Phenol and Acetone Plant Cepsa Chemical to build a Phenol and Acetone Plant in Shanghai

Editor: M.A. Manja Wühr

The Chinese company Cepsa Chemical will build a new production facility for phenol and acetone at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park. The plant utilizes Honeywell's UOP phenol process technology.

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Chinese phenol and aceton production utilizes Honeywell's UOP phenol process technology.
Chinese phenol and aceton production utilizes Honeywell's UOP phenol process technology.
(Picture: Tom Bayer/

Des Plaines/Illinois, USA – The new complex in China will have a capacity of 250,000 MTA of phenol and 150,000 MTA of acetone, and will make Cepsa the second-largest producer of phenol in the world.In addition to technology licensing, UOP will provide process design and start-up services for the Shanghai complex, which is expected to begin production in November 2014. The new phenol plant will be integrated with Cepsa Chemical’s cumene plant, which is being built at the same site.

CEPSA Chemical (Shanghai) will use UOP’s Phenol process to produce high quality phenol and by-product acetone, key building blocks for polycarbonate plastics used in construction and automobile production.China is the world’s largest consumer of polycarbonate plastics, representing nearly 30 percent of global consumption. Demand is expected to grow by 13 percent annually during the next 10 years. Cepsa Chemical (Shanghai) is majority owned by Cepsa, an integrated energy company based in Spain.

“We are devoted to the Chinese market, and with this plant, Cepsa will have a network of facilities away from its home country in order to meet demand where the growth is taking place,” said Fernando Iturrieta, chief executive officer of Cepsa Química. “Despite recent, lower than expected growth figures, China will continue to be a growing market and Cepsa wants to be there. We are very proud of this project in Shanghai, as it is the first investment of Cepsa in Northern Asia.”

“UOP and Cepsa have been technological partners across the entire value chain of the refining and petrochemicals industry for nearly 40 years,” said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business unit. “CEPSA, a top global phenol producer, currently operates three UOP Phenol units in Spain and our technology has a proven track record of performance and safety in those operations.” UOP’s total licensed phenol production capacity exceeds 3.4 million MTA, with more than 2.5 million MTA of new capacity added during the past 10 years.

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