The port city of Maoming in the western part of Guangdong province is taking another step forward to become the world's largest polypropylene production base as a new large-scale green petrochemical project has been launched in the city bordering the sea.
Maoming will build a world-class green petrochemical industry and a hydrogen energy industrial park based on the Maoming alkane resources comprehensive utilization project with an investment of more than 40 billion yuan ($5.64 billion), said Maoming Party secretary Xu Zhihui.
Alkanes refer to saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons.
Construction of the project kicked off in Maoming's Binhai New Area on Saturday, with a planned coverage of more than 3,800 mu (253.33 hectares).
"Maoming, traditionally known as a major petrochemical production base in Guangdong province, will attach great importance to the development of new materials and new energy industries in the years ahead," Xu said in remarks at the launching ceremony of the project over the weekend.
Construction will help the city upgrade its traditional petrochemical industry, Xu added. Maoming will give priority to building a hydrogen energy industry chain in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. It will increase its presence in Southeast Asia and the world market in the years ahead.
Maoming Mayor Yuan Gujie said the alkane resources utilization project is under joint-construction with Oriental Energy Co Ltd, a Shenzhen listed company. It is the largest private industrial project drawn to the city and will boost the local economy in a sustainable way.
Oriental Energy also has inked an agreement on Friday with Honeywell UOP, the petrochemical arm of industrial conglomerate Honeywell, to introduce advanced technologies and equipment for the project.
"We will apply the new generation of propane dehydrogenation technology and make the Maoming project one of the most technologically advanced and economically competitive projects in the world," Honeywell UOP President John Gugel said in a video during the commencement ceremony. He added that advanced technology should help save energy and costs on the project.
In addition, the venture uses environmentally friendly catalysts so the unit will operate for a longer-than-expected period of more than three years, which will greatly save on the investment costs.
Wu Yinlong, general manager of Oriental Energy, said construction of the project will take place over three phases, with "the first phase of the project alone costing 16.6 billion yuan".
"We have employed more than 1,000 technicians and workers in the first phase of construction, which is able to produce more than 80,000 metric tons of hydrogen annually when completed," Wu said, adding the first phase is expected to be completed in March 2022.
Part of the hydrogen will be used to help improve the quality of the marine fuel to support the city's "Bluer Sea, Bluer Sky" initiative. The rest will be used to develop the city's hydrogen energy industry.