engineering giant Foster Wheeler Ltd and China’s Wuhuan Engineering Company, has been awarded contracts to undertake a feasibility study for an 80,000-b/d coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in the coal-rich western part of China.

Foster Wheeler Energy Limited and Foster Wheeler International Engineering & Consulting (Shanghai) Co Ltd will work with the Chinese on the study awarded by Sasol Synfuels International (Proprietary) Limited (Sasol) and Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Company Ltd.

Foster Wheeler declined to disclose contract value, which will be included in the company’s fourth-quarter 2008 bookings.

Foster Wheeler said it will develop the technical definition, engineering, procurement and construction strategy and cost estimate and will provide input to the project’s financial evaluation to support project approval by the Chinese government.

The planned facility will convert coal into selected fuel products such as diesel, naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas by combining three principal processes: gasification of coal to synthesis gas, the conversion of synthesis gas into liquid fuels using Sasol’s low-temperature Fischer-Tropsch technology, and hydrocracking the converted products into valuable fuel products.

“Foster Wheeler is delighted to be selected by Sasol and Shenhua, together with our Chinese partner, to assist in the next stage of the development of this planned world-scale CTL plant in China, having been involved in the initial stage of the feasibility study three years ago,” said Michael J Beaumont, chairman and CEO of Foster Wheeler Energy Limited.

“We have established an excellent and long-standing working relationship with Sasol in the engineering and optimization of Sasol’s gas-to-liquids and coal-to-liquids technologies. This award reflects our clients’ confidence in the creativity and specialist technical expertise of our Business Solutions Group, which focuses on adding value at the early development stages of projects, and in our long and successful track record in China.”

Foster Wheeler Ltd. is a global engineering and construction contractor and power equipment supplier delivering technically advanced, reliable facilities and equipment.