Budapest - Hungary’s energy company MOL Group has entered into a strategic partnership with the Netherlands-based refining and petrochemicals technology company Inovacat to upscale and commercialise the Dutch company's Gasolfin technology.
Described by Inovacat as breakthrough technology, Gasolfin converts naphtha into high-value olefins such as propylene, butylene and BTX (benzene, toluene, and xylene).
The partnership, which is part of MOL’s 2030 industrial transformation strategy, is expected to help the Hungarian company become a leading chemical supplier in central Europe.
As part of the project, MOL will support the next stages of the development programme of Inovacat and will investigate different options for the implementation of Gasolfin in its production facilities.
The patented technology, said an MOL statement on 19 June, delivers propylene yields up to 45% depending on feedstock.
It is also claimed to convert “any light straight run naphtha including pentanes and is fully flexible on product output without a catalyst change-over.”
According to MOL, the technology is cost-leading, and “at least” 30% more energy efficient than comparable conventional processes, with CO2 emissions being at least 25% lower.
Based in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, Inovacat expects the drop-in technology to enable any refiner or petrochemical company to fully integrate their operations for maximum profitability and flexibility.
“A main challenge of the MOL 2030 Strategy is to increase production of value added products, while reducing the production of fuels over the next 15 years…. We are very interested in new technologies like Inovacat’s Gasolfin, that can potentially significantly help us meet our goal,” said David Pullan, VP group downstream technology & development.
MOL Group’s 2030 strategy aims to diversify the company away from fossil-based motor fuels, and increase its non-fuel production in refining from the current 30% to 50% of total output.
This will mostly be done through increasing feedstock transfer to chemicals.
In order to reach its strategic goals, MOL plans to invest around $4.5 billion (€3.9 billion) into its petrochemical segment by 2030, focusing mainly on the extension of the propylene value chain in the next five years.