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Petronas & BASF Mull RM4 Billion Joint Investment In Petrochemical Plant

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PUTRAJAYA, March 29 (Bernama) -- Petronas and German-based BASF SE, the world's largest chemical company, are considering a potential joint investment sum of RM4 billion to set up a plant to produce petrochemcial products in Malaysia.
The joint venture project to produce specialty chemicals in Gebeng in Pahang and elsewhere in Malaysia, which is subject to a joint feasibility study, was also expected to generate some 500 high skilled jobs upon completion.
The matter was discussed during a courtesy call by a BASF SE delegation, headed by a member of the Board of Executive Directors, Dr Martin Brudermuller, on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Prime Minister's Office here today.
A statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office following the courtesy call said that BASF and Petronas had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Dec 6 last year to undertake the joint venture, a move that would extend the two parties' existing collaboration in the country.
The German company is operating an integrated petrochemicals complex in Gebeng, near Kuantan.
The statement said that other members of the delegation were the president BASF Asia Pacific, Saori Dubourg as well as the managing director of BASF PETRONAS Chemicals Sdn Bhd, Dr Hermann Brandt.
They were accompanied by Petronas President Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas and the executive vice president of downstream business, Petronas, Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.
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 the production of a new product called Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP), which is largely used in personal hygiene applications," the statement said.
The statement said 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 fourth quarter of 2011.
"The project will generate spin off industries which in turn will create further employment opportunities," it added.
The statement said that as substantial quantities of these specialty chemicals will be exported, it is anticipated to generate significant export revenue for the country.
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 per cent stake, currently owns and operates the integrated petrochemicals complex in Gebeng, that produces acrylic monomers, oxo products and butanediol.

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