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BASF, Petronas Plan 1 Billion-Euro Chemical Venture in Malaysia

BASF SE and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd. are evaluating a 1 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) joint venture in Malaysia to produce specialty chemicals for customers in Asia.

A feasibility study is set to be completed in 2011, Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF said in a release today.

BASF is investing 2 billion euros in Asia and it aims to manufacture 70 percent of its sales there locally by 2020. For Petronas, the venture would highlight its strategy to expand downstream from oil and gas after holding Malaysia’s biggest initial public offering last month. The two companies first began partnering on projects in 1997 and jointly operate plants making acrylic monomers and butanediol.

“With the rapid growth of chemical markets in Asia Pacific, we are further expanding our specialty chemical business,” Martin Brudermueller, BASF’s board member overseeing Asian operations, said in the statement.

Petronas is a unit of state oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd.

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