O&M, Plant Optimization, Retrofits & Upgrades

MHPS and KBR to partner on bitumen power systems market

Two companies hope to take the bottom of the barrel to the top of its very own market.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems will work with an American firm on growing the market for using extracted oil fractions in power generation. Japan’s MHPS and Houston-based KBR will partner on expanding sales of SDA pitch-fired power plants.

Such plants are fueled by the insoluble matter which remains when light oil fractions are recovered from heavy oil fractions by the solvent deasphalting (SDA) process.

KBR is focused on refining technologies. Its licensed SDA process, known as ROSE, works to enhance the extraction ratio of the light oil fraction. The SDA pitch-fired plant boilers developed by MHPS will incorporate burners that allow the heated high viscosity SDA pitch to be combusted as liquid without installing an additional system.

The boilers utilize high temperature corrosion countermeasures, mainly in the combustion area, to prevent corrosion caused by the high concentrations of sulfur and heavy metals. Further, to reduce the environmental load, the nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur oxide (SOx), and particulate matter in the exhaust gas is removed and recovered utilizing MHPS’ leading-edge Air Quality Control System (AQCS) incorporating the flue gas desulfurization (FGD) system.

Demand for light petroleum products has risen in recent years in response to tighter regulations, mainly in Europe, on the use of Heavy Oil C in marine vessels. As a result, refineries have been exploring the use of SDA and other residue cracking systems to convert heavy oil to light oil. However, the effective utilization of SDA pitch, a byproduct with limited use applications, has been an issue.

MHPS, in together with KBR, will support an expanded range of fuels to generate electricity through the widespread use of SDA pitch-fired plants.