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BASF awards greenfield Brazil complex EPCM to WorleyParsons

BASF and Braskem in partnership for Acrylic Acid plant

In May 2011, the German chemical company BASF announced its biggest investment ever in South America with $500 million capital expenditure.

BASF is planning to build a world scale chemical complex in Camaçari, in the Bahia Province, Brazil.

BASF and Braskem SA (Braskem) signed a strategic partnership by which Braskem will provide propylene as raw material for the feedstock of BASF chemical complex.

With the Camaçari complex, BASF intends to produce:

 – Acrylic Acid

 – Butyl Acrylate

 – Superabsorbent polymers (SAP)

BASF Camaçari, first South America Acrylic Acid plant

BASF project will set the first Acrylic Acid and Superabsorbents plant in South America.

As global leader of the Acrylic Acid value chain, BASF made its decision to invest in this greenfield chemical project in Brazil to answer the local and regional growing demand for Acrylic Acid derivatives in South America. 

Acrylic Acid is the raw material for the production of high added value chemical products such as Superabsorbents polymers.

These Superabsorbent polymers are used in many applications such as:

 – Diapers for baby care and hygiene products

 – Acrylic resins for adhesives, industrial coatings and textiles

 – Products and additives for civil work and building construction

 – Architectural coatings

With this project BASF will provide Brazil with the self sufficiency on Acrylic Acid and all its derivatives and will contribute to improve Brazil balance sheet in advanced chemical products.

BASF $500 million capital expenditure in the Camaçari Acrylic Acid greenfield project will save $200 million of importation and will generate $100 million of exportation representing a total of $300 million contribution to the country balance sheet.

BASF Camaçari Acrylic Acid project will require approximately 1000 engineers and workers for the constructions and will employ 230 direct individuals in normal operations plus 600 indirect.

BASF and Braskem selected the Camaçari location to build this Acrylic Acid complex in order to benefit from the existing Braskem petrochemical complex to provide the raw materials, mostly propylene, and the utilities saving costs for BASF.

In building this greenfield Camaçari chemical complex, BASF will also transfer its most advanced technologies and expertise in the Acrylic Acid value chain providing to the Brazil project a leading edge competitive advantage on the regional market.

WorleyParsons won EPCM contract for BASF Camaçari

May 2012, BASF awarded the engineering procurement and construction management (EPCM) services contract for the Camaçari Acrylic Acid project.

This EPCM services contract includes also the engineering procurement and construction management for the other Acrylic Acid project planned by BASF in Eastern China.

For this reason, WorleyParsons will execute its EPCM contract from its Beijing office in China with the support of its San Paulo office in Brazil.

August 2012, BASF and WorleyParsons revised upwards the scope of work under the EPCM services contracts for the both projects in Brazil and in China.

This EPCM contract is now established on a base of $133 million instead of the previously $80 million.

With the EPCM services contract awarded to WorleyParsons, BASF and Braskem are targeting the completion of the Camaçari Acrylic Acid plant for commercial operations in forth quarter 2014.  

In addition to the greenfield project in Camaçari, BASF is planning the expansion of its Guaratingueta plant in San Paulo to produce 2-ethyl-hexyl acrylate out of the Acrylic Acid produced in Camaçari.

Again, it should be the first 2-ethyl-hexyl acrylate production unit in South America.

2-ethyl-hexyl acrylate is a key chemical intermediate to produce adhesives and special coatings for the industry.

Assuming the completion of the Camaçari Acrylic Acid Plant being completed in 2014, the San Paulo 2-ethyl-hexyl acrylate should go in operation by 2015.

With these greenfield plants, BASF is deploying its Market Leadership of the Acrylic Acid value chain to Asia and South America to take advantage of the growing local demand before that any local competitor would show up.

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