KAUCUK's expanded styrene monomer plant starts up

Performance test passed within one month of start-up

BLOOMFIELD, NJ, February 06 -- ABB Lummus Global announced today that the styrene monomer (SM) plant expansion project for KAUCUK, a.s., Kralupy nad Vltavou, at its existing facility at Kralupy in the Czech Republic, started up successfully at the end of 2001.

The original SM plant was designed by ABB using Lummus/UOP "Classic" SM technology, and came on stream in 1998. Lummus/UOP SMART(SM) technology was employed to expand the capacity from 130,000 metric tons per annum (MTA) of styrene monomer to 170,000 MTA. Engineering work was completed in Bloomfield, NJ, USA and Brno, Czech Republic. The project was completed in November 2001 in a record time of 12 months from award date to mechanical completion. The plant start-up proceeded smoothly and it passed its performance test within one month of start-up.

The SMART SM technology is based on an innovative combination of Lummus/UOP technologies for ethylbenzene dehydrogenation and oxidative reheat. High single-pass ethylbenzene conversion and high selectivities are simultaneously achieved using a unique reactor system. The revamp of the styrene plant using SMART SM technology allowed a 30% capacity increase with minimum investment since the equipment changes were mainly in the reactor area.

"This is the second successful application of the SMART technology for a styrene monomer expansion project," said Dinesh Ghandi, vice president of petrochemical technologies at ABB Lummus Global. "It confirms that SMART technology is the most cost effective revamp route to achieve a significant capacity increase in an existing plant."

KAUCUK, a.s., Kralupy nad Vltavou is part of the UNIPETROL Group, the national holding for the Czech Republic's refining and petrochemical interest, with approximately 7,300 employees and revenues of US$ 1.5 billion.

The ABB Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals Division focuses on systems, products and services for oil and gas exploration and development, refineries and petrochemical plants worldwide. The division employs approximately 13,000 people. ABB (www.abb.com) is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enables utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering their environmental impact. ABB has 160,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

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