German chemical giant BASF SE and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) are to double production capacity of neopentylglycol (NPG) — an intermediate for plastics production — in China.
BASF-YPC Co. Ltd., a 50/50 joint venture between the two companies in Nanjing, China, will increase production at the Verbund site to 80,000 metric tons per year by 2020.
The plant was established in 2015 with an annual capacity of 40,000 tonnes.
NPG is a polyalcohol offering high performance in many end-use applications such as powder coatings, textiles and construction due to its high chemical and thermal stability.
It is mainly used as a building block in polyester resins for coatings, unsaturated polyester and alkyd resins, lubricants and plasticizers.
“With this increased capacity, we will support the fast-growing customer demand for high-quality NPG in China and the Asia Pacific region,” Narayan Krishnamohan, senior vice president, BASF intermediates Asia Pacific.
The expansion, noted Krishnamohan, will also be in line with the trend towards environmentally friendly products, as NPG is used in powder coating resins, a low VOC alternative to conventional resins
Also commenting on the investment, Li Cheng Feng, chairman of Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Co., said the two companies “have confidence in Nanjing, Jiangsu, and its future prospects, as an ideal investment destination.”