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Sinopec powers on in chemicals sector

01 June 2008

Mitsubishi Chemical will form a joint venture with Sinopec to produce 150,000 tonne/year of bisphenol A and
60,000 tonne/year of polycarbonate at Beijing.

The companies announced in 2006 that they would carry out studies for the complex, to be constructed in Beijing’s Fangshan District. Total investment costs are expected to be $300 million and
completion is due in spring 2010. Mitsubishi Chemical and affiliate Mitsubishi Engineering Plastics will hold a combined 50% in the venture, and Sinopec will have the rest.

Sinopec once again head up Chemical Week’s annual ranking of China’s top 40 chemical companies by annual sales. The company also posted strong financial results for the first half of 2007.

Sinopec’s chemicals business reported a 38% increase in first-half operating profits, to $1.1 billion, on sales up 22%. But this must be taken in the context of the Chinese economy, which continued to grow steadily, with a GDP growth rate of 11.5%, in the period.

In the first half of the last financial year reported, Sinopec saw demand for petrochemical products continue to increase. Domestic consumption of ethylene equivalent grew 8% compared with the previous year. Plastics production increased 14%, to 4.8 million tonne.

Capital expenditure in Sinopec’s chemicals business was 2.9% of turnover in the first half as the company made progress on new ethylene plants that are due for completion at Ningbo, Quanzhou, and Tianjin in 2010. The company also confirmed recent negotiations with Dow Chemical, Kuwait Petroleum, and Shell on a $5 billion refining and ethylene project at Nansha, Guangdong Province in southern China, also completion after 2010.

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