BP has licensed its latest generation purified terephthalic acid (PTA) technology for use in a new facility in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China.

Ningxia Baota Chemical Fibre Co., Ltd., a majority owned subsidiary of China’s Baota Petrochemical Group, is planning to build a 1.2 million tonnes per annum (tpa) unit at the Ningxia Ningdong Energy and Chemical Zone to produce PTA, the primary feedstock for polyesters used in the textile and packaging industry.

The new plant is expected to start operating in 2018.

“This is the first third-party PTA licence for BP in China since our recent decision to license the use of our market-leading technology,” said Rita Griffin, chief operating officer of BP’s Global Petrochemicals Business.

“We have now licensed this latest PTA technology in India, Oman and China — three significant growth markets — and have our own world-scale plant running at Zhuhai in Guangdong, China. We see great potential long-term in the polyester supply chain.”

According to Dan Leonardi, BP’s vice president for Technology & Licensing, Petrochemicals, the company’s PTA technology offers significantly lower capital and operating costs compared to conventional PTA plants.

“The technology is substantially more energy efficient, uses less water, and produces less solid waste,” Leonardi explained.

Gao Guozheng, chairman of Ningxia Baota Chemical Fibre and CEO of Baota Petrochemical Group, Ningxia Region, added: “This investment is highly strategic for us, fulfilling the local requirements for PTA at the lowest possible cost and contributing to the economic development in Ningxia region.”