China – with a global share of around 40% – is the largest chemical market, and dominates the growth of chemical production worldwide. To enhance the growth in this dynamic market, BASF is further investing in the country.
In July 2018, BASF announced its intention to construct a new “Verbund” site in Zhanjiang, in the southwestern part of Guangdong Province. The site would be BASF’s largest investment and would be operated under the sole responsibility of BASF. The total investment is estimated to reach up to $10 billion and will be implemented in phases. The project will include a steam cracker with a planned capacity of 1 million metric tons of ethylene per year, as well as several plants for consumer-oriented products and solutions. BASF is developing a smart manufacturing concept for the new site based on cutting-edge technologies that maximize resource and energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact.
In October 2018, BASF and SINOPEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expand their long-standing cooperation in China. According to the MoU, BASF-YPC Company, Limited (BASF-YPC) will invest in a 50% stake to build a second steam cracker with a capacity of 1,000,000 metric tons of ethylene per year. Sinopec Yangtzi Petrochemical (YPC) will invest the other 50%. Both BASF-YPC and YPC will have access to all of the products of the new steam cracker to develop their downstream product portfolios. The partners are also jointly exploring new business opportunities in battery materials in China.
BASF is investing in the expansion of its production capacity and product portfolio to meet local customer needs.
At its Shanghai Pudong Innovation Park, a new 30,000-square-meter production facility for mobile emissions reduction catalysts is under construction. The plant will manufacture innovative catalysts for gasoline and diesel vehicles to help automotive customers meet more stringent emission control requirements in China.
At its Shanghai Caojing site, BASF inaugurated a new, world-scale antioxidants manufacturing plant with an annual capacity of 42,000 tons in January 2019. Antioxidants help prevent thermal oxidation reactions when plastics are processed at high temperatures.
At its Shanghai Jinshan site, BASF is expanding its APG® (alkyl polyglucosides) production capacity to add value to customers’ formulations with mild surfactants based on renewable feedstocks, for personal and home care applications.
At BASF’s Verbund site in Nanjing, the expansion of propionic acid production to 69,000 metric tons per year went on stream, to meet the growing demand of food and feed grain preservation, contributing to food safety in China.
In Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, BASF started operations at a new electronic-grade sulfuric acid plant in May 2018 to serve the growing semiconductor manufacturing industry.
In Pinghu, Zhejiang Province, BASF will invest in a state-of-the-art surface treatment site for its Chemetall brand to benefit diverse market segments, such as automotive, auto components, coil, general industry, cold forming, aerospace, aluminum finishing and glass.
At the Changhua site in Taiwan, a new production facility was launched in September 2018 to support growing demand for Expanded Thermoplastic Polyurethane (E-TPU) Infinergy® from multiple industries, including transportation, furniture, construction and sports equipment.
BASF is continuously expanding partnerships and optimizing its portfolio around the globe as well as in China in order to further grow and gain access to new market segments.
In August 2018, BASF closed the acquisition of a range of businesses and assets from Bayer to complement our activities in crop protection, biotechnology and digital farming. The transaction also marks the company’s entry into seeds, non-selective herbicides and nematicide seed treatments business.
Meanwhile, BASF is expanding into the 3D printing market in Asia Pacific, with a broad portfolio of material and system solutions, including plastic and metal filaments, plastic powders and photopolymers. In February 2019, BASF collaborated with the 3D printing solution provider HeyGears on the development of new photopolymers for mass production of industrial components and consumer goods. We also partnered with SoonSolid (Xunshi Technology) to offer dental applications. In November 2018, BASF invested in Prismlab, a leading provider of 3D printing processes and 3D printers, headquartered in China. In March 2018, BASF subsidiary Innofil3D, the leading producer of high-value customized filaments, and Beijing Tiertime, a leading fused filament fabrication 3D printer manufacturer, set up a partnership to distribute high quality filaments. By doing so, we aim to meet the rising demand for 3D printing technology and to support the growth of key industries in the region.
Over the past year, BASF has deployed a variety of customer-focused digital platforms in China. BASF’s flagship store on 1688.com enables the company to reach new customers, explore business opportunities online, and serve small and medium or remote enterprises in a more flexible and timely manner. The BASF flagship store on JD.com is an e-shop for consumer goods that enables end-users to access our solutions directly online. A WeChat service account was launched to provide product information and sample application, while a formulation finder app was developed as a new channel to customize solutions to address different needs.