BASF broke ground at a site at Bahrain International Investment Park where it will construct a world class multi-million dollar plastic additives facility. The new BASF facility, a modern, world-scale production plant for customer specific antioxidant blends (CSB) in the Middle East, is expected to come on stream in 2012. To ensure flexibility, production will be done on multiple lines. The facility will incorporate the latest BASF technology with a high degree of automation. BASF's new investment has been spurred by a supply agreement with Astra Polymer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as the opportunities presented by countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), considered possibly the fastest growing sector for the production of polyolefin resins worldwide.
Dr. Hassan Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce of the Kingdom of Bahrain, as well as BASF's Dr. Jürgen Barwich, Head of Region Turkey, Middle East and North Africa, and John Frijns, Head of Business Line of Plastic Additives, attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the new facility. During his speech at the ceremony, Dr. Fakhro underlined the future contribution of BASF's investment to Bahrain's economy: "We are very pleased that BASF has chosen to locate this major new manufacturing investment in Bahrain. Their decision is a testament to the quality of the location and to the competitive advantages that Bahrain offers to global investors. This investment will further strengthen Bahrain's position in the chemicals industry and support long term economic growth in our country." BASF's regional head Dr. Jürgen Barwich also noted that the facility will play a strategic role in the fast growing plastics industry in the Middle East region: "This is a considerable investment by BASF, reflecting our commitment to the region. The facility will bring the latest technology to the production of plastic additives, ensuring consistent high quality outputs and international standards. Obviously the most modern environmental standards are maintained. And by building this plant here in Bahrain, we are ideally placed geographically to benefit customers in this segment. This facility will be a significant addition to BASF's existing plastic additive plants around the world in Asia, Europe and the Americas. It creates a formidable network of production plants that will ensure."