BASF and Xinjiang Markor Chemical Industry (Markor) plan to establish two joint ventures for the production of butanediol (BDO) and polytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF) in Korla, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Northwest China.The joint venture agreements have already been signed but are subject to further closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Ludwigshafen/Germany, Hong Kong/China - The joint venture companies intend to build a plant for the production of BDO and one for PolyTHF which are planned to go on stream in 2015. The annual capacities of the plants located in Korla will be 100,000 tons of BDO and 50,000 tons of PolyTHF.
PolyTHF is primarily used to make elastic spandex fibers for a large variety of textiles, including underwear, outerwear, sportswear and swimsuits. It also serves as a chemical building block for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) used to make hoses, films and cable sheathing.
Other applications include thermoplastic polyetheresters, polyetheramides and cast elastomers for the production of for example wheels for skateboards and inline skates. BDO is used in the manufacturing of technical plastics, polyurethanes, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibres.
BASF produces PolyTHF with an annual capacity of 250,000 tons at its sites in Geismar, Louisiana, USA; Ludwigshafen, Germany; Ulsan, Korea and Shanghai, Caojing, China. BASF produces BDO with an annual capacity of 535,000 tons at its sites in Geismar; Ludwigshafen; Caojing; Chiba, Japan and Kuantan, Malaysia.
Markor currently produces BDO with an annual capacity of 160,000 tons and is the largest producer of BDO in China. To date, the company has invested RMB 5 billion (about €600 million) in Markor Chemical Park.
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