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Indorama licenses “single-step” MTBE process for new plant in China

By Mary Page Bailey |

Indorama Ventures Ltd. (IVL; Bangkok, Thailand) has signed a license agreement with Shandong Binhua New Material Co., Ltd. (Binhua), a subsidiary of Befar Group, a leading petroleum and chemical enterprise in China, to build, own and operate a propylene oxide (PO), t-Butanol (TBA) and t-Butyl methyl ether (MTBE) co-production unit.

Featuring the world’s only MTBE ‘single-step’ reaction technology, IVL’s proprietary, the project is part of the ‘C3 and C4’ comprehensive utilization project in Shandong, China. It is one of the largest in the province, covering an area of over one million square meters.

“On completion, this project will be able to produce 600,000 tons of propylene, 800,000 tons of butane isomerization, 150,000 tons of synthetic ammonia, 240,000 tons of propylene oxide and 742,000 tons of MTBE per year. With the lowest operational cost of all other propylene oxide technologies and close to 50 consecutive years of successful and safe operation, the license with IVL was selected because of its superiority, unique features, and competitiveness,” said Mr. Liu Hongan, Vice President of Befar Group and General Manager of Shandong Binhua New Material Co. Ltd.

Under the contract, IVL will provide a design package, technology, operational know-how and training to enable the construction and operation of a PO co-production with MTBE and TBA units for Binhua. The plant is part of a larger complex comprising propane dehydrogenation to propylene, butane isomerization, synthetic ammonia, and other installations.

Alastair Port, Executive President, Integrated Oxides and Derivatives (IOD), IVL, said, “IVL is honored to be providing this important technology license, enabling the monetization of Binhua’s raw materials in Shandong Province with a world-class and cost-effective plant. Our technology uses 130 U.S. patents and more than four decades of continuous development. This allows IVL to provide both the license, and owner/operator knowledge to deliver the quality and effective solutions a project of this scale requires.”

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