Oil company Sasol, a leading integrated energy company which jointly runs the Natref refinery located in the Free State, reached beneficial operation of its new alkoxylation plant in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, on April 18.
“Sasol has successfully built the new facility by implementing high quality technology for alkoxylation plants. The construction was completed within the expected timeframe and approved budget, without a recordable injury,” says Sasol operations executive VP Bernard Klingenberg.
The construction of the new alkoxylation plant began in the summer of 2017 and is Sasol’s largest expansion project in the region.
The facility’s capacity is about 150 000 t/y, with the option of using either branched or linear alcohols to meet differentiated customer requirements in applications such as detergents, textiles, metal working and lubrication and other speciality end-markets.
As part of the scope, Sasol has also expanded its research and development (R&D) and technical support capabilities within the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park.
“We are proud of what our Sasol China colleagues have achieved,” says Sasol executive chemicals business VP Fleetwood Grobler.
He says the Chinese market is forecast to grow to 40% of global chemicals demand by 2020, and Sasol is seeing a rapid increase in innovation and differentiation requirements.
“This new facility will allow us to meet both the growth as well as the increasingly sophisticated quality requirements of a truly exciting market,” adds Grobler.
He mentions that Sasol has a reputation in China as a reliable supplier with high-quality standards, and a strengthened R&D group will allow it to improve its customer-specific solution delivery.
“This facility will support our growth drive in Asia and allow us to better serve our current and future customers,” Grobler concludes.