Engineering News

BASF Expects Continued High Plastics Demand
June 25, 2013, 1:16 p.m. ET

BASF SE (BAS.XE), the world's largest chemical company by sales, Tuesday said it is targeting above market growth for its downstream plastics, large-volume monomers and commodity polymers.

"We will create key future innovations not only with new polymers but, above all, with novel functional materials and system solutions," Deputy Chief Executive Martin Brudermueller said.

Since 1990, global market demand for plastics has increased by around 5% on average per year, BASF said. "We expect this growth rate will continue until 2020 and that the market to grow in all regions," Mr. Brudermueller said.

He said Asia is expected to be the biggest growth market with a 6% increase annually, and China being responsible for half the demand in the region. Growing prosperity in Asian economies will lead to a continued significant increase in demand, Mr. Brudermueller added.

To take advantage of this trend, BASF is realigning its plastics business, bundling all specialty polymers in its newly created Performance Materials division, the company said. It is in the process of constructing production plants for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, or MDI, and toluene diisocyanate, or TDI, in Germany and China.

In Chongqing it is building an MDI plant with an annual capacity of 400,000 metric tons--scheduled to start production in 2014. In Germany's Ludwigshafen a TDI plant with an annual capacity of 300,000 metric tons is also expected to go on stream next year.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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