A Malaysian joint venture between BASF and Petronas will double its capacity to make 2-ethylhexanoic acid due to growing demand in applications such as lubricants used in white goods, the companies announced Wednesday.
BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn currently has capacity to make 30,000 metric tons per year of 2-ethylhexanoic at its complex in Kuantan, Malaysia. The companies said that number will increase to 60,000 t/y and that the expansion will be completed by 2024, but they did not disclose the cost of the project.
2-EHA is a chemical intermediate used as a compound in the production of synthetic lubricants as well as oil additives. It is also used in functional fluids like automotive coolants, metal salts for paint dryers, plasticizers, stabilizers, catalysts and other applications in various industries.
The chemical also has other applications such as a plasticizer in the projection of polyvinyl butryal, which is as safety glass in automobiles and construction vehicles.
BASF stated in a news release that demand has been growing particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
“2-EHA has been an integral part of BPC’s growth, and it is timely that the expansion is planned to capture the growing market,” BASF Petronas Managing Direction and CEO Datuk Sazali Hamzah said. “The expansion is also in line with PCG’s sustainable growth strategy to expand our portfolio with higher value products. By leveraging the existing integration between BPC and other PCG plants in the Kuantan Verbund site, we are able to maximize our value chain by improving the quality and cost competitiveness of our products and continue delivering innovative solutions to our customers.”
BASF also makes 2-EHA at its Verbund chemical complex in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
BASF is headquartered in Ludwigshafen and is one of the world’s largest chemical suppliers. Petronas is the national oil company of Malaysia.