Sasol Ltd. (Johannesburg, South Africa; www.sasol.co.za) formally began construction of its new ethoxylation (ETO) plant in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. Ushered in by a groundbreaking ceremony on June 8th at the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park (NCIP), the new plant is expected to be fully operational in early 2019.
The ceremony was presided by Fleetwood Grobler, Executive Vice President of Business Chemicals from Sasol, and attended by Miao Ruilin, the Mayor of Nanjing; Dolana Msimang, the South African Ambassador to China; representatives from South African diplomatic missions in China and NCIP officials.
The new production unit will modernize and expand Sasol’s current ethoxylation capacity, R&D facility and technical support capability in Nanjing. Through this strategic investment, Sasol will strengthen its position in China and better meet the growing demand for specialty chemicals in this important growth market.
This project entails the construction of an alkoxylation plant with a capacity of approximately 150 kilo tons per annum (ktpa), with the option of using either branched or linear alcohols to meet differentiated customer requirements in applications such as detergent, personal care, textiles and leather (T&L), metal working and lubrication (MWL), paper inks and coatings (PICA) and the oil and gas recovery (O&GR) markets.
“With China’s economy forecast to represent 40% of the world chemical demand by 2020 and its on-going shift towards high value and differentiated segments, China is an important market for Sasol,” said Fleetwood Grobler, Executive Vice President of Chemicals Business, Sasol. “The new production unit will double Sasol’s ethoxylation production capacity and Sasol’s state of the art technology offers our business partners significant benefits in terms of safety, reliability and flexibility.”
“Sasol has always been a long-term and trusted partner of Nanjing,” said Mr. Zhu Shenyuan, Deputy Secretary and Executive Vice Chairman of NCIP. “With the new expansion, we hope Sasol will further root in China’s chemical industry and continue to be a vital member of the local community in Nanjing.”
The new ETO site, to be located in NCIP, occupies about 35 acres representing a significant expansion of the existing footprint. Through this project, Sasol will be able to offer a range of diversified products to optimally serve this growing market by combining a unique portfolio of building blocks and extensive global experience. Sasol Limited will continue to comply with the highest standards of environment, health and safety and is committed to a sustainable development in China.