MHPS and KBR intend to offer new solutions for the petroleum industry with a method to effectively utilise the SDA pitch


SDA Pitch-fired Power Plant. (Credit: Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd.)

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has agreed to work together with US-based KBR to expand the sales of SDA pitch-fired power plants.

The plants are fueled using the insoluble matter (SDA pitch) which is the residue when light oil fractions are recovered from heavy oil fractions by the solvent de-asphalting (SDA) process.

The collaboration of the companies aim to offer new solutions for the petroleum industry using the method to utilising the SDA pitch, from which energy recovery has been difficult up to now, as a fuel for power generation.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, KBR has licensed SDA process, which is known as ROSE that works to improve the extraction ratio of the light oil fraction while providing the oil industry with SDA systems using the technology.

MHPS’s SDA pitch-fired plant boilers

The MHPS’s SDA pitch-fired plant boilers will integrate the burners which allow the heated high viscosity SDA pitch to be combusted as liquid without installing an additional system.

MHPS said that the boilers use high temperature corrosion countermeasures, which mostly used in the combustion area, to avoid corrosion caused by the high concentrations of sulfur and heavy metals.

Furthermore, to reduce the environmental load, the nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur oxide (SOx), and particulate matter in the exhaust gas is removed and recovered using MHPS’ leading-edge Air Quality Control System (AQCS) incorporating the flue gas desulfurization (FGD) system.

According to MHPS, the demand for light petroleum products has increased in recent years in response to tighter regulations, mostly in Europe.

In October last year, Canadian integrated energy company Suncor Energy selected MHPS to supply two JAC gas turbines and heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) for Suncor Oil Sands facility in Alberta, Canada.