By Amy Lee, Ren Yunfeng
INEOS Oxide produces a comprehensive range of specialty and intermediate chemicals derived from ethylene and propylene, like ethylene oxide (EO), propylene oxide (PO), glycolethers, alkoxyaltes, ethanolamines, glycol ether esters, glycol and antifreeze and coolants. INEOS Oxide has also oxo-alcohols, ethylidene norbornene, acetate esters in its product portfolio. It is the first business section of INEOS Group when it was founded. INEOS Oxide is a proven leader, with a strong track record of product quality, engineering excellence and innovation. By now it has six large scale petrochemical plants and sales over 3 million tones of oxide products every year, and annual revenues reach US$3 billion.
By combining plant scale and reliability, with strategic sites in both Europe and USA and its focus on continually improving cost structures, technologies and SHE initiatives, its products enter into nearly every market, said Mr. Hans Casier, CEO of INEOS Oxide.
Mr. Casier, who has 22 years experience in chemical business fields, also introduced that INEOS Oxide has more than trebled the EO capacity at Antwerp to 420 000 t/a since the current management acquired the asset in 1995; making it the largest, most modern and efficient unit in Europe. The total production capacity of EO further increased with 220 kt/a by the acquisition of the Lavera plant in 2005 and with another 280 kt/a by the acquisition of the Koln plant in 2006.
As well as supplying EO directly into the merchant market and to its Third Party customers, INEOS Oxide converts a substantial proportion of its EO into a comprehensive range of specialty EO derivatives.
EO is a highly reactive building block for many specialized EO derivatives which are themselves very reactive, in turn making them attractive for a wide range of end uses, such as pharma-care products, detergents/shampoos, synthetic lubricants for industrial plant and automotive, surface coatings, agrochemicals, biotechnology, food and paper processing, and oil and gas recovery.
The PO plant of INEOS Oxide in Koln is embedded in a highly integrated petrochemical site. Direct pipe connections to the cracker unit and the neighboring chlorine plant allow reliable and cost efficient supply of the feedstock propylene and the auxiliary chlorine.
Mr. Hans Casier says INEOS'' annual capacities of PO reach 210 000 tones a year at present and service well in polyurethanes, industrial solvents, synthetic lubricants, textile surfactants.
Through 50% stake in the Oxochimie joint venture, INEOS Oxide is now a major European producer of Oxo-Alcohols. The world-scale production unit at Lavera, France produces normal-butanol, iso-butanol and 2-ethyl hexanol from the catalytic oxidation of propylene. Its annual capacity of oxo-alcohols reaches 300 000 t/a.
INEOS Oxide is also a leading global producer of ethylidene norbornene(ENB). Strategically, we are the only producer of these fine chemicals in Europe. Its state-of-the-art plant has a capacity of 24 000 t/a.
Mr. Hans Casier disclosed that although INEOS Oxide''s businesses are mainly in Europe and North America, it begin to turn its eyes to the emerging regions, especially China. "China is the fastest growing market in the world. INEOS mainly focused on technology patent licensing here in China in the past years but will gradually take more attention to the products production in the future. Actually we are finding cooperation partners here. INEOS Group already have built cooperation with Sinopec for jointly launching phenol and acetone project, and with PetroChina in new trading and refining joint ventures related to the refining operations in Grangemouth (Scotland) and Lavera (France). INEOS Oxide is also looking for opportunities here. Cooperating with local companies is a good way and relative shortcut to success, and the best way for a new comer."