BASF TO LAUNCH FIRST FAR EAST FIBERS VENTURE

Byline: Michael McNamara

NEW YORK--BASF, which has long stated its desire to expand its fiber production into the Far East, announced Friday its first steps toward achieving that goal, a venture in China.
BASF AG, China Worldbest Development Corp., the China Textile International Science and Technology Industrial Town of Qingpu County and the Pudong Development Bank have agreed in principle to form a joint venture for the manufacture and sale of nylon 6 bulked continuous filament (BCF) carpet fibers and polymers.
BASF, based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, will own 75 percent of the joint venture and its partners, 25 percent, according to Werner Burgert, executive vice president of BASF Corp., the North American arm of BASF AG, and president of the company's fibers division.
Two plants will be built in Qingpu County; one to produce 40,000 tons of BCF nylon, the other for 50,000 tons of polymer. BASF is responsible for the basic engineering of the plants, which will be built by Chinese contractors.
Burgert said plant construction will begin early in 1996 and be completed sometime in 1998. Premarketing of the nylon 6 fibers began Monday and is being handled by BASF's international sales organization and China Worldbest personnel.
Until the plant is completed, BASF will supply BCF carpet yarns from its Anderson, S.C., facility. The company will supply caprolactam, specific nylon 6 polymers and other raw materials needed for the joint venture production.
While BASF has been active in the Chinese market for 110 years, this marks the company's first fiber production venture. The company began operations there in 1885, supplying dyes to local markets.
BASF has 400 employees in China, primarily in chemicals, with projects in Shanghai and Nanjing. BASF maintains Far East offices in Beijing, Singapore, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

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