LyondellBasell and Sinopec in JV for PO and SM

03.01.2020 -

Widening its engagement in China, LyondellBasell has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a  new 50:50 joint venture with Chinese state-owned  petrochemicals and energy giant Sinopec.

The jv, which would complement an existing partnership, plans to build a new plant at Zhenhai, Ningbo, China, using LyondellBasell's PO / SM technology to produce 300,000 t/y of propylene oxide (PO) and 600,000 t/y of styrene monomer (SM) for the domestic market.

An existing joint venture of the same partners, trading as Ningbo ZRCC Lyondell Chemical Company, already operates a PO / SM plant at the same site.

Construction on the new facility is planned to begin early this year, with start-up expected in 2022. Output will be marketed equally by the two companies, which both aim to “significantly expand” their respective participation in the Chinese market for PO and SM.

Dai Houliang, chairman of Sinopec, said the second PO / SM cooperation with LyondellBasell is based on the successful partnership of the first unit and is in line with China's further opening-up policy.

Bob Patel, LyondellBasell’s CEO, said  joint ventures in strategic regions are an important part of the Netherlands-based, US-managed company’s growth strategy. "As demand for construction materials, packaging and furnishings continues to grow, we see an opportunity to bring together our leading technology with Sinopec's operational capabilities to further serve the Chinese market,” he said.

LyondellBasell operates five wholly-owned facilities in China, at Guangzhou, Suzhou, Dalian; Dongguan and Changshu. In addition, the olefins and polyolefins major is in the process of building what it touts as the world’s largest next generation PO / tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant, near Houston, Texas.