BP has signed a series of agreements in China involving the strategic integration and commercialization of coal conversion technologies; wind power generation; and world-class acetic acid production.
The British Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown and the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, as well as officials from both the British and Chinese governments, witnessed the signing during a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Clean Energy Commercialisation Center. BP and the China Academy of Sciences (CAS) signed an agreement to undertake a feasibility study into a proposed Clean Energy Commercialization Center (CECC) joint venture. This represents a major step forward following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in Shanghai last August.
Under the agreement, CECC is intended to integrate individual coal energy technologies—coal gasification, coal-to-liquids, coal-to-chemicals, carbon capture and storage, coal bed methane and underground gasification—from CAS institutes and other organizations both within and outside the PRC, into competitive integrated feedstock manufacturing and product distribution systems and solutions such as polygeneration complexes.
The CECC would also serve as an international platform to foster collaboration among research institutes, enterprises and other institutions to improve indigenous Chinese innovation capabilities and market applications in areas such as clean coal conversion, zero emission and carbon capture and storage. BP and CAS have also agreed that the CECC would act as a cooperation platform between the two parties in order to support the development of the Sino-UK clean coal conversion related near zero emission initiative, including technology development and demonstration projects.
A full time working team drawn from both BP and CAS has been established to progress the feasibility study and the joint venture contract, with the aim of establishing the CECC joint venture by the end of 2008.
Wind Power. BP signed a framework agreement with Beijing Tianrun New Energy Investment Co., a subsidiary of Goldwind Science and Technology Co., Ltd., with the intention of jointly investing, constructing, and operating three 49.5 megawatt wind power plants near Bayan Obo in Inner Mongolia. The two parties have also agreed to explore further wind power investment opportunities in other areas of Inner Mongolia.
Acetic Acid. BP and Sinopec signed a Memorandum of Understanding to add a new 650k tonnes acetic acid plant at their YARACO joint Venture in Chongqing, upstream Yangtze River, Southwest China. This marks another major milestone in strengthening the existing partnership in acetic acid production and follows on from the successful investment in Yangtze River Acetyls Company (YARACO) in Chongqing, and in the BP Yangtze Petrochemicals Acetyls Company (BYACO) in Nanjing.
Acetic acid is an important organic chemical raw material, widely used in industries such as chemical engineering, light & textile, medicine, pesticide and dye. In 1995, BP and Sinopec jointly established Yangtze River Acetyls Company (YARACO) at Southwestern Chongqing Municipality. Since then, YARACO has been expanded twice to bring its initial acetic acid capacity from 150,000 tonnes to 350,000 tonnes a year, and also to include an 80,000 tonnes a year esters plant.
This world-scale acetic acid plant, using BP’s Cativa technology, would have an annual capacity of 650,000 tonnes. The plant is estimated to be on stream in 2011, when the total production at the YARACO site will be well over one million tonnes per annum, making it one of the largest acetic acid production locations in China.
BP is the top acetic acid producer in the world and 80% of the world’s acetic acid facilities incorporate BP’s Cativa catalyst technology, characterized by low energy consumption and high conversion efficiency. Compared with traditional methanol production technology, Cativa can reduce energy consumption by 30% and reduce greenhouse gas emission by 33%
BP has been operating in China since the early 1970s and has invested more than $4.3 billion in commercial projects. Its activities in China include the production and importation of natural gas, supply of aviation fuel, import and marketing of LPG, fuels retailing, lubricants blending and sales, petrochemical manufacturing and solar electric facilities. As one of China’s largest foreign investors, BP has more than 30 joint ventures and wholly owned companies and about 4,000 staff.
In November 2001, BP established the “Clean Energy: Facing the Future” program in China with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. BP has agreed to invest US$30 million over a thirty-year period to fund research in clean energy technologies. The program aims to develop and prove new clean energy options for China and the rest of the world. The program includes several projects at CAS’s Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics and Shenyang Institute of Metals Research.