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Sasol opens new alkoxylation plant in Nanjing

By Mary Page Bailey |

Sasol Ltd. (Johannesburg, South Africa; www.sasol.co.za) announced the opening of its new alkoxylation plant in Nanjing. This facility – the company’s largest expansion project in China– will more than double its alkoxylation production capacity in the region and will be supported by growing research and development and technical customer support capabilities. 

 “Our expansion in China underpins our chemicals business ambitions to diversify geographically, participate in high-growth markets and grow in differentiated applications. For more than 25 years, we have been active in providing high-quality surfactants in China, where we see ongoing shifts towards high value and differentiated segments,” said Mr Bongani Nqwababa, Joint President and CEO of Sasol. 

Located at the Nanjing Jiangbei New Material Hi-Tech Park (formerly known as Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park), construction of this 35-acre site commenced in June 2017 and the plant reached beneficial operation in April this year. The plant will expand Sasol’s current alkoxylation capability to approximately 150,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) with additional facilities for the production of anionic surfactants. 

The new plant can operate using either branched or linear alcohols to meet the differentiated customer requirements in applications such as detergents, personal care, textile and leather, metalworking and lubrication, inks, paints and coatings, as well oil and gas, enhanced oil recovery and industrial cleaning. 

As the first fully Sasol-owned production facility in Asia, Sasol has been a producer of surfactants, including non-ionic alcohol ethoxylates as well as anionic alcohol ether sulfates, in China since 1992. The project is not only a significant expansion of Sasol’s current operational footprint in the market, but also the first step towards a robust, differentiated expansion strategy for Sasol’s Performance Chemicals business throughout the broader Asian region. 

“Comprising state-of-the-art process technology, the plant will operate to the highest standards of operational safety, reliability and flexibility. Furthermore, this technology allows us to minimise environmental impacts in full compliance with stringent environmental protection measures set by the government,” said Shentu Hongxing, Vice President Operations China and Managing Director Sasol China. 

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