Dow Technology Licensing, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated affiliates (Dow), announced today that the new 600 KTA ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol (EO/EG) production unit at The Kuwait Olefins Company (TKOC) complex is the largest single plant of its kind to employ METEOR™ EO/EG Process.
The new plant, known as EG-2, is part of the larger Olefins II Kuwait (O2K) expansion project and is owned by TKOC and operated by EQUATE Petrochemical Company. The plant began commercial production in late August. A team composed of Dow’s technical and EQUATE’s production personnel successfully completed a series of tests to ensure that the plant would operate at optimal processing efficiency soon after start-up.
"We’re extremely pleased with the efficient and timely start-up of this newest EO/EG unit, which once again validates the critical role our technical teams and our METEOR EO/EG Process plays in the global industrial marketplace," said Dr. Molly Zhang, business vice president of Dow Technology Licensing. "When producers around the world begin to consider building or expanding their EO/EG capacity, our proven technology and experience with the EG-2 plant and many others makes a strong case for choosing the METEOR EO/EG Process for their projects."
With its simple, single-reactor design, the industry leading METEOR EO/EG process offers the new complex a high-performing process and catalyst for efficient EO/EG production. The EG-2 plant has the largest single EO reactor in operation.
Dow and its affiliates are world leaders in EO/EG production. Commercialized in 1994, the METEOR technology uses a streamlined process and a unique EO catalyst, which combines both high activity and the highest selectivity in the industry, to produce ethylene oxide and ethylene glycols with fewer process steps, less equipment and smaller plot size requirements than competitive technologies. As a result, the process has low capital costs and the high selectivity of the METEOR EO Catalyst results in a substantial reduction in plant emissions.
"Our customers in the Middle East, including TKOC, are increasingly looking for ways to lower operating costs and reduce their carbon footprint," says Hugo Gonzalez, EO/EG commercial manager, Dow Technology Licensing. "The advanced process and catalyst in our METEOR EO/EG Process allow them to achieve these benefits without sacrificing plant performance."
TKOC’s project management team selected Foster Wheeler Italiana (FWI) to execute the detail engineering, procurement and construction management. Filippo Abbà, director of projects for FWI, observed that the streamlined METEOR EO/EG process and previous experience with the technology resulted in rapid project execution. "We had worked with the METEOR EO/EG process on the EG-1 unit and we were familiar with all the phases of implementation," says Abbà. "With the knowledge acquired from that venture, TKOC and FWI were able to develop an optimized project execution strategy. We quickly mobilized a strong and motivated team to accelerate the process and achieve project objectives."
Over the years, Dow has invested heavily in research and development to continually improve the process technology. Compared to competitive processes, METEOR lowers plant capital cost requirements for a new facility due to its streamlined process design and also reduces operating costs because of its high-selectivity, high-activity EO catalyst, which enhances raw material utilization, offering licensees the highest financial return for the production of EO/EG.
The EG-2 Plant is owned by TKOC and is managed, operated and maintained by EQUATE Petrochemical Company. Ethylene glycols from the EG-2 facility will be sold by MEGlobal. TKOC and EQUATE are joint ventures between Dow, PIC, Boubyan Petrochemical Company and Al Qurain Petrochemical Industries. MEGlobal is a joint venture between Dow and PIC.