Total and Samsung are to spend up to $600 million expanding their petrochemicals plant in Daesan, South Korea.

The steam cracker will be revamped to achieve a capacity of 850,000 tons per year of ethylene versus the current capacity of about 650,000 tons per year. An olefins conversion unit will be added to increase the production of propylene.

The project also includes a new polypropylene line, more than doubling the current capacity of 250,000 tons; and a debottlenecking of the styrene monomer unit.

In the first phase of the project, the steam cracker and the styrene monomer will be revamped by mid-2007. New polypropylene and olefins conversion units will be online by the end of 2007.

Much of the new styrene monomer and polypropylene production from the Daesan plant will supply the Chinese packaging, automotive and consumer products markets.