Egypt-Japan to build world's largest methanol plant
PLANS ARE BEING LAID TO BUILD THE WORLD'S LARGEST METHANOL PLANT
Egypt Japan Petrochemical Corporation (EJPC), a company established by Mitsubishi Corporation and Chiyoda Corporation, is developing what it says will become the world's largest methanol manufacturing complex. The two-line facility will have a combined capacity of 6,000 m.t./day of methanol and will be based at Ain Sohkna, Egypt.
The project is being implemented together with Carbon Holdings Ltd. (Giza, Egypt), which is developing several projects in Egypt, and a number of undisclosed private investors. EJPC has signed a methanol technology agreement with Davy Process Technology, a Johnson Matthey subsidiary, which will also provide basic engineering. Detailed engineering and procurement services will be provided by Chiyoda. The plant will utilize steam reforming of natural gas in conjunction with the methanol synthesis process developed and licensed by Davy and Johnson Matthey.
Hydrogen-rich purge gas from the methanol loop will be used in a separate 2,000 m.t./day ammonia plant to be based at the same site. Uhde is providing its process technology and engineering services for the ammonia plant. Work on the methanol/ammonia complex is scheduled to begin in 2012 with completion targeted for the middle f 2015. Total investment cost is estimated at $2.5 billion.
The methanol project is "a key component in the development of Carbon Holdings' petrochemicals business," says James Bishop, CFO of Carbon Holdings. The company and EJPC are implementing new oil and gas infrastructure in the Ninth Industrial Zone of the Ain Sohkna industrial area in Egypt. In addition to the methanol and ammonia complex, Carbon Holdings will commence construction of a greenfield ammonium nitrate (AN) production facility in 2011. This plant will be designed to produce 1,060 m.t./day of AN and will be based on Uhde's technology. The ammonia unit will eventually feed the AN facility but until it starts production, ammonia will be supplied by Transammonia from existing plants located nearby or from other facilities.