Qatar Fuel Additives Co. (QAFAC) is upgrading its control system in a push to become one of the top five international producers of methanol and butane derivatives by 2020. Honeywell Process Solutions’ integrated control and safety system will help the Mesaieed Industrial City plant reduce operating costs and improve efficiencies as it increases production of methanol and MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether).
The solution—including Honeywell’s Experion PKS distributed control system (DCS), Safety Manager and XLS fire detection systems—will improve automation at the plant, increase cybersecurity and enhance operator effectiveness. QAFAC will also benefit from ongoing long-term services through Honeywell’s lifecycle support.
“This project will help us meet growing demand for methanol, MTBE and clean fuels efficiently, while achieving the highest levels of safety and environmental performance at our site,” said Nasser Al Kuwari, general manager for QAFAC, which is a joint venture between state-backed Industries Qatar, OPIC Middle East, LCY and IOL.
QAFAC is also planning to commission an $80 million carbon dioxide recovery project this year to capture 500 tons of CO2 a day for reinjection into the production cycle.
MTBE, when added to gasoline, enhances octane levels to reduce engine knocking. It also helps the gasoline burn more completely, which reduces tailpipe emissions and helps to meet Euro 5 standards. QAFAC produces MTBE using process technology licensed from UOP, a Honeywell company that develops technology, catalysts, adsorbents and equipment for the petroleum refining, petrochemical and gas processing industries.
Work under the multimillion-dollar contract with QAFAC has already begun and is due for completion this year.