Braskem partners with Siluria for converting methane in natural gas to ethylene

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-01-23 22:45:00 – New York

Braskem, Brazilian resins giant in collaboration with Siluria Technologies to commercialise a technology developed by Siluria for converting methane in natural gas to ethylene. They believe the technology can play an important part in their growth strategy as well as potentially strengthening their current asset base.

Under the agreement, Braskem and Siluria will jointly explore the commercial deployment of the technology, which involves the oxidative coupling of methane (OCM), for supplying ethylene to Braskem.

The companies will conduct a joint feasibility study to identify commercial opportunities to use Siluria's OCM technology at Braskem's ethylene consuming plants. Braskem has also agreed to host Siluria’s first demonstration plant at its US site in La Porte, Texas. The USD 15m (EUR 11m) facility is expected to be operational by Q4 of 2014.

The OCM technology can be used in existing ethylene plants, and can also be added to gas processing plants, which separate methane from natural gas liquids. Siluria says the technology’s compatibility with existing industry operations as well as its relative simplicity and energy efficiency provide attractive economics compared to ethylene production through ethane and naphtha cracking.

According to Fernando Musa, CEO of Braskem’s US unit, Braskem America, this technology is on the leading edge of developments in their industry and is well designed to meet their needs for plentiful, affordable feedstock.

Ed Dineen, CEO of Siluria, said that [Braskem’s] industry expertise, substantial footprint and aspirations for growth make it an ideal first partner in Siluria's multiple-partner strategy to deploy their technology across the chemicals, fuels and natural gas processing industries.

The companies said that the collaboration includes some non-exclusive technology licence options for the large-scale deployment of the OCM technology by Braskem and opportunities for the Brazilian to be a purchaser of ethylene produced from future Siluria plants as well as rights for Siluria ownership participation in the South American's commercial projects using OCM technology.

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