Houston, Texas (USA) - Sasol, an integrated oil, gas and chemical company operating worldwide, today announced it has begun Basic Engineering for the first commercial installation of its proprietary Tetramerization technology.
Jacobs Engineering, located in Houston, was recently awarded the Basic Engineering contract, which is expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2010.
Tetramerization, the process of reacting four ethylene molecules to produce one octene molecule, was developed in Sasol's R&D laboratories in South Africa.
"Sasol's unique Tetramerization process will ensure we are able to efficiently produce the specific products our customers require," said Pat Brown, Sasol North America President. "We are pleased to be embarking on this basic engineering phase and look forward to taking this project forward in the coming year," he said.
The initial commercial unit will have a combined capacity for 1-octene and 1-hexene of 100,000 tons per year. Various locations for this first unit are still under consideration, with Sasol's Chemical Complex, located near Lake Charles, Louisiana, a leading candidate. Construction is intended to begin in 2011 with initial production slated for 2013.
With a capacity of 196,000 tons/yr, Sasol is currently the world's largest producer of 1-octene. The additional planned capacity in North America is expected to help meet the increasing demand for this product.
"The initiation of this phase is a further manifestation of success of Sasol's global growth strategy in area on high value chemicals," Brown said.
Octene is used primarily as a comonomer in the production of high performance linear low-density polyethylene resins, where it imparts a host of specific characteristics such as strength, thinness, elasticity and puncture resistance in products ranging from dense and durable plastic for wire coatings, automotive interiors, raincoats and strong garbage bags to low-density, high-quality shopping bags, cling-wrap film and myriad related consumer plastics. Octene is also utilised in the production of elastomers, acids and alcohols.
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