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UOP Selected by Japan's Mitsubishi Gas Chemical for UOP MX SorbexTM Process Unit
Tuesday October 30, 9:00 am ET

UOP technology boosting meta-xylene capacity to meet growing global demand

DES PLAINES, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, announced today that Japans Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co., Inc. (MGC) has selected UOP to supply technology, engineering services, equipment and adsorbent for a new MX Sorbex process unit to be built in Mizushima, Japan.

UOPs MX Sorbex process technology is used to recover meta-xylene, a material used in the production of resins and industrial coatings. Design for the new unit, MGCs first using UOPs MX Sorbex process, is currently in progress with commissioning planned for late 2009.

The new unit will increase MGCs current meta-xylene production capacity from 150,000 to 220,000 metric tons per annum (MTA) to help meet the projected demand growth for meta-xylene. World meta-xylene production was less than 170,000 MTA in 1995, but increased by approximately 9 percent per year to 450,000 MTA by 2006 driven principally by demand for plastic beverage bottles.

For this expansion, the MX Sorbex Process is a perfect fit within MGCs current process framework and is the most cost effective option for MGC in the long run, said Kevin ONeil, UOPs product line manager for BTX Aromatics technologies.

The MX Sorbex process produces meta-xylene with 99.5 percent purity for use in the production of purified isophthalic acid (PIA) and other derivatives used in a variety of applications including unsaturated polyester resins, surface coatings, and copolyester resins. PIAs use is growing as a copolyester resin with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to improve the strength and quality of plastic beverage bottles.

The MX Sorbex process is in use in five commercially operating plants worldwide. Three additional plants using this technology are currently in design and construction.

Originally established in 1918, MGC is the largest producer of meta-xylene in the world. It is a global company with operations in over 10 countries worldwide. With a focus on technology and innovation, 90 percent of MGCs products are traditionally made using its own technology. MGC creates products and services for the natural gas, aromatics, specialty chemicals, and information and advanced material sectors.

UOP LLC, headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois, USA, is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, process plants, and consulting services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. UOP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc. and is part of Honeywells Specialty Materials strategic business group.

Honeywell International is a $34 billion diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywells shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. It is one of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is also a component of the Standard & Poors 500 Index.

Source: UOP LLC

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