© BASF General | May 21, 2019
BASF to expand capacity for engineering plastics and TPU
BASF to address trends such as electrification of cars and miniaturisation of electronic devices with new Chinese plants.
Germany’s BASF says it is planning to build an engineering plastics compounding plant and a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) plant at the company’s proposed integrated chemical production (Verbund) site in Zhanjiang, China. These will be the first production plants to come onstream at the site. By 2022, the new engineering plastics compounding plant will supply an additional capacity of 60,000 metric tons per year of BASF engineering plastics compounds in China. This will bring the total BASF capacity of these products in Asia Pacific to 290,000 metric tons per year. As part of the company’s plan to implement a smart manufacturing concept at the Verbund site, the new plants will utilise automated packaging, high-tech control systems, and automated guided vehicles. “Less than a year after we signed the first MoU, we are delighted to announce the first plants to be established at our smart Verbund site in Zhanjiang,” says Dr. Stephan Kothrade, President Functions Asia Pacific, President and Chairman Greater China, BASF, in a press release. General facilities for the Zhanjiang Verbund site will also be built along with the two new plants. BASF Integrated Site (Guangdong) Co. Ltd (BIG), BASF’s new wholly-owned subsidiary, has been officially founded. This entity will oversee the operations of the new Verbund site. “We want to improve our support for customers in the southern China market and around the world. We will do this by establishing the new plants close to growing customer industries, and through improvements in efficiency realized from our smart manufacturing approach. This will increase our speed of innovation and the efficiency of our services,” says Raimar Jahn, President of BASF’s Performance Materials division. “In particular, electric and electronics companies and automotive manufacturers are turning to BASF to help them address trends such as the electrification of cars and miniaturization of electronic devices.” The growth of the TPU market is driven by several factors including increasing regulatory requirements and growing customer expectations for enhanced sustainability performance in such areas as e-mobility, lightweight and automation. The Verbund site in Guangdong would be BASF’s largest investment, estimated up to USD 10 billion upon completion.