Alternative Energy News – Worldâ€™s Largest Coal-to-Olefins Gasification Units Starts Up in China
GE Technology Helps the Country Increase its Important Coal-to-Olefins (Plastics) Production
BEIJING, CHINAâ€”August 12, 2010â€”The gasification unit at one of the worldâ€™s largest coal-to-olefins projects successfully started up at the China Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Co. Ltd.â€™s project in Baotou, Inner Mongolia (Shenhua Baotou Coal to Olefins project). The gasification unit uses advanced coal gasification technology provided by GE (NYSE:GE).
The gasification technology converts coal into a synthesis gas (or syngas). Syngas can then be used to produce methanol, which will be transformed into olefins, a building block for producing polyethylene and polypropylene. At full productionâ€”scheduled for fourth quarter of 2010â€”the Shenhua Baotou Coal to Olefins project will produce nearly 1.8 million tons of methanol for approximately 600,000 tons of polyethylene and polypropylene per year.
With five gasifiers and two spare units, the Shenhua Baotou Coal to Olefins project is one of the largest coal to olefins plants in the world. The plant underscores the importance that the Chinese government is placing on using the countryâ€™s large coal reserves to reduce its heavy dependence on imported olefins (polyethylene and polypropylene-based plastics) and drive further economic growth.
â€œThe size and scope of this project is possible because of strong government interest in the development of larger coal-to-olefins plants,â€ said Jason Crew, director of gasification productsâ€”Asia for GE Power & Water. â€œThe Shenhua Baotou Coal to Olefins project is one of three large-scale, coal-to-olefins demonstration projects funded by the Chinese government and is the first one to start up. We are proud that GE gasification technology is part of this successful industrial scale project.â€
Gasification technology is critical for the expansion of the Chinese economy, allowing a wide variety of industrial products and fuels to be created from low-cost and abundant coal resources. GEâ€™s gasification technology is one of the most widely applied technologies of its kind in China, with more than 40 licensed facilities. As gasification projects in China get larger and more complex, advanced technologies such as GEâ€™s larger scale quench gasifier and higher pressure gasification technology will have a significant role in reducing overall project cost.
Shenhua is one of the worldâ€™s largest coal producers and a large diversified energy company in China and is playing a key part in the development of new coal-related technologies such as coal-to-liquid and chemicals, coal gasification systems and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) in a wide range of technology configurations.
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the worldâ€™s toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, health care solutions and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ge.com.