Dow polypropylene process technology chosen for new Qinghai unit in China

The Qinghai Salt Lake Industry Co. has selected the UNIPOL polypropylene process technology from Dow Chemical for its new 160,000 tpy polypropylene unit in China.

The unit will provide polypropylene as part of Qinghai’s integrated magnesium metal project to produce homopolymers, random copolymers and impact copolymers.

“We’re excited to have Qinghai Salt Lake Industry Co. as a new licensee,” said Tracy Cleckler, global commercial director for Dow’s polypropylene licensing and catalysts business.

“The plastics market in China is expanding and this new license confirms the interest in using advanced polypropylene process and catalyst technology to produce differentiated resins for a variety of applications,” he added.

Qinghai Salt Lake Industry Co. becomes the eighth licensee of UNIPOL PP technology in China, Dow said.

Qinghai is the largest salt lake resources development enterprise and potassium chloride base in China, with a range of products including potassium carbonate, potassium nitrate and potassium metal.

As part of the magnesium metal project, it will utilize coal as feedstock to produce ethylene and propylene through coal gasification, then use the ethylene and propylene as feedstock for the polypropylene unit.

“With UNIPOL PP process technology we are able to meet growing market demand for polypropylene in China,” said the project director of polypropylene for Qinghai.

“We have chosen UNIPOL because it’s one of the licensors with the most advanced propylene process technology available and offers the ability to produce the broadest spectrum of products in the world.”

Installation at Qinghai Salt Lake Industry Co. is scheduled to start in 2012, with startup expected in the second half of 2013.

Currently, there are 46 operating lines using UNIPOL polypropylene technology.

The UNIPOL polypropylene process is an all gas-phase process for producing the broadest range of polypropylene resins, Dow officials said.

The design is consistent in terms of product quality and energy efficiency, requiring no equipment for handling, separating or recycling solvents.

The system’s fluidized-bed reactors and high performance CONSISTA catalyst systems and SHAC catalyst systems give manufacturers the flexibility to produce homopolymers, random copolymers and impact copolymers.

Resins produced by UNIPOL polypropylene technology from Dow account for 17% of global polypropylene output.

Polypropylene is used in packaging, durable goods, automotive parts, non-wovens, fibers and consumer applications.

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