Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak earlier this month officiated at the ground-breaking of an integrated aroma ingredients complex in Gebeng, Kuantan, set up by BASF and PETRONAS Chemicals Group Berhad (PCG) via their joint venture company BASF PETRONAS Chemicals Sdn Bhd (BPC).

The complex, to be built within an existing site in Gebeng which is jointly owned by BASF SE and PCG, will house a facility to produce citral and its precursors as well as associated downstream plants to manufacture citronellol and L-menthol.

Also present at the ceremony were Pahang Menteri Besar, Dato’ Sri Diraja Haji Adnan Haji Yaakob; BASF SE Board of Executive Directors vice chairman Dr Martin Brudermüller; and PCG chairman Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, who is also PETRONAS chief operating officer and executive vice president of Downstream Business.

In his speech, Dato’ Sri Najib said, “This project will benefit local people in Pahang through training and employment opportunities at all levels, as well as through positive economic impact and enhanced expertise in the sustainable operation of large scale projects like this one.”

Dr Martin Brudermüller said, “Our investment in the integrated aroma ingredients complex in Kuantan is a perfect example of how we are implementing our long-term strategy in Asia Pacific: we are collaborating with our longstanding trusted partner, PETRONAS; we are introducing an innovative production technology for the first time into Asia Pacific; and we are making another important step towards our objective to achieve local production of 75% of the products we sell in Asia Pacific.”

Datuk Wan Zulkiflee said, “The aroma ingredients to be produced by the complex are highly attractive specialty products that are less susceptible to economic cycles experienced typically by the commodity chemicals market.”

The MYR1.5 billion (US$500 million) complex will be developed in phases where the first plants of the complex are expected to come on-stream in 2016 and to create some 120 new employment opportunities.

BASF is the leading producer of citral-based products worldwide, with a portfolio that includes aroma ingredients, such as geraniol, citronellol, linalool and L-menthol, as well as vitamins and carotenoids. Aroma ingredients are sold to the flavour and fragrance industry, and are used mainly in home and personal care products and fine fragrances, as well as in the food industry and in pharmaceutical applications.

BASF and PCG founded their joint venture BASF PETRONAS Chemicals Sdn Bhd in 1997. BPC operates an integrated complex at the Gebeng Industrial Zone, Pahang, Kuantan. Its share capital is 60% held by BASF and 40% by PCG with a total initial investment of about MYR3.4 billion for acrylic monomers, oxo products and butanediol production facilities. In the new project, the partners will invest proportionately to their respective stakes in BASF PETRONAS Chemicals Sdn Bhd.
www.basf.com or www.petronaschemicals.com

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