Williams Cos. plans Alberta plant to convert propane to plastic ingredient
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
3/19/13 at 7:18 AM
Local companies are major players in a vital industry.
Williams Cos. Inc. will build a Canadian processing plant to convert oil sands propane into polymer-grade propylene for use in plastics manufacturing, the Tulsa-based energy company announced Monday.
The price tag of a propane dehydrogenation facility in Alberta was estimated at about $881 million.
Williams touted itself as the only company in Canada producing polymer-grade propylene.
"We're thrilled to be moving full-speed ahead on Canada's first and only PDH facility," David Chappell, president of Williams Energy Canada, said in a statement. "Once operational, this new propane dehydrogenation facility will expand market opportunities for Canada, feed the demands of North America's growing petrochemical industry and allow for creation of a new value chain in Alberta."
Williams extracts a mixture of natural gas, natural gas liquids and olefins from offgas produced when the Canadian tar sands bitumen is converted into usable oil. The company's plant in Fort McMurray, Alberta, extracts those mixes, returns the natural gas to the producers and transports the remaining NGL and olefins mixture by pipeline to Williams' fractionation plant in Redwater, northeast of Edmonton, Alberta.
The propane dehydrogenation plant initially could produce up to 1.1 billion pounds in polymer-grade propylene per year, with capabilities to eventually double that output, Williams said.
The company said it plans to fund construction out of expected cash flow from its Canadian operation and international cash on hand.
The propylene will be transported to the U.S. Gulf Coast and sold to petrochemical producers, but Williams also will explore potential new markets for the Alberta production, the company said.
The new plant, pending regulatory approvals, could go into service by the second quarter of 2016, Williams said.
The company said it selected Honeywell's UOP to provide the trademark UOP Oleflex technology for the dehydrogenation process.
Original Print Headline: Williams conversion plant set for Canada
Rod Walton 918-581-8457