Hanwha Total Petrochemical will invest about $500m for the further expansion of its Daesan petrochemical complex in South Korea through the addition of a new polypropylene plant.

Daesan petrochemical complex

Image: Daesan petrochemical complex in South Korea. Photo: courtesy of Total.

The polypropylene plant is expected to increase the polypropylene capacity of the Daesan petrochemical complex by nearly 60% to 1.1 million tons a year by the end of 2020. The latest expansion will also help the ethylene capacity of the South Korean integrated refining and petrochemical complex to increase by 10% to 1.5 million tons.

Hanwha Total Petrochemical is a 50:50 joint between South Korean business conglomerate Hanwha and French oil and gas giant Total.

The company is already investing $750m on the Daesan petrochemical complex to boost its ethylene production capacity by 30% to 1.4 million tons a year by mid-2019 and to grow its polyethylene production capacity by 50% to 1.1 million tons by the end of 2019.

In December 2017, Hanwha Total Petrochemical announced an investment of more than $300m to expand polymer production at the refining and petrochemicals platform in Daesan. Prior to that, in April 2017, the downstream company announced an investment of $450m to expand the petrochemical complex to boost its ethylene production capacity.

Total said that all the investments in the petrochemical facility are being made to take advantage of the competitively priced propane feedstock, which is available abundantly owing to the shale gas revolution in the US.

It also said that the new production of high-value-added polymers from the Daesan petrochemical complex will enable it to address local demand and supply the rapid-growing Asian market.

Total refining & chemicals president Bernard Pinatel said: “This new investment in Daesan is fully in line with our strategy of growth in petrochemicals to meet global demand, focusing investments on our world-class facilities and leveraging competitively priced feedstock.

“This polypropylene project complements our offering of high-value-added polymers to the fast-growing Asian market.”

In late 2014, Hanwha Total Petrochemical upgraded the Daesan petrochemical complex with an investment of around $2bn to double its production capacity to cope up with the strong growth in demand for plastics in Asia, particularly in China.