UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, announced recently that it has opened a manufacturing and operations center in Penang, Malaysia, that will produce natural gas membrane elements to support the growing natural gas market.Honeywell’s UOP Separex™ membrane systems remove impurities from natural gas streams. Removing impurities is necessary before the gas can be used as fuel, as a source for petrochemicals or distributed by pipeline.“The new manufacturing and operations center in Malaysia will strengthen UOP’s position to meet demand as natural gas becomes a larger part of the world’s energy equation,” said Rajeev Gautam, president and CEO of Honeywell’s UOP. “This facility will expand our membrane manufacturing capabilities and increase our presence in the region.”Natural gas is the world’s fastest-growing fossil fuel, with consumption expected to reach 160 trillion cubic feet by 2035. Nearly 35 percent of the world’s demand growth for natural gas during that time will come from Asia, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Separex membrane systems are delivered as modular, skid-mounted units. Depending on the application, these systems require lower capital and operating costs, and consume less energy than competing processes. Its modular construction operates on a smaller footprint, allowing easier installation on off-shore applications, such as Floating, Processing, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels, and remote locations.Last year, Honeywell’s UOP established a new Gas Processing and Hydrogen business unit to increase its focus on developing technology, equipment and adsorbents, as well as the design and execution of projects for global natural gas and hydrogen customers. It also expanded its portfolio of natural gas treatment technologies through an exclusive marketing alliance with The Netherlands-based Twister B.V., allowing Honeywell’s UOP to offer the UOP-Twister® Supersonic Gas Separation System, which is used to remove water and heavy hydrocarbons present in natural gas when it comes out of the ground.
The Twister system expands Honeywell UOP’s current suite of natural gas processing technologies and equipment that remove impurities such as water, carbon dioxide, sulfur compounds and mercury from natural gas streams, and that separate and recover natural gas liquids.Honeywell’s UOP established a gas processing design center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2008 that designs and delivers fabricated skid-mounted gas processing plants.In addition to Malaysia, Honeywell’s UOP has membrane system, and other gas processing technology design centers, in Des Plaines, Ill., and Antwerp, Belgium, and manufactures membranes in Anaheim, Calif., and Littleton, Colo., in the U.S.