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BASF opens world-scale chemical catalysts manufacturing plant in China

By Gerald Ondrey |

BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com ) today celebrated the official opening of its new, world-scale chemical catalysts manufacturing plant in Caojing, Shanghai, China. The new plant is BASF’s first chemical catalysts manufacturing facility in the Asia Pacific region.

The BASF wholly-owned plant is located in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in Caojing. It will serve the growing chemical industry in China and around the Asia Pacific region, with base metal catalysts and absorbents. The plant will be highly automated and energy efficient.

The opening celebration took place today with guests from the chemical industry, construction partners and local government officials. “The start of our new, world-scale production plant for chemical catalysts in Shanghai represents a milestone for our process catalysts business. 60% of the world’s chemical production will happen in Asia by 2020, with more than half of this in China,” said Detlef Ruff, BASF’s senior vice president, Process Catalysts. “Local production will significantly help us strengthen our relationships with customers from the chemical industry in Asia and further enhancing the customer experience with improved product availability and shortened lead times. In combination with the BASF Innovation Campus Asia Pacific in Shanghai, we can now offer our customers regional specific development and production of the latest catalyst technologies. The plant also offers potential for additional expansion as well as flexibility to adapt to new customer production requirements in the years to come.”

“Together with our partners, BASF has invested CNY19.7 billion as of the end of 2016 (approximately €2.5 billion) in state-of-the-art production located in Caojing. What we produce here directly supports the development and modernization of Chinese industry. Our solutions improve efficiency and sustainability in the chemical industry and other industries, and reduce reliance on imports, thus enhancing competitiveness of our customers in light of supply-side reform,” said Dr. Stephan Kothrade, president Functions Asia Pacific, president and chairman Greater China, BASF. China’s supply-side reform aims to manage market capacities and boost innovation.

Leveraging experience from the eleven chemical catalyst manufacturing sites around the world, the new plant will use cutting-edge production technologies to manufacture innovative catalysts and adsorbents. These are used, for example, in the production of fatty alcohols, styrene, butanediol. BASF adsorbents are used in many applications to remove impurities from product streams, for example to purify olefins. Butanediol is a raw material in the production of THF and poly-THF (Spandex), while poly butylene terephthalate (PBT) is used predominantly in engineering polymers. Styrene is for example polymerized into polystyrene, which finds applications in packaging or insulation for buildings. Fatty alcohols are used as detergents and surfactants, typically used in cosmetics and in the food industry.

The new site will be supported by the new Process Catalyst R&D Center, located within the BASF Innovation Campus Asia Pacific in Pudong, Shanghai, which is focusing on the development of new process catalyst to meet specific needs in Asia. With strong research competencies in catalyst preparation, scaling and performance evaluation, this R&D Center will further strengthen the collaboration with partners in the region, and will provide support to the new chemical catalyst manufacturing site.

 

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