Sinopec, SK Energy to start work at Wuhan cracker

18 December 2007 04:51  [Source: ICIS news]

BEIJING (ICIS news)--Sinopec and its South Korean partner SK Energy are expected to break ground on their cracker project in central China in the next few days for start-up in 2011, sources from the Chinese energy major said on Tuesday.

The companies, which received approval for the yuan (CNY) 1.9bn ($304m) project in Wuhan, Hubei province, in April, could also increase the annual capacity of the proposed cracker to 1m tonnes from 800,000 tonnes, one of the sources said.

The project is Sinopec's fourth in its 11th five-year plan (2006-2010) which will add close to 4m tonnes of ethylene.

Construction on the other three crackers in Fujian, Tianjin and Zhejiang provinces have started  and they are expected to be completed in 2009-2010.

A Wuhan official said it has relocated residents and the land for the Sino-Korean joint venture was ready for use.

Derivatives at Wuhan could include a 500,000 tonne/year benzene, toluene and mixed xylenes (BTX) unit, two 300,000 tonne/year polyethylene (PE) units and a 400,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) unit, a second source said, adding that low density PE (LDPE) could be produced.

A 300,000 tonne/year ethylene oxide/monoethylene glycol (EO/MEG) unit was also planned as there were many EO-derivative factories in the region, he said.

However, negotiations on the derivatives were still ongoing as SK was keen to include more products, the sources said, adding that the current plan could change later.

SK Energy could not be reached for comment.

($1=CNY7.38)


By: Florence Tan
+65 6780 4359



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