London, UK,

Successful pilot for Amec Foster Wheeler’s VESTA once-through methanation technology

  • Innovative VESTA methanation technology produces substitute natural gas from gasification of either coal or petroleum coke
  • VESTA provides significant capital and operational expenditure savings for customers
  • Proprietary Clariant catalyst
  • Safer and more reliable technology
  • Pilot plant engineering and construction by Wison Engineering Services

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
Notes to editors

Amec Foster Wheeler ( designs, delivers and maintains strategic and complex assets for its customers across the global energy and related sectors.


Employing around 40,000 people in more than 55 countries and with 2015 revenues of £5.5 billion, the company operates across the oil and gas industry – from production through to refining, processing and distribution of derivative products – and in the mining, clean energy, power generation, pharma, environment and infrastructure markets.


Amec Foster Wheeler offers full life-cycle services to offshore and onshore oil and gas projects (conventional and unconventional, upstream, midstream and downstream) for greenfield, brownfield and asset support projects, plus leading refining technology.


Amec Foster Wheeler shares are publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange and its American Depositary Shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Both trade under the ticker AMFW.



Forward-Looking Statements


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