Issue Date: February 26, 2007
Lyondell Invests In Propylene Oxide
Lyondell Chemical is moving forward on a joint venture with China's Sinopec Zhenhai Refining & Chemical to build a plant that will produce propylene oxide and coproduct styrene. The companies have received government approval to construct the plant in Ningbo, China. Set for completion in 2009, it is slated to have annual capacity for 275,000 metric tons of propylene oxide and 600,000 metric tons of styrene. Lyondell is providing the technology for the plant, and raw materials will come from an ethylene cracker that Sinopec Zhenhai is building on the same site. Lyondell already has a presence in the region's propylene oxide industry. A joint venture with Sumitomo Chemical runs a propylene oxide/styrene plant in Chiba, Japan. The joint venture also markets the propylene oxide made in a unique Sumitomo plant in Chiba that avoids coproduction of styrene through a cumene recycling process. Lyondell says it is also developing a route to propylene oxide via the direct oxidation of propylene. Dow Chemical, meanwhile, is considering a propylene oxide plant in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, based on a coproduct-free route it developed with BASF that uses hydrogen peroxide as a raw material.
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