Honeywell broke ground on a new manufacturing facility in China supporting the production of plastics from coal and natural gas, instead of petroleum. The facility, which will produce state-of-the-art catalysts for Honeywell UOP's Advanced Methanol-to-Olefins (MTO) process technology, will be built in an existing Honeywell facility in Zhangjiagang City, Jiangsu Province.
“Honeywell is committed to sustainable development; using its long history of expertise to bring greater environmental, economic, and social benefits to China,” said Rebecca Liebert, president and CEO of Honeywell UOP. “Just like our customers here, we are committed to China’s sustainable economic growth.”
The new production line, beginning in 2017, will enable Honeywell for the first time to fully manufacture MTO catalysts in China. In addition, the operations will use local raw materials, support economic development in Jiangsu Province and incorporate zero-discharge wastewater treatment.
China has an abundance of natural coal and a demand for ethylene and propylene plastics, that is growing by four to five percent per year. The country is expected to invest more than $100 billion in coal-to-chemicals technology by 2020.
Honeywell's facility in Zhangjiagang opened in 2015. It is located in a modern industrial park 85 miles northwest of Shanghai. Over the past five years, Honeywell UOP has licensed its Oleflex technology to 30 producers globally, including 23 in China. In addition to Oleflex and MTO catalysts, the site produces adsorbent materials used in refining, petrochemical production and natural gas processing.
More than 150 people attended the groundbreaking ceremony, including several dozen local government officials. Rebecca Liebert delivered the keynote speech and was followed with remarks by Yao Linrong, party secretary of Zhangjiagang.