UpdatePETRONAS, BASF to build Malaysia specialty chems plants

06 March 2012 04:28  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--BASF and PETRONAS have agreed to proceed with a plan to develop new world-class specialty chemicals facilities in Johor, Malaysia, the two companies announced on Tuesday.

The companies will create a joint venture entity that will own, develop, construct and operate the proposed production facilities for isononanol, highly reactive polyisobutylene, non-ionic surfactants, methanesulfonic acid, as well as plants for precursor materials, they said in a joint statement.

BASF will own a 60% share in the joint venture, while PETRONAS will hold the remaining 40%, they said.

The facilities will be built at PETRONAS’ proposed refinery and petrochemical integrated development (RAPID) complex at Pengerang, Johor.

The investment size for this particular project was not disclosed, but it is part of the two companies’ previously announced Malaysian ringgit (M$) 4bn ($1.32bn) investment deal, BASF and PETRONAS said.

“The development of new specialty chemical products portfolio is an important component of PETRONAS’ plan to facilitate the development of our downstream petrochemical business,” said Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, PETRONAS’ executive vice president of downstream business, in the statement.

BASF and PETRONAS have an existing joint venture that owns an integrated petrochemical complex at the Gebeng industrial zone in Kuantan.

The two companies are currently doing a feasibility study on a possible expansion of their propylene (C3) value chain in Kuantan, via building a new plant for superabsorbent polymers. They are also looking at expanding the capacity of their existing glacial acrylic acid unit.

The new projects at the RAPID and Kuantan complexes are to be implemented between 2015 and 2018, BASF and PETRONAS said without further elaborating.

“With our new development in Pengerang and the expansion of the…site in Kuantan, we will be able to improve supply to our customers in the Asia Pacific with specialty chemicals that help meet the needs of a rapidly growing population, especially in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) market,” said Martin Brudermueller, vice chairman of BASF’s board of executive directors.

Non-ionic surfactants are used in cleaning applications such as laundry detergents as well as in technical processes, including in ingredients for auxiliaries in the textile and leather industries.

Methanesulfonic acid is used in detergents, electroplating and chemical synthesis applications.

Isononanol is a feedstock for the production of plasticisers, which in turn is used in a variety of industries including construction and automotive.

Superabsorbent polymers are the key ingredients in disposable diapers and adult hygiene products.

($1 = M$3.02)

For more on BASF and PETRONAS visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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