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Capacity additions: Sibur to expand PET feedstock in Russia; BASF/Sinopec to add on to NPG output in China

Russian petrochemicals firm Sibur has launched a terephthalic acid production upgrade at its Polief Blagoveshchensk site to expand its capacity to 350,000 tonnes/year. The project seeks to improve the site’s production efficiency and environmental safety, said Sibur.

Terephthalic acid is used to produce polyethylene terephthalate (PET). According to Sibur, the Russian terephthalic acid market is undersupplied and the production upgrade at the Blagoveshchensk site will help to substitute a major part of imports. The project is scheduled for completion in 2019.

Eleven existing production facilities will be upgraded. The project is designed to renovate 150 units of core production equipment, and most of the ancillary equipment, thus enhancing its industrial safety, reliability and efficiency. The site’s atmospheric emissions are expected to shrink twofold thanks to the construction of a modern gas catalytic oxidiser and the upgrade of all gas emissions treatment systems. Transition to rotary pressure filters will translate into 1.5 times lower industrial wastewater discharges from the terephthalic acid production. In addition, the production upgrade will virtually prevent excessive evaporation into the atmosphere resulting from a significant release of heat during terephthalic acid synthesis. After the reconstruction, vapour will go through cooling systems to return to the process flow, improving the site’s energy efficiency multifold.

BASF-

In other news, German firm BASF and China’s Sinopec 50-50 joint venture in Nanjing, China, BASF-YPC Co will expand the production capacity of Neopentylglycol (NPG). The plant was established in 2015 with an annual capacity of 40,000 tonnes. Following the expansion, capacity will be doubled to 80,000 tonnes/year. The expanded capacity will come on stream in 2020.

“With this increased capacity, we will support the fast-growing customer demand for high-quality NPG in China and the Asia Pacific region. The expansion is also in line with the trend towards environmentally friendly powder coatings with low volatile organic compounds, or VOCs,” said Narayan Krishnamohan, Senior Vice President, BASF Intermediates Asia Pacific.

NPG is a unique polyalcohol offering performance in many end-use applications such as powder coatings, textiles and construction due to its high chemical and thermal stability.

It is mainly used as a building block in polyester resins for coatings, unsaturated polyester and alkyd resins, lubricants and plasticisers.

As the global market leader, BASF has NPG production facilities in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Freeport, Texas, US and Jilin, China.

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