Germany-based BASF SE reports it plans to build superabsorbent polymer (SAP) plants in Brazil and
China, and is evaluating the viability of a similar plant in Malaysia. SAPs are capable of
absorbing and holding up to 500 times their own weight in liquid, or up to 50 times their own
weight in salty fluids such as urine. The primary end-uses for SAPs are diapers, and adult
incontinence and feminine hygiene products. Diapers especially become much thinner, but just as
absorbent with the use of SAPs, BASF reports.
The planned facility in Camaçari, Brazil, will have an annual capacity of 60,000 metric
tons, and production is anticipated to begin in late 2014. BASF-YPC Co. Ltd., a 50/50 joint venture
company between BASF and Sinopec Ltd., will construct a plant in Nanjing, China. That facility,
also having a planned capacity of 60,000 metric tons per year, is expected to begin commercial
production in early 2014.
A study currently is underway to determine the technical and economic feasibility of an
integrated SAP plant in Kuantan, Malaysia.
“With these two new projects, we will accompany the rapid growth of the emerging markets in
South America and China,” said Gabriel Tanbourgi, president, Care Chemicals, BASF. “Local
production allows us to serve our customers more flexibly and reliably.”
“Both plants will be built with our latest state-of-the-art technology and have the
advantage that they are planned to be backwards integrated into acrylic acid,” said Teressa
Szelest, senior vice president, Global Business Unit Hygiene. “This allows the production of our
high-quality premium SAP in the emerging markets as well.”
October 18, 2011