BP Mulls Acetic Acid JV in China
BP has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Zheijiang Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (ZPCC) to explore establishing a 50:50 joint venture to build and operate a 1 million t/y acetic acid plant in eastern China.
The proposed facility would be based on BP’s Cativa XL technology and located at ZPCC’s integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province. If it goes ahead, the plant would be BP’s biggest acetic acid production site in the world.
China is the world’s largest acetic acid market, accounting for more than half of global production capacity. Acetic acid is used as a feedstock to make purified terephthalic acid (PTA), of which BP is a leading global producer.
The UK energy and petrochemicals group already has several manufacturing facilities in China, including two existing acetic acid joint ventures – Yangtze River Acetyls (Yaraco) in Chongqing and BP YPC Acetyls in Nanjing.
“This is a significant new opportunity for BP in China, one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for petrochemicals,” said Rita Griffin, chief operating officer at BP Petrochemicals.
Li Shuirong, ZPCC’s chairman added that the partnership will help “optimize its site structure and improve competitiveness”.
Zheijiang is currently building a major refining and petrochemical complex in Zhoushan, which will comprise two oil refineries and two 1.4 million t/y ethylene plants. The first phase is due for completion in 2020.
Saudi Aramco signed an agreement in February 2019 to acquire the Zhoushan government’s 9% stake in the complex as well as a long-term contract for the supply of crude oil.