SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Jan 15, 2014) - Siluria Technologies, a pioneer in the commercial production of fuels and chemicals made from clean, abundant natural gas, announced today that the Company has begun construction of its first demonstration plant for carrying out its proprietary oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) process for the direct conversion of methane in natural gas to ethylene. The demonstration plant will be installed at a La Porte, Texas, facility owned and operated by Braskem America Inc., and is expected to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2014.
"The construction and operation of our demonstration facility is a key milestone in the development and commercial deployment of new technologies in the petrochemicals industry," said Siluria CEO Ed Dineen. "We are very pleased to be moving into this next and final phase in our scale-up process to fully demonstrate our technology before moving to commercial deployments, and we are very excited with the level of support we are receiving from our partners at Braskem."
Braskem's support of the demonstration unit includes the provision of the site, operational services and capital infrastructure, which are expected to provide Siluria with cost savings over the life of the agreement in excess of $50 million.
"This collaboration with Siluria demonstrates Braskem's commitment to being a leader in polyolefins in the Americas," remarked Braskem America CEO Fernando Musa. "This technology is on the leading edge of developments in our industry and is well-designed to meet our needs for plentiful, affordable feedstock well into the future."
Siluria's demonstration plant is designed to show the operability of the company's OCM technology using commercially produced, proprietary catalysts, and at a plant size that is readily scaled to commercial facilities. It also provides the Company with a valuable tool for both finalizing commercial engineering design and developing improvements to the company's technology going forward. The demonstration unit will convert the methane in pipeline natural gas directly into ethylene, a key building block for the petrochemicals industry, and will integrate directly into conventional plant utilities and equipment.
Siluria plans to deploy its OCM technology in a range of commercial settings, including existing ethylene producing plants, ethylene-consuming sites, in upstream gas monetization, natural gas midstream plants, and world-scale grassroots deployments. The technology's use of commonly available natural gas as feedstock, compatibility with existing industry operations, and its relative simplicity and energy efficiency provide very attractive economics compared to existing ethylene production processes, like ethane and naphtha cracking. Additionally, the company's ethylene-to-liquids (ETL) technology packages are designed to provide substantial capital, operating cost and product slate advantages over alternative gas-to-liquids technologies.
Siluria Technologies is pioneering the commercial production of fuels and chemicals made from clean, abundant natural gas. Siluria's break-through process technology is believed to be the first commercially viable process to directly convert methane to ethylene, potentially enabling natural gas to replace petroleum as the world-wide basis for drop-in fuels, chemicals and plastics. Siluria's revolutionary catalyst technologies uniquely combine nanomaterials, biotechnology and chemical engineering, to convert an abundant, ubiquitous, and inexpensive feedstock into high value, drop-in fuels and chemicals using processes that can be seamlessly integrated into existing industry infrastructure. For more information, visit www.siluria.com
Braskem is the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas and the world's leading biopolymers producer, manufacturing green polyethylene from sugarcane-based ethanol. With 36 industrial plants in Brazil, the United States and Germany, the company produces over 35 billion pounds of thermoplastic resins and other petrochemicals per year, creating more environmental-friendly, intelligent and sustainable solutions through chemicals and plastics that improve people's lives.
Braskem is a component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Emerging Markets, the Carbon Efficient Index (ICo2) and the Corporate Sustainability Index of the BM&FBovespa -- Securities, Commodities and Futures Exchange. Braskem is a member of the United Nations' platform for more sustainable industries and its sustainability annual report is rated level A+. Braskem America is the leading producer of polypropylene in the United States, with five production plants located in Texas, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and a Technology and Innovation Center in Pittsburgh. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Braskem America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Braskem S.A. For more information, visit www.braskem.com