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Coal-to-olefins gasification unit starts up in China

World Coal,

One of the world’s largest gasification units has successfully started up at the China Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Co. Ltd’s project in Baotou, Inner Mongolia.

The advanced coal gasification technology used in the unit, provided by GE, converts coal into a syngas. Syngas can then be used to produce methanol, which will be transformed into olefins, a building block for producing polyethylene and polypropylene.

Full production is scheduled for Q4 2010, when the project will produce almost 1.8 million t of methanol for approximately 600,000 tpa of polyethylene and polypropylene.

The Shenhua Baotou Coal to Olefins project is one of the largest coal to olefins plants in the world. It has five gasifiers and two spare units. The Chinese Government is placing great emphasis on reducing the country’s reliance on imported olefins by utilising its vast coal reserves.

“The size and scope of this project is possible because of strong Government interest in the development of larger coal-to-olefins plants,” said Jason Crew, director of gasification products - Asia for GE Power & Water. “The 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.” 

Gasification technology allows a variety of industrial products and fuels to be created from low-cost coal resources, and as such is critical for the expansion of the Chinese economy. GE has more than 40 licensed facilities applying its technology throughout the country.

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