In a bid to target growing petrochemicals demand in China, Cosmo Oil Co and South Korea's Hyundai Oilbank plan to form a joint venture to build the world's biggest paraxylene-making facility at Hyundai's Daesan refinery. The 800,000 tpa paraxylene plant will be built at an investment outlay of 100 billion yen (US$1.02 billion), and is scheduled for completion in 2013. The two plan to set up a 50-50 venture in September and take control of Hyundai's naphtha-derived paraxylene-making facilities, including a 55,000 bpd naphtha splitter, a 24,000 bpd naphtha desulphurisation unit and benzene-toluene-xylene (BTX) facility with capacity to produce 380,000 tpa of paraxylene.
Japanese refiner Cosmo plans to build a new 300,000 tpa mixed xylene distillation unit at its Yokkaichi refinery in 2011. The new mixed xylene distillation unit will extracts mixed xylene from gasoline components. The plant, to be built at an outlay of 5 billion yen will provide feedstock for the new paraxylene unit, boosting profitability by establishing a system to produce paraxylene from its mixed-xylene output. For Cosmo, the new unit will reduce ample supplies of gasoline distillates at a time when domestic Japanese oil demand has been in steep decline. It will use 600,000 kilolitres (3.8 mln barrels) of gasoline a year, while creating light naphtha output.