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Asia Pacific: BASF, PETRONAS Chemicals Group to build aroma ingredients complex in Malaysia

Malaysian prime minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak officiated at the groundbreaking of an integrated aroma ingredients complex, set up by BASF and PETRONAS Chemicals Group Berhad (PCG) via their joint venture company BASF PETRONAS Chemicals Sdn Bhd.

The complex, to be built within the existing site in Gebeng, which is jointly owned by BASF SE and PCG, will house a facility to produce citral and its precursors, as well as associated downstream plants to manufacture citronellol and L-menthol.

Also present at the ceremony were Pahang Menteri Besar, Dato‘ Sri Diraja Haji Adnan Haji Yaakob; Dr Martin Brudermüller; Vice Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, responsible for Asia Pacific, and Chairman of PCG who is also PETRONAS Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Downstream Business, Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.

“Our investment in the integrated aroma ingredients complex in Kuantan shows how we are implementing our long-term strategy in Asia Pacific: we are collaborating with our longstanding trusted partner, PETRONAS,” says Dr Martin Brudermüller; vice chairman of the board of executive directors of BASF SE

“We are introducing an innovative production technology for the first time into Asia Pacific; and we are making another important step towards our objective to achieve local production of 75% of the products we sell in Asia Pacific.”

The MYR1.5 billion (US$500 million) complex will be developed in phases where the first plants of the complex are expected to come on-stream in 2016 and to create 120 new employment opportunities.

Citral is nature-identical to the main component of many essential oils like lemongrass, and is used as fresh-citrus and fruity notes in fragrances and flavors.

It is also used in the production of vitamins A and E and as precursor for aroma ingredients.

Citronellol is used for a fresh, powerful, and long-lasting rose fragrance.

It is a component for numerous fresh-floral compounds.

L-menthol is used for cool freshness in various products in oral care, body care, flavorings and in pharmaceutical applications.