SK E&C wins FEED contract for INEOS’ $3.36bn propane dehydrogenation unit at Antwerp

Published: 18 June 2019 - 6 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
INEOS has announced the next step forward in the design and build of its PDH (propane dehydrogenation) unit at the centre of its $3.36bn investment to be located at its Antwerp site in Belgium.

The company has awarded SK E&C, Korea, the front-end engineering and design contract for the 750ktpa plant which is due to come on stream in 2023.

John McNally, CEO, INEOS Project One, said: “The selection of SK E&C is a significant step forward for the development of the project. Our decision is based on a thorough and rigorous assessment of the needs of the project and the expertise of the companies capable of designing state-of-the-art, reliable and efficient PDH units. SK E&C is best placed to help us to apply leading-edge technology to the design of a reliable PDH facility.”

The signing of the contract with SK E&C took place at the INEOS headquarters in London. The event was attended by Gerd Franken, chairman of INEOS Olefins & Polymers, John McNally, CEO of INEOS Project ONE, Ahn Jae-hyun, CEO of SK E&C, and Kim Chul-Jin, president of SK Advanced.

Franken said: “This plant will not only be highly energy and carbon efficient but will help to give Europe a competitive and sustainable industry for years to come. The demands on the environmental performance of this unit will be very high and we are recruiting a talented team to design a plant that meets the highest standards.”

The PDH process produces propylene by removing hydrogen from propane gas. The main use for propylene is polypropylene, which is increasingly used in components to make cars lighter and more efficient.

It is also used to produce acrylonitrile without which there would be no carbon fibre, which is increasingly important for transport, and for acrylic fibres for clothing. Propylene oxide which is also based on propylene is used in insulation foams for construction. The efficient production of hydrogen as a by-product is increasingly becoming a product of interest for future zero carbon fuel and energy systems for transportation.

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