BASF and SINOPEC will expand the capacity of existing propionic acid production with an additional 30,000 metric tons annually at their state-of-the-art Verbund site, BASF-YPC Company Limited, a 50-50 joint venture in Nanjing, China. The expansion will go on stream in 2019. With this expansion, the annual propionic acid production capacity will increase to 69,000 metric tons at its Verbund site in Nanjing, China. BASF YPC Company Limited will remain one of the leading producers for propionic acid in Asia.

Propionic acid keeps feedgrain fresh for a long time because it prevents molding. Feedgrain preservation based on propionic acid offers clear economic and ecological benefits over other methods, as an eco-efficiency analysis confirms. This study shows that using this acid to preserve feedgrain is much more eco-efficient than feedgrain preservation by means of drying or storage in air-tight silos. Propionic acid is also widely used in production of pharmaceuticals, crop protection agents, solvents and thermoplastics.

“The expansion is driven by growing demand for food and feed grain preservation due to population increase and enhanced living standards in Asian countries, particularly in China and India,” said Narayan Krishnamohan, Senior Vice President, BASF Intermediates Asia Pacific. “The higher use of preservation is a result of growing meat demand which requires longer shelf life and improvements in animal feed safety and hygiene. This expansion enables us to provide crucial intermediate chemicals to the market while contributing to a sustainable future with less feed or food waste.”

“The investment marks a new chapter in the strategic partnership between SINOPEC and BASF during China’s 13th Five-Year Plan period. It is an industrial adjustment and upgrading project and addresses supply-side structural reform trends, in order to meet the increasing demand for stringent food safety in China. Both SINOPEC and BASF have confidence in Nanjing, Jiangsu, and its future prospects, as an ideal investment destination,” said Mr Li Cheng Feng, Chairman of Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Company Limited and BASF-YPC Company Limited.