BASF aims to continue growing faster than the market with its downstream plastics, as well as large-volume monomers and commodity polymers. By bundling all specialty polymers in the newly created Performance Materials division, the company has further strengthened its focus on the needs of its customers.
Wind energy is one area of focus in entering new growth markets. Another area of expansion is the biopolymers business. In cooperation with TÜV SÜD, BASF has developed a process for flexible use of renewable raw materials in its Production Verbund with a methodology for allocating renewable feedstock to selected certified sales products. This was announced by Dr. Martin Brudermüller, Vice Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF at a press conference in Ludwigshafen. The conference is BASF's kick-off event in the run-up to the world's largest plastics trade fair, K 2013, which starts on October 16, 2013 in Düsseldorf.
"The bundling of product groups with the same business model - downstream specialty plastics on the one hand and large volume basic products on the other - will help BASF to better focus on meeting customers' needs and operational excellence," said Brudermüller.
BASF is investing not only in its specialty business but also in basic products required for the specialty polymers business, for example methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI). BASF is currently constructing world-scale MDI and TDI production plants. An MDI plant with an annual capacity of 400,000 metric tons in Chongqing, China, is scheduled to start production in 2014. A TDI plant with an annual capacity of 300,000 metric tons is also planned to go on stream in 2014 in Ludwigshafen. Integration into the BASF Verbund structure enables a high level of supply security and cost leadership in MDI and TDI, which is a crucial advantage for BASF's downstream specialties too.
BASF is strengthening its specialty polymer business with a number of investments. These include expanding production of engineering plastics in Ludwigshafen and the acquisition of Mazzaferro’s polyamide polymer business in Brazil. BASF started construction of a new manufacturing plant for the high-performance polymer Ultrason in Korea in 2012. The company is expanding thermoplastic polyurethane production capacity at the Lemförde site. In Ludwigshafen, the production capacity for the innovative insulation material Neopor is being expanded.
BASF launches K 2013