Mol Group signs license agreements with Evonik and thyssenkrupp
Half a year after the announcement of its 2030 strategy, Mol Group announced that it has reached an important milestone by signing license agreements with Evonik and thyssenkrupp. According to Mol Group, the agreements will enable the company to produce propylene oxide, a key component for the production of polyether polyols. The company said that it intends to become a significant producer of polyether polyols, high-value intermediates for polyurethane foams, which are widely applied in the automotive, construction, packaging and furniture industries.
Mol Group has entered into key contracts related to core technologies of the Polyol Project, which was announced in 2016 as part of the first investment cycle of the company's 2030 long-term strategy. The contracts concern the purchase of technology licenses and process design packages for the HPPO (hydrogen peroxide to propylene oxide) technology for propylene oxide production. The licensor of the hydrogen-peroxide unit for captive use is Evonik, while a consortium formed by Evonik and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions licenses the propylene oxide unit. The contracts also contain binding offers and pre-agreements regarding the later engineering and execution phases of the HPPO units by thyssenkrupp and the purchase of proprietary catalysts from Evonik. The planned new industrial complex consists of HPPO plants with 200,000 t/y of propylene oxide production capacity, several production lines for polyether polyols, utilities and other infrastructural investments.
In addition, Mol Group announced that it has selected Fluor as Project Management Consultant (PMC) for the front end engineering design and engineering, procurement and construction phases of the project. Mol Group said that it is in the final stages of selecting the licensor for polyether polyol technology as well as the contractor for the engineering of the utilities and other facilities.
According to Mol Group, these agreements represent the first milestone in the execution of its 2030 long-term strategy, which earmarked around USD 1.9 billion in investments for transformational projects in the area of chemicals and petrochemicals for the period from 2017 – 2021. The industrial complex, which will be built in Hungary, will be the single largest organic investment project of Mol Group in this period. The new product line will not only provide access to attractive markets in the CEE, but it will also form a logical continuation of Mol’s strategy to move further along the downstream value chain towards semi-commodity and specialty chemicals products, the company said.
Zsolt Hernádi, Mol Group Chairman-CEO, commented: „Today’s agreement with our renowned partners marks an important step in the implementation of the Mol Group 2030 strategy, which will transform Mol Group into the leading chemical company in CEE. As a first decisive investment step, we will spend up to USD 1 billion on the Polyol Project and thus become a significant European player. The innovative and environmentally friendly technology will not only enable us to become the only integrated polyol producer in our region, but will also be a doorway to enter other, highly profitable areas of the chemical industry.”
Johannes Ohmer, Member of the Board of Management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH, said: “The Polyol Project is a good example where strong partners combine their specific strengths to powerfully and successfully join forces and in doing so building the foundation for a long-lasting and trustful strategic partnership. Evonik will contribute with its advanced technology know-how and operation experience as well as the outstanding performance of its proprietary catalysts. As an innovative and reliable partner we stand for resource-efficient and thus sustainable solutions.”
Sami Pelkonen, CEO of the Electrolysis & Polymers business unit at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, said: “We are proud to enter into this long-term license agreement, which will allow Mol to produce high-quality propylene oxide through an extremely cost-effective process. The process, which offers efficient feedstock consumption, environmentally-friendly production and low capital investment, was developed based on our strong expertise in process engineering and the design and construction of chemical and other industrial plants jointly with our partner Evonik.”
About Mol Group
Mol Group is an integrated, international oil and gas company, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. It is active in over 30 countries and has a workforce of approximately 25,000 people. Currently, the company has production activities in eight countries and exploration assets in 13 countries. Mol Group operates four refineries and two petrochemicals plants under integrated supply chain management in Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia, and owns a network of 2,000 service stations across ten countries in Central & South Eastern Europe.