BASF will significantly expand its presence in the Middle East region by building a state-of-the-art plant for 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 region. Construction of the new facility will start in September 2011. It will become one of the world's largest CSB plants with an annual capacity of about 16,000 metric tons. The new plant will be operational already by end of 2012.
This is a major investment of BASF in the plastic additives business following its acquisition of Ciba in 2009 and manifests BASF's strong commitment to this industry. Hans W. Reiners, President of BASF's Performance Chemicals division, explained this strategic move: "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 making us worldwide one of the leading partners to the plastic processing industry with a product portfolio unmatched in terms of broadness and quality. BASF is very much committed to further strengthen its plastic additives business ranging from antioxidants and lightstabilizers to pigments."
This new plant will come in addition to the existing manufacturing agreement for CSBs with Astra Polymer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, making BASF the largest CSB supplier in this region. This facility will be well positioned to serve the fast growing polymer market in the Middle East with special focus on key customers in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), one of the fastest growing regions for the production of polyolefin resins worldwide.
"The expected growth of the 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 Plastics Additives Europe/EAWA. "This will help us to deliver high quality products tailor-made to the demand of the industry. Furthermore, the proximity to our main customers will ensure a flexible and reliable supply."