German chemical company BASF is exploring the possibility of establishing an integrated ‘Verbund’ chemical production site in the South Chinese province of Guangdong.
BASF chairman of the board of executive directors Martin Brudermüller and Guangdong Province Executive Vice Governor Lin Shaochun signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Berlin.
Investment is estimated to reach $10bn by the time of completion of the project in 2030 and the first plants are expected to be completed by 2026.
The site in Guangdong would be the largest investment by BASF and be operated under the sole responsibility of BASF.
In the initial phase, the BASF project would include petrochemical plants. A steam cracker with a capacity of 1MMT of ethylene per year would be established.
In the next phases, plants for more consumer-oriented products and solutions would be constructed to serve sectors such as transportation or consumer goods.
The site would be the third-largest BASF site worldwide, after Ludwigshafen in Germany and Antwerp in Belgium.
The company plans to implement a comprehensive smart manufacturing concept based on cutting-edge technologies at the new site.
In the future, customers in South China would be supplied from this Verbund site.
Globally, BASF operates six Verbund sites – two in Europe (Ludwigshafen, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium), two in North America (Freeport, Texas, US; Geismar, Louisiana, US) and two in Asia.
The Verbund site in Nanjing, China, was established in 2000 in a 50:50 joint venture with Sinopec. The Verbund site in Kuantan, Malaysia, established in 1997, is a 60:40 joint venture with Petronas.
The BASF Group portfolio is organised into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials and Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil and Gas.
Guangdong, the most populous province in China, is home to customers from key industries such as transportation and consumer goods, as well as other fast-growing industries.
Image: BASF board chairman Martin Brudermüller and Guangdong Province Executive Vice Governor Lin Shaochun at the signing of the MoU in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Berlin. Photo: courtesy of BASF SE.