The world’s largest chemical producer BASF has officially begun construction of its petrochemicals project in China’s southern province of Guangdong. It is the largest investment in the German company’s 154-year history.
Based in Zhanjiang, the Verbund project will be China’s first wholly foreign-owned chemicals complex, for which a framework agreement was sealed in January.
“We are pleased to see our mega-investment project in China is progressing,” said Martin Brudermüller, chairman of the board of executive directors at BASF SE. “We are determined to support our customers in southern China in driving growth with innovative products and sustainable solutions.”
He added the new Verbund site will be “a role model for sustainable production contributing to the development of a circular economy in China.”
It will primarily produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), and some petrochemical products widely used in automotive, electronics, and new energy vehicles industries.
The project’s first phase is expected to be launched in 2022, with a production capacity of 60,000 tons per year. The entire project is planned to be completed by 2030.
Verbund will become the third-largest BASF site worldwide, following Ludwigshafen in Germany and Antwerp in Belgium. The company expects China, the world’s largest market for chemical products, to account for 50 percent of global chemical demand by 2030, up from the current 40 percent.
“[The project] will form a solid foundation for a world-class industrial cluster in Zhanjiang and establish stronger business connections between South China and other Asian countries,” Stephan Kothrade, BASF’s regional official in China, said.The project is “a signal showing China’s efforts of further opening-up are taking effect,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said.
BASF has been involved in the Chinese market for many years. Last year, it sold products worth more than €7.3 billion ($8 billion) to customers in China and had more than 9,000 employees in the region.
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