BASF Reconsiders Timing Of Major China Chemical Plant

BASF said it was reconsidering the timing of a new major chemical plant in south western China, as the ongoing global economic crisis limited demand. In 2006, the world's largest chemical company said it planned to erect a 400,000-tonne-per-year MDI plant in the municipality of Chongqoing, with start-up slated for 2010. MDI is used to make polymers that are used by the automotive and construction industries. The project has a price tag of $4.5 billion according to sources. "Regarding the economics ... we're assessing the current MDI market situation. We expect the global MDI market to decline in 2009, China being no exception," BASF said in a release. But the company said it was committed to pushing forward its main China investment, a petrochemical complex in the eastern city of Nanjing, in partnership with state oil giant Sinopec Corp. BASF is still awaiting Beijing's final ­approval to expand the Nanjing ethylene facility by 25 % to 750,000 tons per year for $900 million. BASF and Sinopec have invested $2.9 billion in the Nanjing venture.

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