Set to become operational towards the end of 2015, the plant represents BASF’s first dimethylaminopropylamine (DMAPA) and polyetheramines (PEA) production in the Asia-Pacfic region.
The firm already produces DMAPA and PEA in Germany and the US, and claims to be the world’s leading supplier of these two chemicals.
DMAPA is mainly used to produce betaines, which are used in personal care products such as body wash and shampoo as co-surfactants, according to BASF.
The ingredient also has other applications, such as electroplating and lubricant additives. PEA is an intermediate chemical for epoxy curing resins, which are used to produce plastics, adhesives and polyurea coatings among other things.
Driven by growth in personal care consumption
Sanjeev Gandhi, president of BASF’s Intermediates division, said the investment in the facility reflects BASF’s on-going commitment to meeting growing market demand in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Our ability to produce these products within the region will strengthen our supply reliability and better serve our customers with shorter lead times,” he explained.
Dr. Guido Voit, senior vice president at BASF, added “the investment is driven by the increasing consumption of personal care products by the growing middle class in China and in Asia.”
According to market researcher Euromonitor, the Asia-Pacific region is the world’s largest market for beauty and personal care, with sales of in excess of $100bn in 2012, ahead of Western Europe and North America.
China is the second biggest market for beauty and personal care sales within the region, behind Japan and ahead of South Korea.
BASF invests in Asia Pacific
Like many companies active in the personal care sector that are looking to tap into market growth, the Asia-Pacific region is firmly on the radar of BASF.
Back in April 2013, BASF and its partner PETRONAS Chemicals Group announced a further $500mn investment in their aroma ingredients project at their existing BASF PETRONAS Chemicals joint venture site in Kuatan, Malaysia.
The investment will see the creation of an integrated aroma complex for Citral, citronellol and L-menthol production, with the first production plants expected to be operational in 2016.
Designed to respond to increased market demand in the flavour and fragrance industry, the complex will serve the home care, pharmaceutical and food sectors in addition to the personal care market.