Sasol: US ethane project progressing well

Sasol said yesterday the front-end engineering and design (FEED) of its US ethane cracker and derivatives project was progressing well.

The South African headquartered energy giant announced a series a series of engineering and technology provider appointments around the US ethane project.

“We are delighted to be working with these world class contractors and technology partners in executing our project,” said Johan du Preez, Sasol Executive Vice president for the US Mega projects.”  The selected companies are leaders in their respective fields and have the technologies, systems and expertise to help us deliver the project on schedule, optimizing our return on investment.”

Sasol announced in December 2012 that it would begin FEED work for a world scale ethane cracker and derivatives facility to be located near the town of Westlake, Louisiana.  The current project costs for the ethane cracker are estimated at between US $5 – US $7 billion. It is currently envisioned that the final investment decision for the ethane cracker will be taken in 2014 with beneficial operation to be achieved in 2017.

The ethane cracker is designed to produce 1.5 million tons per year of ethylene.  “The ethylene produced in the chemical facility will be used to produce a range of high value derivatives in world scale plants,” said André de Ruyter, Senior Group Executive for Global Chemicals and North American Operations.  “This forms part of Sasol’s strategy of building globally competitive downstream facilities and adding value to the already low cost of ethylene production opportunity in North America,” said de Ruyter.

On the appointments Sasol said Fluor Corporation is the main FEED contractor for the ethane cracker and derivatives project. Individual engineering services agreements for the development of basic engineering packages have been concluded with Toyo Engineering Corporation for the linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding for the low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant, and Samsung Engineering America Inc. for the ethylene oxide (EO) and mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) units.

The technologies of Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology, ExxonMobil Chemical Technology Licensing, Univation Technologies and Scientific Design Company have been selected for the ethane cracker, LDPE, LLDPE and EO/ MEG processes, respectively.  In addition, Sasol will use its own proprietary technologies for the Tetramerization, Ziegler alcohol and Guerbet alcohol units. Emerson Process management, a global business of Emerson, has been appointed as the main automation contractor for the project.

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