- Ciba integration making good progress; structural integration to be completed by April 2010
- Asia Pacific Strategy 2020: growth of two percentage points above the chemical market in the region
- Restructuring of Styrenics division continues; divestitures in Brazil and Korea
- European polyamide 6 production reorganized: production bundled at the Antwerp and Ludwigshafen Verbund sites
The integration of the businesses acquired from Ciba is proceeding smoothly, in some areas faster than planned: The implementation phase, which includes the introduction of BASF IT systems, the bundling of central services and the consolidation of company structures, was started in July. Out of a total of 70 former Ciba non-production sites, 16 have already been integrated into existing BASF structures. All the essential structural integration measures are expected to be completed in April 2010. As of the third quarter of 2009, the Ciba businesses are reported as part of the operating divisions of the Performance Products segment.
BASF outlined its strategy 2020 for Asia Pacific on September 29, 2009. The main aim is to grow on average two percentage points faster than the Asia Pacific chemical market each year. With expected market growth of 4 to 5% per year, this would double regional sales by 2020, whilst earning a premium on cost of capital. Seventy percent of regional sales are to be generated from local production. The strategy also aims to increase the number of employees by at least 5,000 from a current figure of approximately 15,000. Between 2009 and 2013, BASF plans to invest €2 billion in the region and implement measures to increase efficiency. As of 2012, these measures should lead to savings of at least €100 million per year.
The restructuring of the Styrenics division continued with two further divestitures in the styrene value chain: In Brazil, BASF sold the entire polystyrene business, including a production plant, to the petrochemical company Companhia Brasileira de Estireno. Furthermore, in August, BASF sold a styrene monomer site in Ulsan, Korea, to SK Energy, a South Korean refining company.
Production of polyamide 6 in Europe is also being strategically restructured. In the future, production will be bundled at BASF’s two Verbund sites in Antwerp, Belgium, and Ludwigshafen, Germany. The production of polyamide 6 at a third European production site in Rudolstadt will be discontinued at the end of 2010. These measures will reduce BASF’s annual worldwide polymerization capacity by 40,000 tons to 680,000 tons. This corresponds to a reduction of around 6%. Polyamide is used, for example, in the production of engineering plastics employed in the automotive, electric and electronic industries, as well as in the furniture and leisure industries.