Expansions: Hyosung starts up new PP unit in Vietnam; BASF to set up new global catalyst centre in Germany

Hyosung starts up new PP unit in Vietnam

South Korean polypropylene (PP) producer Hyosung has started up its second 300,000-tonne/year PP unit in Vietnam's Ba Ria-Vung Tau province. The unit is operating at around 70% of capacity and producing mainly PP homopolymer grades. The new plant is in addition to Hyosung’s other 300,000-tonne/year PP unit in the same complex, which started up last year.

Both PP units are consuming imported propylene as Hyosung's upstream propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit has yet to start up. The new 600,000-tonne/year PDH unit is expected to begin operations soon, with Hyosung expected to raise operating rates at its new PP unit after the start-up of the PDH unit.

The new addition comes as Vietnam's downstream PP consumption remains weak due to the strict lockdowns to curb Covid-19 infections in the country.

BASF to set up new global catalyst centre in Germany

In other news German chemicals firm BASF says it is strengthening its global catalyst development and helping customers to bring new products faster to the market. As part of this strategy, BASF is building a new pilot plant centre at its Ludwigshafen site. The new Catalyst Development and Solids Processing Centre will serve as a global hub for pilot-scale production and process innovations of chemical catalysts. The construction of the new pilot plant in Ludwigshafen also emphasises the importance of the site for global research. The new building is scheduled for completion by mid-2024.

"The new Catalyst Development and Solids Processing Centre strengthens our focus on innovative and sustainable solutions that benefit our customers and the environment. It is a strong sign of our continuous commitment to innovation in our chemical catalysts portfolio. It allows us to more quickly respond to market needs and contribute to a more sustainable chemical industry," said Dr. Peter Schuhmacher, President, Catalysts at BASF.

Specifically, the new pilot plant helps chemical catalysts experts transfer laboratory recipes to production scale more quickly and manufacture sample quantities of new catalysts on a technical scale with short lead times. Customers thus gain faster access to new catalyst technologies - a factor that is critical to the successful introduction of new products to the market, adds BASF.


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