BASF to expand China petchem plant

BASF (Germany) plans to expand its biggest China investment, a USD 2.9 billion petrochemicals complex in Nanjing, by 2010, to keep up with the rapidly expanding Chinese market. BASF plans to raise the capacity of China’s first foreign-funded ethylene plant to at least 700,000 tonnes per year (tpy) from a start-up capacity of 600,000 tpy. The plant in Jiangsu province, east China, is under construction and not due to start production until 2005. It is a 50-50 joint venture between BASF and Sinopec Corp. The complex will have an annual production capacity of 1.7 million tonnes of petrochemical products such as low-density polyethylene, used in the manufacture of plastic sheeting to protect crops from the weather. It will also produce ethylene glycol, used to make polyester fibre, and other chemical products used in pharmaceuticals, paints and the manufacture of food and animal feed preservatives.

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