BASF to build new SAP plants in Brazil & China
BASF is strengthening its position in the superabsorbent polymers (SAP) market with investments in local production sites in fast growing emerging markets. In South America, BASF will build a SAP plant in Camaçari, Brazil with an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons.
Production is expected to start in late 2014. In China, BASF-YPC Company Limited, a 50-50 joint venture between BASF and Sinopec, plans to start construction of a 60,000-metric-ton SAP plant at its Verbund site in Nanjing in mid 2012. Commercial production is planned for the beginning of 2014.
“With these two new projects, we will accompany the rapid growth of the emerging markets in South America and China,” said Gabriel Tanbourgi, President of BASF's Care Chemicals division. “Local production allows us to serve our customers more flexibly and reliably.”
The investments in Brazil and China underline BASF's long-term commitment to its customers and the emerging markets. “Both plants will be built with our latest state-of-the-art technology and have the advantage that they are planned to be backwards integrated into acrylic acid,” said Teressa Szelest, Senior Vice President of the Global Business Unit Hygiene.
“This allows the production of our high-quality premium SAP in the emerging markets as well.” With its innovative superabsorbent polymers BASF enables customers to set the trends in the markets for diapers, adult incontinence products and feminine hygiene applications. “Baby diapers particularly become thinner and thinner,” Szelest said. “With our innovations in superabsorbent polymers our customers are able to produce these new diaper generations, “she added.
As already announced earlier this year, BASF is conducting a feasibility study to evaluate the technical and economic viability of constructing an integrated SAP plant in Kuantan, Malaysia. The study is underway and a decision on any investment in Kuantan will be made following the conclusion of the study.
Wide range of applications for superabsorbent polymers
Superabsorbent polymers are plastics with the capability to absorb and hold up to 500 times their own weight in liquid – even under pressure. The absorption drops to a still impressive figure of 50 times their weight in salty body fluids such as urine.
The product is used in form of a white grainy powder, mainly to make baby diapers. Other key areas for research and marketing are adult incontinence and feminine hygiene products. The absorption power of superabsorbent polymers is also used for moisture control in car seats and food packaging.
BASF's Care Chemicals division offers a broad portfolio of products for hygiene, personal care, home care, industrial & institutional cleaning as well as technical applications.
BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, and agricultural products to oil and gas.