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BASF Plans Acrylic Acid, Butyl Acrylate and Superabsorbents Complex in Brazil

28 March 2011

BASF says it is exploring opportunities in Brazil to build an acrylic acid, butyl acrylate and superabsorbent polymers manufacturing complex. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Braskem, which will secure supply of propylene feedstock by Braskem to BASF.

BASF says it is conducting a feasibility study to evaluate the technical, commercial and economic viability of operating a world-scale acrylic acid and derivatives manufacturing complex in Brazil. The study, due for completion during this year, will determine which facilities will be included as well as their capacities. Construction is expected to begin next year with completion targeted for 2014-15. The company declines to provide details about capital expenditure but it recently said that it plans to spend €496 million ($690.8 million) in South America, Africa and the Middle-East between 2011-15. This is likely to include the project in Brazil.

BASF is already producing butyl acrylate in Brazil but there is no production at all of acrylic acid and superabsorbent polymers in South America and all the product is imported, says Alfred Hackenberger, president BASF/South America. "With these new investments we will be the first company to produce acrylic acid and superabsorbent polymers in South America, which will enable us to better serve our customers, further foster our position in these markets and open up additional opportunities for our buisnesses in South America," he says. BASF's butyl acrylate complex is located at Guaratinguetá. BASF is the global leading producer of acrylic acid with combined capacity for 1.19 million m.t./year, including 320,000 m.t./year each at Antwerp and Ludwigshafen, 230,000 m.t./year at Freeport, TX, 160,000 m.t./year at Nanjing, China, and 160,000 m.t./year at Quantan, Malaysia. BASF plans to double capacity of the acrylic acid plant at Nanjing.

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