UK-based chemical and energy group Ineos has signed an agreement to acquire a 50% stake in the Tianjin Nangang Ethylene Project in China from Sinopec.

Being built in the Tianjin Province of China, the project will include a 1.2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) ethane cracker.

It will also comprise 12 derivative units, including a 300,000 tonnes per year acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plant and a 500,000 tonnes per year high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant.

The ethane cracker and the 500,000 tonnes per annum HDPE plant are planned to be commissioned at the end of 2023.

The joint venture (JV) agreement will allow Sinopec to leverage Ineos’s technological knowledge and operational expertise, and expand Ineos’ presence in China.

Ineos chairman and CEO Jim Ratcliffe said the latest JV deal with Sinopec will significantly expand the company’s petrochemical production and business footprint in the Asian country.

Sinopec chairman Dr Ma Yongsheng said: “The decision is driven by our dual goals of reducing carbon emissions and managing the energy transition within our businesses, from refining all the way through petrochemicals.

“Sinopec will give Ineos a significant local presence and Ineos will contribute its technological and operational expertise, which will create a win-win for the cooperative development of both companies.”

Earlier this year, Sinopec sold its 50% stake in Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical for $1.50bn to Ineos.

“China is a key growth region for Ineos and the agreements significantly extend its petrochemicals business with a focus on products where it has some of the leading proprietary technologies,” Ineos said in a statement.