Global Processing

Honeywell's UOP to revamp Japanese petrochemical facility

August 7, 2013

<photocredit>Hanquan Chen/iStockphoto/Thinkstock</photocredit>

UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, announced Wednesday that it has been selected by Taiyo Oil Co. Ltd. to supply technology and catalysts to improve operational flexibility and increase petrochemical production at Taiyo's Shikoku Operations in Ehime, Japan.

The plant will install UOP TatorayTM process technology to allow it to boost yields of certain petrochemicals by more than 70 percent and give the plant more flexibility to produce petrochemicals or gasoline as demand changes.

"Demand for petrochemicals in Asia is growing, while gasoline demand is expected to decrease due to stricter fuel specifications and increased demand for fuel-efficient vehicles," said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of Honeywell's UOP Process Technology and Equipment business unit. "The Tatoray process will significantly increase mixed xylene and benzene production, allowing Taiyo to respond to the region's growing petrochemical demand, and it will give them the operational flexibility to also produce high-quality gasoline as needed. We look forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with Taiyo as we work to complete this project."

Honeywell's UOP has worked with Taiyo for nearly 30 years and has provided almost all of the process units for its Shikoku Operations.

RELATED: Honeywell to automate Rosneft refinery in southern Russia

The new Tatoray unit is expected to produce 300,000 metric tons per year of mixed xylene and high-purity beneze, which will require no further processing. The unit is expected to start up in 2014.

The plant's existing UOP Thermal Hydro-Dealkylation (THDA) unit converts heavy aromatics such as toluene to benzene, a high-value petrochemical used in the production of polymers, plastics and high-octane gasoline. Taiyo will convert the unit to use Honeywell's UOP Tatoray process technology. Honeywell's UOP Tatoray process converts toluene and C9 aromatics to mixedxylenes and high-purity benzene without the need for sulfolane extraction. The process can more than double mixed xylene production from a given naphtha feedstock, while significantly reducing the overall cost of production, making it one of the most economical ways to increase xylene and benzene yields in an aromatics complex.

Founded in 1941, Taiyo Oil Co. Ltd. specializes in importing, exporting, refining and marketing petroleum products. Based in Tokyo, Japan, Taiyo also manufacturers, processes and sells petrochemical-based products, including benzene and xylene, and the company explores for oil and natural gases.