Global
Factbook

Petrochemicals

The Petrochemicals division is the cornerstone of BASF’s petrochemical-based value chains throughout the regions. The division manufactures and markets a broad portfolio of high-quality basic chemicals and tailored specialties for internal and external customers. To contribute to BASF’s net zero CO2 emissions goal, we offer some of our portfolio based on circular feedstock. For this purpose, either renewable or chemically recycled feedstock is used instead of virgin fossil resources at the beginning of the value chain. Furthermore, we develop processes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our existing plants.

Sales by region 2021 (location of customer)

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Sales by direct customer industry 2021

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Cracker products

BASF produces the entire range of cracker products from ethylene and propylene to butadiene, butenes and benzene. Propylene is the most important starting product for BASF’s value chains.
 

Acrylic monomers and superabsorbent polymers

BASF is a technology leader in acrylic acid and the world’s largest and most widespread producer of acrylic monomers, which are sold to internal and external customers in the form of acrylic acid, acrylic esters and specialty acrylates. Acrylic monomers are used as precursors to manufacture acrylic polymers and polymer dispersions for various applications such as:

  • Superabsorbent polymers
  • Flocculants
  • Surfactants
  • Adhesives
  • Coatings

Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) are used in various hygiene applications, such as baby diapers, adult incontinence products and feminine hygiene articles. With our global production network, we are close to our customers. Through our market knowledge and R&D expertise, we aim to foster trusted relationships with customers and partners in the global hygiene industry.
 

Alkylene oxides and glycols

Ethylene oxide derived from ethylene is used mainly to produce surfactants, ethanolamines, glycols, glycol ethers and polyols. Ethylene glycol is used in antifreeze applications and the production of fibers, films and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles.
 

Alcohols and solvents

BASF is the world’s largest producer of oxo alcohols and is also a major producer of oxygenated solvents in Europe, including acetates, glycol ethers, glycol ether acetates and specialty solvents. Major customer industries are paints and coatings, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
 

Plasticizers

BASF offers a broad product portfolio of general purpose and special purpose plasticizers. Plasticizers give flexibility to PVC products such as cables or films. At the same time they offer protection against the effects of weathering and temperature, thereby helping to maintain the product’s functionality. Plasticizers are used in a large number of industries such as construction, automotive, toys and medical devices.
 

Styrenics

The styrenics value chain of BASF comprises styrene monomer, polystyrene, extruded polystyrene (XPS, with the brand Styrodur®) and expandable polystyrene (EPS, with the brands Styropor® and Neopor®). The most important industries for BASF’s styrenics business are packaging and construction, where the unique properties of styrenic polymers allow customers to realize various eco-efficient solutions, for example, as insulation material.

  • Acrylic monomers: No. 1 globally
  • Ethylene oxide and ethylene glycols: No. 2 in Europe
  • Expandable polystyrene: No. 1 (grey), No. 2 (white) in Europe
  • Oxo alcohols: No. 1 globally
  • Plasticizers: No. 2 in Europe
  • Solvents: No. 2 in Europe
  • Superabsorbents: No. 2 globally

  • Acrylic monomers: Arkema, Dow, Satellite
  • Alcohols and solvents: Dow, Eastman, Evonik, ExxonMobil Chemical, Luxi, Oxea
  • Cracker products: Dow, ExxonMobil, INEOS, LG Chem, Lotte Chemicals, LyondellBasell, SABIC, Sinopec
  • Ethylene oxide and glycols: Dow, INEOS Oxide, Lotte Chemicals, Reliance, SABIC, Sanjiang Fine Chemicals, Shell, Sinopec
  • Expandable polystyrene: Stryopek, Synthos, Trinseo, Wuxi Xingda
  • Plasticizers: Eastman, Evonik, ExxonMobil, UPC
  • Superabsorbents: Evonik, LG Chem, Nippon Shokubai, Sanyo

We aim to set the benchmark for cost competitiveness and environmental footprint. The focus is on developing new processes and optimizing our existing ones. We want to be a thought and action leader in sustainability with a special focus on CO2 reduction and the circular economy. In terms of product innovation, we advance research in the field of superabsorbent polymers and styrenics.

(from 2019 onward)

Product group 
Description  Year
Ethylene, propylene Feedstock flexibilization of steam cracker in Antwerp, Belgium 2019
Ethylene oxide  Expansion of integrated EO complex in Antwerp, Belgium  2022
Superabsorbent polymers  Closure of superabsorbent production in Mannheim, Germany  2022
Investment in excellence center in Antwerp, Belgium  2023
tert-butyl acrylate New plant in Nanjing, China 2023
Cracker products and downstream  Establishment of an integrated Verbund site in Zhanjiang, Guangdong, China  until 2030

(thousand metric tons per year)

Product group Location
  Antwerp, Belgium Camaçari, Brazil Cornwall, Canada Freeport, Texas Geismar, Louisiana Rayong, Thailand Kuantan, Malaysia1 Ludwigs­hafen, Germany Nanjing, China2 Pasadena, Texas Port Arthur, Texas3 Tarragona, Spain4 Ulsan, South Korea Total5
Ethylene 3,480
Propylene 2,630
Butadiene 680
Benzene 910
Cyclohexane 130
Ethylene oxide (equivalents) 1,445
Oxo C4 alcohols 1,625
Plasticizers (incl. Hexamoll® DINCH) 595
Acrylic acid 1,510
Superabsorbents 590
Styropor/Neopor 545

1 BASF 60%; PETRONAS 40%
2 BASF 50%; Sinopec 50%
3 BASF 60%; Total 40%
4 BASF 51%; Sonatrach 49%
5 All capacities in the table illustrate 100% capacity of the operations. BASF’s share might be lower.

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BASF closes EPS recycling loop

With Neopor® F 5 Mcycled, BASF can offer an insulation raw material with a closed EPS recycling loop for the first time. Neopor® Mcycled contains 10% mechanically recycled material and is suitable for numerous applications in buildings, particularly facade insulation. Both the recycled material used and the insulation raw material are REDcert2-certified.

Last Update June 13, 2022