Hanwha Total Petrochemical`s normal heptane plant.
South Korea’s Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co. began commercial production of high purity normal heptane (n-heptane), one of the high value-added petrochemical materials, at its Daesan plant in South Chungcheong Province, the company said Tuesday.
Hanwha Total spent 30 billion won ($28 million) to build the facility capable of producing 12,000 tons of high value-added petrochemical products a year including 7,500 tons of high purity n-heptane. N-heptane obtained as a byproduct from naphtha cracking can be applied to various products including displays and pharmaceuticals.
The company said the new facility will use its own manufacturing technology named Simulated Moving Bed that it has developed after five years of research. The high purity n-heptane market has been dominated by only a handful of companies including the U.S. Chevron Phillips Chemical, Germany’s Haltermann, Japan’s TOA Oil and South Korea’s SK Global Chemical.
“We will be able to stably produce n-heptane with 99 percent purity that has a diverse range of applications to other petrochemical products, which would boost our overall productivity and manufacturing efficiency,” said an official from the company. The company also recently announced a plan to invest a total 900 billion won to expand its annual production capacity of ethylene to 310,000 tons, propylene to 130,000 tons and polypropylene to 400,000 tons at its Daesan plant.
Hanwha Total now owned by Hanwha Group was established as a 50-50 joint venture between Samsung Group and France’s Total in 2003. Samsung Group sold its interest in the company to Hanwha in February 2015. The company last year posted 1.5 trillion won in operating profit on a consolidated basis and sales of 9.7 trillion won, up 3.4 percent and 18.2 percent from the previous year.
By Kang Doo-soon and Choi Mira
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