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Comment Sustainability

Worley to provide EPC services for consumer-plastics-to-BTX plant in U.S.

By Gerald Ondrey |

Worley (North Sydney, Australia) will provide engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for Encina’s (Houston) consumer-plastics-to benzene-toluene-xylenes (BTX) processing plant in the U.S.

BTX are important building blocks for a variety of widely-used products including pharmaceuticals, clothing, and glues. Regular BTX is typically derived from the catalytic reforming of naphtha in a petroleum refinery. Striving towards a waste-free future, some technology companies have been looking at sustainable ways to create BTX.

To help buffer the ever-expanding global plastic waste dilemma, Encina has developed a process that economically extracts BTX from plastic waste through catalytic pyrolysis. It enables the “cracking” of hydrocarbons to create pygas which contains the aromatics. These are then extracted, captured and delivered to Encina’s end customers.  

Encina’s initial U.S. facility, will implement this proprietary technology to produce the valuable renewable chemicals and can take plastic in varying conditions – from post-consumer, mixed plastics to ocean plastics – which eliminates the labor-intensive process of sorting, cleaning, and baling.

Worley is currently working on the engineering package for the U.S. plant, which is modularly scalable to take on more capacity. This allows Encina to increase throughput as more feedstock becomes available. 

The plant is the first of many planned facilities across the world — with future sites in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

“Encina is excited to work with Worley through the entire EPC process, and to have them manage the operations and maintenance for each Encina facility around the world. We have come to entrust Worley as a key partner in our design and implementation to help resolve the global issue surrounding plastic waste.” says David Schwedel, executive director of Encina Development Group.

“We are delighted to be extending our relationship with Encina through this project which supports Worley’s own commitment to sustainability and the circular economy. This award solidifies our long-standing relationship with Encina and our aim to be their end-to-end service provider for this and future projects.” says Stephen Hillier, president of Worley’s Integrated Solutions – Downstream, MMM and Power.

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