JDTA signed for GTL demo plant

Oxford Catalysts Group’s US subsidiary, Velocys, has signed a Joint Demonstration and Testing Agreement (JDTA) with Petrobras, which will see the two companies work with Toyo Engineering and Modec to construct and operate an integrated Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) demonstration plant.

Petrobras is the Brazilian national oil company and the largest company in Latin America, while Toyo Engineering is a global Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) company. MODEC is the world’s second largest owner/supplier of Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessels (FPSOs) to the oil industry.

The GTL demonstration plant, which will be located at the Petrobras facility in Fortaleza, Brazil, will incorporate the Oxford Catalysts’ microchannel reactor and catalyst technologies for the key Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) and Fischer-Tropsch (FT) sections of the plant.

The plant will be operated for nine months, after its construction and delivery in early 2011. The total cost, estimated at several tens of millions of dollars, will be covered by Toyo Engineering and Modec, while Petrobras will be responsible for the installation and operating costs of the demonstration plant.

Following a successful demonstration, it is expected that the first commercial deployment of the small-scale GTL technology will be on an FPSO to mitigate flaring of associated gas resulting from the development of offshore oil fields.

Oxford Catalysts will be working to manufacture the reactors for the plant with Kobe Steel, one of Japan’s leading steel makers, with whom it has been collaborating for over a year.

Roy Lipski, chief executive officer of Oxford Catalysts Group, said: ’This represents a crucial milestone in the development of our small-scale GTL technology and a very significant commitment by Toyo Engineering, Modec and Petrobras to its demonstration and commercialisation.’