By Gary Thomas
BASF and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly assess the feasibility of establishing a global scale isononanol (INA) plant in the Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone at the Chinese city of Maoming.
The feasibility study is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012. The results of which will help determine the investment scope of the venture. The terms of the MoU dictate that the INA production facility will operate as a 50-50 joint venture between BASF and SINOPEC. The MoU was signed on July 30, 2012, in Shenzhen, China by Dr. Albert Heuser, President of BASF for Asia Pacific and Dr. Yu Xizhi, President of SINOPEC Corp. Maoming Company.
The collaboration between BASF and SINOPEC dates back to their petrochemical joint venture. The two companies jointly run the BASF-YPC in Nanjing, China, which caters to the rapidly expanding Chinese chemicals market.
INA is the raw material for advanced plasticizers such as on-phthalate plasticizer Hexamoll DINCH and diisononyl phthalate (DINP). Hexamoll DINCH is employed in sensitive applications while DINP is used in a host of industrial applicatiosn such as building and construction, automotive, flooring and wires and cables.
Dr. Albert Heuser stated that the investment in the INA venture will cater to the rising demand for next generation plasticizers in China.