BASF-Sinopec Expands Chemicals Site


BASF-Sinopec Expands Chemicals Site
The 220-hectare Verbund site in Nanjing, China. Photo courtesy of BASF

BASF and Sinopec last week announced plans to expand their 50-50 joint venture Verbund site in Nanjing, China, to increase capacities of several downstream chemical plants, including some producing materials used in lubricants. The expanded and new plants are planned to launch in 2023.

The companies did not disclose the amount of production capacity increases at the site, which is operated by BASF-YPC Co. Ltd. Among the chemicals expected to get increased production are ethyleneamines, ethanolamines and purified ethylene oxide. The largest application area for ethyleneamines is in ashless dispersants for engine oils and in other lubricants, and in some dispersants and detergents for fuels. Ethanolamines are also used as intermediates in the preparation of water-soluble lubricants, emulsifiers, proprietary corrosion inhibitors and biocides.

Get alerts when new Sustainability Blog articles are available.


According to BASF, purified ethylene oxide is a raw material for industrial applications and is often used in synthesis processes of chemical industry. It is used in the manufacturing of ethanolamines, glycol ethers and surfactants for washing and cleaning agents.

Other chemical plants at the site getting capacity increases include propionic acid and propionic aldehyde. Propionic acid is used in solvents, pharmaceuticals, crop protection agents, feed-grain preservation, food preservatives and plastics. Propionic aldehyde is an intermediate used as key raw material for propionic acid and n-propanol production.

The expansion includes a new tertiary-butyl acrylate plant to support the growing Chinese market. Tert-butyl acrylate is an acrylic acid ester for manufacturing polymers and is used as a feedstock for syntheses. As a specialty chemical it is used in paper sizing and emulsion applications.

“With the expansion of the Verbund site, we will provide more high-end new materials for the domestic market to meet the growing needs of domestic customers and the development of emerging industries,” Yuefeng Gu, chairman of Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Co. and BASF-YPC Co., said in a news release.

The BASF-YPC joint venture was founded in 2000, with a total investment of about $5.5 billion, according to last week’s news release. The integrated petrochemical site – originally 220 hectares (544 acres) in size – produces about three million tons of chemicals and polymers for the Chinese market annually. BASF-YPC employed 1,968 people at the end of 2020.

YPC is one of Sinopec’s largest integrated sites with refinery and petrochemical operation.

Related Topics

Asia    China    Market Topics    Region