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Article updated: 5/16/2013 9:53 AM

Des Plaines firm to provide technology for Gulf Coast facility

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Des Plaines-based UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, said it has been selected to provide technology for the world's largest on-purpose propylene production facility, located on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Ascend Performance Materials Operations LLC will use Honeywell's UOP C3 Oleflex process technology to convert propane to propylene, a key ingredient in the production of materials such as nylon, films and packaging.

Petrochemical makers are installing additional propylene capacity to meet growing demand and to make up for the shortage of propylene production from traditional refining and petrochemical sources. The Ascend project is the 14th Oleflex project Honeywell's UOP has announced since the beginning of 2011, and the company's seventh Oleflex project in North America since the technology was developed. The combined Oleflex projects announced since 2011 will help increase propylene production by nearly 7 million metric tons globally in the next three years.

"Global propylene demand is growing at about 4-5 percent per year. The U.S. is seeing an increase in on-purpose propylene production because of the abundance of low-cost propane from shale gas," said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of Honeywell's UOP Process Technology and Equipment business unit. "Compared with competing propane dehydrogenation processes, UOP Oleflex technology provides the lowest cash cost of production, the highest return on investment and the smallest environmental footprint."

Ascend will install the Oleflex technology at a facility on the U.S. Gulf Coast to produce more than 1 million metric tons of propylene per year beginning in 2015. In addition to technology licensing, Honeywell's UOP will supply engineering design, catalysts, adsorbents and selected equipment for the project.

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