BASF and Toray start up PBT plant in Kuantan, Malaysia
A joint press release by BASF and Toray
* 50-50 joint venture between BASF and Toray
* Annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons
* $40 million investment
Toray BASF PBT Resin Sdn. Bhd., a 50-50 joint venture between BASF Aktiengesellschaft, Germany, and Toray Industries Inc., Japan, has successfully started commercial production on schedule at its newly built world-scale polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) plant at BASF’s Verbund site in Kuantan, Malaysia.
The PBT plant has an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons and involved capital expenditure of approximately $40 million. The PBT base resin will be independently marketed by each company under their own trade names (BASF: Ultradur®, Toray: Toraycon®).
The new plant will be operated using the most advanced polymerization technology from Toray. For BASF the location of this PBT plant in the growing chemical cluster in Kuantan provides important forward integration into value-added products. The raw material, butanediol (BDO), will be procured based on state-of-the-art technology from its subsidiary BASF PETRONAS Chemicals, which is located next to the plant.
“This investment underlines our ongoing commitment to the Asian market. With the production of PBT in Kuantan we can react more quickly to our customers’ needs and can ensure a reliable supply of the product,” said Raimar Jahn, head of the Performance Polymers division at BASF. “From Kuantan, BASF will supply base resins to its existing compounding plants in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia, and Ansan, Korea, and to the new compounding plant currently under construction in Pudong, China.”
The new PBT plant is another step toward BASF’s goals of generating 20 percent of sales and earnings in its chemical activities in Asia Pacific and increasing the share of local production to 70 percent by 2010.
”In preparation for the new PBT plant start of production, we’ve been expanding sales offices, compound bases and technical centers in Asia, where demand for PBT resin is increasing further,” said Chiaki Tanaka, Senior Managing Director of Toray Industries, Inc. Toray group will distribute PBT base resin from the new plant through Toray Plastics (Malaysia) Sdn. Berhad (TPM), Penang, Malaysia, and provide customers with compound resin through its own local compound bases in each area. “The new PBT plant completion leads to further customer satisfaction through both cost and quality competitiveness together with the integrated services provided by our sales, compound and technical bases spreading throughout the world,” said Tanaka.
Polybutylene terephthalate is a thermoplastic polyester. Characteristic properties of this engineering plastic are great stiffness, exceptional resistance to weathering, heat distortion strength and dimensional stability. Additional features include good electrical insulating properties and resistance to chemicals. Typical applications are in automotive construction and mechanical engineering as well as the electrical and electronics industries. PBT is used, for example, in headlight frames, wiper arms, central locking housings and electrically operated windows in cars, keys and socket strips for computers, cooker knobs, light strips and housings for household appliances.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas. As a reliable partner to virtually all industries, BASF’s intelligent system solutions and high-value products help its customers to be more successful. BASF develops new technologies and uses them to open up additional market opportunities. It combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, thus contributing to a better future. In 2005, BASF had approximately 81,000 employees and posted sales of more than €42.7 billion. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA), New York (BF) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.
Toray, a leading diversified chemicals corporate group, has been technology-focused since its foundation in 1926. The company’s operations are underpinned by technological expertise in organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biochemistry- Toray’s three core technologies. These innovative technologies have yielded “advanced materials” that Toray is now exploiting to provide customers with comprehensive solutions through Fibers and Textiles, Plastics and Chemicals, IT-related Products, Carbon Fiber Composite Materials, Environment and Engineering, Life Science and Other Business divisions. In FY2004, Toray had consolidated sales of 1,299 billion yen (approx $12.091 billion), and over 33,000 employees worldwide. For further information, please check www.toray.co.jp.
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