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China Expansions: BASF’s first plant for engineering plastics in Guangdong; Sinochem International’s compounding facility in Yangzhou

BASF’s first plant for engineering plastics in Guangdong

German materials firm BASF has inaugurated the first plant of its new Zhanjiang site in the province of Guangdong in South China. The plant will provide a capacity of 60,000 tonnes/year of engineering plastics compounds in China for customers, particularly in the automotive and electronics industries. This will raise BASF's total production of engineering plastic compounds in the Asia-Pacific region to 420,000 tonnes/year.

Announced in July 2018 and officially commenced in November 2019, the project will be BASF’s largest investment with up to EUR10 billion by 2030 upon completion and would be operated under the sole responsibility of BASF. The site would ultimately be the third-largest BASF site worldwide, following Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Antwerp, Belgium.

When fully operational, the new “smart” site will include a steam cracker with a capacity of 1 million tonnes/year of ethylene and downstream plants for consumer-oriented products.

The new site will also serve as a role model of sustainable production both in China and globally, it adds. BASF plans to power the entire Zhanjiang site with electricity from renewable resources and targets to achieve 100% by 2025.

Products from Zhanjiang will supply customers in the dynamic Chinese market, which is the most important growth market for global chemical production.

The first plants will produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to serve the increasing needs of various growth industries in southern China and throughout Asia.

BASF has also made great strides in the Chinese market. The company's sales in China hit a new high of EUR12 billion in 2021.

Sinochem International’s compounding facility in Yangzhou

In other news, Chinese chemical firm Sinochem International, Elix Polymers' parent company, has inaugurated its new compounding factory in Yangzhou recently. This new plant is said to be an important milestone in Sinochem International’s industrial strategy in the field of engineering plastics.

The new plant is located in the Yizheng Chemical Industrial Park, Yangzhou, and it is planned to build an annual capacity of 56,000 tonnes of ABS and PC modified materials in two phases. The plant will be operated by Sinochem Engineering Plastics (Yangzhou) Co, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinochem International Corporation.

The first phase of the project, which has just started its operations, has a capacity of 24,000 tonnes/year of ABS and modified materials. The second phase, with a capacity of 32,000 tonnes, is scheduled to start production in 2023.

In 2019, Sinochem International formally entered the ABS field through the acquisition of Europe's leading ABS and ABS blends manufacturer, Elix Polymer.

Elix, headquartered in Spain, has more than 45 years of experience in the ABS business, with a strong market share in the European specialty ABS market. It is an ABS and blends producer and offers specialised solutions for different industries such as automotive, healthcare, consumer goods, appliances, electro & electronics and toys.

Hongsheng Liu, General Manager of Sinochem International, said: "The operation of the Yangzhou compounding plant has opened a new chapter in the industrialisation strategy of Sinochem International for ABS and modified materials.”

He added, “In terms of ABS, we forecast a vigorous development in China of home appliances, electronic devices, automobiles and other relevant markets, with special focus on the mid and high-end market requirements.”

The operation of the Yangzhou new factory is a relevant step forward in increasing Elix’s global footprint, supporting its growth in the China market. Local production of ABS, PC/ABS and PC blends through Sinochem Engineering Plastics under Elix brand, will enable the plant to serve the China market locally.

David Castañeda, Elix Polymers CEO, said: “Today we embark on a new stage in this exciting journey together with


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