BASF today officially opened a pioneering research center at the heart of the Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, close to the famous Ammonia Lab. This new pilot plant facility for catalyst and process development will be operated by the global research unit Process Research & Chemical Engineering. It houses highly automated experimental facilities for efficient process development and testing of new process catalysts. The highlights of the modernized lab include modular construction of the testing facilities, the use of digital technologies to better visualize and manage the pilot plant facilities, and a digitalized working environment.
In February 2019, BASF has founded the new company BASF Digital Solutions S.L. located in Madrid, Spain to drive forward the digital transformation of BASF group and develop innovative IT solutions. BASF plans to grow the center to more than 300 digital specialists within the next years.
BASF generated sales of €62.7 billion last year. This represents an increase of 2% compared with the previous year. Income from operations (EBIT) before special items declined to €6.4 billion, compared with €7.6 billion in the previous year. This was mainly attributable to the Chemicals segment, which accounted for around two-thirds of the total decline in earnings. Isocyanate margins fell sharply in the second half of the year. Furthermore, cracker margins were lower than expected in all regions in 2018.