UpdateBASF, Sinopec to shell out 40% more on Nanjing JV

07 July 2009 06:12  [Source: ICIS news]

By Bohan Loh

(adds more details)

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Petrochemical giants BASF and Sinopec will invest $1.4bn to expand their petrochemical complex at Nanjing in eastern China, about 40% more than its original budget for the project.

The companies did not cite reasons for raising the estimated project cost.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, BASF and Sinopec said the capacity of the companies’ steam cracker at the site would be raised to 740,000 tonnes/year by 2011 from the current 600,000 tonnes/year under the expansion plan.

The project also includes building of 10 new downstream derivative units, they said. (Please see complete details below)

“Engineering work for the expansion is in full swing,” the companies said.

The companies' Nanjing petrochemical complex is being operated by BASF-YPC, a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between BASF and Sinopec’s flagship subsidiary Yangzi Petrochemical Co.

“The routine cracker turnaround scheduled for 2010 will be used to tie in the expansion modules and integrate the production processes,” the joint statement said.

The Nanjing expansion would broaden the product offering of BASF-YPC to cater to China’s wide array of industries from construction to pharmaceuticals to automotive and chemical manufacturing.

The plan was approved by the Chinese government on 1 July.

“The expansion conforms with China’s revitalization plan for the petrochemical industry, fosters the integration of BASF-YPC, broadens the portfolio of downstream products in Nanjing,” said Wang Tianpu, president of Sinopec.

“With this step, BASF-YPC will be among the most competitive sites of Sinopec operations,” he added.

Meanwhile, Yangzi-BASF Styrenics Co Ltd (YBS), another JV between BASF and Sinopec, would be merged into BASF-YPC to further increase synergies within the Nanjing petrochemical complex, the companies said.

YBS produces styrene monomer (SM), polystyrene (PS) and expandable polystyrene (EPS).

   BASF/Sinopec $1.4bn expansion plant includes the following:

* Expansion of current 600,000 tonne/year cracker in Nanjing to 740,000 tonnes/year.

* Expanding existing EO plant by 80,000 tonne/year and the construction of a new EO purification unit.

* Construction of a new 80,000 tonne/year butyl glycol ether plant, a new 60,000 tonne/year non-ionic surfactants plant, and a new amines complex for the production of ethanolamines, ethyleneamines and dimethylethanolamine.

* Construction of a new dimethylaminoethyl acrylate (DMA3) plant.

* Construction of a new 60,000 tonne/year super-absorbent polymer (SAP) plant.

* Expansion of the existing propionic acid and aldehyde plants.

* Expansion of the existing 250,000 tonne/year oxo-C4 plant to 300,000 tonne/year.

* Development of an integrated C4 complex, including a 100,000-120,000 tonne/year butadiene extraction plant, a 120,000 tonne/year 2-propylheptanol plant, an 80,000 tonne/year isobutene extraction plant, and a 50,000 tonne/year plant for highly reactive polyisobutene.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Bohan Loh
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