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In March, two grassroots units incorporating processes licensed from GTC Technology started up in China. One is the world’s largest GT-BTX® unit for Hengli Dalian’s complex on Changxing Island near Dalian City, Liaoning Province. The second is the first operating Isomalk℠-2 unit for Zibo Xintai, located in Zibo City, Shandong Province.

Hengli GT-BTX

SRC for Hengli GT-BTX unit

After two years of field construction, the largest GT-BTX unit in the world was started up along with more than 20 other units in Hengli’s grassroots, world-scale mega refining/petrochemical/chemical/fiber integrated complex. This site is the first in the world with facilities for each step of such a manufacturing chain, starting with crude oil processing all the way through cloth fabrication.

The capacity of the GT-BTX unit is 3MMTA feedstock flow, divided into two identical lines, each with 1.5MMTA capacity. The feedstock is reformate C6-C7 cut for current operation. By the end of 2020, when Hengli’s 1.5MMTA ethylene complex starts up, the hydrotreated pygas C6-C7 cut will be combined with reformate and sent to the same GT-BTX unit to recover those aromatics as well.

EDC for Hengli GT-BTX unit

Zhepeng Liu, Vice President, Sales and Licensing, East Hemisphere, said, “The project implementation (licensing, basic engineering, PET sales, solvent sales and startup) was mainly conducted by GTC’s Beijing office, with strong support from the Houston, Dallas and Seoul offices. The successful startup of this unit once again demonstrates to the world that GTC has the best aromatics extraction technology including the associated proprietary solvent and separation hardware. This project also proves the great teamwork spirit and sets up a great example of how the GTC family works together from different offices and different business groups. Together, we can make everything happen. We are looking forward to greater success with the startup of Shenghong’s 4MMTA GT-BTX and ZPC’s 100KTA GT-Styrene in the future (both will be the world’s largest respectively).”

Left to right: Wang Hai, Victor Chiam, Dr. Torsten Wintergerste, Zhepeng Liu, and Jonathan Zhang.

Hengli celebrated the startup of the new complex by hosting two events: a dinner banquet on May 16 in downtown Dalian and a site ceremony on May 17 on Changxing Island. Approximately 800 guests attended these events, including licensors, vendors, EPC companies, media, government officials, banks, and consultants.

Zhepeng and Wang Hai, Deputy President/GTC Beijing, represented GTC at both events.

The occasion also provided an opportunity for an introduction with Sulzer executive associates: Dr. Torsten Wintergerste, President/Chemtech; Victor Chiam, Vice President & Head APAC/Chemtech; and Jonathan Zhang, Head China/Chemtech.

Xintai Isomalk-2

Isomalk-2 unit at Xintai

The light naphtha isomerization unit for Zibo Xintai also started up in March. This is the first operational Isomalk℠-2 unit in the Chinese market. Together with three earlier Isomalk℠-3 operating units, GTC now has four Isomalk units operating in China. The configuration of the Xintai unit follows a “Depentanizer + Once-through Reactor” path and is a critical part of the Xintai’s fuel product modernization and optimization campaign. Zhepeng adds that “With the startup, construction and planning of mega refining/petrochemical integrated complexes in China, those tea-pot refineries (particularly those 40+ located inside Shandong province) are facing greater and greater challenges.

Isomalk-2 unit at Xintai

After carefully assessing the mid-term and long-term market situation, instead of prolonging the production chain to enter into some new product areas, Xintai decided to modernize and optimize what they have through an optimum financial investment plan. They licensed both GT-BTX PluS® and Isomalk-2℠ to enhance the quality of their existing gasoline pool and to meet the more and more stringent environmental protection regulations. Their goal is to serve the local Shandong fuel market with the best quality transportation fuel products.”