INEOS Phenol and Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Co. have reached a framework agreement on the design and future operation of a 400,000-tonnes/yr phenol/acetone joint venture at the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park in Jiangsu Province, China—the largest plant of its kind in China. Phenol and acetone are key chemical forerunners to polycarbonate, phenolic resins, solvents, and synthetic fibers, including nylon.
This latest step follows the original letter of intent signed in December 2009 and a subsequent evaluation of the investment, with the project forecast to be completed by the end of 2013. In addition to 400,000 tonnes/yr of phenol capacity, the site will have 250,000 tonnes/yr of acetone production available, as well as 550,000 tonnes/yr of cumene capacity.
The companies say the deal exploits Sinopec's local feedstock advantages and INEOS' proprietary phenol technology, with the Nanjing location placing it at the center of China's strongest market for phenol and acetone. China is the world's fastest growing market for phenol and acetone, with Sinopec being the country's leading producer, running three production sites in Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin....