Industry, Logistics & Shipping

Adnoc achieves full production of propylene at Ruwais

Adnoc Refining, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), has reached full production of polymer-grade propylene from its newly commissioned Propane Dehydrogenation (PDH) unit, a media report said.

The new unit is located in the Ruwais integrated refining and petrochemical hub, reported state-run Wam.

The PDH unit processes propane from two major sources, Adnoc Gas Processing and Ruwais Refinery West, to produce half a million tons per year of polymer-grade propylene. The standalone unit is part of the recently commissioned Carbon Black and Delayed Coker project.

Jasem Al Sayegh, Adnoc Refining CEO, said, "The PDH unit is a key element of Adnoc Refining’s expansion strategy to help create maximum value for Adnoc’s downstream businesses. It also underlines our intent to continue to expand Ruwais to become the world’s largest integrated refining and petrochemical complex, operating to world-class standards.

"The expansion in propylene production will be over half a million tons per year, adding value to our refining operations by integrating with downstream processing units. It will also help enable our partner company, Borouge, to meet the increasing global demand for specialist polymer products, particularly from the Asia-Pacific region."

Propane dehydrogenation is used to produce polymer-grade propylene from propane independent of a steam cracker, or fluid catalytic cracking unit. It provides a dedicated and reliable source of propylene to meet the growing market demand for propylene and gives more control over propylene feedstock costs.

Propylene is a key ingredient in the production of polymer. The future demand of polymer is expected to be in Asia, which is projected to be the fastest-growing market for the product due to rising automotive production and greater purchasing power of expanding middle-class populations.

In July, as a further sign of Adnoc’s intent to increase its share of the global petrochemicals market, Borouge awarded the Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract for an additional polypropylene plant (PP5), to be integrated with the existing Borouge 3 complex in Ruwais and grow its polymer production capacity to almost 5 million tons per year by 2021.

In May, at its Downstream Investment Forum, Adnoc unveiled plans to upgrade the entire Ruwais refining and petrochemicals complex, designed to substantially increase the company’s flexibility and capabilities to produce greater volumes of higher-value petrochemicals and derivative products. It includes building one of the world’s largest mixed feed crackers, trebling petrochemical production capacity from 4.5 mtpa in 2016 to 14.4 mtpa by 2025.