Performance Chemicals

Adding value as an innovative partner for specific customer industries

As an innovative partner, BASF’s Performance Chemicals division offers specific solutions for specific customer industries including plastics, automotive, refineries, lubricants, oilfield, mining and water treatment as well as leather and textiles. BASF is the leading global supplier for plastic additives.

Plastic additives

BASF is the leading supplier and innovation partner for stabilizers and additive systems to the plastics, rubber and adhesive industries. The product range includes high-performance light stabilizers, antioxidants and process stabilizers, pigments and other specialty additives. The main fields of application are:

  • automotive molded parts
  • agricultural films
  • construction materials
  • packaging
  • electronics and consumer goods

Fuel and lubricant solutions

BASF is one of the leading suppliers of performance chemicals for the automotive and mineral oil industries. Our portfolio includes:

  • brake fluids and engine coolants
  • fuel and refinery additives
  • low, medium and high molecular weight polyisobutene (PIB)
  • lubricant additives and additive packages
  • base stocks and metalworking fluid components
  • compounded lubricants

Water, oilfield and mining solutions

BASF offers a wide range of solutions and products for the water, oilfield and mining industry.

For the water industry we offer products used in the key processes of industrial and municipal water treatment. The business is a leading supplier of products to clarify the raw water used for the production of drinking water, to treat waste water stream and industrial process water, to protect desalination plants, cooling towers and boilers. We are the leading provider of inge® ultrafiltration technology.

For the oilfield industry, we offer a wide range of products to help make efficient formulation. Our portfolio in this field is very wide and comprises products for the drilling and completion of oil wells and chemicals for the continuous and cost-efficient production of valuable oil and gas resources. We develop next-generation surfactants and polymers, designed to support enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations by means of chemical injection.

For the mining industry, we offer an extensive range of mineral processing reagents. The strengths of the global business are in solid/liquid separation and solvent extraction; however, we also offer reagents for flotation, dispersing, agglomerating and other processes. Our products are marketed worldwide. Furthermore we also offer customer engineering solutions for the mining industry.

Leather and textile chemicals

BASF supplies chemicals for all leather and essential textile processing steps. In the leather industry, our eco-efficient products and solutions help customers meet the latest ecological requirements and standards. BASF’s expertise covers a broad spectrum of applications such as leathers for shoes, automotive, furniture, garments and accessories. Our textile chemicals deliver high quality, comfort and easy care through innovative techniques, fulfilling the latest ecological requirements and standards. We offer textile auxiliaries for weaving, pretreatment and dyeing and comprehensive solutions for pigment printing, finishing and textile coating.

BASF's market position

In most businesses we are among the top three companies or are the global market leader – such as in plastic additives business.

Main competitors

  • Plastic additives: Songwon, Cytec, Clariant
  • Fuel and lubricant solutions: Afton, Arteco, Chemtura, Exxon, Oronite, TPC
  • Water, oilfield and mining solutions: SNF, Ashland, Kemira, Cytec, Dow, Baker
  • Leather and textile chemicals: Clariant, LANXESS, Huntsman

Focus of research and development (R&D)

Developing intelligent solutions in close cooperation with our customers as well as improving our cost position are key to the success of the Performance Chemicals division. Accordingly, we want to grow our business by aiming at new, fast-growing markets, where we can leverage the variety of our competencies. In addition, we aim to safeguard our margins in already established businesses.

Acquisitions/JVs/Investments (from 2010 onward)

Product group   Description   Year
Mining solutions, base stocks and compounded lubricants   Acquisition of Cognis   2010
Fuel and lubricant solutions   Expansion of polyisobutene plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany   2010
    Construction of a new polyisobutene plant in Nanjing, China   2011/2012
Water solutions   Acquisition of inge watertechnologies   2011
    New plants for quaternized cationic monomers and cationic polyacrylamides in Nanjing, China   2012
Plastic additives   New production site for customer-specific antioxidant blends in Bahrain   2012
    New plant antioxidants in Singapore   2013

Divestitures/Shutdowns/Reorganizations (from 2010 onward)

Product group   Description   Year
Plastic additives   Divestiture of business with hydrophilic melt additives   2010
    Scale down of plastics additives in the Basel area, Switzerland   2013-2015
Water, oilfield and mining solutions   Closure of polyacrylamide bead production unit in Suffolk, Virginia   2012
    Fixed cost reduction in the water solutions business, mainly in Bradford and Grimsby, U.K.   2013-2015
    Divestiture of industrial water management in Lyon, France   2013
Leather and textiles   Reorganization in the leather and textile business: More focus on the growing Asia Pacific region and high value-adding applications. The R&D activities will be bundled for automotive industry and premium textile articles in Shanghai, China   End of 2014

Major production sites

Region Location Product
Europe   Ludwigshafen, Germany   F, L
    Lampertheim, Germany; Pontecchio Marconi, Italy   P
    Kaisten, Switzerland   F, P
    Antwerp, Belgium   F
    Bradford and Grimsby, U.K.   W/O/M
North America   McIntosh, U.S.; Puebla, Mexico   F, P
    Suffolk, Virginia; West Memphis, Arkansas   W/O/M
Asia Pacific   Shanghai, China   F, P, L, T
    Thane and Mangalore, India   F, L, T
    Nanjing, China   F, W/O/M
    Singapore   F, P
South America   Guaratinguetá, Brazil   F, T

Abbreviations: F = Fuel and lubricant solutions, L = Leather, W/O/M = Water, Oilfield and Mining Solutions, P = Plastic additives, T = Textiles, W = Water solutions

Key drivers of profitability

  • Excellent innovation platform and application know-how
  • Customer proximity and market focus
  • Focus on industry segments and regions growing above GDP
  • Technology leadership and cost competitiveness in production

Key capabilities of BASF

  • Strategic alliances with key customers for innovation leadership
  • Highly qualified and experienced team with strong market knowledge
  • Technological competence to provide excellent solutions to our customers
Emgard® high-performance lubricants

Emgard® high-performance lubricants

Read more

Sales by region 2012 chart

1 Based on restated figures and new segment structure

Sales by first customer industry 2012 chart