BASF signs MoU with Sinopec to develop steam cracker in China
The Germany-based chemical company, BASF, has confirmed it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sinopec to develop a steam cracker in China, Reuters reports.
The joint venture with Sinopec will see BASF invest in a 50% stake in the new cracker with Sinopec Yangtzi Petrochemical taking the other 50%.
According to Reuters, it is believed the new steam cracker will have a yearly capacity of one million tonnes of ethylene, a building block for plastics, rubber and synthetic fibre.
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BASF Chief Executive, Martin Brudermueller, said: “This additional investment into a new steam cracker and the expansion of our BASF-YPC joint venture in Nanjing underline the strong partnership between Sinopec and BASF and the commitment to our customers in China.”
The deal will become the second major investment by the chemical giants in the last four months following the news in July that BASF obtained a preliminary deal to develop China’s first wholly foreign-owned chemicals complex in Guangdong, thought to be worth $10bn in investment.
In a joint statement, the companies said: “The rising importance of alternative energy in China, especially in the automotive industry, has led to a surge in demand for innovative battery materials for a range of applications.”
SAP Whitepaper: Advantages of Intelligent Assets
A core pillar in SAP’s Industry 4.0 strategy, Intelligent Assets equip organisations to reduce downtime, empower employees and increase efficiencies across industrial equipment and manufacturing units.
In a whitepaper produced in partnership between SAP and BizClik Media Group, Rachel Romanoski, Solutions Manager, Digital Assets, SAP, dispels some of the myths surrounding asset intelligent, and shares insight into how even small investment in asset intelligence can pay dividends in minimising cost leakage and realising an asset’s potential.
As with all innovations, the ceiling for Intelligent Assets is as high as an organisation can dream, afford and implement. But Romanoski says that just a little intelligence can go a long way: “Oftentimes people think Intelligent Assets need to be the latest and greatest cutting-edge technology. They can be super advanced, such as leveraging physics-based engineering simulations to forecast potential failures, and help mitigate them. But it could be as simple as a temperature reading. You can pull a lot of simple information from most equipment, and by enhancing that data through ancillary solutions and digital capabilities, you can create that Intelligent Asset.”
One of the most immediate benefits is reducing or, in some cases, eliminating unplanned downtime. Equipment failure is one of the most common causes of disruption and can cause chaos throughout the supply chain.
“The true power of the Intelligent Asset is in changing the basic, reactive emergency work or time-based, planned maintenance and being more prescriptive and tailored to that specific asset and use case,” Romanoski says. “Ultimately, you can reduce the unplanned events that often carry a big price tag.”
"Oftentimes people think Intelligent Assets need to be the latest and greatest cutting-edge technology... But it could be as simple as a temperature reading"
Other financial benefits include stemming cost leakage and “sweating assets” to the full potential. “Maybe you can consider the lifecycle of the asset and understand whether you can push it a little bit further,” Romanoski explains. “It might be that the best course of action for a low-cost item is to run it to failure. Having this information that we collect over time empowers those people to make those better decisions, but also has a trickle down effect to building resiliency and efficiency into the entire supply chain.”
To read the full report, including insight from Intelligent Assets, Intelligent Factories, Empowered People, and exclusive insight from Dominik Metzger, the lead on SAP’s Industry 4.0 programme, CLICK HERE.