Honeywell's UOP Russell business has introduced a new high recovery cryogenic gas processing plant that is 50 percent larger than other pre-engineered plants currently available. With a capacity of 300 million standard cubic feet per day, the new SC-30 gas plant employs Ortloff Recycle Split Vapor technology that can recover more than 99 percent of high-value ethane from natural gas.
Due to its larger size, the SC-30 plant is about 20 percent more energy efficient on a per-cubic foot basis, lowering gas processors' capital and operating costs. The plant is prefabricated and delivered in modular form, and uses an advanced cycle process to extract high-value ethane from residue gas. Ethane is used almost exclusively as a petrochemical feedstock to produce ethylene, which is a primary component of plastics.
"Market dynamics that are increasing demand for larger-scale gas plants is being driven by the processors, who are increasing their scale and looking for ways to lower their costs," said Neil Eckersley, UOP Russell general manager at Honeywell. "A larger plant such as the SC-30 can do the job of two, for little more than the cost of one."
To make the SC-30 possible, UOP Russell created a new engineering design that included larger pumps, coolers, tanks and piping contained on modular skids. Each of these skids are manufactured in factory conditions, ensuring high manufacturing quality and on-time delivery. The entire plant can be transported on truck beds and assembled on site, anywhere natural gas is being produced.
Moreover, the SC-30's RSV technology recovers more than 99 percent of the high-value ethane present in natural gas, far more than standard Gas Subcooled Process plants that are limited to about 90 percent recovery.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. production of ethane is forecast to increase from an average of 1.25 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2016 to 1.7 million b/d in 2018. The EIA predicts that increased ethane production will be consumed in the petrochemical industry domestically, in addition to exports to other countries, particularly in Europe and Asia.
UOP Russell, a subsidiary of Honeywell UOP, provides skid-mounted, pre-engineered and customized modular equipment. The equipment is easily delivered to remote locations and then assembled on-site, significantly reducing construction time and expense and improving operational reliability. This modular approach enables customers to begin processing gas and earning revenue more quickly versus conventional field-erected execution methods.
Last week, Honeywell UOP announced that it has acquired the business of Ortloff Engineers, Ltd., the industry's leading developer of specialized technologies that drive high returns in natural gas processing and sulfur recovery. Ortloff technologies are specialized to maximize gas separation and compression in modular cryogenic gas plants, providing customers with high operational flexibility and greater returns on their plant investments.