Technip is a world leader in designing steam crackers, from concept stage through construction and commissioning for both grassroots plants (including mega-crackers) and plant expansions using its proprietary technologies. Technip provides a wide range of services to the ethylene industry. Since the acquisition of Stone & Webster process technologies in 2012, Technip is able to propose either former Stone & Webster ethylene technology or/and Technip ethylene technology. In addition, customers looking for an alternative method to produce sustainable products from bio-based materials can turn to Technip’s Hummingbird® ethanol to ethylene technology, acquired in 2016.

Ethylene production

With respectively 70 years of expertise for Stone & Webster and 40 years for Technip and a total of 150 grassroots plants, Technip is the leader in the field of ethylene. And, since the year 2000, Technip has engineered and implemented more than 20 million tons per year (Mtpa) of ethylene production (using the two technologies) corresponding to 18 steam-cracking units; the licenses sold representing around 50% of the world’s total added capacity.

Designing ethylene plants

Technip has unique experience in the design and construction of the largest ethylene plants.

Recent achievements

  • Yansab KSA: the world’s largest steam cracker with a capacity of 1.7 Mtpa at term using ethane and propane feedstocks. Designed by Technip, the unit went into operation in 2008 with an initial capacity of 1.38 Mtpa,
  • Rabigh KSA: the world's largest ethane cracker, operating at 1.5 Mtpa integrated with DCC process to produce large quantity of propylene (1Mtpa), designed and built by Technip,
  • Sadara KSA: the world's largest mixed cracker (ethane, LPG, naphta), operating at 1.5 Mtpa, designed by Technip,
  • RasLaffan, Qatar: Large ethylene plant with a capacity of 1.3 Mtpa based on ethane cracking,
  • Sharq, KSA: Large ethylene plant with a capacity of 1.3 Mtpa based on ethane cracking,
  • The world’s largest cracking furnaces: over 210 kilotons per year of ethylene based on ethane and 200 kilotons per year of ethylene based on liquids designed and built by Technip,

Recent awards

  • Jamnagar, India: the world’s largest cracker based on refinery off-gases under design, which will produce 1.4 Mtpa of ethylene.
  • Sasol Lake Charles, Louisiana: design of an ethane cracker with a production capacity of 1.5 Mtpa worth of ethylene
  • CPChem, Cedar Bayou, Texas: design of an ethane cracker with a production capacity of 1.5 Mtpa worth of ethylene
  • DOW - LHC9, Freeport, Texas: design of an ethane cracker with a production capacity of 1.5 Mtpa worth of ethylene

Modernization and expansion of existing units

Technip is also a leader in the modernization of existing units across the world.

Recent examples:

  • Modernizing and increasing capacity by 40% of Westlake unit in Calvert City, Kentucky, USA
  • Modernizing and increasing capacity by 50% of Kazan unit in Russia

Ethylene Technologies

Technip provides the quality and reliability of commercially proven technologies and the innovations driven by dedicated research and development. Our ethylene plants combine expertise and a variety of features to create a robust plant design using the latest generation of technologies.

Proprietary Cracking Furnace Technology

Technip proposes the most adequate technologies for cracking furnaces:

Gas cracking

  • SMK coil technology for gas feed: The SMK technology enables selectivity optimization and to obtain very large capacity furnaces. The largest capacity furnace in the world uses SMK technology and has a capacity of 210,000 tons per year of ethylene (per furnace cell). Over the last 10 years, SMK technology has been installed in more than 110 furnaces. 
  • USC® coil technology for gas feed: The USC® coil technology for gas might be either M coil assembly or W coil assembly. Over the last 10 years, USC® coil technology has been installed in 60 furnaces. Maximum capacity has reached over 200,000 tons per year of ethylene.

Liquid cracking

  • GK6® coil technology for liquid feed is applied in new furnaces and for the modernization of existing furnaces. GK6® technology has been applied in more than 90 furnaces in the last ten years.
  • USC® coil technology for liquid feed: The USC® coil technology for liquids might be either UTM coil assembly or SUTM coil assembly. Over the last 10 years, USC® coil technology has been installed in 110 furnaces.

Recent developments

  • SFT® (Swirl Flow Tube) Technology which uses helical tubes that enable improved thermal exchange coefficients can be used in all furnaces and further improves performance (selectivity, capacity and run-length).

SPYRO® Furnace Design and Optimization Software

SPYRO® is a Technip proprietary furnace design and optimization software that predicts the steam-cracking yield of various gas or liquid feedstocks.

It uses 7,000 chemical reactions implementing 240 elements. It has been adopted by more than 70% of ethylene producers worldwide to optimize production.

For more information visit

Proprietary Separation Technology

The separation and fractionation systems downstream of the cracking furnaces are based on the progressive separation technology developed by Technip, which allows energy consumption to be minimized thereby lowering CO2 emissions. This technology is applied in all types of separation sequences mentioned below:

  • Front-end hydrogenation coupled with either front-end deethanizer or front-end depropanizer is available for gas or liquid crackers. This technology has been already applied and demonstrated in both Technip and Stone & Webster projects. Having provided more front-end hydrogenation designs than any other licensor, Stone & Webster is the world leader. The cumulated capabilities further strengthen Technip’s portfolio in this area.
  • Back-end hydrogenation coupled with front-end demethanizer is applied for either gas or liquid crackers. This technology has already been applied and demonstrated in Technip’s projects.
  • The Heat Integrated Rectifier System (HRS) now offered by Technip has been applied in multiple liquids cracker designs, resulting in the lowest energy consuming plants in the industry. This approach, coupled with Technip’s low pressure C2 Heat Pump option, provides customers the best available technology in the market place.

Proprietary Equipment

  • U coil/SLE combination
    Technip has exclusive design and patents with BORSIG allowing direct combination of two passes coils (UTM coil or GK6®) with SLE (double pipe quench exchanger).
  • Ripple Tray™ Technology
    Technip's high-capacity Ripple Trays are used in fouling services and/or increase production capacity. It has been applied for 50 years in 470 applications worldwide.
  • The Vapor Flute™
    Technip's proprietary Vapor Flute™, an important component of many Quench Oil or Quench Water tower revamp projects, increases operational efficiency by acting as a first line of defense against liquids and coke that enter the tower.
  • Exclusive partnership agreement with Wieland
    Technip’s partnership agreement with Wieland for the use of enhanced heat exchangers in Ethylene plants enables energy consumption and CO2 emissions to be even further reduced. 
  • Quench Fitting Technology
    Technip's Quench Fitting technology is a unique device that provides high-efficiency, direct-contact quenching of furnace effluent gas with a process hydrocarbon liquid stream to obtain the desired mixing, quickly and completely.
  • Anti-Coking Heavy Feed Mixer™
    Technip's Anti-Coking Heavy Feed Mixer™ completely vaporizes heavy hydrocarbon feedstocks using a unique patented anti-coking design. This design greatly minimizes the coking tendency and required length of mixing chamber, thus reducing the upfront capital costs and periodic maintenance of the furnace convection section as much as possible.

Hummingbird® technology

Customers looking for an alternative method of ethylene production from renewable sources can turn to Technip’s Hummingbird® technology for help. A second generation low cost process for dehydrating ethanol to ethylene, Hummingbird® uses a proprietary catalyst which operates at a lower temperature and higher selectivity than first generation processes.

​Technology features include:

  • Ultra selective catalyst with over 99.0% overall carbon conversion to polymer grade ethylene.
  • Simplified separation and purification with reduced compression and no ethane splitter.
  • Proprietary ethanol clean-up ‘toolkit’.
  • Proven pilot plant scale operation.

The performance of Hummingbird® technology provides real world benefits in the dehydration of a wide range of ethanol feedstocks using our ethanol clean-up ‘toolkit’. The process is ready for integration into existing ethylene plant facilities using available utilities. High process selectivity reduces capital expenditure and operating costs when compared to first generation technologies.

Related Technologies

A variety of associated proprietary technologies supplement our extensive technology portfolio to further enhance our clients' operating margins.

  • Olefins recovery from refinery off-gas
  • Catalytic olefins processes
  • Acetylenerecovery
  • Quench Water PRETREAT™
  • Spent Caustic PRETREAT™