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China Market Insider Billion Dollar Investment: Lyondell Basell is Upgrading its China Business

| Author / Editor: Henrik Bork / Ahlam Rais

A new ethylene complex from Lyondell Basell and its Chinese joint venture partner has officially been put into operation. The petrochemical complex has started manufacturing the first end products with an annual capacity of 1.1 million tonnes of ethylene at the Panjin site in the northern Chinese province of Liaoning.

With the ‘China Market Insider’ format, PROCESS reports regularly on the Chinese chemical and pharmaceutical market.
With the ‘China Market Insider’ format, PROCESS reports regularly on the Chinese chemical and pharmaceutical market.
(Source: © sezerozger - stock.adobe.com)

Beijing/China – Overall, Lyondell Basell and its Chinese partners plan to invest around 12 billion dollars (10.1 billion euros) in the site over the next ten years. The new cracker is operated by a joint venture owned 50 % each by Lyondell Basell and the private Chinese Liaoning Bora refinery. The complex also includes polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and butadiene (BD) plants that are currently being started up. Projects to recycle plastic are also planned at the location. With the help of the products developed at the new cracker, ABS will be produced at the location in the ‘Liaodong Bay New Area’, a polymer material whose properties lie somewhere between ordinary and technical high-performance plastic. The demand for ABS in China is estimated at 5.5 million tonnes this year as the material is increasingly popular in the electronics and automotive industries.

The foundations for a corresponding ABS system have already been laid, the daily Liaoning Ribao reported recently.

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Lyondell Basell and Bora Chemical have already begun production of downstream products such as LLDPE and HDPE on a trial basis in the new complex in Liaoning. The plants should achieve an annual capacity of 450,000 and 350,000 tonnes as soon as they are fully utilised. Styrene monomer (SM) and BD products will also be manufactured in the new petrochemical complex. The new polymer capacities are primarily intended for the north and east Chinese market. The Chinese Sinochem Group is currently building similar systems in southern China.

For Lyondell Basell, based in Houston, Texas, which is currently building several new chemical plants with Sinopec in Ningbo on the Chinese east coast, the establishment of a joint venture with 50 per cent ownership in China signals a decision to advance localisation.

* * Henrik Bork, long-time China correspondent for German Daily Newspaper ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’ and ‘Frankfurter Rundschau’, is Managing Director at Asia Waypoint, a consulting agency based in Beijing that specialises in China. ‘China Market Insider’ is a joint project of the Vogel Communications Group, Würzburg, and Jigong Vogel Media Advertising in Beijing.

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