Ludwigshafen, Germany -- BASF said 20 July that it plans to expand in the Middle East, building a 16-kilotonnes-per-annum plant, one of the world's largest, to make customer-specific antioxidant blends (CSB) in Bahrain.
CSBs are key additives for the production of polymers for the plastics industry, especially for the Middle East, the company noted.
BASF said that this major investment in plastic additives, following its acquisition of Ciba in 2009, indicates BASF's strong commitment to the additives industry.
"We are very happy to establish a state-of-the-art CSB production site close to our customers in this fast growing region. This is backed by our powerful production network of antioxidants in Asia, Europe and the Americas," said Hans Reiners, president of BASF's Performance Chemicals division, in the company statement.
Reiners added that BASF is committed to strengthening the plastic additives business -- from antioxidants and light-stabilisers to pigments.
BASF also has a manufacturing agreement for CSBs with Astra Polymer in Saudi Arabia, making BASF the largest CSB supplier in this region.
"The expected growth of plastic polymer production in Middle East will get an additional push by increasing efforts to grow the plastics downstream market locally. As BASF, we are committed to accompany such growth with technical solutions and flexible supply patterns which are only possible as a local supplier," said John Frijns, senior vice president for Plastics Additives Europe/EAWA.