BASF, Sinopec Invest $900 Million in Chinese Chemical Plant

Expansion part of BASF's plans to increase its production of plastics in China

The world's leading chemical group, BASF, and China Petroleum Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) have agreed to invest another $900 million in their joint project in Nanjing, the companies said March 19.

The two companies have presented Chinese authorities with a feasibility study on the expansion of a steam cracker by 25% to around 750,000 metric tons of ethylene per year and to invest in additional downstream plants, it added. A steam cracker is a petrochemical plant that turns naphtha and light hydrocarbons into ethylene, propylene and other chemical raw materials.

The new facilities were expected to become operational this year, with completion of the project expected in 2009/2010.

BASF and Sinopec set up a Chinese joint venture in 2000 with an initial investment of $2.9 billion to manufacture chemical products and polymers for local markets. BASF said in January that it wanted to multiply its production of plastics in China five-fold this year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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