BASF has launched its $10-billion smart Verbund project at Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, China, and commenced building its first plants at the facility. The first units will produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). “We are pleased to see our mega-investment project in China is progressing,” says Martin Brudermüller, chairman of the board of executive directors, BASF. By 2022, the new engineering plastics compounding plant will supply an additional capacity of 60,000 metric tons/year in China, bringing BASF’s total capacity of these products in APAC to 290,000 metric tons/year.
The launch marks a “milestone of the company’s $10-billion investment project,” says the company. “The smart Verbund site will form a solid foundation for a world-class industrial cluster in Zhanjiang and establish stronger business connections between South China and other Asian countries,” says Stephan Kothrade, president/Asia Pacific Functions and president and chairman Greater China, BASF.
The new capacity will enable BASF to meet the growing demand of its customers, particularly in the automotive, electronics, and new energy vehicle (NEV) industries. The upcoming site will utilize automated packaging, high-tech control systems, and automated guided vehicles, says BASF.
In March this year the company inaugurated a liaison office at Zhanjiang to establish its local presence.
BASF signed a memorandum of understanding for the Verbund site with the Guangdong Provincial Government at Berlin, Germany, in July 2018. In January 2019, the company signed a Framework Agreement setting out further details. The Verbund site in Guangdong will be BASF’s largest investment, estimated at up to $10 billion upon completion, and would be operated under the sole responsibility of BASF.
The integrated value chain will connect upstream and downstream plants from basic chemicals to more consumer-oriented products and solutions, serving growth sectors such as consumer goods and transportation, it says. The company asserts that the site would ultimately be the third-largest BASF site worldwide, following Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Antwerp, Belgium. The first plant producing engineering plastics compounds is expected to be operational by 2022, and the whole Verbund site is planned to be completed by 2030.
By Kartik Kohli
Source: Chemical Week
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