PetroLogistics plans US Gulf Coast PDH plant

PetroLogistics ll, a portfolio company of Quantum Energy Partners, has let a contract to Dow Chemical Co. to provide technology licensing for a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit to be built on the US Gulf Coast.

PetroLogistics ll LLC, a portfolio company of Quantum Energy Partners, Houston, has let a contract to Dow Chemical Co. to provide technology licensing for a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit to be built on the US Gulf Coast.

The 500,000-tonne/year PDH unit will be equipped with Dow’s proprietary fluidized catalytic dehydrogenation (FCDH) technology, which uses a novel reactor design based on fluidized catalytic cracking for on-purpose propylene production, PetroLogistics said.

While it has yet to decide between two alternative USGC sites under evaluation for the project’s location, PetroLogistics did confirm it is currently engaged in the front-end engineering design for the proposed PDH plant.

Announcement of the plant follows PetroLogistics’ construction of the first PDH plant in North America for on-purpose propylene production, which began operations at its Houston Ship Channel site in 2010 (OGJ Online, Sept. 4, 2018).

“Since [start-up of that first PDH plant], developments related to the shale revolution have resulted in a significant decline in coproduct propylene production from the sources that historically supplied the majority of US propylene: petroleum refineries and heavy feed ethylene crackers,” said PetroLogistics Pres. Nathan Ticatch.

“As a result, future growth in propylene demand will need to be supplied largely via on-purpose propane dehydrogenation. However, new PDH projects have been slow in coming to market in the US primarily because of challenges relating to capital costs and efficiency of incumbent PDH technologies. We have been working with Dow for 3 years in evaluating the FCDH technology and we are confident that it addresses those challenges and represents a significant breakthrough in the PDH process,” Ticatch said.

The company revealed neither a budget nor timeline for projected commissioning of the PDH unit.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@endeavorb2b.com.

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