Chemical JV to close BDO plant in Malaysia

Article by Amanda Jasi

BASF Petronas Chemical (BPC), a Malaysian-based joint-venture (JV) between BASF and Petronas Chemical Group (PCG), will close its butanediol (BDO) and derivatives plant in Kuantan, Malaysia, in March 2021. This comes as competition in the region increases.

BDO and its derivatives are essential chemical materials for production of engineering plastics, polyurethanes, solvents, and elastic fibres.

The recent decision came as part of an ongoing review by BASF and PCG of their product portfolio, and as BPC looks to realign its product portfolio to focus on long-term growth. Marko Murtonen, Managing Director of BPC, said that the decision was also due to production in the area exceeding demand following recent investments by other companies in coal-based BDO production.

The closure will impact 190 direct and indirect employees who supported the 100,000 t/y plant. BPC will provide its employees with outplacement assistance, including financial advisory support. Furthermore, there is the possibility of transfer within the company.

The plant is located at BPC’s Kuantan site which has 16 fully-integrated plants. The closure is not expected to impact other plants at the facility.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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