BASF Petronas to build US$500m aromas plant in Malaysia

BASF and Malaysian partner Petronas Chemicals Group will invest MYR1.4bn (US$500m) in an integrated aroma ingredients project in Kuantan to serve the Asia-Pacific flavour and fragrance industry.

The complex will include a processor for citral and precursor plants and downstream production for aroma ingredients, including a new world-scale plant for L-menthol and a plant for citronellol. Production will be developed in phases, with the first processor operational in 2016. 

Citral is identical in nature to the main component of many essential oils like lemongrass, and is used as fresh-citrus and fruity notes in fragrances and flavours. 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, and is an indispensable component for numerous fresh-floral compounds. The cool freshness of L-menthol makes it popular as an ingredient in numerous products in oral care, body care, flavourings and in pharmaceutical applications. 

Embedding this investment into our Kuantan plant allows our customers to benefit from a global production network in the Asia Pacific region​,” said Saori Dubourg, president of BASF’s Asia-Pacific operation. 

Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, chairman of PCG, added: “The integrated aroma chemicals complex will open up a new business frontier for PCG, tapping into the flavours, fragrance and pharmaceuticals markets​."

BASF and PCG began their joint venture BASF Petronas Chemicals in 1997. The company currently operates an integrated complex situated at the Gebeng Industrial Zone, Pahang. 

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