1. Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak received a courtesy call by BASF SE delegation headed by Dr. Martin Brudermüller, member of the Board of Executive Directors, and joined by Ms. Saori Dubourg, President, BASF Asia Pacific and Dr. Hermann Brandt, Managing Director of BASF PETRONAS Chemicals Sdn Bhd. They were accompanied by Dato‘ Shamsul Azhar Abbas, President of PETRONAS and Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, Executive Vice President of Downstream Business, PETRONAS.
2. During the courtesy call, members of the delegation explored avenues for boosting BASF’s investment in Malaysia with the Prime Minister. BASF and PETRONAS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 6th December 2010 to undertake a joint feasibility study to produce specialty chemicals in Gebeng, near Kuantan, Pahang and elsewhere in Malaysia, a move that would extend the two parties’ existing business collaboration in the country.
3. The partners are considering a potential joint investment sum of RM4 billion and upon completion, the joint venture is expected to employ some 500 skilled staff. Under the terms of the MoU, the two parties will evaluate the technical, commercial and economic viability of jointly owning and operating world-scale facilities for the production of propylene and butylene based specialty chemicals. The study will also look into the expansion of existing facilities in Gebeng and production of a new product called Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) which is largely used in personal hygiene applications. The final scope of the investments will be determined following the outcome of the joint feasibility study which is targeted to be completed in the 4th Quarter of 2011. The project will generate spinoff industries which in turn will create further employment opportunities. As substantial quantities of these specialty chemicals will be exported, it is anticipated to generate significant export revenue for the country.
4. The proposed collaboration by PETRONAS and BASF will build on their successful strategic partnership in the country, established in 1997. The partnership, via BASF PETRONAS Chemicals Sdn Bhd (of which BASF owns a 60% stake), currently owns and operates an integrated petrochemicals complex in Gebeng, that produces acrylic monomers, oxo products and butanediol.