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Petronas and BASF expand Malaysian partnership

15th March 2012

Chemical giants embark on RM 4bn petrochemical investment project at Malaysian sites.

Companies embark on joint initiative

Petronas has joined forces with German chemical giant, BASF, to develop projects at two Malaysian sites.
The projects, worth a RM 4bn, involve working on the companies’ existing venture in Kuantan and at a new site within Petronas’ proposed refinery and petrochemical integrated development (RAPID) complex in Pengerang, Johor.

The projects are due to be implemented between 2015 and 2018. Under the terms of the agreement, the company’s agree to jointly own, develop, construct and operate production facilities for isononanol, highly reactive polyisobutylene, non-ionic surfactants, methanesulfonic acid, and plants for precursor materials. BASF will take a 60% stake; Petronas will take 40% .

"With our new development in Pengerang and the expansion of the 'Verbund' site in Kuantan, we will be able to improve supply to our customers in Asia Pacific with specialty chemicals that help meet the needs of a rapidly growing population, especially in the ASEAN market,” said vice chairman of the board of executive directors, BASF SE “At the same time these projects demonstrate the vitality and success of our sustainable partnership with Petronas,” he said.

The chemicals to be produced at the new facilities should directly contribute to the sustainable development of the Asia Pacific region, especially in ASEAN, according to Petronas. Nonionic surfactants are used in almost all cleaning applications, particularly in environmentally friendly laundry detergents as well as in technical processes, including as ingredients for auxiliaries in the textile and leather industry.

Methanesulfonic acid is utilised in different applications wherever a strong, readily biodegradable and low-corrosive acid is needed, such as for use in detergents, electroplating, and chemical synthesis.

Isononanol is a feedstock for the production of plasticisers, which is used in a variety of industries including construction and automotive. Superabsorbent polymers are the key ingredients in disposable diapers and adult hygiene products.