German chemical manufacturer BASF’s Care Chemicals Division inaugurated a new plant producing emollients and waxes in China on 2 June.

The CNY150M (US$22M) plant – located in Jinshan, Shanghai – was the company’s largest investment in emollients in Asia Pacific and complemented BASF’s current production of wax esters, emulsifiers and primary surfactants in Jinshan, the firm said in a statement.

“The new plant can cater for production requiring different levels of high temperature reactions, thus producing a wide variety of product types. Manufacturers of skin and hair care, sun protection and other personal care products will benefit from the expanded capacity of these important ingredients,” BASF said.

BASF currently produces wax esters, emulsifiers and primary surfactants for skin care, hair care, sun protection, make-up, baby and child care, deodorant and oral care applications at Jinshan, some of which are derived from natural feedstocks, including palm kernel oil (PKO).

The PKO was RSPO-certified, offering customers the opportunity to switch to sustainable ingredients, BASF said.

“Many companies in the personal care market are committed to implementing global sustainability principles. Producing RSPO-certified products is one of the key steps in meeting our customers’ sustainability needs,” said Sergey Andreev, senior vice president at BASF Care Chemicals Asia Pacific.

Andreev said the new state-of-the-art multi-purpose production facility in Jinshan would combine with the scientific research power of BASF’s Asia Pacific Innovation Campus in Shanghai to benefit its customers in China and the Asia Pacific region.

“By taking inspiration from real life in the local markets and using modern ingredients, we can enhance the sensory experience and improve texture and appearance of final products,” he added.

According to data from the Chinese National Statistics Bureau, China was the second largest personal care market behind the USA and cosmetics retail sector was expanding at an annual growth rate of 13.5%.