KARACHI: Engro Corporation, Pakistan’s premier conglomerate, has selected Honeywell UOP and W. R. Grace & Co. as technology partners to use their licensed process technology for the USD 1.5 billion, 750,000 Propane Dehydrogenation (“PDH”) and Polypropylene (“PP”) production facility, that would make Pakistan a self-sufficient producer of Polypropylene.
Polypropylene resin is used in the manufacturing of a variety of daily use consumer products including woven bags, food and non-food packaging, films, sheets, household containers, battery casings, kitchenware, electrical appliances, bottles, caps, pipes & fittings, medical equipment, and a wide range of other products. To meet these needs, polypropylene has a local annual demand of 500,000 with an expected grow rate of 7% annually.
Honeywell will provide its C3 Oleflex™ technology and basic engineering design services, in addition to equipment, catalysts and adsorbents for the plant. Since 2011, most of the new dehydrogenation projects globally have been based on UOP C3 Oleflex technology. However, this will mark the first use of C3 Oleflex in Pakistan. The technology is designed to have a lower cash cost of production and higher return on investment when compared to competing dehydrogenation technologies. Its low energy consumption, low emissions and fully recyclable, platinum-alumina-based catalyst system, helps minimize its impact on the environment. The independent reactor and regeneration design of the Oleflex technology helps maximize operating flexibility and onstream reliability.
W. R. Grace & Co., the leading independent supplier of polyolefin catalyst technology and polypropylene (PP) process technology, will provide its state-of-the-art UNIPOL® PP Process Technology to help achieve mechanical and operational simplicity. The process technology, coupled with Grace’s proprietary catalyst and donor systems and the UNIPOL UNIPPAC® Process Control System, allows for maximum performance.
While announcing the new partnerships, Ghias Khan, President & CEO of Engro Corporation said that, “Engro continues on its journey towards solving the most pressing issues of our time by investing in projects which will serve to be catalysts of growth for Pakistan. For the Project, we have selected Honeywell and Grace as our technology partners based on their extensive experience and cutting-edge solutions that have helped to set up such projects globally. This collaboration will support the advanced studies for the Project, which can be a significant milestone for Engro and Pakistan towards import substitution that will help build foreign exchange reserves, while also enhancing the petrochemicals landscape of the country.”
Pakistan faces a critically adverse balance of payments situation due to the country’s continued reliance on imports, and petrochemicals are one of the largest imports of the country, contributing around USD 2 billion to the import bill. Currently, Pakistan spends about USD 600 million on annual import of polypropylene.
With decades of experience in petrochemicals and a commitment to further develop its footprint in the petrochemicals vertical, Engro started conducting the commercial feasibility of the PDH complex in April 2019. Recently, Engro announced an investment of over $30 million to conduct engineering, design and technical studies including a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study in relation to the Project. The studies will help Engro delineate the technical complexities, refine the investment cost estimates, enhance its commercial understanding and devise mitigation strategies for potential risks of the project.