Petrobras taps JV for gas-to-liquids demonstration plant in Brazil

Oxford Catalysts Group through its subsidiary Velocys Inc. has signed a Joint Demonstration and Testing Agreement with Petrobras (PBR), alongside its existing partners Toyo Engineering Corporation and MODEC, which provides for the construction and operation of an integrated Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) demonstration plant based on the Group's technology.

The GTL demonstration plant, which will be located at the Petrobras facility in Fortaleza, Brazil, will incorporate the Group's microchannel reactor and catalyst technologies for the key Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) and Fischer-Tropsch (FT) sections of the plant. It will be operated for nine months, after its construction and delivery in early 2011 and the subsequent commissioning and testing periods. The total cost of the plant, estimated at several tens of millions of dollars, will be covered by Toyo Engineering and MODEC, whilst Petrobras will be responsible for the installation and operating costs of the demonstration.

Following successful demonstration, it is expected that the first commercial deployment of the Group's small scale GTL technology will be on an FPSO, for example, to mitigate flaring of associated gas resulting from the development of offshore oil fields.

The Group will be working to manufacture its reactors with Kobe Steel, Ltd., one of Japan's leading steel makers, with whom it has been collaborating for over a year.

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