BASF grew its sales in Greater China to €7.3 billion in 2017 (2016: €5.9 billion). We continued to enhance local production through the construction of new facilities and expansion of existing capacities, supported by the research and development capabilities of Innovation Campus Shanghai. BASF expanded its product portfolio and strengthened its local market presence in several key industries such as automotive, construction, food and feed, personal care, agriculture and electronics.
At its Shanghai Caojing site, BASF opened its first world-scale plant in Asia Pacific for chemical catalysts and absorbents. At the same site, we inaugurated a new automotive coatings plant with an investment of €140 million. As an extension of the existing joint venture plant between BASF and Shanghai Huayi Fine Chemical Co. Ltd, the new facility will produce both solventborne and waterborne coatings. A plastic additives plant is in construction now, producing antioxidants and associated forms and blends with an annual capacity of 42,000 tons.
At its Shanghai Jinshan site, BASF invested CNY150 million (approximately €20 million) to build a new plant for emollients and waxes, the key ingredients for skin and hair care, sun protection, and other personal care products.
At our wholly-owned site in Nanjing, the opening of a biocatalyzed acrylamide plant, with a capacity of 50,000 metric tons per year, added to our global production network of water-soluble flocculation aids for the wastewater treatment and papermaking industries.
At BASF’s Verbund site in Nanjing, the capacity of propionic acid will be expanded to 69,000 metric tons per year, to meet the growing demand of food and feed grain preservation, contributing to food safety in China. Production of neopentylglycol at the Verbund site is also being expanded to 80,000 metric tons. This will benefit end-use applications across a broad range of industries, including environmentally friendly powder coatings with low volatile organic compounds.
At the MDI plant in Chongqing, we are building a steam methane reformer to enhance production reliability and improve operations.
Through a series of global acquisitions, BASF aims to gain access to new market segments. With the planned acquisition of Solvay’s polyamide business, we intend to complement our engineering plastics portfolio and strengthen our polyamide 6.6 value chain and further expand the company’s position as a solution provider for transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer industries in Asia Pacific. With the planned acquisition of Bayer’s seed and non-selective herbicide business, we aim to improve the herbicide portfolio of BASF’s crop protection business and provide entry into the seed market. In the fast-growing electronics industry, BASF is meeting end consumers’ needs for optimum image quality and lower energy consumption of electronic devices with the acquisition of Rolic, a market leader in photoalignment materials. One year after the acquisition, the surface treatment assets of Chemetall, including in Greater China, have been integrated into BASF’s coatings business, providing tailored solutions to a wide range of industries and end-markets including automotive, aerospace, aluminum finishing and metal forming.