Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has signed an agreement with US firm KBR to work together to expand sales of SDA pitch-fired power plants. These plants use as fuel the insoluble matter (SDA pitch) remaining when light oil fractions are recovered from heavy oil fractions using the solvent de-asphalting (SDA) process.
KBR is the global leader in SDA systems. By working to combine the respective proprietary technologies of each company as a set, MHPS and KBR aim to provide new solutions for the petroleum industry with the world’s first method to utilise the SDA pitch, from which energy recovery has been difficult up to now as a fuel for power generation.
KBR licenses its SDA process, known as Rose for enhancing the extraction ratio of the light oil fraction, providing the oil industry with SDA systems using this technology. KBR desired to work with a company with established downstream processing technologies that allow for the effective utilisation of SDA pitch. The SDA pitch-fired plant boilers developed by MHPS incorporate burners that allow the heated high viscosity SDA pitch to be combusted as liquid without installing an additional system. The boilers utilise high temperature corrosion countermeasures, mainly in the combustion area, to prevent corrosion caused by the high concentrations of sulfur and heavy metals.