BASF, Dow to Build PO Plant


BASF AG and Dow Chemical Co. announced last week that they plan to build a world-scale propylene oxide plant in Antwerp, Belgium. Scheduled to open in 2008, the facility will employ the Hydrogen Peroxide to Propylene Oxide technology that the companies developed together.

Propylene oxide is used in production of polyglycols that go into synthetic lubricants, and in materials such as oilfield drilling chemicals, flame retardants, polyurethanes and antifreeze. The plant, to be built at an existing BASF complex, will initially have capacity to make 300,000 metric tons per year.

BASF and Dow said in their announcement that HPPO is now ready to be commercialized. The companies claim their technology is better than others because it yields only propylene oxide and water and because it requires less capital investment and infrastructure.

BASF is based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, Dow in Midland, Mich.

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