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C3 Petrochemicals Texas Alvin PDH project received EPA approval

Ascend chose propane dehydrogenation UOP Oleflex

The Nylon specialist Ascend Performances Materials Operations LLC (Ascend) selected the UOP C3 Oleflex license for its propane dehydrogenation (PDH) project conducted by its local subsidiary C3 Petrochemicals LLC at Alvin, Brazoria County in Texas, USA.

The investment fund SK Capital Partners is Ascend main stakeholder.

As more and more plastics or fibers producers, Ascend is willing to consolidate its competitive advantage in securing the supply of feedstock at best price with the production integration of the first hydrocarbons chain building blocks from the abundant resources of shale gas and associated condensate.

Ascend-C3-Petrochemicals_PDH_Chocolate-Bayou_MapIn order to meet the booming demand on the US market for high performances plastics, Ascend is planning to build the world largest on-purpose propylene production unit in the Brazoria County along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Usually the propylene is coming from a by-products delivered from the ethylene production through a naphtha or ethane cracker.

In opting for an on-purpose PDH solution, C3 Petrochemicals is targeting to produce propylene directly from propane. 

In that perspective, C3 Petrochemicals should have a capacity of 1 million tonnes per year (t/y) of propylene through the most advanced PDH process.

In order to minimize offsites, utilities and transportation costs, the C3 Petrochemicals PDH project will be located in a site adjacent to the existing Ascend Chocolate Bayou chemical complex.

This integration of the PDH project into the existing chemical complex will also reduce the environmental foot print on site and for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Conventional PDH process are using heaters, boilers and flares.

Therefore C3 Petrochemicals must apply for the Greenhouse Gas Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) according to the federal Cleaner Air Arc (CAA).

Ascent to invest $1.2 billion in Chocolate Bayou PDH

C3 Petrochemicals application covers also the inlet and export pipelines and the overhead electrical power lines. 

In that respect the C3 Petrochemicals Alvin PDH project includes a:

 – 50 kilometers propane inlet pipeline

 – Propane storage tanks

 – Connecting propane pipeline

 – Hydrogene pipeline

 – Metering station

 – Modification of the 138 kV electrical power line

 – Two parallel dehydrogenation trains

Estimated to require $1.2 billion capital expenditure, the C3 Petrochemicals PDH project should produce:

Ascend_C3-Petrochemicals_Chocolate-Bayou_PDH_Project – Polymer-grade propylene (PGP)

 – Chemical-grade propylene (CGP)

 – Ethane

 – Ethylene

 – Methane

In selecting Honeywell UOP C3 Oleflex licence, C3 Petrochemicals will benefit from the high efficiency of the continuous catalytic regenerator PDH process instead of the conventional steam cracking.

Thus, this new PDH technology contributed to obtain the EPA permit.

Once in operation, this greenfield C3 Petrochemicals PDH facility will run with only 40 permanent headcounts.

On this base C3 Petrochemicals received the EPA permit in June 2014, opening the way to the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phase of PDH project in the Ascend Chocolate Bayou existing facility for a first production in 2017.

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