Wasabi Energy (LON:WAS ASX:WAS) has made a breakthrough in China after state oil company Sinopec signed a design agreement for Kalina technology at one of its chemical plants.

Sinopec is one of China’s top integrated petrochemical companies with 45 major petrochemical facilities across the country.

John Byrne, Wasabi’s executive chairman, said the contract with Sinopec marked the beginning of “many commercial opportunities within China where there is accelerated development of energy efficiency and clean industrial development”.

Wasabi’s Kalina cycle technology utilises waste heat to generate power and cut energy usage and emissions and is especially useful in intensive industrial sectors such as cement, steel, oil refining and chemicals.

Sinopec’s agreement is for the design of a 4.0 Mw Kalina Cycle power plant at its Hainan petrochemical plant.

The Kalina plant at Hainan will capture waste heat from the paraxylene (PX) process stream and turn it into zero emission electricity as well as reducing the overall greenhouse gas emissions from the petrochemical plant.

Wasabi said the plant design has been reviewed and approved by Sinopec Engineering, which is one of the authorised petrochemical design institutes in China.

When built, it will be the first significant commercial application of Kalina cycle technology in China and would become operational in the second half of 2013.

Under the licence agreement with SSNE, its Chinese licensee, Wasabi Energy received an upfront fee and thereafter will receive a one-off royalty payment for each MW installed.

Wasabl already had a strong pipeline of power projects with 15MW under construction, 14.5MW at feasibility stage and around 45MW at pre-feasibility stage.

In June, it said its goal was have 25 MW under construction/operation within 12 months, 50MW within 3 years and more than 100MW within 5 years.

The Kalina Cycle can be applied using heat from industrial processes or renewable heat sources such as geothermal and solar thermal applications.

Wasabi Energy said today it is also investigating the potential of electricity generation in the upstream petrochemical industry by utilising using hot fluids from oil and gas wells.

"The prospect of utilising the Kalina Cycle for power generation in oil and gas fields (both operational and abandoned) is significant and possibly one of the most exciting applications of the technology,” John Byrne said.

Wasabi added that there are more than 37,000 possible sites in Texas and the Gulf Coast of the United States with potential for more than 7,800 MWe of power production.

In addition there is potential for generating power from the hot water that refills the abandoned fields. 

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