Williams to Build and Operate PDH Facility in Alberta, Canada, to Produce Polymer-Grade Propylene From Propane
New Propane Dehydrogenation Facility Will Convert Alberta Propane Into Higher-Value Propylene
Uses Propane Feedstock Primarily from Williams' Expanding Canadian Upgrader Offgas Processing Operations as well as Expected Abundant and Low-Cost Alberta Propane
Adds to Williams' Expanding Canadian Propylene Supply; Expect to Expand Distribution and Sales to U.S. Gulf Coast Markets as well as Explore Development of New Alberta Markets
Builds on Williams' Unique Business in Canada, Creates Natural Hedge for Williams' Propane Position
Company Cites Environmental Advantages in Selected Processing Technology
TULSA, Okla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Williams (NYS: WMB) announced today that it has sanctioned construction of a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility in Alberta, Canada. The new PDH facility, the first and only in Canada, will allow Williams to significantly increase production of polymer-grade propylene from its Canadian operations. Williams is the only company in Canada currently producing polymer-grade propylene, a valuable petrochemical feedstock used in plastics manufacturing.
Williams' PDH facility in Canada will have the capability to initially produce up to approximately 1.1 billion pounds (500 kilotonnes) annually of polymer-grade propylene, with the opportunity to double capacity with a future expansion. The company estimates capital expenditures of up to $900 million CAD to be funded with expected cash flow from its Canadian operation and international cash on hand. Pending appropriate permitting approvals, the PDH facility is scheduled to go into service in the second quarter of 2016.
Williams has selected Honeywell's UOP as the vendor to provide the UOP Oleflex™ process technology for the dehydrogenation process. The technology is environmentally superior because it uses a platinum-based catalyst system, as well as less energy and water than competing PDH technologies. Williams' PDH facility will be sited in close proximity to its existing Redwater fractionation plant near Edmonton, Alberta.
Williams plans to primarily use propane recovered from its expanding oil sands offgas processing operations along with local propane purchases as feedstock for the new PDH facility. It will convert the propane into higher-value propylene that will be transported to the U.S. Gulf Coast and sold to petrochemical producers. Plans are to sell the associated hydrogen byproduct in the Alberta market. Williams is also exploring development of new propylene markets for its production in Alberta.
The Redwater complex includes fractionation, storage and distribution facilities and is currently being expanded to produce approximately 5 million barrels of propane and 280 million pounds of polymer-grade propylene annually from offgas, in addition to other NGLs and olefins. The addition of the new PDH facility will vastly increase Williams' production of polymer-grade propylene. The company expects the new facility to produce one of the lowest-cost, PDH-sourced propylene feedstocks in North America.
"We're thrilled to be moving full-speed ahead on Canada's first and only PDH facility. The project fits strategically within Williams' operations in Alberta, leverages our expertise in propylene and adds further value to a byproduct of oil sands upgraders," said David Chappell, president of Williams Energy Canada. "Once operational, this new propane dehydrogenation facility will expand market opportunities for Canada, feed the demands of North America's growing petrochemical industry and allow for the creation of a new value chain in Alberta."
"We are extremely excited about this project on many levels," said Alan Armstrong, president and chief executive officer of Williams. "We expect the PDH facility to deliver a very attractive return on investment as well as provide a long-term natural hedge of the propane volumes we control in our Canadian offgas processing business. Our planned PDH facility will enable Williams to capture the full value between natural gas and polymer-grade propylene rather than just the value between natural gas and propane."
Williams' Operations in Canada: Innovative Business, Emissions Reducer
When producers convert the Canadian oil sands into usable oil, the process produces an offgas byproduct that includes a rich mixture of natural gas, NGLs and olefins. Williams pioneered the process of extracting the mixture from the offgas at its Fort McMurray, Alberta, liquids extraction plant.
After it extracts the offgas mixture, Williams returns the clean-burning natural gas to the third-party oil sands producer for its operations. It then transports the remaining NGL/olefins mixture, via Williams' Boreal Pipeline, to its Redwater fractionation facility for further separation.
Williams' offgas processing reduces emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) - a greenhouse gas - in Alberta by approximately 200,000 tonnes each year and cuts emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) - a contributor to acid rain - by an average of 1,700 tonnes each year. The new offgas expansions will further reduce both carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide emissions in Alberta.
About Williams in Canada
Williams is the world's only processor of oil sands upgrader offgas and operates the only olefins/NGL fractionators in western Canada. With a 90-year history in Canada, Williams' investment in Alberta is expected to total $1.7 billion, inclusive of projects that are completed and operational and those that are sanctioned and in progress. This total does not include the estimated cost of the PDH facility. Through operations in Fort McMurray and Alberta's Industrial Heartland, Williams reduces emissions from the oil sands and is a key contributor to the value-added upgrading of Alberta's energy resources. Williams owns and operates the 420-kilometer Boreal Pipeline that transports the NGL/olefins mix from our liquids extraction plant in Fort McMurray to our Redwater fractionators in Sturgeon County. For more information, visit www.williams.com/canada, where the company routinely posts important information.
About Williams (NYSE: WMB)
Williams is one of the leading energy infrastructure companies in North America. It owns interests in or operates 15,000 miles of interstate gas pipelines, 1,000 miles of NGL transportation pipelines, and more than 10,000 miles of oil and gas gathering pipelines. The company's facilities have daily gas processing capacity of 6.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas and NGL production of more than 200,000 barrels per day. Williams owns approximately 68 percent of Williams Partners L.P. (NYS: WPZ) , one of the largest diversified energy master limited partnerships. Williams Partners owns most of Williams' interstate gas pipeline and domestic midstream assets. In December 2012, Williams acquired a 50 percent general partner interest and a 24 percent limited partner interest in Access Midstream Partners (NYS: ACMP) one of the largest midstream gathering companies in the U.S. Williams headquarters is in Tulsa, Okla. For more information, visit www.williams.com, where the company routinely posts important information.
Portions of this document may constitute "forward-looking statements" as defined by federal law. Although the company believes any such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Any such statements are made in reliance on the "safe harbor" protections provided under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. Additional information about issues that could lead to material changes in performance is contained in the company's annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Canada Media Contact:
Lorraine Royer, 406-613-3222
Tulsa Media Contact:
Tom Droege, 918-573-4034
John Porter, 918-573-0797
Sharna Reingold, 918-573-2078
KEYWORDS: United States North America Canada Oklahoma
The article Williams to Build and Operate PDH Facility in Alberta, Canada, to Produce Polymer-Grade Propylene From Propane originally appeared on Fool.com.
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