Total and Samsung to expand JV petrochemical complex in South Korea

Total and Samsung Petrochemicals are investing $1.8bn to expand and upgrade their joint venture (JV) petrochemical complex, Samsung Total Petrochemicals, in Daesan, South Korea.

Under the project, the JV will construct a second aromatics unit and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer facility.

The units, which will have the capacity to produce around one million tonnes of paraxylene (PX) and 420,000t a year of benzene, will be completed by September 2014.

Paraxylene is mainly used to manufacture polyester, and benzene is used to produce petrochemical products, such as styrene 2.

The new EVA unit will produce 240,000t a year of EVA copolymers, which are used in products such as electrical cables, adhesives and solar panels.

The JV said with the completion of the aromatics unit in 2014 and the upgrade of existing PX capacity this year, total PX annual production capacity at the complex will be boosted to 1.76 million tonnes.

The Daesan petrochemical complex manufactures four core products including (PP), polyethylene (PE), styrene monomer (SM) and PX.

Patrick Pouyanne, Total Refining Chemicals business president, said: "This investment project in partnership with Samsung is aligned with Total's strategy of expanding in growth markets. It gives us the strong base we need to maintain our position as a leading supplier of value-added products to meet demand in Asia, especially China. We are pursuing our strategy of focusing our spending on our most efficient integrated platforms, such as the Daesan complex."

Samsung Petrochemical is involved in the production of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) which is used as a raw material for polyester fibres and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for plastic bottles.