24 August 2004 18:37 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--German chemicals group BASF said Tuesday that its expects global demand for fine chemicals to grow by an average of about 6% a year through to 2010.
Its forecast, based on global population growth, rising affluence in developing countries and growing health awareness, was delivered in Ludwigshafen at the inauguration of the company's new citral plant.
Part of a Euro300m ($370m) investment in citral and its derivatives at Ludwigshafen, the 40 000 tonne/year worldscale plant replaces an existing 10 000 tonne/year facility.
BASF said the new plant will make citral the 'key building block' for the company's fine chemicals, forming the starting point for the production of vitamins A and E as well as carotenoids and an extended range of aroma chemicals.
Products based on citral are used in animal and human nutrition and in the healthcare and cosmetics sectors.
BASF said the new plant, the precise cost of which it would not disclose, will simplify production processes for fine chemicals, thus reducing costs and help improve margins which are under pressure due to new suppliers, particularly in Asia.
The new plant also will help safeguard 500 direct jobs and a further 1000 jobs in maintenance, logistics and other services, both at Ludqigshafen and in the region, said BASF.
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