China’s Sinopec and Germany’s BASF are looking to construct a new steam cracker in Nanjing, China, in an attempt to strengthen their partnership further in China’s upstream and downstream chemical production market, the companies stated. Both the companies have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Beijing for the project and on the planned expansion of BASF-YPC, their 50:50 joint venture.

Apparently, by the end of 2018, the joint pre-feasibility study on the project will be concluded, and the upcoming cracker will have an ethylene production capacity of 1m tonne per year. Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical (YPC) and BASF-YPC will each invest in a 50 percent stake on the steam cracker under the MoU. The basic chemicals provided by the new steam cracker would help Sinopec and BASF in expanding the production capacity at BASF-YPC, the companies confirmed in their statement.

Martin Brudermueller, chairman of BASF said that this additional investment into the expansion of the BASF-YPC joint venture and the new steam cracker in Nanjing underlines the strong partnership between both the companies and the commitment to its consumers in China.

Chairman and president of Sinopec, Dai Hou-Liang, was quoted saying that the company aims to create further value by extending this partnership. It wants to offer high quality chemicals by means of the strengthened cooperation between both the companies, he mentioned.

Citing reliable sources, Sinopec and BASF are also exploring new business opportunities in battery materials together. Supposedly, the growing relevance of alternative energy in China, mostly in the automotive sector, has resulted in a spike in demand for novel battery materials for various applications.

Currently, BASF-YPC operates a cracker with ethylene capacity of 740,000 tonne per year at Nanjing in Jiangsu province of China. As of now, the Nanjing site produces about 3m tonnes of polymers and chemicals every year. In 2017, the joint venture corporation generated sales of around 21 billion Chinese yuan (CNY).