BASF, Petronas consider €1bn Malaysia specialty chem investment

06 December 2010 11:20  [Source: ICIS news]

Workers at Petronas facilitySINGAPORE (ICIS)--BASF and Petronas are considering jointly investing around €1bn ($1.34bn) to produce specialty chemicals in Malaysia, the companies said on Monday.

The German chemicals giant and the Malaysian oil and gas firm have signed a memorandum of understanding to undertake a feasibility study of the project, due to be completed next year, they said in a joint statement.

The study would check on the technical, commercial and economic viability of jointly owning and operating world-scale facilities for the production of specialty chemicals, including non-ionic surfactants, methanesulphonic acid, iso-nonanol as well as other C4-based specialty chemical products.

"The development of a new specialty chemical products portfolio is an important component of Petronas' plan to further grow the downstream petrochemical business as part of its integrated plan to be a key player in the region,” said Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, executive vice president for Petronas' downstream business.

He added that this project would also spur domestic investments in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries.

BASF board director Martin Brudermuller said: “By expanding our local production base in Malaysia, we can further improve our ability to supply our customers in Asia, from Asia.

The investment was in line with the German firm’s goal of producing 70% of Asia Pacific sales in the region by 2020, with investments of €2bn between 2009 and 2013.

The companies have an existing joint venture in Malaysia – BASF Petronas Chemicals - which currently owns and operates an integrated complex in Gebeng, Pahang, Kuantan that produces acrylic monomers, oxo products and butanediol.

“As for the subsequent phase of the collaboration, Petronas Chemicals Group (PCG) and BASF will jointly evaluate the outcome of the joint feasibility study and will adopt it as part of their strategic growth plans, if technically and commercially viable,” the companies’ statement said.

PCG comprises the 22 petrochemical-related businesses of Petronas.

($1 = €0.75)

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