(EnergyAsia, June 30) — BASF-YPC Co. Ltd., an equal joint venture between Germany’s BASF and China’s Sinopec, has started commercial production at a petrochemical steam cracker and nine downstream plants at its Nanjing, China site.

In a statement, BASF said the 220-hectare site will produce 1.7 million metric tons of high-quality chemicals and polymers per year for the rapidly growing Chinese market. A total of $2.9 billion has been invested in the construction of the integrated Verbund site.

BASF-YPC Co Ltd is the largest single investment in BASF’s 140-year history and an integral part of the company’s strategy in the Asia Pacific region.


Andreas Kreimeyer, a member of BASF’s board responsible for Asia Pacific, emphasised BASF’s ambitious goals for the region.


“By 2010, BASF aims to generate 20% of its sales and earnings in its chemical activities in Asia Pacific, with 70% coming from local production. The new Verbund site in Nanjing will make an important contribution toward achieving our goals,” he said.


After the groundbreaking of the site in September 2001, the basic mechanical completion was achieved at the end of 2004 and the first product was delivered to customers in January 2005.


“The startup of the site in less than four years is a tremendous achievement of which all involved can be proud,” said Dr. Bernd Blumenberg, President of BASF-YPC Co. Ltd. “The support of both parent companies Ð BASF and Sinopec Ð as well as the Chinese government at all levels was crucial in us reaching this milestone.”


The main products of the 600,000 metric ton steam cracker, ethylene and propylene, are used as feedstock for the downstream plants. The site also has a gas-fired power plant and an international port on a tributary of the Yangtze River to ensure optimum energy supply and logistics. At the height of construction technical experts from 22 countries and 15,000 workers were on site, working together to build the plants and infrastructure.


The Nanjing site is modeled on the Verbund concept originating from BASF’s headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany Ð the world’s largest, single-company chemical production complex. By linking manufacturing plants, the company said it can use products, by-products and energy in the most efficient way, so as to realise cost efficiency and minimise environmental impact. As a result, BASF-YPC Co. Ltd. will make a contribution to the sustainable development of the local economy and the Chinese chemical industry.