BP YARACO Venture Submits Feasibility Study for Acetate Esters Project in China

BP announced today that its Yangtze River Acetyls Company Ltd. (YARACO) joint venture has submitted a feasibility study to the Chongqing Municipal Government for a project to produce acetate esters in China. The proposed plant will have a capacity of 80,000 metric tonnes a year of ethyl and butyl acetate and will be the largest production facility for these products in China. Current plans are for the plant to be commissioned during the first half of 2002. The plant will be located in Chuanwei, Chongqing and fully integrated into the existing YARACO 200,000 tonne a year acetic acid facility in Chongqing. The proposed plant will supply the growing Chinese esters market and substitute imports. The new facility will also play an active role in promoting economic development in western China. Acetate esters are oxygenated solvents which find use in a wide number of applications notably pharmaceuticals, printing inks, coatings and adhesives. BP manufactures and markets a wide range of petrochemical feedstocks, intermediates, polymers and industrial chemicals. In 1999, BP’s chemical businesses had a turnover of $9.4 billion, selling more than 26 million tonnes of product world-wide. Notes: * The YARACO joint venture was formed in December 1995 and is comprised of BP Chemicals (51 per cent), Sinopec Sichuan Vinylon Works (44 per cent) and Chongqing Investment and Construction Company (5 per cent) * YARACO was the first BP chemicals venture in China and the largest ever foreign investment in inland China *Construction of the acetic acid plant began in September 1996 and was completed on schedule and under budget in November 1998.

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