Ludwigshafen, Germany and Hong Kong , China – March 5, 2013 – BASF and Xinjiang Markor Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (Markor) plan to establish two joint ventures for the production of butanediol (BDO) and polytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF , chemical name: polytetramethylene ether glycol ) in Korla, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Northwest China. The joint venture agreements have already been signed but are subject to further closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
The joint venture companies intend to build a plant for the production of BDO and one for PolyTHF which are planned to go on stream in 2015. The annual capacities of the plants located in Korla will be 100,000 tons of BDO and 50,000 tons of PolyTHF.
“Based on our globally leading PolyTHF technology and the strong local presence of Markor in China, we are aiming to expand our local production capacity in order to support our customers in the Chinese market with high quality products,” said Dr. Guido Voit, Senior Vice President, responsible for the region Asia Pacific within BASF’s Intermediates division.
“We are glad to partner with BASF, who provides its state-of-the-art PolyTHF technology to the joint ventures. Thanks to our integrated value chain, we can achieve great synergies, enabling us to serve our customers better. We look forward to working with BASF to further expand our joint business in China,” said Mr. He Xiaorong, Vice President of Markor Group.
PolyTHF is primarily used to make elastic spandex fibers for a large variety of textiles, including underwear, outerwear, sportswear and swimsuits. It also serves as a chemical building block for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) used to make hoses, films and cable sheathing. Other applications include thermoplastic polyetheresters, polyetheramides and cast elastomers for the production of for example wheels for skateboards and inline skates. BDO is used in the manufacturing of technical plastics, polyurethanes, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibres.
BASF produces PolyTHF with an annual capacity of 250,000 tons at its sites in Geismar, Louisiana, USA; Ludwigshafen, Germany; Ulsan, Korea and Shanghai, Caojing, China. BASF produces BDO with an annual capacity of 535,000 tons at its sites in Geismar; Ludwigshafen; Caojing; Chiba, Japan and Kuantan, Malaysia.
Markor currently produces BDO with an annual capacity of 160,000 tons and is the largest producer of BDO in China. To date, the company has invested RMB 5 billion (about €600 million) in Markor Chemical Park.