LyondellBasell has announced plans to form a 50/50 joint venture (JV) with Sinopec to build a propylene oxide (PO) and styrene monomer (SM) manufacturing complex at Zhenhai, Ningbo, China targeting domestic Chinese markets.
The venture will build on the existing LyondellBasell/Sinopec PO/SM venture at the same location, which operates under the name Ningbo ZRCC Lyondell Chemical Co.
The new complex is expected to produce 300,000 metric tons/year of PO and 600,000 metric tons/year of SM. Construction will begin in early 2020 with start-up expected in 2022. The facility will use LyondellBasell’s PO/SM technology. Products produced will be marketed equally by both companies. The existing facility at Ningbo is designed to produce 620,000 metric tons/year of SM, according to IHS Markit data.
According to IHS Markit, China makes up more than 60% of the Asian chemicals market demand and represents 40% of global chemicals growth over the next decade. PO and SM are core products for LyondellBasell.
“Joint ventures in strategic regions are an important part of our growth strategy,” said Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell. “As demand for construction materials, packaging, and furnishings continues to grow, we see an opportunity to bring together our leading technology with Sinopec’s operational capabilities to further serve the Chinese market.”
LyondellBasell also recently signed an agreement with Liaoning Bora Enterprise Group to form a 50/50 JV to operate a 1.1-million metric tons/year steam cracker and polyolefin plants at Panjin, China. Separately, LyondellBasell is currently building the largest next-generation PO/tertiary butyl alcohol plant in the world near Houston, Texas. “This cooperation on the second PO/SM unit between Sinopec and LyondellBasell is based on the successful partnership of the first unit,” said Dai Houliang, chairman of Sinopec. “It is in line with China’s further opening-up policy and is another achievement of international cooperation of Sinopec. The products will help meet the increasing demand from the domestic market.
By Natasha Alperowicz
Source: Chemical Week
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