BASF, the largest chemical company across the globe, has launched its smart Verbund project in Zhanjiang, Guangdong, China, along with starting to build its first plants in keeping with the USD 10 billion investment project announced by the company in July last year. The first plants will undertake the production of engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to address the increasing demand from various emergent industries in southern China and across Asia. Dr. Martin Brudermüller, Chairman, Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE, says that by using the latest technologies and applying the highest safety standards, the new site will be a model for sustainable production and will facilitate the creation of a circular economy in China.
The new engineering plastics compounding plant will provide an additional annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons in China by the year 2022, bringing the company’s total capacity for the same in the Asia Pacific to 290,000 metric tons per year. With the added capacity, BASF will be able to address the growing demand of its customers, especially in the electronics, automotive, and new energy vehicles (NEV) sectors. BASF plans to deploy an extensive smart manufacturing concept at the site functioning on innovative technologies. The Verbund site will implement systems like automated packaging, automated guided vehicles, and high control systems. The new site will help BASF contribute to the advancement of the local sector.
The chemical giant is undertaking many strategic partnerships with multiple local technical institutions to promote young technical talent. The company signed the first Memorandum of Understanding with the Guangdong Provincial Government for the new site in July last year in Berlin, Germany. Earlier this year, the company also inked a Framework Agreement that detailed the company’s strategy further. Upon completion, the site will be the third-largest BASF site in the world, following the sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Antwerp, Belgium. The first plant for the production of engineering plastics compounds is slated to commence operations by the year 2022, while the entire Verbund site is chalked down for completion in the year 2030.