BASF will significantly expand its presence in the Middle East region by building a 16,000 tpa plant for antioxidant blends (CSB) in Bahrain. CSBs are key additives for the production of polymers for the plastics industry, especially for the Middle East region. Construction of the new facility will start in September 2011 and the new plant will be operational by end of 2012. The new plant will come onstream along with the existing manufacturing agreement for CSBs with Astra Polymer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, making BASF the largest CSB supplier in this region. "The expected growth of the plastic polymer production in Middle East will get an additional push by increasing efforts to grow the plastics downstream market locally. As BASF, we are committed to accompany such growth with technical solutions and flexible supply patterns which are only possible as a local supplier," said John Frijns, Senior Vice President Plastics Additives Europe/EAWA. "This will help us to deliver high quality products tailor-made to the demand of the industry. Furthermore, the proximity to our main customers will ensure a flexible and reliable supply."