Specialty chemicals firm BASF PETRONAS starts Kuantan plant

BASF Petronas Chemicals has recently announced that it has commenced a new production facility in Kuantan province, Malaysia. Reportedly this new production unit is a part of BASF’s second wave of investments in the bulk and specialty chemicals industry at the Gebeng site.

The new facility opened for the production of polyisobutene (HR-PIB) will have a total of 50,000 metric tons of annual capacity, claim sources familiar with the matter. Sven Crone, the managing director of BASF PETRONAS Chemicals further revealed that the company in the last couple of months has already commenced the facilities making citral and its precursors at the Gebeng site. The company in fact has started shipping out to the customers its very first batch of citronellol, quoted Crone.

For the record, the citronellol and citral facilities are a part of the aroma ingredients complex which will be opened in phases.

Speaking on the commencement of the new facility, Crone, was quoted saying that the plant is the first of its kind in southeast Asia and significantly meets the local bulk & specialty industry needs, backed by strong backward integration of raw materials. He further added that the company anticipates a healthy GDP growth of over 6% to 7% for the local market in the south Asia and ASEAN belts.

According to sources, the bulk & specialty chemicals industry giant, BASF PETRONAS Chemicals, expects robust demand for the chemical products from China, despite the fact that the economy is likely to slow down slightly. The company is expecting China to be the key growth driver for the region and at the same time plans to streamline the product supply in the region.

For those unfamiliar with the matter, the German specialty chemicals industry major BASF holds 60% share in the BASF PETRONAS Chemicals, while the Malaysian state-owned producer PCG (PETRONAS Chemicals Group) owns the remaining 40% of the stakes.

Incidentally, there are no immediate plans for the third wave of investment at the Gebeng site and presently it is well suited for the future investment opportunities.