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Al-Waha JV takes propane, Spherizone path to polypropylene
Dubai’s Al-Waha Petrochemical Co. has started up its new complex in Al-Jubail Industrial City, which includes a 450,000-tons/yr polypropylene (PP) plant based on LyondellBasell’s Spherizone process technology.
October 28, 2009
2 Min Read
Dubai’s Al-Waha Petrochemical Co. has started up its new complex in Al-Jubail Industrial City, which includes a 450,000-tons/yr polypropylene (PP) plant based on LyondellBasell’s Spherizone process technology. Formed in 2006, Al-Waha is a Sahara Petrochemicals Co. (75%) and LyondellBasell (25%) joint venture. Although its products will be marketed globally, this joint venture will allow LyondellBasell to supply heterophasic and random copolymers to the Middle East from local assets for the first time.
Al-Waha’s Spherizone plant is reportedly the largest of its kind in the world, with the resins it produces initially targeting tapes for woven fabrics, injection molded products, and film. Eventually, the facility will supply grades used in fiber and nonwoven applications, as well as a range of random copolymers for consumer and packaging applications. Spherizone PP can also be used in high-performance pipe applications.
The site includes a propane dehydrogenation unit, which will be used to derive propylene from propane, as opposed to the petroleum derivative, naphtha. In that process, catalytic dehydration is used convert propane to propylene. The technology will allow Al-Waha to tap into Dubai’s sizable natural gas reserves, estimated at 125 billion m3. The Dubai Natural Gas Co.’s Mina Jabal Ali facility has the capacity to extract 20,000 barrels/day of natural gas liquids, including propane and butane, as well as 2.1 million m3 of dry gas like methane. Commercialized in 2002 at the company’s Brindisi, Italy site, LyondellBasell’s Spherizone technology has been licensed globally for the creation of 3 million tons of polypropylene capacity since 2004. —[email protected]
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