specifications and increased demand for fuel-efficient vehicles," said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of Honeywell's UOP Process Technology and Equipment business unit.

"The Tatoray process will significantly increase mixed xylene and benzene production, allowing Taiyo to respond to the region's growing petrochemical demand, and it will give them the operational flexibility to also produce high-quality gasoline as needed,” Piotrowski added.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Honeywell said that its UOP Tatoray process converts toluene and C9 aromatics to mixed xylenes and high-purity benzene without the need for sulfolane extraction.

The process can more than double mixed xylene production from a given naphtha feedstock, while significantly reducing the overall cost of production, “making it one of the most economical ways to increase xylene and benzene yields in an aromatics complex,” the company said.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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