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Clariant and Lummus awarded contract for one of the world’s largest PDH units to be built in China

| By Chemical Engineering

Fujian Meide will be building a new, world-scale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit in Fuzhou, China, using CATOFIN technology. The new unit is slated to be one of the largest PDH units in the world and will produce 900,000 metric tons of propylene annually. Operation is scheduled to start in 2023.

The contract for the unit has been awarded to the two partners: Clariant (, the developer of CATOFIN catalysts, and Lummus (, a process technology provider. The CATOFIN process combines Lummus’s advanced technology with Clariant’s tailor-made catalysts and Heat Generating Material (HGM) to convert propane to propylene. Since its commercial launch in 2017, CATOFIN has been selected for 34 new projects around the world, representing more than 24,000 kilotons of new propylene capacity annually. Over 50% of these plants are located in China. CATOFIN is a Clariant trademark.

Photo courtesy of Clariant - CATOFIN catalyst

Clariant’s CATOFIN catalyst (photo courtesy of Clariant)

Fujian Meide Petrochemical Co. is a fully owned subsidiary of Zhongjing Petrochemicals Group, which is headquartered in Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China. Specialized in energy, petrochemicals, logistics and packaging, Zhongjing Petrochemicals Group is the largest producer of BOPP (biaxially oriented polypropylene) films in China, with an annual capacity of 1 million tons of BOPP and 4 million tons of polypropylene.

Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President & General Manager at Clariant Catalysts, commented, “This strategic collaboration exemplifies our dedication to product innovation with ground-breaking chemistry, such as our Heat Generating Material (HGM). As a result, HGM, together with new Lummus process technology, reduces energy consumption of the CATOFIN process by one-third, making it a low-carbon route to propylene production.”

Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lummus Technology, added, “Our close partnership with Clariant has continued to improve CATOFIN over the years to the benefit of our customers. The process has a proven track record of excellent productivity, often even beyond design capacity (up to 110% on average), giving producers a significantly higher return on investment and more profitable daily operations. This has made it a global leader for propylene production.”

Zheng Chaohui, President at Fujian Meide Petrochemical Co., stated, “With an annual capacity of 900,000 tons, our second PDH unit will be among the world’s largest. No other PDH technology is proven at such scale, and we needed outstanding performance. CATOFIN was our first choice because it is widely recognized as one of the most advanced solutions in the PDH industry. Clariant and Lummus Technology have already proven to be the right partners for us, not only with their products, but also with their technical expertise.”

For more on Clariant’s HGM technology, see the Chemical Engineering article on the 43rd Kirkpatrick Awards :