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March 19, 2008

BASF/Sinopec ponder expansion of Nanjing site

Gerald Ondrey

BASF AG (Ludwigshafen, Germany; and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec; Beijing, China; have submitted the technical and commercial feasibility study for the approval of the planned $900-million expansion of their joint chemical Verbund site in Nanjing to the Chinese government. The site is operated by the joint venture BASF-YPC Co. Ltd. (BYC).

The main pillars of the expansion are:
 • Expansion of the steam cracker from 600,000 to around 750,000 m.t./yr of ethylene
 • Expansion of the ethylene oxide (EO) plant and development of EO derivatives to strengthen the ethylene value chain by producing non-ionic surfactants for detergents and the solvent butylglycol ether. New projects regarding production of amines for surfactants and dimethylamine (DMA-3) for flocculants
 • Development of the C4 value chain including C4 specialties: Butadiene and isobutene as chemical raw materials, 2-propylheptanol for a new-generation plasticizer and polyisobutene derivatives as fuel and lubricant additives
 • Extension of the acrylics value chain to produce superabsorbent polymers (SAP) for hygiene and industrial applications
 • Expansion of the existing oxo-alcohol and propionic acid plants
The new activities are expected to come on stream stepwise starting already this year; the cracker expansion is scheduled for 2009–2010.

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