KBR Buys into BP's VCC Technology

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 29 Jan 2010 08:03
Tags: bottom-of-barrel bp kbr vcc

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This news is from about a week ago, but I found it interesting on a number of levels.

KBR announced today that it has signed a Collaboration Agreement with BP to promote, market, and execute licensing and engineering services for the slurry bed residue and coal upgrading Veba Combi Cracker (VCC) Technology.

The first reason why I find it interesting is that this is a technology without a real track record, yet KBR thinks it worth investing in.

Until now there has only been one VCC plant in the world. It was subsequently shut down in 2000 due to unfavourable economic conditions.

There is another reason why it sound interesting.

VCC Technology is a hydrogen addition technology suitable for processing residuum into high-quality distillates or synthetic crude oil in the refining, upstream field upgrading and coal-to-liquids

It seems to be able to handle a huge range of feedstocks, which is not the case for the most popular deep cracking technology, coking.

Another advantage is the conversion rate. With the addition of hydrogen, the yield can exceed 100% of the feed, and there is no low value coke.

Given the increasing importance of heavy oils and perhaps coal as a feedstock, I am sure that KBR sees this first and foremost as an upstream upgrading technology. However, if proven there is big potential in refining as well, where the maximisation of high value products is paramount, and where petrocoke may one day be very difficult to dispose of.

Update: For more details see veba-combi-cracking-vcc


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