Honeywell will provide the process design package, proprietary, and non-proprietary equipment, on-site operator training, technical services for start-up and continuing operation, and catalysts and adsorbents for the project.
Daily News Egypt sat down for an interview with Jim Moshi, Honeywell UOP, Middle East regional general manager, whereby her shared how Honeywell UOP is operating in Egypt for more than 40 years, supporting the growing ambitions of the country’s economy and delivering technology to help its process industries extract maximum value from its oil and gas reserves. The transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:
What does the agreement between Honeywell and SIDPEC entail?
Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Co (SIDPEC) is a joint stock company established in 1997 and represents Egypt’s initial development of a domestic petrochemicals industry. The company’s production assets are based on the latest available technologies and designs to ensure competitiveness and compliance with Egyptian environmental regulations.
SIDPEC has chosen Honeywell UOP’s C3 Oleflex™ technology to produce 500,000 metric tonnes per year of on-purpose propylene at SIDPEC’s refinery in Amerya, near Alexandria, Egypt.
Honeywell will provide the process design package, proprietary, and non-proprietary equipment, on-site operator training, technical services for start-up and continuing operation, and catalysts and adsorbents for the project. Including this project, Honeywell UOP’s Oleflex technology has been selected for 52 out of 64 propane and isobutane dehydrogenation projects globally since 2011. When completed, the SIPDEC unit will be the first Oleflex unit operating in Egypt.
Why did SIDPEC choose Honeywell?
Honeywell UOP was chosen because it has the greatest experience in propane dehydrogenation technology, and because the Oleflex solution provided the best economics versus other solutions.
This plant will allow SIDPEC to expand its portfolio and take advantage of domestically produced propane to make products such as polypropylene.
Honeywell UOP’s C3 Oleflex technology uses catalytic dehydrogenation to convert propane to propylene and is designed to have a lower cash cost of production and higher return on investment among competing technologies. Its low energy consumption, low emissions, and fully recyclable, platinum-alumina-based catalyst system minimises its impact on the environment. The independent reaction and regeneration sections enable steady-state operations, improved operating flexibility, and a high on-stream factor and reliability.
Honeywell UOP also licenses C4 Oleflex technology, which converts butanes to butylenes, the primary ingredient for making high-octane fuel additives and synthetic rubber. Since the technology was first commercialized in 1990, Honeywell UOP has commissioned 29 Oleflex units for on-purpose propylene and isobutylene production. The global production capacity of propylene from Oleflex technology now stands at nearly 7m metric tonnes per year from 19 operating units.
What is the demand for polypropene in Africa and Egypt?
According to IHS Markit, annual demand for polypropylene in Africa was 1.9m metric tonnes in 2016. But due to rapid population growth and urbanisation, this demand is expected to rise by an additional 1m metric tonnes in the next decade. Egypt is the top consumer of polypropylene in Africa, consuming about 4.4 kg per capita, and growing by more than 5% annually through 2022.
What are Honeywell’s other key projects in Egypt within the oil and gas sector?
Honeywell UOP has been operating in Egypt for more than 40 years, supporting the growth ambitions of the country’s economy and delivering technology to help its industries extract maximum value from its oil and gas reserves.
The oil and gas sector continues to play an essential role in Egypt’s plans for economic development. Energy sector reforms are a priority for the Egyptian government, which is looking to reduce its expenditure of $16bn on oil and gas related imports.
As Egypt’s economy continues to evolve and diversify, we see immense opportunities for the industrial internet of things (IoT) enabled technologies that will help the growth of the oil and gas industry and deliver more productive, safe, and reliable operations.
Meanwhile, ever since it established its very first project with the Alexandria Petroleum Company in 1978, Honeywell UOP has been providing cutting-edge solutions to a wide range of private and government organisations across the country.
These include the Amreya Petroleum Refining Company, which has been using Honeywell UOP’s crude distillation, naphtha hydrotreating and detergents units, as well as platforming and sulfolane units.
Honeywell UOP has also delivered CCR Platforming and naphtha hydrotreating units to the Alexandria National Refining and Petrochemicals Co and provided polyester resin technology to the Egyptian Indian Polyester Co to only mention a few.
How will technology impact Egypt’s oil and gas sector in the future?
As mentioned above, the energy sector reforms are a priority for the Egyptian government, which is looking to reduce its expenditure of $16bn on oil and gas related imports. These reforms will include the phasing out of energy subsidies by 2019 and self-sufficiency in natural gas by 2020.
We see a lot of opportunities to expand our presence in Egypt given the huge potential of this country, and we intend to continue our support to the Egyptian oil and gas sector through research, training, and innovative product development. We will continue to focus on expanding our IoT and HCP offerings to help improve the productivity and efficiency of Egypt’s existing oil and gas infrastructure, leveraging years of our experience in the sector.
In addition to technology provision, training the next generation of engineers and plant operators is also an important focus, and we play an active role in that.
Honeywell has introduced a scholarships programme for chemical engineering students at the University of Cairo. The scholarships were part of the company’s investment in building engineering talent in Egypt and are funded by two of Honeywell’s businesses, Honeywell UOP, and Honeywell Process Solutions.
Some of the students who received scholarships have been selected for internships at Honeywell UOP’s research facilities in Chicago, and at Honeywell Process Solutions’ offices in Houston. We are committed to ensuring the future leaders of Egypt’s oil and gas sector are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to drive growth in the industry for years to come.