Technology

ADVANCED produces 450,000 tons per annum of polypropylene. The Company is utilizing proven technologies provided by Novolen Technology Holdings C.V. ("NTH"), a subsidiary of ABB Lummus Global Inc. ("Lummus"). Lummus, has granted the Company the right to utilize its CATOFIN® "PDH" technology, and NTH has granted the Company the right to utilize its NOVOLEN® polypropylene production technology. The Plant was being engineered and constructed by Samsung Engineering Company Limited ("SECL") and its affiliate, Samsung Saudi Arabia Limited ("SSAL").
 

Technology

  • ABB Lummus Global Inc. (Novolen Lummus) is part of the ABB Group. It is a US company with Technology Holdings B.V., a worldwide network of integrated project execution centers, providing advanced process technologies, project management, engineering, procurement and construction.
  • Related services: Lummus and its affiliate, NTH, own the CATOFIN® PDH and NOVOLEN technologies, respectively.
  • EPC Contractor has participated in over 1,500 projects, both in limited and Samsung Saudi Arabia South Korea and internationally. Samsung has specific EPC limited experience in similar petrochemical projects and its Operations cover Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

CATOFIN ® Dehydrogenation

  • CATOFIN dehydrogenation is a continuous process, with cyclic reactor operation. During the hydrocarbon processing step, fresh feed and recycle feed (from C3 splitter bottoms) are vaporized by exchange with various process streams and then raised to reaction temperature in the charge heater. The reactor effluent is routed through a high pressure steam generator, feed-effluent exchanger, and trim cooler to the compressor.
  • The compressor discharge is cooled, dried and routed to the low temperature recovery section to reject light ends. The low temperature section off gas, which is a hydrogen-rich gas, is partly sent to a Pressure Swing Adsorption Unit (PSA) to purify the hydrogen. Remaining off gas is used partly in the reactor and the balance is used as fuel gas. Recovered liquids from the low temperature recovery section, along with the effluent flash drum liquid, are fed to distillation facilities for product recovery.
  • Ancillary equipment is required for the reheat/ regeneration steps that are necessary to prepare the off-line reactors for their next reaction phase. The entire reactor sequence is computer controlled and requires no operator input for the cyclic operation.

Polypropylene

Process Description
  • Propylene, ethylene catalyst and any other required co-monomers are fed into the reactor(s). Hydrogen is added to control the molecular weight.
  • Polymerization conditions (temperature, pressure and reactant concentrations) are set by the polymer grade being made.
  • The reaction itself is exothermic and reactor cooling is achieved by flash heat-exchange, where liquefied reactor gas is mixed with fresh feed and injected into the reactor; flash evaporation of the liquid in the polymer bed ensures maximum heat exchange.
  • The polymer powder is discharged from the reactor and separated in a discharge vessel at atmospheric pressure.
  • Any un reacted monomer separated from the powder is compressed and either recycled or returned to the upstream olefins unit for recovery.
  • The polymer is flushed with nitrogen in a purge vessel to strip it of residual propylene.
  • The purge vessel off gas is passed to a recovery system; the powder is transported to powder silos and is then converted into pellets that incorporate a full range of well-dispersed additives.
  • For highly demanding applications requiring extremely low volatiles and odor levels, the pellets are conveyed to degassing unit to treat the pellets after extrusion.

Overview
Polypropylene is among the fastest growing polymers much of this growth is attributed to polypropylene's ability to displace conventional material (wood, glass, metal) and other thermoplastics at lower cost. Novolen® gas phase polypropylene (PP) technology for the production of the full range of polypropylene resins is reliable, versatile and environmentally clean and the products meet the requirements of even the most demanding applications.
Advantages
Produces full range of homo-polymers, random and impact copolymers in only two reactors with a selection of catalyst:
  • Exceptional lot-to-lot and within-lot uniformity.
  • Exclusive pellet degassing.
  • Simple, gas-phase, solvent-free process.
  • Small reactor volume minimizes reactor residence time.

Performance Characteristics
  • The Novolen polypropylene process utilizes one or two vertical, stirred bed, gas-phase reactors.
  • Homo-polymers and random co-polymers can be manufactured either in a single reactor or in a reactor cascade with two reactors, depending on the required capacity and product range.
  • Impact copolymers require two reactors connected in series: in the first reactor, propylene homopolymer or random copolymer is polymerized: in the second reactor, rubber is added by polymerizing an ethylene/propylene mixture.
  • In general, homopolymers can be used for housing, housewares, packaging, cassette holders and fibers, monofilaments and film tapes; copolymers are preferred for all applications exposed to cold and they are widely used for pipes, containers, boat hulls, seat shells and automotive parts e.g. battery cases and bumpers.
  • Polypropylene can be manufactured to a high degree of purity to be used for the semiconductor industry. Its resistance to bacterial growth makes it suitable to be used in medical equipment.
  • Polypropylene is used in most of our nonwoven fabrics such as rope used in a variety of industries, including fishing and agriculture.
  • PP can be used for flexible packaging applications (e.g. yogurt containers, syrup bottles, straws, etc.), construction sector (e.g. drainage pipes, pumps, etc.), automotive sector, etc. Making polymers is a great science. Also, the matter of shaping the polymer into useful objects is another fantastic science. One of the most common methods of shaping polymer resins is a process called injection molding, fiber, and films.

Process Technologies
Lummus and its affiliate, NTH, own both the CATOFIN® PDH and the NOVOLEN® technologies respectively. The Company has contracted with NTH to utilize NOVOLEN® technology. Lummus acquired the exclusive right from NTH to provide engineering services for the NOVOLEN® process for the production of PP. Saudi Arabia joined the WTO on 11 December 2005 and, according to the membership negotiations, it is expected that feedstock pricing will remain at current levels while tariffs imposed by other countries on the Saudi exports are expected to reduce, which would have a positive impact on Saudi exports.