By Liz White, UT staffLudwigshafen, Germany-BASF AG is planning to expand its JV with Dow Chemical Co. to make the key polyurethane raw material propylene oxide, a BASF spokesperson confirmed 19 Oct. In an article in German newspaper, Boersen Zeitung, John Feldmann, head of BASF’s plastics business, was reported as saying that Dow and BASF would extend their existing cooperation at Antwerp to other production sites. Currently a 30 kilotonnes per annum plant at Antwerp is being planned by the partners. This will use a route jointly developed by BASF and Dow that uses hydrogen peroxide to make propylene oxide. Construction is due to start next year and the plant should come on stream in 2008, the firms said in September last year. This HPPO route produces only the end product and water with no by-products, and also offers smaller plants, needing less infrastructure and “significantly lower investment” than traditional PO routes, which also make styrene monomer. Currently no location for any further HPPO plants has been decided, the BASF spokesperson said, adding that the US and Asia would be obvious potential locations for such a plant. “
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