ChemOne eyes PX production of nearly 2 million tonnes/year at project in Malaysia

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SINGAPORE (ICIS) – ChemOne expects to produce nearly 2 million tonnes/year of paraxylene (PX) at its $4.4 billion Pengerang Energy Complex (PEC) project in Johor, Malaysia, a senior executive has said. the society.

“We’re very focused on paraxylene – that’s our number one product. We’ll probably be running at just under 2 million tonnes, say 1.9 million [tonnes of PX]PEC CEO Alwyn Bowden told ICIS.

ChemOne is a Singapore-based petrochemical, green energy and natural resources conglomerate, while PEC is its business unit that will operate and manage the proposed complex in Malaysia.

Construction of the aroma complex will begin early next year, with a planned start in 2026.

It will be built within the Pengerang Integrated Petrochemical Complex (PIPC) – a mega project in southern Malaysia which is also home to the Saudi Aramco-PETRONAS PrefChem joint venture.

The PEC project will be able to process 150,000 bbl/day of condensate, which will in turn produce 2.3 million tons/year of aromatics, 3.9 million tons/year of energy products and 50,000 tons/year of ‘hydrogen.

American Honeywell UOP secured the technology license for the project in December 2021, with Italian Maire Tecnimont as the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning partner.

Debt financing for the project, valued at approximately $3 billion, is anchored by five export credit agencies who have agreed on the terms of financing the project.

Meanwhile, PEC has already secured contracts for raw materials and offtake of all products from the new complex, Bowden said, adding that all contracts are for 12 years.

Condensate feedstock for the complex will come from the United States, Australia and Qatar, he said.

“Condensate and all petroleum products will be supplied and removed by only two parties – one from Europe and the other from the United States,” he said.

“The aromatics [output] will be picked up by basically two parties as well…both based in Asia and they will distribute in Asia and China,” Bowden said.

CHINA STILL A KEY MARKET BUT MORE PRINCIPAL
“When we started this process, we thought we would focus on China and all of our products would go to China on the aromatics side,” said PEC’s CEO.

“The reality turns out to be different. Over time, we see that there is demand in other areas as well, so we don’t expect to be so dependent on China anymore,” Bowden said.

However, China’s import requirements for aromatics are expected to remain high in the long term despite the slew of new mega-refineries with integrated downstream units arriving in the coming years, he said.

“While his [aromatics imports] is dropping now and it will drop further once these new capabilities come online,” Bowden said.

“As we go into production [in 2026], it will head the other way – the need for imports will increase again. So, as far as we are concerned, we are entering the market at exactly the right time,” he added.

BIOFUELS, OLEFIN AS A POSSIBLE PATHWAY FOR EXPANSION
PEC is exploring a possible route to biofuel production to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible, the company’s chief said.

“We want to find ways to reduce the impact of the fuels we produce, so one way that can be immediately considered because we have a surplus of hydrogen is to look at a hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) plant and produce renewable jet fuel from that. factory,” Bowden said.

“It gives us the ability to blend with our own jet fuel to create a sustainable jet, and then on the other side, of course, once you have diesel production, you have the ability to convert it to olefins,” he added.

EFFICIENCY, DURABILITY – KEY TO LONG TERM SURVIVAL
As part of its long-term strategy, PEC sees the need to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into its investment decisions and operational processes.

“Anything you build now has to be built with a long-term view of your environmental integration with the rest of the world…Unless you take that perspective, you won’t be successful,” Bowden said.

“You can see it now with what’s happening in China…these megaprojects are usually crude oil, and therefore they have a very high carbon footprint,” he said.

“I think China rightly looked at it and asked if it was going in the right direction, that’s a big part of why they’ve reduced what’s planned for the future.”

The choice of Honeywell UOP’s technology for the PEC project in Malaysia was aimed at significantly reducing the energy requirements of the complex, enabling a lower cost of production and a lower carbon footprint, Bowden said.

Maintenance article by Nurluqman Suratman

Thumbnail photo: At a port in Butterworth, Malaysia – January 20, 2020 (By Vincent Thian/AP/Shutterstock)

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