BASF is investigating the possibility of building a highly-integrated production site in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. The so-called Verbund site in Guangdong would be BASF’s largest investment and would be operated under the sole responsibility of BASF. The investment is estimated to reach up to $10 billion by completion of the project in about 2030. The first plants could be completed by 2026 at the latest.
Martin Brudermüller, BASF’s chairman and Lin Shaochun, executive vice governor of Guangdong, signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding in Berlin on Monday, in the presence of Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and the Chinese premier Li Keqiang.
In the initial phase, the BASF project would include petrochemical plants. A steam cracker with a planned capacity of 1 million metric tons/year of ethylene would be the starting point of the value chains at the new integrated site, the company says. Plants for more consumer-oriented products would be built in subsequent phases to serve sectors such as transportation or consumer goods.
The site would ultimately be the third-largest BASF site worldwide, following Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Antwerp, Belgium, the company says.
China, with a world market share of about 40%, is the largest chemical market, and dominates the growth of worldwide chemical production, BASF says. Guangdong is the most populous province in China with more than 110 million residents. Its GDP is currently growing at 7% annually.
BASF currently operates six Verbund sites: two in Europe—Ludwigshafen and Antwerp—two in North America—Freeport, Texas; and Geismar, Louisiana—and two in Asia. The Asian sites are at Nanjing, China, established in 2000 as a 50-50 joint venture (JV) with Sinopec; and Kuantan, Malaysia, established in 1997 as a 60-40 JV with Petronas.
By Francinia Protti-Alvarez
Source: Chemical Week
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