January 23, 2019

China Huadian to build 1 million tons of coal-to-aromatic hydrocarbon plant

The Shaanxi Provincial Development and Reform Commission disclosed on September 15 that China Huadian Corporation (hereinafter referred to as China Huadian) plans to build the world's first coal-to-aromatics pilot plant and industrialization project in the Hengbei Coal Chemical Industry Park in the northern Shaanxi energy and chemical industry base. This opens up new technological routes for the production of aromatic hydrocarbons. At present, the pre-feasibility study report for the coal-based aromatics project has passed the expert review.
According to the project construction plan, China Huadian will first build a 10,000-ton-scale coal-to-aromatics pilot plant, and simultaneously launch a one-million-ton industrial demonstration project with a scale of 3 million tons/year of coal-to-methanol and a 1 million tons/year aromatics plant. With an investment of 28.5 billion yuan, the total annual sales revenue will reach 34.8 billion yuan.
Aromatic hydrocarbons are important chemical raw materials, and their downstream products are widely used in the manufacture of high-end synthetic materials, organic materials, and various intermediates. Due to the fact that aromatic hydrocarbons mainly come from naphtha reforming with a high content of aromatic hydrocarbons, raw materials are relatively short. In recent years, China's imports have exceeded 10 million tons, leaving a large gap.
According to a person from China Huadian, compared with naphtha reforming and extraction processes, coal-based aromatics technology has obvious comparative advantages and very important strategic significance. It can not only reduce the degree of dependence on China's oil, it can also absorb excess methanol, and it also opens up a new technology route with obvious cost advantages. However, the industrialization of coal to aromatic hydrocarbons is still a blank in the world. Tsinghua University has successfully developed the circulating fluidized bed coal to aromatics (FMTA) technology with independent intellectual property rights, and the raw material for production is methanol. The experimental device of 100 tons/year has been continuously and stably operated for thousands of hours, and it has the industrialized pilot test conditions. In June of this year, China Huadian, Tsinghua University and Hualu Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. negotiated and reached an agreement on the technical cooperation. China Huadian will use Tsinghua University's coal-based aromatics technology to build a 10,000-ton pilot plant and industrialization project in Shaanxi Province. Commissioned Hualu Engineering Company to prepare a project feasibility study report.
It is reported that China Huadian is a state-owned sole proprietorship directly managed by the central government. Its main business is primary energy development such as electricity production, heat production and supply, and coal related to electricity. As of the end of 2009, China Huadian’s total assets amounted to RMB 330 billion, and its power generation in 2009 exceeded 300 billion kilowatt-hours, which can provide sufficient energy and raw material reserves for the industrialization of coal to aromatic hydrocarbons. The development strategy of China Huadian in the next five years is to insist on electricity as the main body, coal as the foundation, and industrial synergy, and persist in optimizing the structure, internal and external expansion, and strive to build the company into a domestic first-class energy group focusing on electricity.

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