BASF Expands Aroma Ingredients in China, Germany

09.03.2023 - BASF is expanding its global capacity for aroma ingredients citral, menthol and lnaloon at existing locations in China and Germany. The biggest investment will involve construction of a new citral plant at its growing integrated site in Zhanjiang, China. New plants for menthol and linalool will to be built at Ludwigshafen.

The world’s largest chemical company said the Chinese plant will strengthen its position in key growth regions and increase production of a broad range of aroma ingredients and other downstream products globally while boosting its worldwide capacity in the field to 118,000 t/y.

The new plants for menthol and linalool, to be built at the Ludwigshafen headquarters site, wil be integrated into the production network there.

Start-up dates for the individual facilities have not been disclosed, but BASF said the expansion projects are being driven by growing demand from the global flavor and fragrance market as well as its own strong commitment to sustainability transformation and its customers’ need for supply security.

Investing in Zhanjiang also represesnts a “significant step towards sustainable production and addressing our customers’ demands for products with a lower carbon footprint,” said Thilo Bischoff, senior vice president of Aroma Ingredients within the Nutrition and Health division.

BASF has been criticized recently for its heavy investment in China while downsizing some of its operations at home. However, Bischoff said the Zhanjiang site is set to be a role model for sustainable production, which  he added “was a key decision factor in the location of the new citral plant.”

At Zhanjiang, the executive said BASF is “further accelerating” its plan to power the entire site with renewable electricity by 2025, thereby also implementing advanced automation and process technologies to reduce energy consumption and emissions.

In another step toward meeting demand for renewables, the German group said it wants to “further develop” the fermentation-based portfolio of its Isobionics subsidiary at Geleen, the Netherlands, to meet the growing demand for natural aroma ingredients.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist