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INEOS Phenol plans to invest in a world-scale cumene plant in Marl, Germany

INEOS Phenol plans to invest in a world-scale cumene plant in Marl, Germany
Photo courtesy of INEOS Phenol.

INEOS Phenol announced yesterday that it is taking the next step to build a world-scale cumene unit in Germany to be completed in 2020. The company has confirmed that it has started a front end and engineering study (FEED) with a view to taking a final investment decision by the end of 2018.

The world-scale unit will be located within the Chemiepark in Marl, Germany, where it will access existing pipeline connections between INEOS’ Phenol Acetone production site in Gladbeck, the Evonik Chemiepark in Marl, in addition to the BP refinery and cracker complex in Gelsenkirchen.

Its location and connections will allow the plant to be highly efficient, with raw material integration into the refinery and cracker complex, and access to the Marl harbor inland waterway connection.

The construction of a new cumene plant will support customer demand, improve the security of raw material supply to the INEOS phenol and acetone plants located in Gladbeck and Antwerp.

INEOS Phenol is the world’s largest producer of phenol and acetone and the largest consumer of cumene, which is an essential raw material. This investment reinforces its commitment to its customers across its world markets.

“We are very pleased to move forward with this important feedstock investment for our European business. It shows a clear commitment by INEOS to its phenol business. The Marl Chemiepark has been selected as the best location to build a state of the art, world-scale Cumene unit with excellent logistics that will underpin our phenol and acetone sites in Europe,” said Hans Casier, CEO of INEOS Phenol.

“We welcome INEOS´ decision to build the Cumene plant in the Chemiepark Marl as it underlines the attractiveness of the site. The site offers excellent infrastructure services such as flexible logistics and competitive energy and utilities supply for the chemical industry. The new plant will be an integral part of the northern Ruhr area Verbund structure,” said Joerg Harren, site manager of the Chemiepark Marl.

“Today’s announcement is a potential next step to continue our commercial relationship between all involved parties in the important northern Ruhr area chemical cluster. It highlights the benefits of existing and new pipeline connections, enabling a truly cross-site integration and further embedding the Refining Petrochemicals integration as one key element for sustainable competitiveness for INEOS, Evonik and BP,” said Frédéric Baudry, board member of BP Europa SE.

Nearly all the cumene that is produced as a pure compound on an industrial scale is converted to cumene hydroperoxide, which is an intermediate in the synthesis of other industrially important chemicals, primarily phenol and acetone.

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