JM and KBR sign global strategic alliance for ammonia-methanol coproduction process

Johnson Matthey (JM), (London, UK), a leader in sustainable technologies, and KBR, (Houston, USA) announced today that they have signed a global strategic alliance agreement to license a ground-breaking ammonia-methanol coproduction process that combines the company’s market leading ammonia and methanol process technologies. Under the collaboration, the JM and KBR coproduction process makes the most of the synergies between the two technologies, maximising savings while offering the highest levels of safety, flexibility and reliability.

The coproduction process combines two industry proven technologies, JM’s methanol production process and KBR’s proprietary PURIFIER™ ammonia process. Ammonia is primarily used in the production of urea for fertiliser, with methanol and its derivative products primarily used to produce formaldehyde, acrylic plastic, synthetic fabrics, adhesives, paints, and other products in pharmaceuticals and agrichemicals. The coproduction of methanol and ammonia in a single plant eliminates duplication of equipment compared to two stand-alone plants, reducing CAPEX. The synergies between the two technologies reduces the environmental impact of the plant and its OPEX through shared utilities and lower energy consumption, while the process grants the operator the flexibility to optimise production and adjust to opportunities within the marketplace, as opposed to separate plants tied to one dedicated product.

Both JM’s methanol technology and KBR’s ammonia technology showcase their heritage, deep experience, and high performance. JM has supplied the methanol industry with leading technology and catalysts for over 45 years and have licensed over 100 grassroots methanol plants in that time. Since the 1960s, KBR has licensed, engineered or constructed more than 244 ammonia plants worldwide.

“I am excited to announce the alliance agreement combining market leading technologies from KBR and JM into a new offering for our clients,” said Doug Kelly, KBR President, Technology Solutions. “KBR’s ammonia technology is known for its lowest energy consumption resulting in reduced carbon footprint, highest reliability and safety and outstanding financial performance.”

“Methanol and ammonia hold great promise for continued energy and fuels transition to a greener world. This strategic agreement is a powerful combination that provides our customers a comprehensive solution for enhanced asset optimisation, cost savings and reduced environmental impact,” said John Gordon, Managing Director for Johnson Matthey. “Our partnership with KBR takes ammonia-methanol production to the next step with a single point license that delivers innovative operational agility to meet ever changing market demand.”

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Press release (pdf)