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History of BASF in Southern Africa

A Chronology of BASF History in AFRICA

The BASF Group has been active in the African continent for close to  90 years. The company has been exporting colorants and intermediates to Kenya from its headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany, since the end of the 1920s. Today, the BASF Group has more than 1,000 employees in Africa (excluding the oil and gas business). In North Africa, the company is represented in Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The key industries are construction, textiles, agriculture, automotive and the health care and plastics sectors. The BASF Group Company Wintershall has been producing oil onshore in Libya since 1958, and it is also involved in an offshore oilfield. In South Africa, BASF has production facilities for emission catalysts, construction chemicals, coil coatings, dispersions and polyurethane plastics.


A legal entity is established in Zambia


BASF Construction Chemicals plant is opened in Nairobi, Kenya


BASF Coatings Services’ Pretoria West branch relocates into new state of the art premises in Centurion

Becker Underwood is renamed to BASF Agricultural Specialties (Pty) Ltd.

Launch of Mining Solutions' Technical Laboratory in Johannesburg based at MINTEK


Global Acquisition of Becker Underwood (Pty) Ltd.

Launch of Dispersions Plant in Durban

BASF West Africa (Pty) Ltd. is established


Cognis South Africa (Pty) Ltd moves to the BASF in Midrand premises.

 BASF South Africa (Pty) Ltd celebrates 45 years existence in South Africa.

 BASF East Africa (Pty) Ltd, a sales and services office has been established in Nairobi, Kenya.


Acquisition of Cognis South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

Elastogran South Africa is renamed to BASF Polyurethanes South Africa (Pty) Ltd.


 Acquisition and integration of CIBA South Africa into BASF in Midrand.

 BASF Coatings celebrates its 10-year anniversary in South Africa.


Acquisition of MAB by BASF Coatings Services (Pty) Ltd. BASF Coatings Services has now 9 sales branches nationwide.


BASF South Africa Holdings, Midrand – a Service Platform for local BASF entities is established.

Sale of the Isando, Kempton Park production site (because of divestment of the premix business in February 2007).

Launch of the Mobile Emission Catalysts division of BASF South Africa (former Engelhard SA) in PE.

 Degussa Construction Chemicals SA is renamed BASF Construction Chemicals South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

CHC Elastogran is renamed Elastogran South Africa (Pty) Ltd.


 BASF South Africa celebrates 40-year existence in South Africa.

 Acquisition and integration of following companies:

- Engelhard South Africa

- Degussa Construction Chemicals South Africa

- Johnson Polymer South Africa

ART Automotive Refinishing Technologies in Cape Town is renamed BASF Coatings Services.

CHC Elastogran, a polyurethane systems house as a Joint Venture between CHC and Elastogran is established.

Management Buy-out of BASF Animal Nutrition – now a BASF distributor renamed Advit Animal Nutrition.


BASF establishes in South Africa the concept of the Business Center South Africa and Sub - Sahara.

After BASF’s Harvey Refinishers buy-out ART Automotive Refinishing Technologies (Pty) Ltd is established.


BASF Coatings (Pty.) Ltd. is established.

An animal nutrition production plant starts up in Isando/Kempton Park.


 BASF Animal Nutrition is established.


 BASF South Africa (Pty) Ltd is established (distributorship) with its head offices in Johannesburg.

Early stages

BASF products are sold by the South African sales organization Taeuber & Corssen

BASF products were first sold in South Africa in the nineteenth century.