Sinopec SABIC Tianjin Petrochemical Company (SSTPC) laid the foundation for a polycarbonate production complex with 260,000 tpa capacity, at a groundbreaking ceremony in the Tianjin Binhai New Area. China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) have earlier cooperated on an ethylene production project with a capacity of one million tpa. With two sets of phosgene free production systems, with an annual capacity of 130,000 ton each to be built, the new polycarbonate production complex started construction yesterday (April 3) and is expected to be operational in 2015. Upon operation, it can produce four major classes of polycarbonate, including the mixed grade, extrusion grade, optical grade, and molding grade polycarbonate.
Established in October 2009, SSTPC is a joint venture with SINOPEC and SABIC each holding 50% equity. The Phase One project, with annual capacity of one million tons of ethylene, began production in January 2010. With a total investment of RMB11 billion (US$1.7 bln) and covering a ground area of 67 hectares, this polycarbonate production complex with an annual capacity of 260,000 tons is the Phase Two project and was approved by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Jan. 13.
The project uses the world's leading non-phosgene polycarbonate manufacturing technology, which complies with China's national energy saving and carbon emission policy. With the advanced equipment, the products are designed to be high tech and high value-added, which can be used for a wide range of applications. Hence, it will play an important role in promoting the development of Tianjin petrochemical industry and drive the economic growth in the Bohai rim region, which can effectively meet the market demand for petrochemicals in Asia-Pacific. With the recent growth in industries such as electronics, automotive, information technology and building materials, there is a significant increase in China in the demand of polycarbonate and other engineering plastics. In 2010, China consumed 1.13 million tons of polycarbonate, with a domestic output of 220,000 tons only. China mainly relies on imports for polycarbonate and hence polycarbonate was the highest by volume of import among all engineering plastics. Based on initial estimation, demand for polycarbonate in China will reach 1.78 mln tons by 2015, an average annual increase of nearly 10%.