BASF inaugurates its first South American sodium methylate plant

06 February 2012 15:23  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--BASF has inaugurated its 60,000 tonne/year sodium methylate production plant in Guaratingueta, Brazil, the Germany-based petrochemicals major said on Monday.

It is BASF’s first sodium methylate plant in South America. The company also has a plant for this product in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Production at the Guaratingueta facility, which started at the end of 2011, is supplying the regional market, the company said.

BASF added that the capital expenditure for the project was “in the low-double-digit million euro range”, without going into further detail.

“We have invested in a new production plant to further strengthen our competitive position in the fast-growing market for biodiesel in South America,” said Stefano Pigozzi, president of BASF’s Inorganic Chemicals division.

“This plant is also one building block in our strategy to further expand our leading position in South America,” he added.

“This investment in the new plant responds to the growing market opportunity for biodiesel in the region. As announced last year, we are planning to build a second plant in South America in order to accompany South America’s intended growth for biodiesel,” said Alfred Hackenberger, BASF president for South America.

Sodium methylate is a catalyst for the production of biodiesel, which can be used as an alternative to diesel fuels. Legislation in Brazil requires fuel to contain 5% biodiesel, while in Argentina, biodiesel comprises 7% of fuel content, BASF said.

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By: Franco Capaldo
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