Honeywell UOP opens new manufacturing facility in Zhangjiagang, China


Honeywell UOP business has expanded its presence in China with the opening of its new facility at Zhangjiagang City in Jiangsu Province, Shanghai, to support coal-to-plastics technology

The new facility is designed to produce materials that converts methanol from coal into feedstocks for making plastics, and is scheduled to begin operations next year and help China in meeting the growing demand of plastic.

It will be producing catalysts for Honeywell UOP's Advanced Methanol-to-Olefins (MTO) process technology.

Honeywell UOP's MTO process converts methanol produced from coal or natural gas into olefins ethylene and propylene, which are core chemicals in plastic manufacturing.

"The Zhangjiagang facility makes it possible for Chinese manufacturers to meet the growing demand for petrochemicals with Honeywell UOP technology."

Catalysts are crucial in MTO process, which converts methanol into olefins.

Honeywell's performance materials and technologies business group president and CEO Rajeev Gautam said: "MTO is an innovative, proven technology that enables countries that are rich in coal, but which have had to import petroleum, such as China, to make plastics.

"Honeywell UOP has licensed eight MTO units in China in just the last three years, and this new facility will allow us for the first time to fully manufacture MTO catalysts in China for our Chinese customers."

Wison Clean Energy Company became the first company in 2011 to license the Honeywell UOP MTO process, and was followed by seven other companies. Luxi Chemical Group is the latest company to license Honeywell's UOP MTO process.

Honeywell UOP president and CEO Rebecca Liebert said: "The Zhangjiagang facility makes it possible for Chinese manufacturers to meet the growing demand for petrochemicals with Honeywell UOP technology.

"In addition, the operations use local raw materials to support economic development in Jiangsu Province, and also incorporate zero-discharge wastewater treatment."

To tap the global demand for ethylene and propylene, both growing at 4% to 5% every year, China is expected to invest more than $100bn in coal-to-chemicals technology by 2020, which would reduce its dependence on oil imports required for manufacturing plastic resins, films and fibres.