BASF SE (BASF) and The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) announced today that t he world’s largest commercial-scale propylene oxide (PO) plant and the first based on the innovative hydrogen peroxide to propylene oxide (HPPO) technology jointly developed by BASF and Dow has completed its start-up phase and is running stably. Both companies are very satisfied with the performance of the new process which is regarded as a historical milestone in PO production.
This HPPO complex, with a capacity of 300,000 metric tons PO per year located at BASF’s site in Antwerp, Belgium, provides economies of scale, a reduction of wastewater and lower energy usage. PO is a core ingredient for the polyurethanes industry.
“HPPO is an exciting new technology that will improve the competitiveness of our Polyurethanes business while also supporting Dow’s sustainability efforts through greater energy efficiency, reduced physical footprint, and improved environmental performance,” said Pat Dawson, president of Dow Polyurethanes. “ The start-up is a culmination of considerable research and development and is a tribute to the longstanding and successful partnership of Dow and BASF.”
“We are proud to have such an outstanding example of state-of-the-art technology at one of our sites”, Jacques Delmoitiez, President of BASF’s Polyurethanes division, said. “This HPPO plant will further strengthen our successful polyurethanes business. Its advanced technology and world-scale capacity secures a cost leadership position for both companies. BASF and Dow are the first to run the new HPPO technology on a world scale plant.”
In 2003, Dow and BASF began their joint process research program to develop and commercialize the HPPO technology. This joint venture allowed the two companies to combine their innovation strengths and thereby commercialize the technology more rapidly than would have been possible by either partner alone. The HPPO joint venture partners broke ground for the production facility in September 2006.