BASF projects 10% growth in China region sales for 2007

German chemicals group BASF estimates sales in the greater China region to grow more than 10% in 2007, as it continues to expand in mainland China to benefit from a booming economy. Sales in greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, totaled to 3.6 bln euros (US$5 bln) in 2006, comprising nearly 50% of its overall sales in Asia. BASF will invest 1 billion euros in Asia until 2009, with half of that going to the greater China area. BASF, the world's top chemical maker, invested about 2 billion euros in greater China from 1995 and 2005. To help maintain its growth momentum, the company has planned expansion in the petrochemicals complex in Nanjing, comprising of a 25% increase in the facility's cracker capacity and an expansion of downstream capacities. BASF, which already runs 29 production sites in greater China, is planning a new diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) plant in Chongqing in southwestern China. The facility, planned for startup as early as 2010, is expected to have production capacity of 400,000 metric tonnes per year of crude MDI, an important raw material for polyurethane used in a wide range of industries including construction and automotive manufacturing.
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