In addition to innovations, investments make a decisive contribution toward achieving our ambitious growth and climate protection goals. We use targeted acquisitions to supplement our organic growth. Our focus is on innovation-driven growth areas and sustainable technologies.
With a world market share of over 45%, China is already the largest chemical market and will drive growth in global chemical production to an even greater extent in the future. We expect China’s share to increase to over 50% by 2030. To further strengthen our position in Asia, we plan to build a new integrated Verbund site in Zhanjiang in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. Construction of the first plants started in 2020. They are scheduled for startup in 2022. We will also expand the Verbund site we operate together with Sinopec in Nanjing, China, by 2023.
In addition, we are refining our portfolio through acquisitions that promise above-average profitable growth as part of the BASF Verbund to help reach a relevant market position. A key consideration is that these are innovation-driven or offer a technological differentiation, and make new, sustainable business models possible. Investments and acquisitions alike are prepared by interdisciplinary teams and assessed using various criteria. In this way, we ensure that economic, environmental and social concerns are included in strategic decision-making.
Investments in property, plant and equipment amounted to €4,078 million in 2021 (2020: €3,516 million). Capital expenditures (capex)1 accounted for €3,363 million of this amount (2020: €2,878 million). Our investments in 2021 focused on the Chemicals, Materials, Surface Technologies and Nutrition & Care segments.
Capex by segment 2022–2026
Capex by region 2022–2026
Capex: selected projects
Capacity expansion: integrated ethylene oxide complex
Gradual capacity expansion: alkoxylates
|Chalampé, France||Construction: production plant for hexamethylenediamine|
|Geismar, Louisiana||Capacity expansion: MDI plant|
|Harjavalta, Finland, and Schwarzheide, Germany||Investment: battery materials|
|Zhanjiang, China||Planned construction: integrated Verbund site|
We are planning capex of around €4.6 billion for the BASF Group in 2022. For the period from 2022 to 2026, we have planned capex totaling €25.6 billion worldwide. The investment volume in the next five years will thus be above that of the planning period 2021 to 2025 (€22.9 billion). Focus areas will be our investment project in Zhanjiang, China, to expand our businesses in Asia, as well as investments in battery materials.
1 Additions to property, plant and equipment excluding acquisitions, restoration obligations, IT investments and right-of-use assets arising from leases.
On August 31, 2021, BASF and Shanshan announced the formation of BASF Shanshan Battery Materials Co., Ltd. The newly formed entity is majority-owned by BASF (BASF 51%; Shanshan 49%). It has four sites in Hunan and Ningxia, China, with more than 1,600 employees. BASF Shanshan Battery Materials Co., Ltd. will focus primarily on the rapidly growing electric vehicle (EV) market while also serving global consumer electronic and energy storage market segments. The business is a part of the Catalysts division.
We completed the purchase of 49.5% of Vattenfall’s Hollandse Kust Zuid (HKZ) wind farm on September 1, 2021. The purchase price was €0.3 billion. Wind farm construction began in July 2021. Once fully operational in 2023, the wind farm will be the largest commercial offshore wind farm in the world. This wind farm does not receive any subsidies for the power produced. On April 12, 2022, BASF and Allianz Capital Partners (on behalf of Allianz Insurance Companies) closed the purchase of 25.2% of the HKZ wind farm by Allianz Capital Partners. BASF will receive most of the power produced by its originally acquired share of 49.5% of HKZ under a long-term fixed-price corporate power purchasing agreement.
On May 31, 2021, BASF completed the sale of its production site in Kankakee, Illinois, to a subsidiary of One Rock Capital Partners, LLC. The agreement also includes the vegetable-oil-based sterols and natural vitamin E business as well as the anionic surfactants and esters produced at the Kankakee site. The purchase price was €177 million. The transaction affected the Nutrition & Health and Care Chemicals divisions.
On June 30, 2021, we closed the divestiture of our global pigments business to the Japanese fine chemical company DIC, Tokyo, Japan. The business transfer agreement, which affected around 2,500 employees, was signed on August 29, 2019. The purchase price on a cash and debt-free basis was €1.15 billion. The Dispersions & Pigments division was renamed Dispersions & Resins following the transaction closing.
On November 9, 2021, BASF and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice sold their shares in Solenis to Platinum Equity, a private equity company based in Beverly Hills, California. With over 5,200 employees, Solenis serves customers in water-intensive industries by helping them solve complex water treatment and process improvement challenges. BASF held a 49% share in Solenis after transferring its paper and water chemicals business to the company in February 2019. This was reported as a non-integral investment accounted for using the equity method. The remaining 51% of the shares were held by funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, and by Solenis management. The purchase price attributable to BASF was €1.1 billion.
On November 30, 2021, we completed the sale of the precision microchemicals business to Entegris. The transaction included fixed assets and inventories. The purchase price amounted to $90 million. The precision microchemicals business was part of the Surface Treatment business unit of BASF’s Coatings division, operating under the Chemetall brand.
On November 18, 2021, BASF and KaMin LLC. / CADAM S.A. (KaMin) signed an agreement to sell BASF’s kaolin minerals business to KaMin, a global performance minerals company headquartered in Macon, Georgia. Currently, the kaolin minerals business is part of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division and has approximately 440 employees in North America, Europe and Asia. The divestiture comprises the production hub with sites in Daveyville, Toddville, Edgar, Gordon and related mines, reserves and mills in Toomsboro and Sandersville in Georgia. The refinery catalysts operations located 2022 at the same site are not part of the divestiture. Pending approval by the relevant authorities, closing of the transaction is expected in the second half of 2022.
On December 28, 2021, BASF reached an agreement to divest its production site in Quincy, Florida, and the associated attapulgite business to Clariant for a purchase price of $60 million. The Quincy facility has around 75 employees and manufactures clay-based mineral products used in a variety of industrial applications. The transaction affects the Dispersions & Resins division and is expected to close in the summer of 2022, subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities.
In recent years, market growth in China has been driven by increased domestic consumption, higher standards of living as well as more local value creation. With a world market share of over 45%, China is the largest chemical market and drives the growth of global chemical production. BASF is very well prepared to capture future growth in China. We have built an extensive network throughout the country. The following sites are the backbone of our activities in the region:
- Shanghai is home to our Greater China headquarters and an Innovation Campus as well as the Caojing production site.
- Nanjing is the location of our Verbund site in a joint venture with Sinopec as well as a wholly owned site.
- In Chongqing, we operate a wholly owned MDI production complex.
Greater China is currently BASF’s second-largest market after the United States. At the end of December 2021, BASF had 11,070 employees in Greater China and 26 wholly owned production sites. In 2021, BASF posted sales of approximately €12 billion to customers in Greater China.
To continue to participate in the growth in Asia, BASF launched its smart Verbund project in Zhanjiang in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong in 2019. Subject to currency effects and planning uncertainties, we expect an investment in Zhanjiang of around €8 billion to €10 billion until 2030. The implementation will happen in phases. The project will include a wholly owned steam cracker with an industrial cluster that will ensure the highly efficient use of resources in production, logistics and infrastructure. Construction of the first plants started in 2020. They will produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to serve the increasing needs of various growth industries in the southern China market and throughout Asia. The startup of the first plant is expected for 2022 and the upstream plants are expected to begin operations around 2025.
With around 126 million residents, Guangdong is the most populous province in China. The GDP growth of around 5% to 6% per year in Guangdong is driven by industrial investments of important BASF customer industries such as transportation, consumer goods, home and personal care. This large and growing market is locally undersupplied in terms of its demand for chemicals. Zhanjiang has a deep-water seaport with easy access to shipments of raw materials and finished goods to and from other ports in China, Asia and other regions. It also offers the shortest sea routes between mainland China and Southeast Asia. The government of Guangdong province is committed to providing this area with world-class logistics infrastructure. It is also being developed as a key hub for new-energy vehicles, including battery-powered vehicles.
BASF is committed to building the Zhanjiang Verbund site as a model for sustainable production. We aim to power the site with 100% renewable energy by 2025. As BASF’s first implementation of a fully digital smart Verbund concept in a large-scale project globally, the site will be built on the basis of cutting-edge technologies that maximize resource and energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact. Circular economy concepts will be incorporated into the new Verbund site to support customers in the region with sustainably produced solutions.
Guangdong is home to key customers from fast-growing industries
- Over 126.2 million residents in Guangdong province (2020)4
- GDP Guangdong (2021): ~$1.9 trillion (exceeding South Korea)
- GDP growth from 2021–2036: 5 – 6% p.a.
- Key customer industries: transportation, consumer goods, home and personal care, electronics
- Chemical products are generally undersupplied from local
1 Real secondary industry output, 2015-based. Guangdong Bureau of Statistics
2 Real chemical gross output, 2015-based, inferred by gross output/value added ratio for China
3 Real private consumption, 2015-based. National Bureau of Statistics with IHS forecast
4 Guangdong Statistical Yearbook 2021