Independent study: BASF investment in Nanjing shows best practices for Chinese chemical industry
* Safety standards at $2.9 billion petrochemical site are exemplary
* Results presented at international stakeholder workshop in Shanghai
11/29/05, BASF’s new $2.9 billion petrochemical site in Nanjing, China, exceeds international standards in the area of health and safety, and creates and secures local jobs, according to an independent study presented today (November 29) in Shanghai. The study measures the economic, environmental and social impact of the investment on the city of Nanjing and the surrounding region.
The German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) conducted the BASF-commissioned study between January and September of this year, holding interviews with government officials, neighbors of the site and employees in Nanjing. The initial results of the study were first discussed with stakeholders in Nanjing at the beginning of November, and are being presented and discussed at a stakeholder workshop in Shanghai today.
The study will also be presented at the Global Compact Summit in Shanghai tomorrow (November 30). BASF is a member of the Global Compact initiative in which NGOs, international business and labor organizations, as well as representatives from the world of science and politics, work closely with the aim of forging a global economy based on the principles of sustainable development.
“It was important for us to analyze not only the economic impact of our investment in Nanjing, but also the social and environmental effects,” said Dr. Bernd Blumenberg, President of BASF-YPC Co. Ltd. “We want to use this study to identify areas where we can improve and to initiate a discussion with our local stakeholders. Sustainable development is an issue we take very seriously.”
BASF-YPC Co. Ltd. is a 50-50 joint venture between BASF and Sinopec that produces 1.7 million metric tons of high-quality chemicals and polymers per year for the rapidly growing Chinese market. The 220-hectare integrated petrochemical site started commercial production in June, and is expected to post a profit this year.
Especially in the field of safety standards, the report said that the company plays an exemplary role in China. At the height of the plant’s construction technical experts from 22 countries and 15,000 workers were on site, working together to build the plants and infrastructure. During the construction phase, more than 100,000 workers received very thorough safety training from BASF-YPC Co. Ltd.
Recommendations from the study include continuing community talks and promoting BASF safety and environmental standards to other Chinese companies, for example, by holding seminars and organizing site visits. BASF has already initiated a strategic alliance with the Chinese State Administration for Work Safety (SAWS) in the area of distribution safety.
“The huge amount of interest ahead of the Global Compact annual summit shows that the issue of sustainable development is becoming more and more important for Chinese companies,” said Dr. Lothar Meinzer, head of BASF Group’s Sustainability Center, who commissioned the GTZ study.
The Nanjing site is modeled on the Verbund concept originating from BASF’s headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany – the world’s largest, single-company chemical production complex. By linking manufacturing plants, the company can use products, by-products and energy in the most efficient way, so as to realize cost efficiency and minimize environmental impact. The site is also being served by state-of-the-art utilities, e.g., in the form of a gas-fired power plant. Emissions from the site more than fulfil the requirements of the World Bank and Chinese authorities.
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