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Spain’s Cepsa lets contract for alkylation unit revamp

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Spain’s Cepsa lets contract for alkylation unit revamp


Compañía Española de Petróleos SA (Cepsa) has let a contract to Honeywell UOP LLC to provide a series of services for conversion of an existing hydrofluoric acid (HF) alkylation unit in the Puente Mayorga chemical plant at Cepsa’s 12 million-tonne/year Gibraltar-San Roque refinery near Cadiz in southern Spain.

As part of the agreement, Honeywell UOP will convert the HF alkylation unit to its proprietary solid-bed Detal-Plus technology for production of linear alkylbenzene (LAB), the raw material used to make a variety of different detergent formulations, including biodegradable household detergents, the service provider said.

Honeywell UOP’s scope of delivery will include basic engineering design, catalysts and adsorbents, and other associated services for the project that, once completed, will increase the unit’s LAB production capacity by 50,000 tpy to 250,000 tpy.

Scheduled for startup in 2020, the project will mark the world’s first conversion of an HF alkylation unit to solid bed-technology, according to Honeywell UOP.

Codeveloped with Cepsa—the leading global manufacturer of LAB—the Detal-Plus technology is the first solid-bed technology with the flexibility to produce LAB for a variety of different detergent formulations, with Honeywell UOP’s new ZDA-30 series catalyst—which features higher activity and selectivity, making it more energy efficient—acting as the heart of the process.

The revamp project comes as part of Cepsa’s plan to enhance competitiveness of the Gibraltar-San Roque refinery’s Puente Mayorga plant as well as provide experience for future revamps at the operator’s other global installations, said Miguel Ángel Calderón, vice-president of technology at Cepsa.

In a May 11 release, Cepsa said it would invest €100 million to complete Puente Mayorga’s alkylation technology retrofit project.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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