Amec Foster Wheeler announces that the pilot plant of its new VESTA once-through methanation technology, with wide H2/CO flexibility, has been successfully tested and is ready for commercial application. The pilot plant in China was developed with the support of partners Wison Engineering (Wison) and Clariant.

Test results confirm a number of advantages for VESTA over existing technologies including:

  • The VESTA technology is a once-through operation with no need for expensive compressors or refractory reactors, reducing capital expenditure by 20 percent or more.
  • The substitute natural gas (SNG) production is easy to operate and does not require strict control of the hydrogen / carbon ratio. The product quality is therefore more stable and reliable.
  • The catalyst has a higher conversion rate and wider operating temperature range (230-700°C).
  • The technology has a significant energy saving impact. According to the test results, the new technology can reduce operating costs by over US$25 million per year based on a sample model of 4 billion standard cubic metres SNG output per year.
Substitute natural gas is an effective route to clean fuel energy which can help alleviate the shortage of China's natural gas output. We are extremely pleased to see that our new VESTA once-through methanation technology has been proven at a commercial scale with the support of our partners Wison and Clariant. We look forward to supporting the Chinese and global markets with this innovative technology.
Andy Hemingway, Vice President of Technology, Amec Foster Wheeler
The success in pilot testing is a result of our close collaboration with Wison Engineering and Amec Foster Wheeler in the past three years. The pilot testing verifies the excellent performance of Clariant catalyst and also allows us to further optimise the new SNG technology. We believe this new technology can bring a whole new solution to the future development of SNG and optimisation of energy structure in China.
Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Clariant Business Unit Catalysts

We are very pleased with the initial achievement of our first cooperation with Amec Foster Wheeler and Clariant. By leveraging Amec Foster Wheeler's global expertise and technological strength as well as Clariant's strong innovation in catalyst technology, Wison Engineering has brought into full play its competitiveness in technology industrialisation and further enhanced its capabilities in coal chemicals industry.

In the long run, SNG will play a strategic role in facilitating the clean coal utilisation in China. The new technology's commercialisation will significantly reduce the cost of SNG production and accelerate its development.

Chen Huimei, Senior Vice President of Wison Engineering