Plant set-ups: Uhde to license technology in Iran; Versalis/Sonatrach pitch for petchem complex in Algeria

Germany’s Uhde is currently in talks over the licensing of a technology for propylene production at Salman Farsi petrochemical complex in Iran. Uhde will license its propane dehydrogenation (PDH) technology to the Salman Farsi petrochemical complex, currently under construction at Mahshahr, Iran, according to reports quoting the head of the Iranian petrochemical guild, Ali Mohammad Rajali.

Rajali is quoted as having said that Uhde and another unspecified European company are holding talks with Iran to provide the PDH technology, with the plant expected to be completed by 2020 and to provide the feedstock for nearby petrochemical complexes, including Rejal, Marun, and Navid-Zar Chemi. With a cost of around EUR290 million, the PDH facility will produce 450,000 tonnes/year of propylene, with the Rejal plant to expand its PP capacity from 160,000 tonnes/year to 220,000 tonnes/year once feedstock supply is secured from Salman Farsi, the report adds.

Uhde is part of industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp, which is building one of the world’s largest PET plants for textile applications for SASA in Turkey, with a planned capacity of 380,000 tonnes/year. The design of the polycondensation plant will be based on Uhde Inventa-Fischer’s 2R polyester technology.

Meanwhile, Italian chemicals firm Versalis (Eni) and Sonatrach are to carry out a joint feasibility studies for an integrated petrochemical complex to be built in Algeria.

The agreement follows the cooperation agreement signed by Eni and Sonatrach last November and provides for the terms of a study aiming at enhancing hydrocarbons with value added petrochemical products through the development, in Algeria, of one or a few world-scale industrial petrochemical facilities. Versalis says the agreement gives it opportunity to collaborate with an integrated oil corporation, to which the Italian chemical producer will offer its industrial experience in managing large petrochemical plants, and the access to its proprietary technologies, within the framework of strategic joint projects.

Sonatrach is an Algerian government-owned company formed to exploit the hydrocarbon resources of the country. It is the largest Algerian and African company and is ranked 12th among world oil companies, 2nd exporting LNG and LPG and the third exporter of natural gas. Overall production (all products) was 230 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2006. The company, which employs approximately 120,000 workers, produces 30% of the GNP of Algeria.

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