BASF/Petronas to build 2-EH acid plant in Malaysia

Germany-based BASF and Malaysia’s Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad (PCG) will build a new world-scale production plant for 2-Ethylhexanoic Acid (2-EHAcid) at the site of their existing joint venture, BASF Petronas Chemicals, in Kuantan, Malaysia.

The construction of this plant, which will be the first of its kind in the ASEAN region, is expected to commence in Q2 of 2015. The plant, with a total annual capacity of 30,000 tonnes/year of 2-EHAcid, is expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2016. The new plant will benefit from backward integration into the site, allowing high delivery reliability and maximising efficient use of energy and feedstock, say the companies.

“With this new plant, we are responding to our customers’ growing demands in Asia Pacific. Through this additional capacity BASF will become one of the leading suppliers for high purity 2-EHAcid in the region,” said Stefan Blank, President, BASF Intermediates division. “This investment further strengthens BASF’s offering in various downstream markets across a broad range of applications.”

“With this project, Petronas and BASF are fully utilising our combined strengths in the areas of skill resources, technology and overall molecules integration thus further optimising the value chains,” said Datuk Sazali Hamzah, President/CEO of Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad (PCG).

2-Ethylhexanoic acid is a chemical intermediate used as a compound for example in the production of synthetic lubricants as well oil additives. It is also used for functional fluids like automotive coolants, metal salts for paint dryers, plasticisers, stabilisers, catalysts and other applications in various industries. BASF operates a 2-EHAacid production plant at its Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

In addition to the proposed plant, the joint venture is also building an Integrated Aroma Ingredients Complex at its Kuantan site for the manufacturing of citronellol, L-menthol as well as citral and its precursors which are widely used in flavour and fragrance industry.

Groundbreaking for the US$500 million integrated aroma ingredients complex was done in April 2014 and the first plant is scheduled to come on-stream in 2016.

BASF and Petronas, Malaysia’s national oil company, founded their joint venture in 1997. It currently operates an integrated complex situated at the Gebeng Industrial Zone, Pahang.

The company’s share of capital is 60% held by BASF SE and 40% by PCG with a total investment of about US$900 million in production facilities for acrylic monomers, oxo products and butanediol. The range of chemicals produced by BASF Petronas meet the growing demand in various industries including plastics, adhesives, lacquers, dyestuff, automobile and industrial coatings, paper, diapers, water treatment, textile and leather.


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