German chemical firm BASF has broken ground on a $10bn integrated petrochemical complex in China. Located in the city of Zhanjiang in Guangdong Province, the smart Verbund project is planned to be developed in phases with initial phase involving the construction of plants to produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to serve various industries.
BASF board of executive directors chairman Dr Martin Brudermüller said: “We are determined to support our customers in southern China drive growth with innovative products and sustainable solutions.
“By utilizing the latest digital technologies and applying the highest safety standards, the new Verbund site will be a role model for sustainable production contributing to the development of a circular economy in China.”
BASF expects the new engineering plastics compounding plant to supply an additional capacity of 60,000 metric tons per year in China by 2022. This will increase BASF’s total capacity of these products to 290,000 metric tons per year in the Asia Pacific.
BASF Greater China president and chairman, Asia Pacific Functions president Dr Stephan Kothrade said: “Zhanjiang is a perfect location for BASF to further strengthen our footprint of local production in China.
“The smart Verbund site 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.”
The new capacity will allow the firm to meet increasing customers demand particularly in the automotive, electronics and new energy vehicles (NEV) industries.
BASF said that the new plant will feature automated packaging, high-tech control systems, and automated guided vehicles while complying with highest safety and sustainability standards.
The first phase of the project is planned to be commissioned by 2022 while the project is scheduled for completion by 2030.
The latest move follows the signing of the Framework Agreement in January 2019, setting out details of the plan for the project.
BASF’s new wholly-owned subsidiary BASF Integrated Site (Guangdong) will oversee the operations of the new Verbund site.