Sasol to Expand Nanjing Alkoxylation Plant

Sasol Ltd. broke ground last week on an expansion of its alkoxylationplant in ChinasJiangsu province that it will use in part to manufacture surfactants for lube and metalworking fluid additives.

The South African chemicals and energy firm on June 8 began constructing the facility on 35 acres in the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park. Sasol declined to provide investment figures but said it expects the plant to be fully operational by 2019.

The project will increase Sasols current alkoxylation production capacity in Nanjing, and expand its research and development and technical support capabilities there, the company said in a press release. The new unit will have capacity of approximately 150,000 metric tons per year, though the company did not say how much of that will go to the lube additives market.

Alkoxylation is a second-tier petrochemical refining process that combines ammonia or amines with ethylene oxide or propylene oxide to produce amino alcohols, including many which are used as detergents in a number of applications, including metalworking fluids and lubricants.