Sasol announced the opening of its new alkoxylation plant in Nanjing. This facility – the company’s largest expansion project in China – will more than double its alkoxylation production capacity in the region and will be supported by growing research and development and technical customer support capabilities.
Bongani Nqwababa, joint president and CEO of Sasol, Debora Balatseng, charge’d affairs of South African Embassy in China, and Mpho Hlahla, consul general Shanghai, South African Consulate-General, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate this milestone achievement.
Chinese government officials in attendance at the ceremony included Zhou Jinliang, executive deputy director of Nanjing Jiangbei New Area Administrative Committee, and Bian Zhongwu, director of Nanjing Jiangbei New Materials High-Tech Park, along with other Sasol executives and employees, business partners and customers.
“Our expansion in China underpins our chemicals business ambitions to diversify geographically, participate in high-growth markets and grow in differentiated applications. For more than 25 years, we have been active in providing high-quality surfactants in China, where we see ongoing shifts towards high-value and differentiated segments,” said Nqwababa.
“I am confident this expansion will enable us to better support local customer requirements and our pursuit for continued long-term growth in the world’s most important emerging market,” Nqwababa added.
Located at the Nanjing Jiangbei New Material Hi-Tech Park (formerly known as Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park), construction of this 35-acre site commenced in June 2017 and the plant reached beneficial operation in April this year. The plant will expand Sasol’s current alkoxylation capability to approximately 150 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa), with additional facilities for the production of anionic surfactants.
The new plant can operate using either branched, or linear alcohols to meet the differentiated customer requirements in applications such as detergents, personal care, textile and leather, metalworking and lubrication, inks, paints and coatings, as well oil and gas, enhanced oil recovery and industrial cleaning.
As the first fully Sasol-owned production facility in Asia, Sasol has been a producer of surfactants, including non-ionic alcohol ethoxylates as well as anionic alcohol ether sulphates, in China since 1992.
The project is not only a significant expansion of Sasol’s current operational footprint in the market, but also the first step towards a robust, differentiated expansion strategy for Sasol’s performance chemicals business throughout the broader Asian region.
“Comprising state-of-the-art process technology, the plant will operate to the highest standards of operational safety, reliability and flexibility. Furthermore, this technology allows us to minimise environmental impacts in full compliance with stringent environmental protection measures set by the government,” said Shentu Hongxing, vice president, operations, China, and managing director, Sasol China.
“We look forward to making a larger contribution to both the regional economy and a greener environment – all while continuing to serve our customers with high quality tailored solutions.”
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