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Building a large and complex petrochemicals plant is an enormous undertaking, but the greatest tests often come during the commissioning and start-up process. Passing this vital milestone without any serious problems represents a major achievement.

Developed in response to the rapidly growing demand in China for petrochemicals, the $4.3-billion project has involved one of the largest ever start-ups. The processing complex covers 2.6 km2 and will yield around 2.3 million tonnes of product per year. CSPC needed a smooth start-up to meet product delivery commitments and to ensure operational safety. Any delay could mean substantial lost revenues and loss of reputation.

The project is an integrated chemicals complex with steam and electricity generation, and storage, handling and shipping facilities, as well as an ethylene cracker, which can process feedstocks ranging from light naphtha to heavy condensate. The complex includes units to manufacture styrene monomer, propylene oxide, ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, polyols, polypropylene and high- and low-density polyethylene. The huge size of the complex presented tremendous challenges for the commissioning team.

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CSPC enjoys successful start-up of its $4.3 billion petrochemicals complex