BASF is continuing on its growth path with polyurethane specialties in Asia by establishing its 29th system house worldwide at its existing site in Bangpoo, Thailand. From the first quarter of 2006, the plant will produce tailor-made polyurethane systems in close cooperation with customers from a wide range of industries such as the footwear, appliances, automotive and construction sectors. Approval for the project is currently being sought from the Thai authorities. Financial details were not disclosed.
“Our new system house in Thailand is a further building block to strengthen our leading position in polyurethanes in the Asian growth market,” said Jean-Pierre Dhanis, President of BASF’s Polyurethanes division.
Customers will benefit especially from the advantages offered by BASF’s regional polyurethane Verbund in Asia. In Caojing, Shanghai, BASF and its partners are planning to start up world-scale production plants for the polyurethane basic products MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) and TDI (toluene diisocyanate) in 2006. In neighboring Pudong, Shanghai, BASF is also currently establishing a regional center for polyurethane specialties. The Pudong project consists of a system house, a production plant for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) and a Technical Research & Development Center. The new system house in Thailand will work closely with this Technical Research & Development Center, and is thus integrated into BASF’s global network for research and innovation in the field of polyurethanes.
“Thailand is an important market for BASF that offers good perspectives. We will use our extensive expertise to achieve a strong competitive position,” said Chew Eng Soo, Group Vice President Polyurethanes Asia Pacific at BASF. In the coming 10 years, the market for polyurethanes in Thailand is expected to grow annually by around 6 percent. Today, Thailand already accounts for 40 percent of the polyurethanes market in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region. As a result, Thailand is a driver of growth in the region’s polyurethanes business.
In Asia, BASF already operates system houses in Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and China. In addition to its capital expenditure project in Pudong, Shanghai, BASF acquired the system houses Foam Enterprises in the United States and Lagomat in Sweden in 2004.
BASF is the world’s leading supplier of polyurethane specialties. Polyurethanes are versatile plastics with a huge range of applications, and their properties can be customized to suit individual uses. Polyurethane products are used in the automotive industry, for thermal insulation in construction and refrigeration technology, in the electronics industry, in the manufacture of shoes and furniture, as well as in sports and leisure articles. BASF entered the market in Thailand in 1966. It operates two sites in Bangpoo and Rayong and currently has more than 200 employees. In 2004, the company posted sales of €157 million in Thailand.
Posted May 19, 2005
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