BASF and Sinopec to further expand BASF-YPC joint venture

17 December 2010 11:03  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS)--Chemical giant BASF and Sinopec, China’s largest refiner, have signed a memorandum of understanding to expand their integrated petrochemical joint venture, BASF-YPC, with plans to invest approximately $1bn (€760m) in new plants, BASF said on Friday.

The new projects under consideration aim to extend the propylene and C4 value chains, BASF said in a press release.

BASF-YPC is a 50:50 joint venture between BASF and Sinopec. It is based in Nanjing, in China’s eastern Jiangsu province.

The plans include the construction of a new acrylic acid facility with a capacity of 160,000 tonnes/year, a new butyl acrylate plant, as well as capacity increases at the 2-propyl-heptanol, styrene monomer and non-ionic surfactants plants, BASF said.

The acrylic acid plant will supply feedstock to a superabsorbent polymers plant, which will be constructed as part of an ongoing expansion project, BASF added.

The new investments under consideration also include a new hydrogen peroxide-propylene oxide facility, it said.

The final scope of the proposed investments will be determined after conducting joint feasibility studies for each of the projects, the Germany-based chemical major said.

“As the Chinese market continues its rapid growth, we are committed to enhancing our position by further expanding our specialty chemicals business,” said Dr Martin Brudermuller, a member of BASF’s board of executive directors with responsibility for Asia-Pacific.

BASF intends to produce 70% of its Asia-Pacific sales in the region by 2020. “The continued development of our local production base in China is crucial to achieve this,” said Brudermuller.

BASF plans to invest approximately €2bn in Asia-Pacific between 2009 and 2013, the release said.

BASF-YPC is currently investing $1.4bn to produce downstream specialty chemicals for the Chinese market. Construction on the projects is approximately 50% complete, BASF added.

($1 = €0.76)

For more on BASF and Sinopec, visit ICIS company intelligence
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s Asian Chemical Connections blog
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By: Judith Wang
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