BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn Bhd (BPC), a leading chemical manufacturer in Gebeng here, has invested more than RM120mil in its environment protection systems since it began operating in 2000.
According to BPC site director Dr Friedrich Towae, half of the amount was spent on building its wastewater treatment plant that catered to its 150ha integrated chemical site, including a siltation pond for its butanediol complex that was completed last year.
The remaining sum went into a safety interlock system for the companys initial three projects comprising three complexes with 12 plants.
The plants are designed in such a way that they will automatically shut down in an emergency; and emergencies are costly for it affects a lot of instrumentation and technical equipment, said Towae after the official launching of its Responsible Care Week by state environment department director Hassan Mat on Monday.
He said the company regarded its investment as part of operating costs.
He added that the decision for such an investment was made to comply with Malaysian safety regulations as BPC handled hazardous materials in its daily operations and needed to have an effective emergency response centre.
The companys own emergency response centre included a 24-hour fire-fighting unit and clinic because the nearest fire station and hospital were about 40 minutes from the site, he said.
We are in a business to make money and it can hurt our profits if there are incidents that will affect our reputation and operations, said Towae.
He said BPCs safety week programme activities involved guided tours around the plants for nearby residents, to help allay the fears and suspicions they initially had when BPC started operations.
We will continue with our effort in this programme to further improve the confidence, trust and relationship the community has in us, he added.
BPC is a joint-venture project between BASF AG of Germany (60%) and Petroliam Nasional Bhd (40%) that involves the setting up of an integrated chemical site on 150ha with current approved investment of about RM3.4bil.
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