The first plants of the expanded BASF-YPC, a 50-50 joint venture (JV) between BASF and Sinopec, in Nanjing, China have started operation. The newly built non-ionic surfactants plant and butadiene extraction plant are now operational.
The $1.4 billion expansion project was started in September 2009. The project comprises construction of 10 new facilities, extension of three existing plants and expansion of the existing steam cracker to increase the capacity from 600,000 t to 740,000 t of ethylene per year. The products resulting from the expansion will serve diverse industries, including chemical manufacturing, automotive, pharmaceutical, electronics, construction and agriculture. The expansion positions BASF-YPC as a highly-integrated, extremely energy-efficient production complex. The remaining facilities of BASF-YPC expansion are anticipated to come online by the end of 2011.
The butadiene extraction facility extracts butadiene from the C4 cracker stream. Butadiene is a key intermediate used as a monomer to produce thermo¬plastics and elastomers like polyamide, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer and synthetic rubbers. As a division of an integrated ethylene oxide derivatives complex, the new non-ionic surfactants plant will serve industries ranging from home and personal care to construction. Non-ionic surfactants can be utilized for cleaners and detergents and also in various formulation technologies. A superabsorbent polymers (SAP) facility will also be established as a part of the continuing expansion project.