The petrochemical industry produces various kinds of chemical products such as polymers, fibers or rubber, from such raw materials as petroleum, LPG, natural gas and other hydrocarbons through many different production processes. Hydrocarbons, the source material, are used to produce a variety of components including ethylene, propylene, butadiene and pyrolysis gasoline through non-catalytic thermal decomposition reaction with steam (steam cracking). The feedstock to ethylene process varies depending on the availability of resources in each country. In Japan, naphtha (crude gasoline) produced by refining crude oil is often used. In recent years, many ethylene plants that use light gas as a feedstock which comes from refinery and natural gas plant are being built in Middle East. When light gas is used as a feedstock, products other than ethylene are produced in smaller quantities, which leads to plants that produce propylene by dehydrating propane also being constructed. As indicated by these cases, the petrochemical industry is wide-ranging, creating a variety of chemical products. In the following diagram, Chiyoda’s expertise is laid out by source material classification as follows:
[ Overview of the Petrochemical and Chemical Industry ]
Key business and technology
Chiyoda has been engaged in the design and construction of ethylene plants and many down stream petrochemical and chemical plants that utilize various products of ethylene plants since the period of rapid economic growth that started in the 1960s, including projects outside Japan. Since the 1980s, we have constructed several large petrochemical and chemical plants in and outside of Japan following the trend of plant upsizing. In the 2000s, we constructed the world’s largest class ethylene plant with an annual production of one million tons in the Middle East.
[ Block Flow of Ethylene Plant ]
Key feature of petrochemical and chemical plants is that very long and complicated processes are often required for their removal and the refining of the product materials, due to a variety of by-products generated from the reaction process (a core role of these plants). A variety of operations and equipment are also necessary for that purpose. Based on our long years of experiences in designing processes, we have the ability to construct highly efficient and reliable plants ranging from bulk chemical plants with annual production of 0.1 to 1 million tons such as ethylene plant, to general chemical plants within annual production of ten thousands tons, using our simulation, analysis, design and engineering expertise.