Sasol to grow acrylics export market

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 3/29/2004, Location: Africa

Sasol has successfully commissioned a R2,2 billion acrylics and acrylates complex at Sasolburg in South Africa and has started exporting product on the back of growing international demand.

The complex will produce 80 000 tonnes of crude acrylic acid a year from which a combined 125 000 tonnes of butyl acrylates, ethyl acrylates and glacial acrylic acids will be produced per year. Exports of more than 100 000 tons per year are expected.

Products derived from acrylic acid and acrylates include water-based paints, adhesives, textiles and disposable diapers. Acrylates are widely used as raw materials in the mining, coatings, chemical fibres, spinning and weaving, adhesive, leather tanning, paper, oil and detergent industries.

In the first week of April, the first shipment of final product for global markets is scheduled to leave the port of Durban, where Sasol Dia Acrylates (SDA), a joint-venture company of Sasol and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) of Japan, has set up storage facilities in support of global exports and supplies to the local market. Storage facilities have also been secured in the USA and East Asian markets.

Sasol chief executive, Pieter Cox, says: "The current global demand for acrylics and acrylates is very strong, especially in the rapidly growing China and Asian markets. Key export markets, including Asia, Europe and the Americas will be targeted by existing Sasol and MCC international sales and distribution networks."

Performance test runs for the complex under the supervision of MCC as licensor are in preparation and it should be producing at full capacity towards the end of this year.

Sasol Dia Acrylates president, Takeshi Kimura, said: "We are not excluding significant capacity expansions of this complex in the near future."



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