Ludwigshafen, Germany – BASF SE has announced that its $10bn (€9bn) integrated petrochemical complex, currently under construction in Zhanjian, China, will include manufacturing plants for engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethanes.
The two plants will be the first units to come on-stream at the site and will manufacture polymer materials for segments such electronics, consumer products and automotive, BASF announced 21 May.
The company release did not offer a production capacity for the TPU plant but expects it to start production by 2022 at the site.
According to BASF, growth for TPUs in high-end applications is fuelled by several factors, including increasing regulatory requirements and the drive for sustainability in the automotive industry.
BASF said its solutions supported the growth with safety-enhanced cables and wires for automation and automotive, as well as lightweight materials for consumer goods.
The new units will utilise “automated packaging, high-tech control systems and automated guided vehicles,” as part of BASF’s plan to implement a comprehensive smart manufacturing concept at the site.
BASF announced the major investment in July last year, and is “moving forward swiftly” with the project, according Dr. Stephan Kothrade, President Functions Asia Pacific, president and chairman Greater China, BASF.
General facilities for the Zhanjiang Verbund site are also being built along with the two new plants.
The German chemicals company has officially founded BASF Integrated Site (Guangdong) Co. Ltd (BIG) to oversee the operations of the new site, which will particularly serve customers in southern China.
“We will do this [serve customers] by establishing the new plants close to growing customer industries, and through improvements in efficiency realised from our smart manufacturing approach,” said Raimar Jahn, president of BASF’s performance materials division.
In particular, said Jahn, electric and electronics companies and automotive manufacturers are turning to BASF to address trends such as the electrification of cars and miniaturisation of electronic devices.