SAN FRANCISCO, April 1, 2015 - Siluria Technologies, a pioneer in the commercial production of fuels and chemicals made from clean and abundant natural gas, today held a grand opening event announcing the successful start-up of its demonstration plant located in La Porte, Texas. The plant is wholly owned by Siluria, and co-located at a plant operated by Braskem America, Inc. This milestone marks the world’s first large-scale production of ethylene directly from natural gas through Oxidative Coupling of Methane (“OCM”). The demonstration plant is the final scale-up of the OCM process technology and paves the way for Siluria to deploy commercial-scale plants in the 2017/2018 timeframe.
Siluria’s OCM technology is the first commercially viable process to directly convert natural gas to ethylene, a key building block for the global petrochemicals industry and a new basis from which to produce transportation fuels. The company’s breakthrough innovations enable natural gas to supplement petroleum as the world-wide basis for commodity fuels, chemicals and plastics.
“Today marks the culmination of years of effort by our remarkable scientific and engineering teams. This revolutionary breakthrough has the potential to shift the foundation of the hydrocarbon economy by using abundant natural gas, to produce high-value chemicals and fuels,” said Ed Dineen, Siluria’s CEO. “We are well positioned with our commercial and engineering partners to now move quickly to full commercialization of our proprietary technologies.”
Attending the grand opening event were U.S. Congressman Brian Babin of Texas’s 36th District, Former U.S. Ambassador and Siluria Advisor Edward Djerejian, and delegates from Texas Governor Abbott, Senator Cornyn and the City of La Porte. There was also a large contingent from the broad energy industry including Siluria partners – Braskem, The Linde Group, Saudi Aramco, AMEC Foster Wheeler – as well as many representatives from leading energy, chemical and midstream companies.
“Today is an exciting moment for our local economy and the people of Southeast Texas,” said Congressman Babin. “Siluria Technologies’ new start-up plant further solidifies our area as a world leader in energy development and provides us with a strong economic partner focused on pioneering new and exciting technologies that capitalize on our abundance of natural gas resources.”
The conversion of methane to ethylene using OCM has been a sought-after goal of the chemical industry for more than 30 years because of its promise to add value to natural gas resources and reduce the costs of chemical, plastics and fuels production. Siluria’s highly efficient catalytic process is more scalable, more environmentally friendly and more cost-effective in many settings than current methods of production.
Siluria was the first company to achieve sustained OCM reactions at a pilot stage and has now proven the commercial viability of the technology through the demonstration-scale OCM plant built and successfully operated by Siluria. This breakthrough was achieved using a combination of new innovations in catalyst development, advances in catalyst screening, and a highly motived, creative research and engineering team. Siluria has also built foundational partnerships with industry leading engineering firms to both validate and commercialize its technology in specific projects within the ethylene, gas processing and oil refining industries. Siluria has previously announced its partnership with The Linde Group to offer licenses to the ethylene industry worldwide.
“This demo plant was brought in on time, under budget, and safely and successfully started up last December,” said Mr. Dineen. “The initial campaigns have already replicated our pilot scale performance.”
Siluria has developed a second process package for converting ethylene to liquids (“ETL”) to produce tailored products such as gasoline and other high-value hydrocarbon liquids. Siluria has been using the ETL technology to produce gasoline at its pilot facility in Hayward, Calif., since November 2013. The combination of Siluria’s OCM and ETL technologies provide an entirely new platform for energy companies to add significant value uplift to their lowest value products (methane and ethane).
About Siluria Technologies
Siluria Technologies is pioneering the commercial production of fuels and chemicals made from clean, abundant natural gas. Siluria’s break-through Oxidative Coupling of Methane (“OCM”) process technology is believed to be the first commercially viable process to directly convert methane to ethylene. Siluria’s second process technology can convert ethylene to liquid fuels such as gasoline, diesel or jet fuel. This enables natural gas to potentially supplement petroleum as the worldwide basis for transportation fuels and commodity chemicals. Siluria’s revolutionary catalyst and process technologies uniquely combine nanomaterials, templating and chemical engineering, to convert natural gas into higher-value products using efficient processes that can be seamlessly integrated into existing industry infrastructure. For more information about Siluria, visit www.siluria.com.