Hanwha Total Petrochemical has further increased its competitiveness by entering commercial production of high purity normal heptane, a high-value-added petrochemical product. The commercial production of the product is expected to boost the company's annual sales by more than 20 billion won.
Hanwha Total Petrochemical announced on May 15 that the company completed the construction of a high purity normal heptane plant at Daesan Plant in South Chuncheong Province and succeeded in commercial production and rolled out its first product.
A total of 30 billion won went into the production plant. Based on a process technology developed in-house, the plant can annually produce 12,000 tons of high purity petrochemical products including 7,500 tons of high purity normal heptane. A byproduct from naphtha cracking, high purity normal heptane is used as a solvent and a dissolvent for petrochemicals manufacturing processes such as the coating of displays such as organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and the extraction of pharmaceutical ingredients.
In particular, Hanwha Total Petrochemical said that the company succeeded in commercial production by applying the simulated moving bed (SMB) method, a production process technology of its own development, to production facilities.
A small number of companies including Chevron Phillips of the US, Haltermann of Germany, TOA Oil of Japan, and SK Global Chemical of Korea have been dominating the normal heptane market by securing production technology. Hanwha Total Petrochemical developed its own method after five years of research.
"SMB technology can not only produce 99% high purity normal heptane but also can be flexibly applied to other petrochemical products, thus boosting process efficiency and productivity," said an official of Hanwha Total Petrochemical.
The world high purity normal heptanes market is about 90,000 tons. Demand for the product is expected to steadily expand by 4% to 6% every year until 2022 due to the growth of the Asian pharmaceutical and electronics industries led by Japan and India. Hanwha Total Petrochemical expects to post an increase of more than 20 billion won in sales annually through this commercial production.
In addition, Hanwha Total Petrochemical recently announced its core facility expansion projects one after another as a preemptive investment to increase its core business competitiveness. The company is pushing forward with expanding Daesan Plant’s annual output of ethylene by 310,000 tons, propylene by 130,000 tons and polypropylene by 400,000 tons by completing the project in 2019 with a total investment of 900 billion won.
The completion of the facility expansion project will expand Hanwha Total Petrochemical’s annual production of ethylene to 1.38 million tons, propylene to 1.02 million tons and polyethylene to 1.12 million tons.
"We will continue to enhance the production efficiency and commercial competitiveness of Daesan Plant by making by-products more-value-added ones such as the construction of a high-purity normal heptane plant while securing economies of scale through massive facility expansion," said a company official.