China’s coal giants are ramping up investment in the coal to chemicals sector, backed by intense government interest and new generation technology from western multinationals.
Coal to chemicals uses coal as raw material instead of crude oil, and requires new-generation technology to turn it into gas, liquids, solid fuels and other chemical products.
The first of China’s major coal-based chemical projects started trial operations in August last year, spearheaded by the Shenhua Group. Methanol was fed at coal giant Shenhua Baotou’s 600,000 ton a year methanol-to-olefins plant in Inner Mongolia. The unit can produce 300,000 tons a year each of ethylene and propylene.
GulfNews.com reports that Shenhua Group, parent of the world’s most valuable coal producer, China Shenhua Energy, aims to raise the output of the plant that converts coal into liquid fuel threefold by end-2015.
Datong Coal Mine Group also plans to target new energy-petrochemical development with a 450,000 ton a year methanol-to-propylene and PP project.