Axens and the Shaw Group have been selected to license a next-generation catalytic cracking technology that will help refiners maximize the production of propylene and other high-value refinery products.

The advanced technology, High Severity Fluidized Catalytic Cracking (HS-FCC), will produce higher yields of propylene and other light valuable products than conventional fluidized catalytic cracking units.

The technology developers selected Shaw and Axens to promote and license the technology worldwide.

The HS-FCC technology has developed during a 15-year development effort from five separate companies.

During phase one, Japan’s JX Nippon Oil & Energy and Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) formed a research venture.

In the phase two, Saudi Aramco joined JX and KFUPM to continue developing the technology and this expanded team designed, built and operated a 30-barrel-per-day demonstration unit at Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura refinery.

JX embarked on the third phase of development including the scaling-up of the demonstration unit to a 3,000-barrel-per-day pre-commercial demonstration unit, which is being built at JX’s refinery in Mizushima, Japan.

Axens and Shaw have provided engineering services for the unit, which is expected to be operational in 2011.