Chemical company BASF announced May 6 the start of operations at its new polymerization plant in Shanghai, China.

The facility at Shanghai's Chemical Industry Park will produce Ultramid (polyamide 6 and 6/6.6) and has an annual capacity of 100,000 metric tons. BASF also operates Ultramid polymerization plants in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Freeport, Texas, United States; and São Paulo, Brazil.

At the same location in Shanghai, BASF has production plants for polytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF) and polyisocyanate (Basonat) for the coatings and furniture finishing industry, precious metal solutions for automotive catalysts, and an automotive coatings plant operated by joint-venture company BASF Shanghai Coatings Co., Ltd.

BASF expects the new plant to further strengthen its local production and supply network and better serve the growing market in the Asia-Pacific region.

"This is the first investment in polyamide polymerization for BASF in Asia Pacific and shows our strong commitment to this market. The innovative production setup enables us to respond to our customers' needs even quicker with more flexibility," commented Dr. Kurt Bock, BASF chairman of the board of executive directors.

Dr. Albert Heuser, the company's Greater China president and chairman, added: "The demand for polyamide products in the engineering plastics, fiber and film industries will continue to grow strongly, particularly in China. With the local production facility, we are well-positioned to support our customers' strong growth and help them to develop innovative products for tapping into market opportunities."