On October 9, Hualu Hengsheng issued an announcement on the commissioning of caprolactam (CPL), amide and PA project. Its 300,000 MT/year caprolactam new facility is able to produce qualified products and entered the trial production stage. Its 200,000 MT/year PA6 resin production units are currently under construction and are expected to be put into operation in the first half of 2022.

The project relies on the existing gasification platform of the company, takes benzene and hydrogen as raw materials, makes full use of syngas resources, takes carbonylation route and conversion of hydrogen production gas as the direction, and combines the existing advantages of methanol, ammonia, steam, electricity and so on. The main construction includes cyclohexanol, cyclohexanone, caprolactam units, hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid units. After the project is completed, it can produce 300,000 MT/year of CPL (200,000 MT for captive consumption), 200,000 MT of formic acid, 200,000 MT/year of nPA6 resin, 480,000 MT of ammonium sulfate, etc.

CPL production units in China are mainly distributed in Fujian, Shandong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shanxi provinces. HAO process and HPO process are the mainstream processes used. HPO process is a production process introduced from DSM, and it is also the process adopted by most domestic enterprises. It is a technology with independent IPR jointly developed by Sinopec Baling Petrochemical and Petrochemical Research Institute on the basis of foreign technology. The 200,000 MT/year unit put into operation by Fujian Yongrong Technology in 2019 is the fourth generation of hydration and HAO technology, which has been improved compared with the traditional technology.

The CPL producers and their capacities in 2020 is shown in the table below.

In 2021, the capacity of CPL continues to expand, and it is expected that 1.08 million MT/year of new capacity will be put into operation.

  • On March 12, Fujian Shenyuan Phase II 200,000 MT/year CPL project was officially put into operation. The total CPL capacity of the company has exceeded 700,000 MT/year
  • On June 25, Inner Mongolia Qinghua 200,000 MT/year CPL project was put into operation
  • In mid-August, the 300,000 MT/year CPL project of Lunan Chemical was handed over
  • In September, Hualu Hengsheng’s 300,000 MT/year CPL capacity was put into operation
  • The Phase I technical upgrade project of Pingmei Shenma Group will start the trial production in October, and the CPL production capacity will increase from 100,000 MT/year to 180,000 MT/year

There are also several companies planning to build CPL projects in China

With the release of new CPL capacity, the overcapacity will be further intensified and the market competition will increase.

Source: Guoxin Research, China chemical Information, etc.

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