INEOS Phenol plans ‘world-scale’ cumene plant in Germany

28 July 2017 14:53 Source:ICIS News

INEOS phenol plant

LONDON (ICIS)--INEOS Phenol is planning to build a “world-scale” cumene plant in Germany with a potential start-up date of 2020, the European chemical major said on Friday.

Neither the nameplate capacity of the plant not the value of the investment were released.

The plant will support demand and improve security of supply of the company’s phenol and acetone plants in Gladbeck, Germany, and Antwerp in Belgium, INEOS Phenol said.

INEOS Phenol is the world’s largest producer of phenol and acetone and the largest consumer of cumene, it added.

The company has a 260,000 tonne/year cumene plant at Marl in Germany and 900,000 tonne/year of cumene capacity in Pasadena, Texas, according to ICIS Plant and Projects data.

INEOS uses Badger’s technology in its single train Texas facility and will use the firm’s cumene technology for the new unit planned in Germany, the company added. Badger is a joint venture between US energy major ExxonMobile and France’s engineering services provider Technip.

INEOS Phenol said a full study of investment options about the plant in Germany will be completed by the end of 2017.

Cumene is made from benzene and propylene and INEOS said earlier this year that it planned to build a 750,000 tonne/year propylene producing propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit.

A number of locations are being considered for the PDH plant, although an executive at INEOS said to ICIS in June the company favoured its site in Antwerp.

INEOS also said in June, when it announced the PDH plan and its intention to add 900,000 tonnes/year of ethylene capacity in Grangemouth, UK, and Rafnes in Norway, that it produces nearly 4.5m tonnes/year of ethylene and propylene across Europe.

The olefins expansion projects would consume ethane and propane.

INEOS operates phenol, acetone and cumene plants in Germany, Belgium and the US.

A spokesperson for the company said on Friday afternoon INEOS' global production capacity for phenol stands at 1.9m tonnes/year, while that for acetone stands at 1.2m tonnes/year and for cumene at 1.3m tonnes/year. 

(Adds company's global capacities for  in paragraphs 12, 13)

Pictured above: INEOS Phenol plant in Antwerp, Belgium
Source: INEOS

By Nigel Davis