Segment profile

The Chemicals segment consists of the Petrochemicals, Monomers and Intermediates divisions. In our integrated production facilities – our Verbund – we produce a broad range of basic chemicals and intermediates in Europe, Asia and North America for our internal and external customers.



Broad range of basic products and specialties for sectors such as the chemical and plastics industries


Isocyanates and polyamides as well as inorganic basic products and specialties for various branches, such as the plastics, automotive, construction and electronics industries


Most comprehensive intermediates portfolio in the world, including precursors for coatings, plastics, textile fibers and crop protection products


Chemicals – Sales (graphic)

Chemicals – Factors influencing sales
Chemicals – Factors influencing sales (bar chart)
Chemicals – Income from operations before special items (in million €)
Chemicals – Income from operations before special items (bar chart)

How we create value – an example

Sodium nitrate

Conducting and storing heat for solar thermal power plants

Value for BASF


Expected annual sales growth for this application through 2025

Value for our customers

up to 10%

Greater power plant efficiency through storage of thermal energy

Generating electricity with renewables involves sharp fluctuations depending on weather and time of day. Energy storage systems are therefore required to ensure a steady, reliable supply of electricity. Molten salt based on sodium nitrate can be employed as a medium to both transfer and store heat. This makes it especially suited to the growing use of solar thermal energy to generate electricity. We aim to increase sales of sodium nitrate for this application by an average of 7% each year through 2025.

In solar thermal power plants, molten salt based on sodium nitrate serves to store the heat provided by the sun’s rays and release it again to be converted into electricity later. This can increase a plant’s capacity utilization – and thus its efficiency – by up to 10%.


  • Integrated production facilities form backbone of Verbund concept
  • Technology and cost leadership are most important competitive advantages

With our production facilities, we form the core of the Verbund structure and supply the BASF segments with basic chemicals for the production of downstream products. We add value with innovations in processes and production, and invest in future markets to ensure the growth of the entire BASF Verbund. As a reliable supplier, we market our products to customers in downstream industries, primarily in the chemical, electronics, construction, textile, lumber, automotive, pharmaceutical and crop protection industries. We continually improve our value chains and are expanding our market position – particularly outside Europe – with new methods and technologies, as well as through capital expenditures and collaborations in future markets.

We invest in research and development in order to develop new technologies and to make our existing technologies even more efficient. Cost leadership and a clear orientation along individual value chains are among our most important competitive advantages. We concentrate on the critical success factors of the classical chemicals business: making use of economies of scale, the advantages of our Verbund, high capacity utilization, continuous optimization of access to raw materials, lean processes, and reliable, cost-effective logistics. Furthermore, we are constantly improving our global production structures and aligning these with regional market requirements.