BASF has launched its smart Verbund project in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China, and commenced building its first plants. It marks a milestone of the company’s US$10 billion investment project announced in July 2018.

The first plants will produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to serve the increasing needs of various growth industries in the southern China market and throughout Asia.

“We are pleased to see our mega-investment project in China is progressing,” said Dr Martin Brudermüller, chairman of the board of executive directors at BASF. “We are determined to support our customers in southern China drive growth with innovative products and sustainable solutions.”

“Zhanjiang is a perfect location for BASF to further strengthen our footprint of local production in China,” said Dr Stephan Kothrade, president of Asia Pacific Functions, and president and chairman for Greater China at BASF.

BASF signed the first Memorandum of Understanding for the Verbund site with the Guangdong Provincial Government in Berlin, Germany, in July 2018. In January 2019, the company signed a Framework Agreement setting out further details of the plan. The Verbund site in Guangdong would be BASF’s largest investment.

The first plant producing engineering plastics compounds is expected to be operational by 2022, and the whole Verbund site is planned to be completed by 2030.

The BASF project will include petrochemical plants, while a steam cracker with a planned capacity of one million tonnes of ethylene per year would be the starting point of the value chains at the new integrated site.