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Cepsa starts up new linear alkylbenzene production process

By Mary Page Bailey |

Compañía Española de Petróleos S.A.U. (Cepsa; Madrid, Spain) has intensified its commitment to innovation, safety and sustainability by launching operations at the first European chemical plant to use Detal technology in San Roque (Cádiz). It is also the first Linear Alkylbenzene (LAB) plant in the world to replace hydrofluoric acid (HF) technology with Detal technology, a safer, more efficient and sustainable process which optimizes the efficient use of raw materials and electricity and reduces emissions and waste generation (1,100 tons per year).

cepsa

Cepsa has announced the launch of the first chemical plant globally to develop the technology for the production of biodegradable detergent raw materials (Source: Cepsa)

Additionally, this technological improvement will reduce water consumption by 80,000 m3 per year and improve the quality and versatility of Linear Alkylbenzene (LAB), the raw material used in the plant for the production of biodegradable detergents.

After nearly two years of development, the technology has been successfully applied and the transformation of the plant completed, making it a global pioneer. The application of this technology, whose patent has been developed by Cepsa in collaboration with UOP (Universal Oil Products), has led to the creation of 250 jobs in the Campo de Gibraltar, reaching 600 in some phases of the process, with more than 800,000 hours invested in engineering and construction and the support of fifty auxiliary companies, most of them from the province. In addition, 700 tons of steel, 3,180 m3 of concrete, 40 km of piping and 60 km of cabling were used. Since 2019, the Puente Mayorga Chemical Plant has been using 100% renewable electric power supplied by Cepsa’s Gas and Electricity business.

An investment of 117 million euros in this technological improvement will allow Cepsa to increase the plant’s production and respond to the growing demand for biodegradable detergents. With this development, Cepsa will consolidate its position as a global leader in LAB manufacturing, also improving its offering to African markets where demand is expected to increase in the coming years.

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