BASF expands NSW chemical plant to produce Velifer biological insect killer
The Weekly Times
UPDATE: GERMAN chemical manufacturer BASF will open a new $1 million extension of its production plant at Somersby, near Gosford, NSW, by June next year.
Upgrade of the Somersby plant will begin by the end of this year.
The extension will allow BASF to produce the biological insecticide Velifer, which has been marketed in South Africa for a number of years as Broadband.
The insecticide has been used to counter thrips, whitefly, aphids and mites in a range of fruit, nut and vegetable crops, plus canola plantings.
Velifer is currently being evaluated by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for release in Australia next year.
BASF said Velifer was a biological insecticide containing the spores of the naturally occurring soil-borne fungus Beauveria bassiana.
The company’s Australian and New Zealand head of agriculture Gavin Jackson said the $1 million investment showed the company’s commitment to delivering the latest innovations in crop protection to Australia.
BASF has about 25 new products in the pipeline for release in Australia over the next five years and the new manufacturing plant will also allow the company to produce other biological products in the future.
Biological crop protection products accounted for just 2 per cent of the $75 billion global market in 2015.
BASF expects that to grow at a rate of about 11 per cent a year.