On Friday BASF inaugurated its new production plant for mobile emissions catalysts in Środa Śląska, a Special Economic Zone near Wrocław, Poland. The grand opening event was attended by a number of national and local government officials, including Polish Vice Minister of Labor and Social Policy Jacek Męcina, as well as BASF Board member Dr. Hans-Ulrich Engel.
Construction of the new 40,000 square meter manufacturing facility – BASF's largest emissions catalysts plant in Europe – began in late 2012, supported by an initial €90 million investment. The plant began production trials in April 2014, and last month started up two emissions catalysts manufacturing lines, with an initial employee base of 100.
Additional expansions will follow, raising the total investment for the plant to approximately €150 million. Once all ten planned light duty and heavy duty catalysts production lines are operating at full capacity by 2016, BASF expects to employ more than 400 people at the Środa Śląska site.
The emissions catalysts produced in Środa Śląska will be used by manufacturers of light duty gasoline vehicles and light and heavy duty diesel vehicles to meet more stringent Euro 6/VI emissions regulations.
"The launch of this new production plant provides a vital addition to our global manufacturing network for innovative automotive emissions control technologies," said Kenneth Lane, President of BASF’s Catalysts division. "Tightening emissions regulations will be a key growth driver for our business. Our investment in Środa Śląska will provide the capacity we need to meet increased customer demand in the most efficient way possible."
Among the advanced technologies that will be produced at the Środa Śląska facility are Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems, cutting-edge SCR on Filter (SCRoF) solutions as well as PremAir-branded ozone destruction catalysts for automotive applications.
"Due to its attractive location and its positive economic development, Poland is an attractive place for BASF to invest," said Dr. Joachim Meyer, Head of BASF Business Center Europe Central. "This new facility strengthens our position as a supplier of innovative solutions to the markets of Central Europe."
BASF's Catalysts division is the world’s leading supplier of environmental and process catalysts. The group offers exceptional expertise in the development of technologies that protect the air we breathe, produce the fuels that power our world and ensure efficient production of a wide variety of chemicals, plastics and other products, including advanced battery materials. By leveraging our industry-leading R&D platforms, passion for innovation and deep knowledge of precious and base metals, BASF's Catalysts division develops unique, proprietary solutions that drive customer success.
The portfolio of BASF in Poland ranges from chemicals, performance products, plastics, crop protection products and care chemicals to construction chemicals and automotive coatings. In addition to its country headquarters in Warsaw, the company operates three production sites: one in Myślenice, close to Cracow (concrete additives), one in Śrem, close to Poznań (polyurethane systems and construction chemicals logistics and distribution center), and one in Środa Śląska, close to Wrocław (heavy and light duty emissions catalysts). Currently, BASF employs approximately 430 in Poland, and its sales in 2013 amounted to €722 million. The company serves more than 3,300 customers in Poland.