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Petrochemicals

BASF expanding ethylene oxide in Antwerp

by Alexander H. Tullo
October 6, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 39

 

BASF is spending more than $550 million to expand capacity for ethylene oxide and derivatives at its chemical complex in Antwerp, Belgium. The company will install a second ethylene oxide line there, as well as new capacity for nonionic surfactants, glycol ethers, and other alkoxylates. Total output from the projects, due to start up in 2022, will be 400,000 metric tons per year. BASF says the expansions are meant to meet strong growth. For example, added capacity for the glycol ether methyl triglycol will support increasing demand in Europe and Asia for high-performance brake fluids for automated cars with advanced cruise control and similar systems. The ethylene feedstock for the expansion will come from BASF’s cracker at the site. Antwerp has seen a spate of investment recently. Early this year, Ineos announced that it would spend $3.4 billion to build an ethylene cracker and propane dehydrogenation plant there. In addition, earlier this year Evonik Industries said it would expand its hydrogen peroxide plant in Antwerp by 50%.

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