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Honeywell opens petrochemical catalyst production facility in China

28th April 2015

Honeywell has announced that its Performance Materials and Technologies division has opened a new manufacturing facility in China to produce state-of-the-art catalysts used to make components for plastics production

Honeywell has announced that its Performance Materials and Technologies division has opened a new manufacturing facility in China to produce state-of-the-art catalysts used to make components for plastics production
Historically, 70 per cent of the world's propylene was produced from petroleum as a by-product of making ethylene, another component of plastics. In recent years, ethylene producers increasingly have made ethylene from ethane in natural gas, which produces a negligible amount of propylene

This new site in Zhangjiagang City, Jiangsu Province, has begun production of catalysts used to covert propane to propylene as traditional sources for this product shrink. The catalysts are used in the Oleflex process developed by Honeywell's UOP, a global leader in technology for the oil and gas industries. Over the past four years, UOP has licensed its Oleflex technology to 30 producers globally, including 25 in China. The first two of these new plants came online in Chinalast year.

"This is another important milestone for Honeywell as we invest in capacity to meet strong customer demand for our game-changing technologies," said Darius Adamczyk, president and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies. "This investment will support our growth while helping China meet growing domestic and global demand for propylene."

Honeywell announced its plans to add this manufacturing capacity in October 2013. The facility is located in an established, world-class industrial park about 85 miles northwest of Shanghai. In addition to Oleflex catalysts, the site will produce adsorbent materials used in applications including refining and petrochemical production and natural gas processing. Honeywell also is planning production of materials for other fast-growing technologies at the site.

"This campus enables Honeywell to help Chinese petrochemical producers meet global demand for propylene with UOP's Oleflex technology," said Scott Zhang, vice president and general manager for Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies in Asia. "These manufacturing operations use local raw materials, supporting the area economy and the sustainable economic development of Jiangsu Province."  

Historically, 70 per cent of the world's propylene was produced from petroleum as a by-product of making ethylene, another component of plastics. In recent years, ethylene producers increasingly have made ethylene from ethane in natural gas, which produces a negligible amount of propylene. This shift in ethylene production has caused a propylene supply gap, leading to investments in facilities that produce on-purpose propylene.

Oleflex is the leading technology for converting propane to propylene. Compared with alternative technologies, it offers higher yields, lower production costs and higher investment returns, with the smallest environmental footprint.

Honeywell has a long history in China, dating back to 1935 when it established the first franchise in Shanghai. Today, its business units have their Asia Pacific headquarters in China, and Honeywell has established subsidiaries and joint ventures in more than 20 cities across the country.

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